Search For a Provider Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube ES View the Patient Toolkit

News

Prostate Cancer Survivors Report on Treatment Outcomes

Prostate Cancer Survivors Report on Treatment OutcomesIn a recent survey of prostate cancer survivors, 45% of the men said they’d felt some anxiety or depression, according to new research.

About half reported significant sexual problems, too, the scientists said.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is quite common after prostate cancer treatment. Men might also feel less interested in sex or struggle with urinary incontinence.

The Europa Uomo Patient Reported Outcomes Study (EUPROMS) was the largest of its kind, involving 2,943 European men over age 45. Findings were presented in July 2020 at the European Association of Urology’s 2020 Virtual Congress. The study was not peer-reviewed.

All of the men were either being treated for prostate cancer at the time of the survey, or they had completed treatment. A range of different therapies had been used, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and androgen deprivation therapy. Some men underwent active surveillance – they weren’t treated for prostate cancer until symptoms worsened.

The men’s average age was 70 years, and their average age at diagnosis was 64.

The 20-minute online survey included three standard quality of life questionnaires.

About 28% said that sexual dysfunction was a “big problem,” while 22% called it moderate.

Problems after cancer often depended on the type of treatment received. For example, men who had their prostate gland removed (an operation called radical prostatectomy) had more problems with urinary incontinence. Men who had radiation therapy were twice as likely to report fatigue compared to men who had surgery. However, fatigue was even more common for men treated with chemotherapy.

In general, men whose cancer was caught early had a higher quality of life, the authors said.

“This means efforts toward early detection and awareness are essential to avoid unnecessary deterioration in quality of life,” said Europa Uomo Chairman André Deschamps in a press release. “Wherever it is possible and safe, active surveillance should be considered the first line treatment to ensure best quality of life.”

“We completely agree that early detection and treatment is essential if we are to avoid problems with quality of life later on,” commented Professor Arnulf Stenzl, the European Association of Urology’s Adjunct Secretary General – Executive Member Science.

“It shows that for many men, quality of life can be poor after most prostate cancer treatment, especially in advanced disease. This message is clear, and we need to listen to the voices of these patients,” Professor Stenzl added.

Read more about prostate cancer and sexuality:

Sexual Satisfaction After Prostate Cancer Treatment

After Prostate Cancer Treatment, Climacturia Rates Vary

After Prostate Cancer, Take Care of Your Relationship

Resources

European Association of Urology

“Largest-ever study by patients shows prostate cancer treatment has significant impact on quality of life”

(Press release. July 18, 2020)

https://eaucongress.uroweb.org/press-releases-2/largest-ever-study-by-patients-shows-prostate-cancer-treatment-has-significant-impact-on-quality-of-life/

Medscape Medical News

Hein, Ingrid

“Sexual Distress, Depression After Prostate Cancer Treatment”

(May 20, 2020)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930858

News

Splint Offers Early Traction to Peyronie’s Disease Patients

Splint Offers Early Traction to Peyronie’s Disease PatientsScientists have developed a splint that provides early traction therapy immediately after Peyronie’s disease surgery.

An early study of the splint has shown it to be “effective and safe,” according to a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study. The splint may also reduce the risk of penile shortening.

Peyronie’s disease causes a distinct curve to the penis. Experts aren’t exactly sure what triggers it, but some believe it develops from a penile injury that doesn’t heal properly. Instead, areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques form beneath the skin’s surface. Because the plaques make the penis less flexible, the penis starts to bend.

Men with Peyronie’s often have pain and erection difficulties. Some are unable to have intercourse at all due to penile deformity.

Surgery is one way to treat Peyronie’s disease. One example is the plaque incision and grafting technique. With this approach, surgeons make an incision into the plaque(s) and fill the space with a graft material.

Men often have traction therapy after this procedure to help keep the penis straight and limit any shortening. This part of the treatment involves wearing a special device that gently pulls the penis into a straight position.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Sex Health Information is “Important” to Most Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Sex Health Information is “Important” to Most Head and Neck Cancer SurvivorsHow can healthcare providers better serve their head and neck cancer patients who have sexual concerns?

A research team considered that question for a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study.

Head and neck cancer can affect various areas, including the mouth, tongue, throat, voice box, sinuses, and salivary glands. Many patients have concerns about relationships and sex after treatment. They may feel awkward about their body, and their ability to speak or swallow might change. Socializing and communicating through facial expressions may become difficult. Fatigue and anxiety may diminish sex drive.

Unfortunately, head and neck cancer patients don’t always get the sex health information they need from their doctors.

For the study, the researchers asked 81 head and neck cancer survivors to answer questions about their information preferences. The participants also gave feedback on questionnaires that healthcare providers often use with head and neck cancer patients.

The participants included 38 women, 42 men, and one person who chose not to identify as a particular gender. They ranged in age from 38 to 62 years. The median time from their cancer diagnosis was 18 months. Over half had had surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy in their treatment.

Over 80% of the participants said that receiving sex health information was important, and most preferred to receive that information at the time of their cancer diagnosis.  About half said they’d like to get information from their healthcare provider, with nurses and psychologists/counselors as second and third choices.

How did participants prefer to receive information? Discussions with providers, printed material, and digital media were the first, second, and third choices.

The participants also completed and reviewed four assessment tools, rating them positively for the most part. Some explained that questions didn’t always apply to single respondents. Others suggested that assessment tools have sections specifically for people who were disfigured from their head and neck cancer.

“The patient-provider relationship is at the crux of the issue,” the authors wrote.  They encouraged healthcare providers to discuss sexuality at various times during the treatment process and to refer patients to sex health specialists if necessary.

Resources

International Society for Sexual Medicine

“Does treatment for head and neck cancers affect a person’s sexuality?”

https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/does-treatment-for-head-and-neck-cancers-affect-a-persons-sexuality/

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Rhoten, Bethany A., PhD, RN, et al.

“Priorities and Preferences of Patients With Head and Neck Cancer for Discussing and Receiving Information About Sexuality and Perception of Self-Report Measures”

(Full-text. Published: May 14, 2020)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30206-X/fulltext

News

Exercise Could be Good for Testosterone Levels

Exercise Could be Good for Testosterone LevelsScientists may have found a link between the amount of exercise a man gets and his testosterone levels.

Men who exercise more might be at reduced risk for testosterone deficiency, researchers reported last May at the American Urological Association’s 2020 Virtual Experience press conference.

