A Renowned Doc Reveals The Simple Secrets To Being A Healthy Man

Dr. Frank Lipman talks about “the male way of seeing” health and how it got us to this men’s health crisis point.

by Fatherly


This article is a repost which originally appeared on Fatherly

Edited for content. The opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the opinions of this site’s editors, staff or members.

Our Takeaways:

· It’s thought men’s health is threatened by their not being preventative enough.

· Technology and a more holistic approach to this challenge appears to be helpful.

· Mental and physical wellness should be seen as a singular thing.

One of the biggest threats to men’s health has always been the challenge of getting them to care about it. “It’s hard to say the exact reason, but men don’t really do anything preventatively,” explains physician Frank Lipman, M.D. Through nearly 40 years of experience practicing functional medicine, he has found that men generally “are not interested in subtle changes in their body, and they traditionally wait until they have a heart attack or something serious,” Lipman says. And although he can’t point to a single catchall reason for why this is, it’s always been the case. “That’s the male way of seeing things: It’s not a problem until it’s a big problem.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been attempts to engage men to take a more proactive approach to their health and wellness. But much of this has been geared toward optimizing their performance. That’s why erectile dysfunction and low testosterone have been a major part of these efforts, because they affect men’s ability to perform in bed, at work, and on the field. As a result, these are the concerns that might get men in to see their doctors and screened for more serious risks such as heart disease and diabetes.

But now, thanks to a combination of telemedicine, wearable tech, and the mainstreaming of biohacking, doctors like Lipman have been able to spin this competitive edge into a more holistic approach to healthcare. “A lot of guys are learning that they can do a lot of health testing at home, use wearables, and do things in order to perform better,” Lipman says. Being able to track things like their sleep, exercise, and how much alcohol they’ve cut back on, and bond with other guys while competing over these progress, might be what gets them paying more attention to their minds and bodies.

“Men generally are more competitive, so if that can be spun in a positive way, then they will take more notice,” Lipman says. “Being able to measure these things at home and compare it to their friends is a positive.”

Although the overall outcome remains to be seen, Lipman sat down with Fatherly to discuss his optimism about the future of men’s health, and how we can gamify it for the better.

Over the course of your career, how have you seen men’s interest in their health change? What’s different now, and what is still the same?

Traditionally it’s been the spouse or significant other bringing men into the doctor. But there’s been a shift, and now men seem to be paying more attention to athletes and other role models for men, on Twitter and social media, talking about how when they started doing ice plunges, they started performing better. A lot of them are athletes because there’s a lot more awareness about health for them. All of that has made men more aware. Instead of their spouses getting them to care about their health, there are successful role models.

With so many men getting this information from social media, are there concerns about misinformation?

There’s always going to be some misinformation, but overall I think it’s much more positive. There’s much more good coming from it. And if it brings them into the doctor, they can do more testing, and their health can be a little bit more controlled.

What conditions are guys coming into your office worried about?

They’ve become more aware of heart disease, which usually is a disease that’s easily picked up from biomarkers. I think men are usually more concerned about performance and issues related to that, like Alzheimer’s and other cognitive issues. They’re worried about not having the energy to play basketball with their friends. They’re worried about not being able to perform as well as the younger people at work.

It seems like men aren’t that interested in worrying about diseases like cancer that could develop. Is it fair to say, when you try to get men to worry about preventative healthcare so far in the future, it may not work?

Yes, you’ve got to present it in a way that’s going to make them make changes. You can’t say, “If you don’t do this, you’re going to get heart disease.” Or, “If you don’t do this, you’re going to put on weight.” It’s more about, “If you don’t do this, you’re not going to have the energy to do the thing you want to do.

Having heart disease or a problem with your health is going to affect your penis as well, because ED is not isolated to that particular organ. Usually when someone has ED, it’s a systemic thing — it’s vascular disease all over the body. That’s a generalization, but you’ve got to scare men in a way that’s going to change the way they’re going to see things.

You mentioned biomarkers. For someone who’s new to telemedicine, wearable tech, and biohacking, what are some biomarkers they should pay attention to? Or what sort of things should they have tested?

A lot of the blood work done by doctors is not particularly helpful. Guys should be asking for an advanced lipid panel that looks at the particle size of the cholesterol molecules — that measures inflammatory markers. It’s a much more extensive test that gives us much more information about heart disease and inflammation than regular tests.

They should have their uric acid checked. They should have nutrient levels checked, which are not usually checked. For instance, they should have their Omega-3 levels checked. They should have their red blood cell magnesium checked. They should have their B-12 checked.

And then hormones; men should not only have their testosterone and free testosterone checked, they should check for estrogens as well. Too much estrogen can be a problem for men as well as women.

What are the limits to biohacking?

The biggest things that get ignored are moving your body, how you sleep, meditation or stress reduction, spending time in nature, having some purpose in life, having some connection, or being connected to family or a community. Those to me are the primary biohacks of the body.

The secondary hacks are when you want to take it to the next level. So guys who are biohacking by measuring their blood glucose and their sleep and taking all these crazy supplements, it’s all fine, and I don’t think they’re dangerous. But to me, those are secondary hacks. If you’re thinking of biohacking, you can’t ignore the primary biohacks.