Low testosterone can be a serious health issue for men. When levels of this hormone decline, they might feel weak, moody, and fatigued. They might also start having trouble with erections and low sexual desire.

The study included data from 7,597 men between the ages of 18 and 80. All of the men were participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2011 and 2016. NHANES is a series of studies that focuses on the health of people in the United States.

The men answered questions about their physical activity and had their testosterone levels measured.

Physical activity was evaluated based on the recommendations of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (PAGAC). Activity was categorized according to metabolic equivalents (METs). The amount of energy a person exerts while at rest is valued at one MET. Brisk walking equals about 5 METs. Running at 7 mph is about 11.5 METs.

The PAGAC recommends that most Americans spend between 500 and 1,000 MET minutes on exercise each week.

The men in the study were divided into three groups depending on their activity level. About 9% of them got the recommended amount of exercise. Almost 59% exceeded the recommended amount, and 32% got less than the recommended amount.

Overall, 29% of the men had low testosterone levels.

After further analysis, the authors found that men who got more exercise than recommended had a “significantly decreased likelihood” of low testosterone compared to men who did not get recommended amounts.

More research is needed, the scientists said, as the results need to be confirmed. However, they added that “these data provide a basis for counseling patients regarding the positive association between exercise and [testosterone levels].”

Resources

Healthline.com

Roland, James

“What Exactly Are METs, and What Should You Know About Them?”

(October 21, 2019)

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-are-mets#calculation

The Journal of Urology

Fantus, Richard, et al.

“The Association Between Exercise and Serum Testosterone Among Men in the United States”

(Abstract PD25-03. Presented May 15, 2020 at the American Urological Association’s 2020 Virtual Experience press conference)

https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/JU.0000000000000882.03

Renal and Urology News

Charnow, Jody

“Testosterone Levels Falling in Young Men”

(May 17, 2020)

https://www.renalandurologynews.com/home/conference-highlights/american-urological-association-annual-meeting/aua-2020-virtual-experience/testosterone-levels-declining-young-males/

Urology Times

Kahl, Kristie L.

“Exceeding exercise guidelines may reduce likelihood of low T in men”

(May 27, 2020)

https://www.urologytimes.com/view/exceeding-recommended-exercise-guidelines-may-lower-t-men

News

Collagen Fleece Helpful for Certain Penile Surgeries

Collagen Fleece Helpful for Certain Penile SurgeriesCollagen fleece, when used as a graft material during penile surgery, might reduce the likelihood of residual curvature in men with both Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Peyronie’s disease occurs when the penis is injured and doesn’t heal properly. Areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques form just beneath the skin’s surface, which makes the penis bend when it’s erect. Some men have pain, and intercourse can become difficult.

One surgical treatment for Peyronie’s disease is plaque incision and grafting. During this procedure, a surgeon makes an incision in the plaque itself and fills the area with a grafting material to straighten the penis.

However, some men with Peyronie’s disease also develop ED. These patients may decide to have a penile implant procedure. This surgery involves removing the corpora cavernosa – the spongy tissue that fills with blood during an erection – with a penile prosthesis. Usually, the device is an inflatable version that the man can control through a pump implanted into his scrotum. This allows a man to start and end an erection as he chooses.

For about 60% of men, the surgery also takes care of the curve from Peyronie’s. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t the case for all men, especially if the bend in their penis is substantial to begin with. There might still be some residual curvature even with the implants.

A recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study suggests an additional approach. Surgeons report that using collagen fleece as a grafting material could resolve the residual curve. One benefit of this material is that it does not need to be sewn into place. Instead, it has self-adhesive properties.

Fifty-one men (average age 60 years) with both Peyronie’s disease and ED participated in this retrospective study. Their average Peyronie’s curvature was almost 70 degrees. All participants underwent penile implant surgery along with plaque incision and grafting using collagen fleece material. Afterward, their progress was monitored for an average of 11 months.

At their last follow-up appointment, all of the patients said they had satisfactory erections. About 12% of the patients still had a residual curvature of under 15 degrees; this result was more likely in patients whose curve before surgery was 60 degrees or more. Three patients did need subsequent surgery to address problems that did not appear to be related to the graft.

Satisfaction rates were high. Ninety-six percent of the patients said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their results. And 94% said they would have the procedure again.

The authors acknowledged that the follow-up period was less than one year, so it’s unclear what long-term results would be. The lack of a comparison group was another noted limitation.

Resources

 The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Hatzichristodoulou, Georgios, MD, FEBU, FECSM, et al.

“Multicenter Experience Using Collagen Fleece for Plaque Incision With Grafting to Correct Residual Curvature at the Time of Inflatable Penile Prosthesis Placement in Patients With Peyronie's Disease”

(Full-text. Published: March 18, 2020)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30123-5/fulltext

News

Communication About Sex is Key for Cancer Survivors and their Oncology Team

 

Communication About Sex is Key for Cancer Survivors and their Oncology TeamSexuality can be a difficult topic for women with cancer. Treatment often interferes with sexual function, leading to hormonal changes, early menopause, low desire, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse. And patients and doctors don’t always communicate about such issues.

A recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study investigated what survivors of gynecologic cancer and breast cancer thought of their experiences getting sex health information from their healthcare team.

Scientists reviewed 20 medical papers involving 3,346 women (735 gynecologic cancer survivors and 2,611 breast cancer survivors). They noted several barriers that made it more difficult for women to get the information they needed.

Many women felt embarrassed about bringing up the subject of sexuality at their doctor’s appointments. For some, sex just wasn’t as important as other concerns. “In the scheme of things, it seemed less important,” one woman said.

For others, the idea of discussing sex brought up negative emotions. “To be honest, I have tried to avoid anything to do with it,” commented one participant. She added, “I guess it’s the head in the sand approach.”

Some women feared that sex would interfere with their cancer recovery. One woman remarked, “Since the initiation of chemotherapy, I never let my husband touch me. I am worried about the adverse effects of intercourse.”

Participants also commented on their doctors’ communication styles. Some healthcare providers showed discomfort about discussing sex. “They [providers] need to learn how to talk about these things without turning red, which is what my internist does. He turns bright red and then you’re like, ‘Oh, I better drop this,’” reported one woman.

Other participants said their doctors were not knowledgeable about sexual health and cancer. One woman reported her doctor telling her to discuss her concerns with her gynecologist or rheumatologist. Others described a “distance” between themselves and their providers.

Fortunately, some of the women were able to get the information and support they needed. Many encouraged the use of peer groups, websites, social media, and face-to-face meetings with specialists. Others appreciated when their provider showed compassion and empathy.

The authors called for easily-accessible sexual health services for women with cancer. They also recommended more training for healthcare providers on discussing sex health topics.

They added that many sexual concerns are not just physical. Women with cancer may be coping with more than sexual pain or low desire. They may also feel worried about their body image and attractiveness to a partner. They may feel anxious about their relationships and the future.

“Oncology professionals must recognize the limitations in their knowledge, skills and time to address sexual concerns, and make themselves aware of the sexual health services available in their area and refer patients accordingly,” the authors wrote.

Resources

 The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Dai, Yunyun, MD, et al.

“Patient-Reported Barriers and Facilitators to Seeking and Accessing Support in Gynecologic and Breast Cancer Survivors With Sexual Problems: A Systematic Review of Qualitative and Quantitative Studies”

(Full text article in press. Published: April 21, 2020)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30139-9/fulltext

News

Severe ED Linked to Higher Cardiovascular Risk

Severe ED Linked to Higher Cardiovascular RiskMen with severe erectile dysfunction (ED) are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure in ten years than men with milder cases, according to a new study.

Cardiovascular disease affects the heart and blood vessels. Examples of cardiovascular issues include heart attack, coronary artery disease, angina, arrythmias, aortic aneurysm, stroke, transient ischemic attacks, and congestive heart failure.

High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when the force of blood flow against artery walls is stronger than it should be.

Scientists have long studied the relationship between ED and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, ED is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In this study, researchers wanted to learn more about the connection.

They collected data from 108 men (median age 51) who had been treated for ED at one clinic between 2005 and 2011. When the study started, none of the men had cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure.

The researchers assessed the men’s overall health and asked them to complete a questionnaire called the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). This tool helped determine how severe the men’s ED was. At the beginning, 40% of the men were diagnosed with severe ED.

The men had follow-up appointments every six months for about seven or eight years.

Overall, the men had a 15% higher estimated risk for developing cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure during the next 10 years. However, this figure changed based on ED severity. Estimated risk was 5% for men with mild or moderate ED. For men with severe cases, the risk was 34%.

ED severity was linked to higher risk for shorter time spans, too. For example, men with mild to moderate ED were at 5% higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease within seven years. The figure for men with severe ED was 19%.

The authors called for further research, noting that their study focused on men from just one medical center. There was also no comparison group of men without ED, they added.

However, the results could help doctors determine which men should be watched for cardiovascular symptoms after an ED diagnosis.

“This will give physicians proper tools to offer more personalized and tailored medical assessment in terms of prevention and screening strategies to patients presenting with ED as their primary complaint,” they wrote.

Resources

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Pozzi, Edoardo, MD, et al.
“Longitudinal Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Diseases in Patients With Erectile Dysfunction—Which Patients Deserve More Attention?”
(Article in Press. Published: April 24, 2020)
https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30179-X/fulltext

News

Many Cervical Cancer Survivors Aren’t Sexually Active After Treatment

Many Cervical Cancer Survivors Aren’t Sexually Active After TreatmentYears after treatment, almost 40% of cervical cancer survivors are not sexually active, a new Journal of Sexual Medicine study suggests.

Cervical cancer affects the cervix – the small, lower portion of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Depending on its severity, cervical cancer is treated in many ways. Women may have surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. A combination of approaches may also be used.

Unfortunately, cancer treatment can have a significant impact on a woman’s sexual health. She might feel less desire for sex and have trouble becoming sufficiently lubricated for comfortable intercourse. Her vagina might become shorter and narrower. She might feel self-conscious about the changes in her body and anxious about the future.

Some women stop having sex after cervical cancer treatment. Experts aren’t sure exactly how many, however, and researchers wanted to know more about the reasons why.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

CT Scans Aid in Peyronie’s Disease Assessment

 

CT Scans Aid in Peyronie’s Disease AssessmentResearchers noted that CT scans could provide helpful information about the particular anatomy of a patient’s penis, which might not be so easy to see in a typical medical exam.

When a man has Peyronie’s disease, areas of hardened tissue called plaques form on his penis, just below the skin’s surface. Plaques make the penis less flexible, causing it to bend in distinct way. For some men, the penis takes on a hinge or hourglass shape. Many men experience pain, and some are unable to have satisfactory intercourse.

Doctors diagnose Peyronie’s disease by taking a medical history, conducting a physical exam and, in some cases, performing an ultrasound. They will often induce an erection to measure the degree of curvature.

These techniques are effective, but they don’t always show the whole picture.

Scientists decided to investigate whether computer tomography (CT) scans could help.

Sixty-three men with an average age of 57 years participated in the study. Overall, they had had Peyronie’s disease for an average of 5.2 years.

During a CT (computed tomography) scan, a number of x-rays are taken at different angles, giving doctors more detailed images. For this study, each participant lay face-up in the scanner and had an injection to induce an erection. Next, they received anesthesia and a catheter was put in place. Through the catheter, a contrast mixture was introduced. Then, the scan started.

Using the images, the researchers created 3D reconstructions for each man, getting a better view of how each penis curved. They found that 80% of the men had “multiple points of angulation.” They also determined that 83% had a venous leak, meaning the veins failed to hold blood in the penis to keep it erect.

“At the time of presentation and initial evaluation, the extent and severity of [Peyronie’s disease] by history and physical examination might be underestimated,” the authors wrote. But CT scans may help pinpoint abnormalities in the penis, which can help doctors diagnose, monitor, and treat the condition.

Resources

 The Journal of Sexual Medicine

McCullough, Andrew, MD, et al.

“The Use of Penile Computed Tomography Cavernosogram in the Evaluation of Peyronie's Disease: A Pilot Study”

(Full-text. Published online: March 4, 2020)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30060-6/fulltext

Mayo Clinic

“CT Scan”

(February 28, 2020)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ct-scan/about/pac-20393675

“Peyronie’s disease – Diagnosis & treatment”

(April 4, 2020)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peyronies-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353473

Urology Care Foundation

“What is Peyronie’s Disease?”

https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/peyronies-disease

News

SMSNA Statement on Police Brutality and Racism

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

    - James Baldwin

The Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) is deeply saddened by the senseless and tragic deaths of George Floyd and others. Furthermore, we are angered by the scourge of racism and violent behavior that has polarized this country.  This violence has challenged the trust of the law enforcement within black and other communities of color who have been persistent victims of marginalization, oppression, racial profiling, and egregious acts of discrimination.  