Sleeping seems to be a big thing that men can track for the sake of their mental and physical health.

Poor sleep puts you at risk for almost every chronic disease from Alzheimer’s to heart disease to diabetes to obesity. So poor sleep is the first place you need to do some work, because men don’t take sleep seriously enough. Sleep is when your body is recovering and repairing. It’s when your brain cleans all the toxins out. Sleep is crucial to one’s health.

Alcohol seems similar, in that it puts men at risk for a lot of problems, but it also can be managed and tracked easily with apps. Does it work the same way?

Yes, too many people drink too much alcohol, which not only affects sleep, but it can affect so many other parts of the body and predispose you to so many problems. Three to four drinks a week isn’t a problem, but most men are drinking three to four drinks a night for three or four nights a week, and that becomes a problem. It puts a load on most organ systems, and is probably one of the primary risk factors for many of the diseases men are presenting with.

Sleep and alcohol also seem to have a large effect on men’s mental health, which has been said to be in a state of crisis. Do you believe men are facing a mental health crisis, and has it always been this way?

I’m not sure the problems with men’s mental health are a new thing. I think it’s probably more of an issue now because there’s more stress in people’s lives, whether it’s financial or otherwise. And men are starting to deal with it instead of suppressing it. Younger men are much more aware of their mental health and are in therapy, again because there have been more role models. People like Michael Phelps make a difference and help things.

I think younger men are more aware of their mental and emotional health, and it’s great that that’s shifted. But also, there is more pressure on everyone, including men, than there was 20 years ago.

And how can paying attention to physical health in the ways we’ve discussed help with mental health?

To me, mental and physical health are all one thing. Men paying more attention to their physical health will absolutely help with their mental health. I think teletherapy has made men more comfortable going to therapy from their home and that’s also helped a lot with that.

If you were to take into account all the avoidance and mental and physical health risks we’ve discussed, do you think that being a man should be considered a pre-existing condition, or a medical diagnosis in itself?

I don’t see it that way. We all have different pre-dispositions. Especially with genetic testing now, we can tell who’s more genetically predisposed to heart disease or diabetes or whatever. Certain diseases might happen more for men, but I don’t see being a man as a health risk, to be quite honest. I think it comes down to how health information is presented, and I think now it is being presented to men in a more accessible way.

Inner Demons: When it’s All in Your Head (from The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement)

The following is a chapter taken from the book: The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement.

The top cause of impotence today is due to performance anxiety or fear. There are many ways in which fears can originate. These include: inexperience, self-loathing, pressure from a partner, or even a partial physical cause which contributes to the equation.

Why does this seem to be such a growing epidemic- especially among younger men?

According to self-reports, most men have experienced some form of performance anxiety in their lives. How you handle incidents of erectile dysfunction can have a very huge impact on whether or not it sticks around.

One huge contributor of ED among younger men comes from unrealistic expectations obtained by watching porn.  Not only will most men be intimidated by the fantastic dimensions observed in many porn films, but the orchestrated reactions that become expected from these films also interferes with normal expectations.

Another aspect of ED caused by porn use involves detraining. This is discussed in much greater details further in this publication under the section titled “The Detraining Effect – Understanding and Reversing Negative Habits To Improve Erection Quality and Sexual Confidence,” but to summarize here, it’s when you become so accustomed to being an inactive participant in masturbating to porn, such that when real emotions and expectations are encountered (as in a real live sexual scenario), anxiety sets in.

The simplest answer to this is, when the sexual response is replaced by anxiety (or something intensely distracting to arousal), the penis isn’t allowed to function in an unencumbered fashion. The use of direct will in attempting to force an erection often has the opposite results. What becomes necessary in scenarios like this is getting to the root cause of the issue. Anxiety itself is merely a symptom of this.

In most cases, psychological ED is very temporary and has an ephemeral quality. In most cases, a man will shake this off- or if he’s generally very secure with himself, he may learn to laugh it off.

It’s usually when one strings together several worsening episodes does the situation become chronic and in need of professional treatment.

The Ultimate Guide to Male Enhancement

Aloe for Male Enhancement: Is It Safe and Does It Work?

Aloe for Male Enhancement: Is It Safe and Does It Work?

Medically reviewed by Joseph Brito III, MD — Written by Rachael Zimlich on June 7, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content.

Aloe vera can be found in many products. It can help boost the moisture content of your skin and even help heal burns and other wounds.

While it may seem like something of a miracle product, it can’t help with everything. In fact, you may want to be cautious before applying it everywhere — including your genitalia.

Keep reading to find out how aloe vera can be used for sexual health and when to avoid it.

What is male enhancement?

Male enhancement is a general phrase used to describe any efforts to improve the appearance, size, or function of genitalia — specifically the penis.

Some common enhancement strategies include:

  • stretches and exercises
  • topical or oral medications and herbal remedies
  • pumps
  • clamps and rings
  • surgery
  • grooming techniques

The goal of these strategies is to increase the size or appearance of the penis, improve erection strength and duration, or resolve ejaculation issues.