Since its inception in 1994, SMSNA has strongly advocated for sexual health, sexual choice, and freedom of sexual expression. We understand that none of these are truly possible without racial and gender equality.

Comprising more than 800 members of all races, creeds, and national origin, the SMSNA is committed to using our platform to improve the healthcare of every individual and also the learning environment of physicians-in-training, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or economic status.

The SMSNA and its members are devoted to providing compassionate, equitable and outstanding care for all patients and communities. We rededicate ourselves individually and collectively to that mission and to building a society devoid of racism, discrimination, and bias.

The SMSNA fully supports the AUA statement condemning racism and racial inequalities

The SMSNA also recognizes the First Amendment rights of those individuals who peacefully assemble to petition our government for change.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

The members of the SMSNA Board of Directors

News

Study Finds Potential New Clues for Assessing Sexual Health

Study Finds Potential New Clues for Assessing Sexual Health Researchers have identified “a potential new biomarker” that could tell healthcare providers more about a patient’s sexual health.

New research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that a person’s S-Klotho plasma levels might give information about sexual desire or sexual function. Lean body mass (a body weight measure that does not include fat) could play a role as well.

The findings are based on a study of 74 healthy adults between the ages of 45 and 65 living in Spain. All of the participants were sedentary, meaning they got less than 20 minutes of physical activity less than three days a week.

Sedentary lifestyles, along with aging, can have a profound effect on sexual health. Regular physical activity can boost sexual health by improving blood circulation and reducing one’s risk for other conditions linked to sexual dysfunction, like diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

Scientists have found that higher S-Klotho plasma levels are linked to lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Physical fitness has been linked to good S-Klotho plasma levels as well.

But how does S-Klotho plasma fit in with sexuality? Researchers sought to find out.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Men and COVID-19: Are Androgens a Clue?

Men and COVID-19: Are Androgens a Clue? The coronavirus appears to be hitting men harder than women, and Italian researchers might have a possible explanation.

While their study, published May 6th in the Annals of Oncology, does not provide definitive answers, it does suggest a new angle to investigate: hormones.

The coronavirus causes COVID-19 disease. As of May 27th, over 5.4 million people around the world have been infected with the virus, according to the World Health Organization.

Researchers looked at data from over 9,000 COVID patients in the Veneto region of Italy, where the pandemic has been particularly severe.

COVID infections were more common in women than in men, the researchers said. But men were more likely to be hospitalized and need intensive care. In the group, 62% of the men died from COVID, compared to 38% of the women.

The researchers also considered men with cancer, who were more likely to have COVID than men without cancer.

They discovered that among men with prostate cancer, those undergoing androgen deprivation therapy had better outcomes than those who had other cancer treatments.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Fertility Options for Male Childhood Cancer Survivors

Fertility Options for Male Childhood Cancer SurvivorsMore childhood cancer patients are surviving into adulthood nowadays, and many of those patients would like to start families. Scientists have been exploring ways to preserve fertility before cancer treatment starts.

A recent paper in Current Opinion in Urology discusses some of the options for boys. Some methods are available now, while others are in the experimental stages.

Dr. Richard N. Yu of Boston Children’s Hospital examined articles published between January 2017 and April 2019 for this review.

Doctors and families should discuss fertility preservation before treatment begins, as sperm cells can be damaged during therapy, Dr. Yu said.

For adolescents and young adults, sperm banking is the “gold standard” option. Sperm cells may be collected through masturbation or removed from testicular tissue in a sperm extraction procedure. Testicular biopsy and electro-ejaculation (ejaculation with the help of electrical stimulation) are other methods.

Once the sperm is obtained, it can be cryopreserved – carefully frozen and stored so that the cells can be used to create embryos at a later time.

Options for boys who have not yet reached puberty are more limited. For these patients, testicular tissue or cells may be removed in a biopsy procedure and be cryopreserved. This surgery might be combined with other cancer-treating surgeries.

However, preserving testicular tissue from prepubertal boys is still in the experimental stages, and there have been no clinical studies on its effectiveness in humans. But some animal studies have had encouraging results. For example, scientists have collected testicular tissue from prepubertal rhesus macaques (a type of monkey that is anatomically similar to humans), frozen it for later use, fertilized egg cells, and created a healthy baby monkey.

Further research is needed in this area, Dr. Yu noted. He added that there can be ethical concerns with this type of preservation and that the advantages and disadvantages must be carefully considered.

For more information about cancer and fertility, please see these links:

Preserving Sex Life and Fertility for Cancer Patients

Sex and Fertility Issues May Continue Two Years After Testicular Cancer Diagnosis

Pre-Treatment Sex and Fertility Counseling

Fertility Options for Men with Cancer

Resources

Current Opinion in Urology via Medscape

Yu, Richard N.

“Fertility Preservation in the Pediatric Cancer Patient”

(Full-text. September 2019)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/919213

News

Having CCH Injections for Peyronie’s Disease? Don’t Give Up!

Having CCH Injections for Peyronie’s Disease? Don’t Give Up!CCH injections can be an effective way to treat Peyronie’s disease, but men might not see significant results right away.

What should they do?

Stay patient and continue the full treatment program, scientists say.

Peyronie’s disease is a chronic, often painful condition that causes plaques (areas of hardened scar tissue) to form on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. The plaques make the penis less flexible, and the result is a noticeable curve that can make intercourse difficult.

Treatment for Peyronie’s disease may include medications, injections, traction therapy, and surgery. Some men decide to have injections of collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH).  Currently, Xiaflex® is the only CCH treatment  approved in the United States.

CCH therapy takes time. Typically, injections are done in a series.  A man might have two injections a few days apart, then wait six weeks for the next two-injection series. Experts recommend four series overall.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

On Social Media, Testosterone is a Hot Topic

On Social Media, Testosterone is a Hot TopicWhen people seek health information, the internet is a popular place to turn. And low testosterone (hypogonadism) gets a lot of buzz on Reddit and Twitter.

With millions of users around the world, both social media platforms are used to share health stories and advice.

Low testosterone is a common issue for men, especially as they get older. This hormone maintains masculine characteristics (such as facial hair and muscle mass) and plays an essential role in sexual function.

In some cases, men’s bodies don’t produce enough testosterone because of problems in the pituitary gland (the gland in the brain that “tells” the body to make the hormone) or the testes (the glands that actually produce it.)

However, men’s testosterone levels naturally fall as they get older. When this happens, they might lose interest in sex, become moody, or feel weak. To relieve some of these symptoms, some men start testosterone replacement therapy.

So what do users talk about online? A team of researchers analyzed 5,276 Reddit posts and 696 tweets to find out what people were saying about low testosterone.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Sexual Satisfaction After Prostate Cancer Treatment

Sexual Satisfaction After Prostate Cancer TreatmentIn studies of men’s sexual satisfaction after prostate cancer treatment, results are mixed, according to a recent paper in Sexual Medicine Reviews.

The impact of prostate cancer treatments on sexual function vary. For example, men who undergo radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate gland) may temporarily lose their ability to have erections. But erections can improve over time. After radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy, erections may not get better in the long term.

Erections aren’t the only factor to consider in a man’s overall sexual health, however. Desire, orgasm, and satisfaction are important components, too. In this study, researchers concentrated on satisfaction, which may be related to physical function, but also has psychological, emotional, and social aspects.

“The role of sexual satisfaction in the context of [prostate cancer] is poorly understood because of the trend in research to focus exclusively on sexual (largely erectile) function,” the authors explained.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Impact of COVID-19 on Relationships: What isn’t Being Talked About

For Mental Health Month

As individuals, couples, families, and roommates continue to shelter at home for what is quickly becoming a sustained duration, it has never been more important to look at the impact of this pandemic era on intimate relationships. Many have joked about the increased opportunity for sexual activity and the likelihood of a baby boom next year. The sale of sex toys is booming and as reported by Rolling Stone, some are specifically developed to be effective for couples separated by distance. They even have a unique name – teledildonics.

Heartening as it is to know that many people are making the most of this extra time, we need to acknowledge that not all couples and families have relationships that are psychologically intact and lots of folks lack the adequate space to achieve the privacy people want and need. Close proximity has increased tensions, leading to greater substance abuse and intimate partner violence/abuse. Early in April, the New York Times reported an increase in domestic violence in China and throughout Europe (NYT, April 6). At the same time, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres tweeted for governments to put women’s safety first. However, it appears that no government, including the US government, was prepared for this aspect of the pandemic. As police and other first responders may be overwhelmed by the exigencies of the pandemic, it is difficult to assess the capacity to respond to domestic violence calls. We also do not know how many women will avoid going to an emergency room for fear of being infected by COVID-19.

Treating intimate partner violence requires a thoughtful, trauma-informed approach. Addressing and changing violent behavior is a long process and often a hard road for both the patient and the therapist. One critical factor is the violent partner’s ability to learn to observe their emotional reactions and regulate emotional reactivity before it escalates out of control. Developing space between feeling and action so that a cognitive appraisal can take place is one of the most challenging and critical goals for a person whose habit is to act impulsively. Domestic violence rehabilitation relies on an individual’s capacity to develop insight into the origins of his or her violent behavior. This history may include their own trauma and an understanding that violent and abusive behavior is damaging and unacceptable. Change also depends on the capacity to value a relationship with one’s partner more than the discharge of emotions. When substance abuse is involved, the challenges are compounded.  From a treatment perspective during this time of on-line mental health intervention, it is also challenging to deliver this kind of intensive work because nuances of interactions, body language, and non-verbal cues can be difficult to discern online.

For decades, efforts to find an effective treatment for domestic abuse have floundered. Treatments have ranged from reducing testosterone in violent men to more therapeutic approaches such as enhancing violent men's self-esteem in order to increase frustration tolerance or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Recently a Norwegian study compared two approaches to reducing intimate partner violence. Men (144) were randomized into two arms, one offered cognitive-behavioral therapy while the other offered a mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy. Both arms included individual as well as group sessions. Six months after the beginning of the study, both interventions resulted in a significant reduction of physical violence, sexual violence, and injury.  Psychological violence was reduced only slightly in both groups. Changes were retained at 12-month follow-up. While it is encouraging to see that these approaches reduced physical violence, it is imperative to recognize that psychological violence is still abuse. It is clear that individuals who engage in violent behavior need sustained support for their gains and treatment for the areas of harm reduction that they have not yet achieved.

During the Mental Health Month, we recognize that emotional and sexual intimacy can help individuals and couples cope with the stress and anxieties currently brought on during the COVID-19 pandemic. Job loss, financial insecurity, social distancing, loneliness, and overcrowding with no clear end in sight are genuinely challenging for everyone. But as sexual health and mental health providers, we must also be alert to the harms that these circumstances can confer and be ready to address them or refer our patients to resources that will provide expert assistance. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/help/) provides support for both abuse survivors and abusive partners. It has services for the deaf and access to legal advice.

Daniela Wittmann, PhD, MSW & Sharon Bober, PhD

News

Some Men with Peyronie’s Don’t Respond to CCH Injections

Some Men with Peyronie’s Don’t Respond to CCH InjectionsFor men with Peyronie’s disease, treatment with collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH) has become more popular over the years. However, some men respond better to this therapy than others, a situation that prompted a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study.

One of the most common characteristics of Peyronie’s disease is a distinct curve that develops when the penis is erect. This curve is caused by areas of hardened scar tissue (plaques) that form just beneath the surface of the skin. In some cases, the plaques become calcified, hardening further.

With plaques present, the penis becomes less flexible, forming a curve. For some men, the penis takes on an hourglass shape or a “hinge” effect. Sexual intercourse can become quite difficult, and many men experience pain.

In addition to CCH injection therapy, Peyronie’s disease can be treated in several ways, including medications, traction (a device that straightens the penis), and surgery.

In this study, the researchers looked into some of the reasons men might not have success with CCH.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Testosterone Therapy in Aging Men: An Overview of Research

Testosterone Therapy in Aging Men: An Overview of Research Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be a safe and effective way to treat sexual dysfunction in men with age-related low testosterone, according to a recent review of medical studies.

However, TRT is not recommended for other medical conditions, like obesity or mobility issues, the authors said.

As men get older, their testosterone levels gradually decline as a normal part of aging. As a result, sexual drive might start to wane. Men might also start feeling moody and fatigued. Some experience weakness.

Guidelines from medical organizations like the U.S. Endocrine Society, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Health Canada recommend TRT for men whose testosterone deficiency is caused by “organic” problems in the glands that trigger testosterone production. TRT is generally not recommended for age-related low testosterone.