In some cases, male enhancement aims to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). This term typically refers to the inability to have or maintain an erection, but there can be varying levels of ED. In many cases, there’s another root issue, like cardiovascular disease or a medication side effect.

Improvement of ED is commonly pursued either for sexual pleasure or fertility purposes. Treatments should be designed based on the goal in mind.

Talk with a doctor about your specific symptoms and goals before beginning any new therapies or medications.

Does research support the use of topical aloe vera for male enhancement?

The use of aloe vera for general health and skin care is fairly common. However, you may be wondering if it could be used for male enhancement.

Most herbal or plant remedies are based in cultural practices, but there’s not a lot of clinical research on some claims of aloe vera benefits, like male enhancement.

Some studies have been done with animals, but the results were generally inconclusive. If anything, some of these studies raised concern about the use of aloe vera for sexual health benefits.

Here’s a breakdown of some relevant research in this area:

  • In a 2011 animal study, topical aloe vera reduced sperm concentration and quality.
  • A 2014 study showed possible benefits to sperm health and hormone levels in mice that received injections of an aloe vera compound.
  • A 2015 study showed that that aloe vera may potentially harm fertility in male rats.
  • There have been reports of libido enhancement with aloe use, but results may vary based on the specific form of aloe.

If you’re concerned about ED or another sexual health issue, talk with a healthcare professional. They can help guide you toward the right treatment for your situation.

Other natural treatments for male enhancement

There are many natural remedies you can try if you’re interested in male enhancement. However, you should always discuss any supplements you’re considering with a doctor first.

Several herbal remedies that have shown promising effects on male sexual health and performance include:

  • L-arginine
  • panax ginseng
  • L-citrulline
  • L-carnitine
  • gingko biloba

Other ways to improve your sexual health and performance include focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle, including:

  • staying active and exercising
  • eating a healthy diet
  • reducing stress
  • avoiding alcohol and other drugs
  • spending time outdoors

While regular exercise and a healthy diet are always good choices, talk with your doctor before starting any new therapies or supplements for male enhancement.

How is aloe vera used?

Aloe vera has been used on the skin and in the body for thousands of years. It can be found in all kinds of products — from juices to lotions.

Oral use of aloe vera usually comes in a pill form or as liquid extract or juice that you can drink. It’s thought to help with the following conditions:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • hepatitis
  • inflammatory bowel disease

However, there isn’t enough data to determine if oral aloe is effective for improving these conditions.

Evidence on the benefits of topical use — such as a gel, ointment, or lotion — is clearer, demonstrating that aloe can be helpful in treating:

  • acne
  • lichen planus
  • oral submucous fibrosis
  • burning mouth syndrome
  • burns
  • scabies
  • skin toxicity due to radiation

While aloe vera is generally considered safe, be sure to check the ingredients of the specific product you’re using.

Some oral aloe products may contain additional compounds that could result in side effects or interact with other medications. Even topical products may be mixed with alcohol compounds or other ingredients that can cause irritation.

Are there any possible side effects?

Aloe vera is widely used as both a topical and oral supplement. However, there have been some side effects linked to aloe vera use — either orally or topically — including:

  • liver problems
  • skin irritation
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • diarrhea
  • electrolyte imbalances

To avoid side effects, read the label of the product you’re using to understand all the ingredients it contains. You should also check for safety statements on the label.

For topical uses, it’s also a good idea to do a patch test by applying a small amount of product to an area of skin to test for sensitivity or irritation before applying liberally. This is particularly important when it comes to applying topicals, like aloe vera, to sensitive skin areas, like your genitalia.

The bottom line

There isn’t much evidence showing that aloe vera helps improve the size of your penis or your sexual performance.

However, if you decide to try it as a topical or oral supplement for enhancement, be sure to check the product’s safety, like performing a skin patch test before widespread application.

Always talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional about any supplements you plan on taking and your reason for taking them. They may be able to help treat the source of any sexual health problems you’re facing.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Take Control of Your Health During Men’s Health Month

Take Control of Your Health During Men’s Health Month

This article is a repost which originally appeared on U HEALTH

Edited for content.

Jun 07, 2021 8:30 AM

Author: Men’s Health Services

Schedule Preventive Health Care

June is Men’s Health Month, making it a great time for men to get schedule preventive health checkups. Only three out of five men get an annual physical and more than 40 percent of men only go to the doctor when they have a serious medical condition.

We’d like to see a change in those statistics. The majority of health issues men face are more treatable and more manageable in the early stages. Preventive care and checkups are important. I encourage men to take control of their overall health, including their sexual health, which is frequently linked to other, sometimes serious, health issues.

Checking every box on your health care list can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re entering the stage of life in which you need to start screening for different possible health issues.

Where to Start

Start with a couple of easy steps.

1. Find a primary health care provider if you don’t already have one. If you do, schedule an appointment.

2. Make small lifestyle changes.

A. Start exercising regularly, if you don’t already. Even a short walk once a day is a great start.

B. Eat a healthy diet. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your provider for a referral to a registered dietitian, who can help you set realistic goals.

Do You Need a Men’s Health Provider?

If you’re experiencing any of the following conditions, schedule an appointment with one of our men’s health providers, while you’re at it.

  • Erectile Dysfunction. ED is a common condition that can affect quality of life. It’s common in men after prostate cancer treatment and those with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. ED is treatable with medication and with surgery.
  • Peyronie’s Disease. This condition usually happens to older men. If you’ve got a bent penis, and it is affecting your ability to have an erection or to have sex, you shouldn’t live with it. Several treatment options are available to straighten the penis.
  • Infertility. Men are the cause of infertility in a couple about 50 percent of the time.
  • Low Testosterone. Testosterone can decrease as men age, starting at age 30. If you’re feeling tired or like you’ve lost your edge, low T treatment could help you feel better.
  • Testicular Pain. Many men have testicular pain at some point in their lives, but it’s treatable. If you have aching or pain in your testicles, contact one of our men’s health providers.

Men’s health month is a great reason to think about what’s important to you. Taking care of health issues may seem inconvenient, but it’s more convenient now than it will be if you let them continue for longer! Don’t be afraid to talk to a men’s health provider.

We are here for you.

Erectile Dysfunction: Signs & Ways To Eliminate Its Risk

How To Detect The Early Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction & Eliminate The Risk Once And For All

Updated on May 04, 2021, 18:00 IST · 4 min read

By Snehal Sharma

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MENSXP

Edited for content.

It’s not easy to talk about sex, especially if you’re grappling with insecurities.

For the longest time, erectile dysfunction was ascribed to psychological origins. Most ancient cultures, including Ayurveda, believed that ED can be treated with the help of natural herbs such as Indian ginseng, sesame powder, Safed Musli and more.

Today, we know more about its causes and have treatments to address the issue. But before we talk about eliminating the condition, we need to dispel the stigma associated with ED.

Studies have clarified that ED is not just “in your head”. According to a 2017 study by the Department of Urology Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, 20% of men across all age groups battle ED in India and 30% of them are younger than 40.

Most of the times, it is experienced due to an underlying cause that can be treated.

But no cure is possible until men accept the problem and stop shying away from asking for help.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is a condition in which a man experiences difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection during sexual performance.

The symptoms may also include reduced sexual desire or libido. If the condition lasts for more than a few weeks or months, your doctor is likely to diagnose you with ED.

Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction

Every piece of the body—including your emotions, hormones, brain, nerves, muscles and blood vessels—plays an intricate role in male arousal. When any of these isn’t aligned, it results in some kind of dysfunction.

Your mental health impacts your sexual ability equally. Stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns can worsen erectile dysfunction.

Experiencing minor or occasional sexual problems don’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction. But lookout for the consistency of these symptoms.

● Reduced or no desire for sex.

● Inability to get an erection.

● Inability to maintain an erection.

Who Is At The Risk?

The risk of ED increases as you age, especially if you have lived a sedentary lifestyle. It can worsen if you:

● Have a psychological condition like anxiety, depression or stress.

● Have an injury that might damage the nerves and arteries that contribute to erections.

● Use tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

● Are overweight.

● Are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.

● Are taking antidepressants or high blood pressure medications.

● Have heart disease or diabetes.

How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

The healthier you are, the easier it’ll be to fight erectile dysfunction. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to prevent ED but you can avoid persistent problems by taking care of its causes and yourself. The following measures may help:

● Reduce stress.

● Take care of your mental health.

● Exercise daily.

● Limit alcohol consumption.

● Quit smoking and stop using recreational drugs.

● Manage diabetes and heart disease.

How Can You Treat Erectile Dysfunction

The causes of ED vary and so does the treatment. Work with your doctor to create a plan that’s best for you.

1. Counselling

If you feel anxious, depressed or have any other mental health concern, seek therapy. Along with consulting a professional, indulge in relaxing activities such as music, painting, poetry or aromatherapy. Geranium oil helps those with low libido.

2. Ayurveda to the rescue

It’s not feasible for everyone to collect and consume the recommended herbs for sexual wellness. But you can always rely on natural supplements that provide men with the right nutrients optimised for better and stronger erections.

3. Lifestyle changes

Manage weight, exercise or do yoga consistently, stop smoking, avoid alcohol and illicit drugs and manage your health with the help of a doctor.

4. Prescribed medication

If the above treatments don’t work, your doctor may prescribe oral medications—like Viagra, Levitra, Aronix, Tadalafil, Stendra and Cialis, self-injection such as an Alprostadil or testosterone replacement.

5. Physical treatments

Penis pump or penile implants. However, these aren’t generally considered until every other treatment has failed.

Final Thoughts

Recognise the symptoms and consult a professional. If you’re diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, your doctor will help you figure out the cause of ED.

Work on the treatment options and before you know it, you’ll start seeing the results.

Living With ED: How To Take Back Your Life

Living With ED: How To Take Back Your Life

Dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED) can be incredibly difficult for men at any age. Men often feel ashamed of their condition and convince themselves that they’re “less of a man” because of it. When left untreated, the effects can spiral into other areas of their life. Self confidence, intimate relationships, and overall health can decline quickly. If you are struggling with ED, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t have to control your life. With these few tips you can get back to being your best self!