Still, the number of testosterone prescriptions for age-related testosterone deficiency has increased in North America over the past two decades. With this in mind, the study authors wanted to learn more about TRT and its outcomes in these patients.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Prostate Cancer Surgery: Men Satisfied With Methods

Prostate Cancer Surgery: Men Satisfied With Methods Which surgical method is preferred by prostate cancer patients? The exact answer depends on the patient, but a recent study suggests that most men are generally satisfied with the most common methods, as long as they have good results.

When undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, men usually have two options. Both involve removing the prostate gland. During open radical prostatectomy the surgeon makes an incision, usually in the lower abdomen, to remove the prostate. In a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy, surgeons direct a robot to remove the prostate through a smaller incision.

The study findings are based on data from 736 German men who had undergone radical prostatectomy (532 men had the open approach, and 404 had robot-assisted procedures). The men had had localized cancer, which means that cancer cells had not spread to other parts of the body.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

After Prostate Cancer Treatment, Climacturia Rates Vary

Prostate Cancer Treatment, Climacturia Rates VaryClimacturia – urine leakage with ejaculation – is a lesser-known but still frequent problem for men who have been treated for prostate cancer, experts report in a new study.

Past research suggests that 20% to 44% of patients experience climacturia after radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate gland). Less information is available about the prevalence of climacturia after radiation therapy.

In this study, researchers investigated climacturia rates after both forms of treatment. They also looked at how bothersome the condition is for patients and partners.

They analyzed data from 1,117 men who were patients at the same sexual medicine clinic. All of the patients were able to ejaculate (reach orgasm), and 192 had been treated for prostate cancer with prostatectomy, radiation therapy, or a combination of both surgery and radiation. The rest of the men had not had treatment for prostate cancer.

The men answered questions about their medical histories and experiences with climacturia.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

COVID-19: SMSNA Issues Statement on Elective Procedures

As people across the world cope with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) has released a statement on elective surgical procedures. (Note: The SMSNA is the organization responsible for SexHealthMatters.org.)

In the March 20, 2020 statement, the SMSNA urged surgeons to stop performing elective procedures and recommended that “facilities in areas with growing incidences of COVID-19 reduce non-urgent, surgical, diagnostic, and interventional procedures.”

This means that for the time being, healthcare providers should not conduct procedures that aren’t medically necessary at the moment. It does not mean that such procedures cannot be considered in the future or that they will not be done if a condition worsens. Rather, the procedures should be postponed until further notice. For now, it is important for medical facilities to have enough hospital beds, equipment, and other resources to meet the needs of the current crisis.

The SMSNA supports similar recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Surgeon General, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.

“In light of the serious and existential threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this statement serves to inform our members and the greater community of sexual medicine health care providers that SMSNA fully supports the above recommendations pertaining to elective procedures in order to protect their health and the health of those in the surrounding community,” the statement concluded.

Patients who are concerned about upcoming appointments and procedures are advised to contact their healthcare providers. Further information about the coronavirus is available at the CDC website and from province, state, and local health departments.

Resources

American College of Surgeons

“COVID-19: Recommendations for Management of Elective Surgical Procedures”

(March 13, 2020)

https://www.facs.org/covid-19/clinical-guidance/elective-surgery

American Society of Anesthesiologists

“ASA-APSF Joint Statement on Non-Urgent Care During the COVID-19 Outbreak”

(March 17, 2020)

https://www.asahq.org/about-asa/newsroom/news-releases/2020/03/asa-apsf-joint-statement-on-non-urgent-care-during-the-covid-19-outbreak

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: Preparing for Community Transmission of COVID-19 in the United States”

(Page last reviewed: February 29, 2020)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/guidance-hcf.html

Sexual Medicine Society of North America

“SMSNA Statement on Elective Procedures”

(March 20, 2020)

https://www.smsna.org/V1/news/603-smsna-statement-on-elective-procedures

News

Study: More Men Than Women Bothered by Peyronie’s Disease

Study: More Men Than Women Bothered by Peyronie’s DiseasePeyronie’s disease can deeply affect both men and their female sexual partners, according to a recent study.

Men with this condition have a curve in their penis that can make intercourse problematic. The curve is the result of plaque formation on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. Because plaque areas are hardened tissue, the penis loses some of its flexibility when erect.

In addition to intercourse difficulties, men with Peyronie’s disease may experience pain and erectile dysfunction (ED). Depression and anxiety are common as well, as many men worry about being able to please their partner sexually.

How do women feel about their partner’s Peyronie’s disease?

In this study, researchers investigated the effects of Peyronie’s disease on both men and partners.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Testosterone Levels Have Fallen in Younger Men

Testosterone Levels Have Fallen in Younger MenIn the United States, testosterone levels have declined in adolescent and young adult men since 1999, according to a recent study.

The hormone testosterone plays an important role in men’s health. (Women’s bodies also produce testosterone, but in much smaller amounts.) Testosterone gives a man his masculine traits, like facial hair and muscle mass. It contributes to bone health. And it’s critical for sexual function and fertility. Libido, erections, and sperm production are largely driven by testosterone.

Around age 30, a man’s testosterone levels start to fall. It’s a natural part of getting older, and the process is gradual. Typically, a man may be diagnosed with testosterone deficiency if his levels fall below 300 ng/dL and he has symptoms like low sex drive, fatigue, and moodiness.

While younger men usually don’t need to worry about age-related testosterone declines, researchers have noted that almost 20% of adolescent and young adult men do have testosterone deficiency.

Researchers set out to learn more about the average testosterone levels for men in this age group. They worked with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), a large-scale study of adults in the U.S. In particular, they looked at information for men aged 15 to 39 over 5 survey cycles between 1999 and 2016.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Online Intervention Provides Couples Support After Prostate Cancer

Online Intervention Provides Couples Support After Prostate CancerScientists have developed a web-based intervention that could help couples coping with sexual dysfunction after a man’s prostate cancer treatment.

Sexual challenges are common for prostate cancer survivors. Many struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED). Fatigue, depression, and anxiety can dampen sexual interest. Men and their partners may miss the intimacy they once shared.

The online intervention was designed to help couples prepare for treatment-related side effects and to support their sexual recovery after treatment. It could be tailored to their needs and interests.

Over six months, the couples accessed six intervention modules online, including some videos. They also received occasional emails with coping strategies.  

After the entire online program, researchers interviewed 12 couples to get their thoughts and perspectives.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Most Transgender Women Happy With Breast Implants

Most Transgender Women Happy With Breast ImplantsA recent study of transgender women found that most participants were satisfied with breast augmentation surgery, although a third said their implants caused health issues.

The authors encouraged doctors to educate their patients on the advantages and disadvantages of this surgery.