Talk To A Doctor

The first step to taking back control of your life is to talk to a doctor. With the shame or embarrassment that a lot of men feel about ED, it’s normal to even be embarrassed to tell your doctor. Remember that your physician will simply want to help you. Don’t let a mental block stop you from reaching out for help. They might help you explore options for ED medications to give you some short term relief or suggest other lifestyle changes. They also might want to make sure you don’t have any other undiagnosed illnesses. ED can be a symptom of another illness like heart disease, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome to name a few.


Being proactive about your overall health will help you feel more in control of your ED symptoms. Working out can help tackle ED symptoms from many angles as your overall health generally improves. Since obesity increases the risk of ED, working out can get you on track to being a healthier weight and potentially reducing your symptoms. Another way that exercise can impact ED is through body positivity. Perhaps you’re not confident in your body and it’s causing some performance anxiety. If that’s the case, working out can improve your self esteem over time and potentially relieve your ED symptoms.


Incorporating a healthy diet into your routine is another great way to help alleviate ED symptoms. Being selective about what you eat and noticing the effects on your mood and mental state and your body will help you feel in control of your body. Aside from your basic “healthy balanced diet” there are some specific nutrients to help fight ED that you’ll want to be sure to incorporate. Many of these nutrients are linked to improving circulation, which is necessary for improving ED symptoms.

Remember, having erectile dysfunction does NOT diminish you as a man, or as a person. You may feel alone, defeated, betrayed by your body and unable to do the things you want when you want to. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react. Find solace in controlling other aspects of your life that you are able to control. Your mental and physical health will improve and you’ll be well on your way to getting your confidence back.

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Vaseline in Place of Viagra: Is It Safe and Effective?

Can You Use Vaseline in Place of Viagra?

Medically reviewed by Matt Coward, MD, FACS — Written by James Roland on March 17, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content.

If you experience erectile dysfunction (ED), you may be willing to try just about anything to restore healthy sexual function.

However, there are plenty of potentially dangerous options that people have tried, including the injection of Vaseline or other petroleum jelly products into the penis.

For many years and in many cultures, the practice of injecting or inserting something into the penis to make it larger or to improve sexual stamina has been done, often without the guidance of medical experts.

If you’re tempted to use Vaseline in place of Viagra or any other approved treatment for ED, don’t waste your time or take the risk. There are plenty of safer and more effective options available.

You may also have heard of topical gels or essential oils for ED, but there has yet to be any evidence to suggest that applying Vaseline as a topical treatment to your penis will have any effect on sexual function.

The science

Numerous studies have shown that injecting Vaseline into your penis is a danger, rather than a cure. The practice can lead to:

  • infections
  • serious skin and tissue injury
  • other medical complications

In a small 2008 study of 16 people who were treated for Vaseline injections, researchers found that “urgent surgery” was necessary to prevent further injury.

A 2012 case report concluded that Vaseline injections are usually done without medical supervision and can lead to severe complications if the petroleum jelly or other foreign objects aren’t removed promptly.

Clinical treatments

Instead of trying risky self-help solutions for ED, consider proven medications and other treatments that have a track record of success.

Oral medications

While Viagra, known clinically as sildenafil, may be the best known ED pills, there are other FDA-approved medications. They all vary somewhat in their:

  • potency
  • how quickly they take effect
  • duration of effectiveness
  • side effects

Other ED medications on the market include:

  • Tadalafil (Cialis). It’s available in a generic form and can be taken daily at low doses or as needed in higher doses.
  • Vardenafil (Levitra). It’s available in brand-name and generic versions. it tends to remain effective a little longer than sildenafil.
  • Avanafil (Stendra). It’s not yet available in generic form, Stendra is unique among ED medications in that it can become effective in about 15 minutes, while others take between 30 and 60 minutes to take effect.

Your lifestyle may help determine the best ED medication for you.

Vacuum pumps

This treatment involves the use of a tube that fits over your penis and attaches to a pump that withdraws air from the tube to create a vacuum.

The vacuum created around your penis helps draw blood to fill the blood vessels within and produce an erection. An elastic ring is also placed around the base of your penis to help maintain the erection.

A 2013 research review noted that the use of vacuum devices to treat ED is usually safe and effective, particularly when combined with ED drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors, which include:

  • tadalafil
  • sildenafil
  • other standard medications

Penile injections

Certain medications can be injected into your penis to increase blood flow and create a firmer erection for intercourse. Those include:

  • papaverine
  • phentolamine
  • prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) or alprostadil (Caverject, Edex)

There are also combinations of the above medications available.

Penile implants

Some people choose to treat ED with surgically-implanted, flexible, or inflatable rods that you can activate on demand.

Penile implants are generally reserved for individuals who have not had success with other traditional ED treatments.

Alternative treatments

Many safer and more effective alternatives to Viagra are available, including several prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) supplements, as well as complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, according to a 2016 research review.

Some people have had success using herbal supplements to treat ED. Some OTC products that have been supported by research include:

  • Korean red ginseng. It’s a plant that grows in Asia and may help both ED and alertness with relatively few side effects.
  • L-arginine. It’s an amino acid that serves as a building block for certain proteins. A small 2019 research review of 10 studies found that L-arginine used in doses of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams significantly improved ED symptoms compared with placebo.
  • Yohimbe. It’s an herbal supplement commonly used in West African cultures, proved to be at least partially effective in treating ED in about one-third of people who participated in an old 1989 study.

Lifestyle changes

In addition, improving your health may improve ED symptoms and provide other benefits, including:

  • more energy
  • better sleep
  • greater cardiovascular fitness

The following lifestyle changes may pay dividends in terms of sexual health:

  • regular aerobic exercise, at least 150 minutes per week
  • maintaining a manageable weight
  • no smoking
  • consuming little or no alcohol
  • maintaining a healthy blood pressure
  • getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
  • managing stress through meditation, yoga, or other strategies

When to talk with a doctor

The first step in finding the solution that’s right for you is to talk with your primary care physician or a urologist.

And while ED can be an embarrassing and frustrating topic to discuss with anyone, understand that ED is a common condition, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 adults with penises.

In other words, you won’t be the first person to ask your doctor for advice or treatment in this department.

Occasional concern

If ED occurs occasionally, then you may not need any treatment at all. In this case, it may usually be chalked up to:

  • stress
  • fatigue
  • relationship concerns
  • a side effect of misusing alcohol

Keep in mind that ED can be a symptom of many physical and emotional health conditions, including:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • depression
  • anxiety

Sometimes treating an underlying condition can lead to improved sexual function.

Persistent concern

If ED is a persistent concern, then a conversation with your doctor is recommended. Your concerns may be an inability to:

  • achieve an erection at all
  • achieve an erection that is firm enough for satisfactory intercourse for you and your partner
  • maintain an erection for the duration necessary for satisfactory intercourse
  • become erect at certain times or with certain partners

Regardless of the nature of your ED, there is a range of treatments that may be helpful. Psychotherapy and relationship counseling may be very helpful too, so you may want to talk with your doctor about referrals for therapy.

But because medications are generally tolerated, the first approach may be a prescription for Viagra or any of the other approved ED medications.

The bottom line

ED can affect several aspects of your life, including self-esteem and relationships, so it’s not something to ignore — especially when viable treatments are available.

And rather than rely on unproven and potentially very harmful treatments on your own — such as injecting Vaseline or any foreign substance into your penis — address this common medical condition with your healthcare professional.

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Q&A: Can COVID-19 cause erectile dysfunction? | Expert Opinion

Q&A: Can COVID-19 cause erectile dysfunction? | Expert Opinion

One of the less-publicized reported repercussions of COVID-19 infection has been male sexual health, specifically erectile dysfunction (ED).

Erections require blood flow to the penis, so erectile dysfunction often results from conditions that restrict blood flow or damage nerves and arteries.

This article is a repost which originally appeared on The Philadelphia Inquirer

Edited for content

More than 850,000 Pennsylvanians have tested positive for COVID-19, and while the vast majority of those infected are recovering, long-term effects of the disease are still largely unknown. While pulmonary, cardiac and neurologic complications from COVID-19 are widely recognized, one of the less publicized reported repercussions of infection has been on male sexual health, specifically erectile dysfunction (ED).

More men are experiencing and seeking medical care for sexual dysfunction during the pandemic, with the greatest increase seen in younger men in their 40s and 50s.

A July study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation examined the effects of COVID-19 on male sexual and reproductive health. The study identified a correlation between COVID-19 and ED, likely caused by many factors, ranging from physiological changes to changes in the way we interact with others.

One of the hallmarks of a COVID-19 infection is an exaggerated inflammatory response. The resulting storm of pro-inflammatory signals, called cytokines, causes inflammation of the lining of blood vessels. The hyperinflammatory state triggered by COVID-19 infection can cause vascular damage, ultimately disrupting blood flow — the key component of getting and maintaining an erection.

ED has long been recognized as an excellent marker for physiological well-being. Specifically, ED functions as the “canary in a coal mine” for cardiovascular disease, often predating symptomatic heart disease up to several years in advance. People with preexisting medical conditions are at higher risk for serious COVID-19 infection, but the converse is also true: COVID-19 infection can worsen preexisting medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, many of the medications used to treat common heart conditions can have a negative effect on erectile dysfunction. The decline in overall health in COVID-19 survivors and the medications used to manage this can both result in ED.

Also, mental and emotional health plays a large role in men’s sexual health. Being in the right mindset is a vital component of achieving an erection and having a satisfactory sexual experience. There is no doubt that there has been a negative mental and emotional toll from the pandemic regardless of personal COVID-19 infection. The impact of social isolation, worry for family and self during the pandemic, and economic toll from quarantine is demonstrated with increasing rates of stress, anxiety and depression. All of these feelings can be detrimental to sexual function.

With COVID-19 having such a sweeping effect on our daily lives, finding ways to improve quality of life has become more important than ever. ED is more common than most men realize — it is recognized in more than 50% of men over the age of 50 — and may be occurring at even higher rates during the pandemic.