Trans women are assigned as male at birth, but identify as female. Many undergo hormone therapy to help their bodies align with their desired gender. For example, taking hormones might reduce the amount of body hair that males typically have, and it can spur the development of female features, like breasts.

Breast development is important for many trans women. But it’s a gradual process, and it can take years for breasts to form. And even when they do, they might not be as developed as patients would like.

As a result, some trans women decide to have breast augmentation surgery. However, this route can have side effects.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Arousal Incontinence a Concern After Prostatectomy

Arousal Incontinence a Concern After ProstatectomyArousal incontinence – urine leakage when a man is sexually aroused - is common after radical prostatectomy, researchers report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Radical prostatectomy (the surgical removal of the prostate gland) is a frequent treatment for prostate cancer. After surgery, men might experience sexual issues, like erectile dysfunction and climacturia (leakage of urine during orgasm). However, less is known about arousal incontinence.

The research team sent questionnaires to 226 men who had undergone radical prostatectomy within the previous 24 months. The men’s average age was 64 years.

Half of the men said they had had arousal incontinence at least once since their surgery. For most of the men, the problem started within the first three months after prostatectomy.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Medication and Traction Help Men with Peyronie’s Disease

Medication and Traction Help Men with Peyronie’s DiseaseMedication combined with traction therapy could offer men with Peyronie’s disease an effective, low-cost treatment option.

A recent study investigated the use of either pentoxifylline or colchicine, along with traction therapy, in 46 men with Peyronie’s disease.

Men with Peyronie’s disease develop deformities of the penis after plaques (areas of hardened scar tissue) from just under the surface of the skin. Often, there is a distinct curve that makes intercourse difficult. Men may also have pain and trouble with erections.

In addition to the physical symptoms, Peyronie’s disease can have a psychological impact. Men may become depressed or anxious about their sexual life.

For some patients, surgery to straighten the penis is the answer. However, that’s not an option for all men, and it isn’t always appropriate for men with milder cases of Peyronie’s. Injections of collagenase Clostridium histolyticum (CCH) is another treatment approach, but this path can be expensive.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Similarities Found Among Transgender and Cisgender Children

Similarities Found Among Transgender and Cisgender Children A child’s assigned gender at birth, and that child’s early birth gender experiences, don’t always mean a child will identify as that gender later on, according to new research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Currently, there are thousands of children who have socially transitioned from their birth gender to their preferred gender. During this process, some start using different names or pronouns. Many choose clothing, hair styles, and toys that are typically associated with their targeted gender.

The study is one of the first of its kind, as it investigates gender development in children who have experienced living as the gender they were assigned at birth and the preferred gender that they transitioned to.

Researchers compared three groups of children, who ranged in age from 3 to 12:

  • 317 transgender children (208 transgender girls and 109 transgender boys)
  • 189 cisgender siblings (82 girls and 107 boys) who were closest in age to the transgender children
  • 316 cisgender children who were not related to the transgender children or their siblings (207 girls and 109 boys)

(Note: The term transgender refers to people whose gender identity does not align with their assigned birth gender. For instance, transgender boys are genetically female, but identify as males. Transgender girls are genetically male, but identify as females. The term cisgender refers to people who identify as the gender that was assigned to them at birth.)

Members of the research team met with the children and their parents. The children underwent a series of tasks involving toys and clothing preferences. Children and parents also answered questions about gender identity.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Many Doctors Not Trained in Post-Cancer Sex Health

Many Doctors Not Trained in Post-Cancer Sex Health Cancer treatment can have many sexual side effects, including erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and poor vaginal lubrication. But research suggests that healthcare providers often don’t discuss sex health after treatment with their patients.

Lack of time and lack of training are likely barriers to such discussions, researchers reported. Their findings were presented at the October 2019 meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA). (Note: The SMSNA publishes the SexHealthMatters website.)

The research team sent a Sexual Health Attitudes Questionnaire to 88 oncologists and advance practice providers (APPs) to learn more about sex health conversations with patients. Thirteen healthcare providers responded.

Among this group, 31% said they “often” or “always” talked about sexual health with their patients, and just under a quarter reported “often” or “always” discussing sexual side effects of chemotherapy.

Almost half said they “rarely” or “never” referred their patients to a sex health professional if needed.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Birth Control Pills for Men are Possible, Studies Suggest

Birth Control Pills for Men are Possible, Studies SuggestBirth control pills may eventually be available for men, scientists say.

A final product may still be years in the making, but researchers have deemed the medications safe and tolerable for healthy men.

The results of one study were presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in March 2019.

The drug, 11-beta-MNTDC, may reduce the production of sperm without decreasing a man’s libido. The drug behaves like testosterone, the hormone that drives sexual desire and gives men some of their masculine characteristics. But it does not trigger sperm production in the testes.

Forty healthy men participated in the 28-day study. Each day, 14 men took 200 mg of the 11-beta-MNTDC drug, and 16 men took 400 mg. The remaining 10 men took a placebo pill.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Peyronie’s Disease: More Men Receiving CCH Injections

Peyronie’s Disease: More Men Receiving CCH Injections Nowadays, more men with Peyronie’s disease are being treated with injections of collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH) than surgery, according to recent research.

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by plaques of hardened scar tissue that form on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. The plaques make the penis lose some of its flexibility. As a result, the penis starts to bend. Sometimes, the curve is so severe that intercourse is difficult. Men with Peyronie’s disease may also experience pain and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Surgery to correct the curve is a common treatment. CCH injections, which are targeted directly at the plaques, were approved in 2014.

The study findings are based on insurance claims data for 36,156 men who were first diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease between 2011 and 2017. Diagnosis rates did not change much during that period.

In 2014, the treatment rate with either CCH or surgery was 9.8%, but the rate rose to 15.5% by 2017, reflecting an increase in men undergoing CCH injections. After CCH injections were approved, their use as a first-line treatment increased an average of 1.6% per year.

The ratio of CCH to surgery as a first-line treatment increased from 1:1 in 2014 to about 2:1 by 2017.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Low Testosterone Common in Germ Cell Tumor Survivors

Low Testosterone Common in Germ Cell Tumor SurvivorsIn a recent study of germ cell tumor survivors, roughly half had hypogonadism – low testosterone – regardless of whether they were treated with surgery alone or surgery with platinum-based chemotherapy, scientists report in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.

However, patients who had chemotherapy added to their surgical treatment were more likely to have male aging symptoms.