If you are experiencing ED, you should speak to your doctor or urologist to be evaluated and discuss treatment options. And remember that one of the best ways to lower your risk of long-term complications from COVID-19 is to prevent infection in the first place by getting vaccinated when you can, observing social distancing, masking, and using good hand hygiene.

Joceline S. Fuchs is a board-certified urologist with MidLantic Urology in Abington.

Surprising Facts About Erectile Dysfunction Or Impotence

Surprising Facts About Erectile Dysfunction Or Impotence

by George K.

This article is a repost which originally appeared on scubby

Edited for content

Erectile dysfunction, as taboo as you might assume it to be, is actually a much more prevalent and recurring disorder in the male population. That, whether of old, or of today. From https://www.numan.com/erectile-dysfunction, understand the basic facts from fiction of what ED truly is, and isn’t.

Common Erectile Dysfunction Yes’s And No’s

  1. Is Erectile Dysfunction Really Dangerous?

As it is, the answer is “no”. Erectile dysfunction is not a severe kind of ailment. In fact, most cases show that it is a very common (albeit frustrating) disorder that a majority of the male population experiences, at least once in each one’s lifetime.

To look at this through the lenses of practicality, erectile dysfunction transpires in 50 of men who are 50 years of age. 70% for those who are 60 years of age. And 80% for those who are beyond 70 years of age. It is also important to note that men as young as 25 to 40 may go through ED as well.

In the aspect of “danger” in terms of a health hazard, most erectile dysfunction cases are the contrary. They are disturbances, annoyances, to say the least, during coitus. But as long as you have been diagnosed and are declared “healthy” (i.e. clear of cardiovascular and/or nervous system diseases), then you will probably be able to trace ED back to simpler causes such as stress, lack of sleep, and the like.

  1. Is Erectile Dysfunction Permanent?

No, it is not. At least, with erectile dysfunction that is linked to environmental causes instead of to physical ailments and/or reasons rooted to ageing. ED is generally tied into how stressed or stress-free your bodily systems are.

The adrenal glands ramp up the production of cortisol whenever your central nervous system’s stress sensors are on the alert. One would think that this would revert to ramping up the reproductive system’s capacity to maintain an erection. Ironically, this isn’t so.

Instead, your body will go into a kind of slump post the cortisol-secretion. Almost immediately, in fact. Translated, it equates to a weaker prowess in achieving an erection in sexual intercourse. Cortisol narrows and tightens arteries, which is a direct impedance of blood flow towards the penile region.

Going back to the question proposed, ED will not be permanent. That is, provided you see to following-through with work-life balance, physical and mental health balance, as well as regular visits to your ED treatment medical practitioner.

  1. Is Erectile Dysfunction Treatable?

Yes. It is. This is where going for a diagnosis will be advantageous to you. As early as now (if you have gone through erectile dysfunction as of recent), you can ask your doctor about its possible causes, in parallel to your current health status.

Through a proper diagnosis, a series of bodily disorders can be ruled out, and it will be easier for your doctor to identify the major cause of ED. Afterwards, you can inquire about erectile dysfunction treatments.

Besides the medication itself which you are to partake of on a regular basis (and never beyond the recommended dosage, might we add), your doctor will provide you with a schedule and a fixed period for taking said medication.

First, for observing how your bodily systems will respond to the ED medication. And second, for observing how often and how long you may need to stay on the ED treatment.


Medications that cause erectile dysfunction

What medications may cause erectile dysfunction?

Several factors can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. One example is the medications a person takes. Medicines that affect sex drive, blood flow, and sexual organ function may increase the incidence of erectile dysfunction.

Medically reviewed by Matt Coward, MD, FACS — Written by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA on November 11, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MEDICALNEWSTODAY

Edited for content

Several factors can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. One example is the medications a person takes. Medicines that affect sex drive, blood flow, and sexual organ function may increase the incidence of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. It is a common condition that affects males of all ages and varying levels of health and fitness.

This article lists some medications that may cause or contribute to ED, and outlines some treatment options. Finally, we offer some tips to help prevent ED.

Medications that may cause ED
Certain medications may contribute to ED, although they are not usually the sole cause of the condition.

A person who suspects their ED may be due to a particular medication should talk to their doctor. Where possible, a healthcare professional may recommend changing the dosage or switching medicines.

A person should not stop taking their medications unless their doctor tells them to do so.

Some medications that may contribute to ED are below.


Anti-hypertensives are prescription medications to help lower blood pressure. They may contribute to ED, though doctors have not yet established why this is the case.

Examples include:

  • beta-blockers, such as metoprolol and atenolol
  • clonidine
  • spironolactone
  • some diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide


Immunosuppressants reduce the activity of the immune system. A person may take them to help control an autoimmune condition or prevent organ rejection following an organ transplant procedure.

One potential side effect of immunosuppressants is impaired sexual function.

Examples include:

  • sirolimus
  • everolimus
  • tacrolimus
  • cyclosporine


Androgens are hormones associated with male characteristics. Anti-androgens block some aspect of these hormones. Doctors may prescribe them for several conditions, such as heartburn or prostate cancer.

Examples of anti-androgens include:

  • ketoconazole
  • flutamide
  • bicalutamide
  • nilutamide
  • enzalutamide

GnRH agonists

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists are a class of medications that doctors sometimes prescribe to treat prostate cancer. They may reduce sexual desire in men.

Examples include:

  • leuprolide (Lupron)
  • goserelin (Zoladex)


Corticosteroids are drugs that mimic the effects of certain hormones inside the body. People typically take them to help reduce inflammation.

These drugs can also reduce testosterone levels. This may lead to decreased sexual desire and sexual function in some men.

Examples of corticosteroids include:

  • prednisone
  • prednisolone
  • hydrocortisone


Antidepressants are medications that doctors may prescribe to treat or prevent the recurrence of clinical depression.

Some antidepressants may inhibit sexual desire, which may affect sexual performance. Others may also delay ejaculation.

Examples of antidepressants that may cause ED include:

  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Lexapro, Prozac)
  • noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (Wellbutrin, Zyban)
  • tricyclic antidepressants (Pamelor)


Antipsychotics are drugs primarily prescribed for the treatment of psychosis. They may inhibit sexual desire, which may then affect sexual performance.

Examples include:

  • aripiprazole (Ability)
  • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • risperidone (Risperdal)


Anti-epileptics are medications that doctors prescribe to help prevent epileptic seizures. They may affect a man’s ability to orgasm.

Examples include:

  • gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • topiramate (Topamax)

Recreational drugs

Aside from medications, some recreational drugs can also affect sexual arousal and performance. Examples include:

  • alcohol
  • hallucinogens
  • narcotics, such as heroin
  • stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamines

Drugs to treat opioid addiction may also lead to erectile dysfunction. These drugs include methadone and buprenorphine.

What is ED?

ED is the medical term for when a person has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. While this may occur periodically for all males, those with ED experience more frequent and routine episodes.

The ability to achieve and maintain an erection is dependant on several factors, including:

  • sexual arousal
  • sufficient blood flow to the penis
  • nerve sensation

An issue with any of the above factors may lead to ED.

Treatments for ED

A doctor may recommend treatments that can enhance sexual performance while allowing a person to continue taking potentially life-saving or life-extending medications. Some examples are below.


Often, ED treatments begin with making changes to a person’s routine. These include:

  • adopting healthful eating habits
  • increasing daily exercise
  • maintaining a healthful weight
  • limiting or avoiding alcohol
  • quitting smoking
  • avoiding using recreational drugs
  • sleeping well

Males who experience mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety, or depression, may also benefit from seeing a mental health professional. These conditions can negatively impact sexual desire and sexual function. As a result, successful treatment may help manage ED.


A doctor may prescribe one of the following medications to help treat ED.

Phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors

Phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE 5) inhibitors are medications that relax and widen the blood vessels to promote blood flow. The American Urological Association (AUA) recommend that males take PDE 5 inhibitors 1–2 hours before having sex.

Examples of PDE 5 inhibitors include:

  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)
  • avanafil (Stendra)
  • sildenafil citrate (Viagra)

PDE 5 inhibitors are not suitable for people taking nitrates.


A vasodilator is a medication that helps widen the blood vessels, increasing blood flow.

One potential ED treatment involves injecting the vasodilator directly into the penis or urethra.

Testosterone therapy

According to the AUA, the vast majority of ED cases are due to reduced blood flow to the penis. They add that low testosterone levels may affect a person’s sex drive, but are rarely the cause of ED.

If low testosterone levels contribute to ED, a doctor may consider testosterone therapy (TT). This technique involves regularly administering testosterone in one of the following forms:

  • an injectable medication
  • a gel
  • a patch applied to the skin.

However, the AUA state that TT does not improve erections in males with normal testosterone levels or in those with low testosterone levels who experience ED as their only symptom.


A vacuum erection device (VED) consists of a plastic tube and a pump. The plastic tube fits over the penis, forming a seal against the body’s skin. Using the pump creates a vacuum around the penis, which causes an erection.

Once the penis is erect, the person slips an elastic ring onto the base of the penis. This retains the blood inside the penis for up to 30 minutes.

According to the AUA, around 75% of males who receive proper training on using a VED can achieve an erection when using these devices.

Surgical treatments

If lifestyle measures and medical treatments are ineffective, doctors may recommend surgical options for ED. These are outlined below.

Penile implant procedure

The main surgical option for ED is inserting a penile implant. This device sits permanently inside the penis, making it rigid enough for a person to have sex.

There are two types of penile implant:

  • Semi-rigid implant: Bendable silicone rods that a person can bend downward for urinating or upward for sex.
  • Inflatable implant: Fluid-filled cylinders attached to a rod inside the scrotum. Using the pump forces fluid into the cylinders, causing the penis to enlarge and stiffen.

Vascular surgery

Vascular surgery for ED helps improve blood flow to the penis. Doctors usually reserve this procedure for younger males with good vascular with ED due to pelvic trauma.