Germ cells are reproductive cells: egg cells in females and sperm cells in males. Tumors form when these cells grow and accumulate in an abnormal way. Some germ cell tumors are cancerous. When they are, they usually develop into ovarian cancer or testicular cancer.

The study included 199 germ cell tumor survivors between the ages of 18 and 50. Each participant completed a quality of life questionnaire at the start of the study and again three and six months later.

About 48% of the entire group had low testosterone. (For this study, hypogonadism was diagnosed if a man’s testosterone levels were below 300 ng/dL.)

Next, the researchers looked at testosterone levels based on type of treatment. Among patients who had had both surgery and chemotherapy, the low testosterone rate was 51%. For those who had surgery alone, the rate was 45%.

Patients who had low testosterone levels were more likely to have reported fatigue, poor sleep quality, and worse general health at the start of the study.

When the scientists compared quality of life assessment scores for the two groups, they found no statistically significant differences. However, those who had had both surgery and chemotherapy “exhibited more symptoms related to male aging.”

Resources

Mayo Clinic

“Germ cell tumors”

(May 25, 2019)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/germ-cell-tumors/symptoms-causes/syc-20352493

Oncology Learning Network

Porcelli, Hina

“Surgery With or Without Chemo Yields Low Testosterone in GCT Survivors”

https://www.oncnet.com/news/surgery-or-without-chemo-yields-low-testosterone-gct-survivors

Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance

“Chemotherapy”

https://ocrahope.org/patients/about-ovarian-cancer/treatment/chemotherapy/

Supportive Care in Cancer

Khanal, N., et al.

“The effects of hypogonadism on quality of life in survivors of germ cell tumors treated with surgery alone versus surgery plus platinum-based chemotherapy”

(Abstract. Published: November 9, 2019)

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-019-05117-0

WebMD

“What Are Germ Cell Tumors?”

(Reviewed: October 12, 2019)

https://www.webmd.com/cancer/germ-cell-tumors#1

News

Men With Both Peyronie’s Disease and Erectile Dysfunction Have Surgical Options

Men With Both Peyronie’s Disease and Erectile Dysfunction Have Surgical OptionsMany men with Peyronie’s disease also develop erectile dysfunction (ED – the inability to get an erection firm enough for sex). It’s possible to surgically treat both conditions, and a new study in Sexual Medicine describes some of the latest research in this area.

Peyronie’s disease is a connective tissue disorder thought to occur when an injury to the penis doesn’t heal properly. Instead, areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques form on the penis, just below the surface of the skin. The plaques make the penis less flexible and can cause deformities like a distinct curve or a “hinge” effect. Intercourse can become quite difficult.

Peyronie’s disease generally develops in two stages. During the first (acute) stage, men may notice their penis starting to bend, and pain is common. After six to twelve months, the chronic (stable) phase begins, when pain goes away and the curve remains stable.

Surgery to straighten the penis is a frequent treatment for men with Peyronie’s disease, but it often isn’t performed until the chronic stage. Men who develop ED along with Peyronie’s disease may opt for a penile prosthesis that allows them to have an erection when they wish by activating their implant.

For the study, researchers analyzed 58 studies related to Peyronie’s disease with co-existing ED.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Hormone Therapy Linked to Poor Sexual Outcomes in Women with Breast Cancer

Hormone Therapy Linked to Poor Sexual Outcomes in Women with Breast CancerWomen who undergo hormone therapy (also called endocrine therapy) to treat breast cancer often face sexual problems, including vaginal dryness and painful intercourse, according to a recent study.

About two-thirds of breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive. This means that that the cancer cells have receptors that attach to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones feed the cancer cells and helps them spread. Hormone therapy aims to reduce the amount of hormones available to the cancer cells so that they have less fuel to work with. This may be accomplished in several ways:

  • Tamoxifen. This drug stops hormones and receptors from connecting.
  • Aromatase inhibitors. These drugs stop the body from producing estrogen.
  • Ovarian suppression. This therapy may involve surgical removal of the ovaries (the glands that produce much of a woman’s estrogen and progesterone), drugs that stop the ovaries from making these hormones, or chemotherapy drugs.

The study involved 446 women with a history of breast cancer who were treated at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The women underwent pelvic exams and completed questionnaires that assessed their sexual function and vulvovaginal health.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

In Older Men, Testosterone Therapy Doesn’t Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer

In Older Men, Testosterone Therapy Doesn’t Increase Risk of Prostate CancerMen who undergo testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to treat age-related low testosterone are not at higher risk for prostate cancer, according to research in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Typically, TRT guidelines advise against the use of TRT in men who have either had prostate cancer in the past or are at risk for it in the future. The hormone testosterone can fuel the growth of prostate cancer cells.

It was unclear whether taking testosterone increased a man’s risk for prostate cancer, however.

TRT is often prescribed to men with low testosterone. (The medical term for this condition is hypogonadism.) The treatment is approved for men whose bodies cannot produce enough testosterone on their own, usually due to problems with the testes (the glands that make this hormone) or areas of the brain that trigger testosterone production.

However, men’s bodies gradually start producing less testosterone as they get older. Eventually, men might start feeling fatigued, moody, and less interested in sex. Some doctors prescribe TRT “off-label” to treat these symptoms. (Off-label treatments can help certain conditions, but aren’t approved by a regulatory agency for that purpose.)

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

After Penis and Scrotum Transplant, Vet Doing Well

After Penis and Scrotum Transplant, Vet Doing WellA U.S. veteran who received a penis and scrotum transplant in March 2018 has recovered well from his surgery, according to his medical team.

The man, who goes by the pseudonym Ray, lost both legs and most of his genitals after stepping on an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

Now, his erections are almost normal, he can ejaculate, and he has a strong urine flow, his doctors reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. His new penis also feels sensations.

While penis transplants had been done before, Ray’s surgery was the first time a penis, scrotum, and part of an abdominal wall were transplanted. (Testicles were not transplanted.)

His new genitals came from a deceased man, whose family agreed to the donation. Finding donors for penis transplants can take time, as surgeons aim to match age and skin tone as closely as possible.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Testosterone Auto-Injector Deemed Safe

Testosterone Auto-Injector Deemed SafeAn auto-injector used to administer testosterone enanthate “has a favorable safety profile and is well-tolerated,” according to a new journal of Sexual Medicine study.

The device offers a convenient option for men on testosterone replacement therapy, allowing them to self-administer their medicine at home.

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that gives men their masculine traits. It’s also important for sex drive and erections. When men have a testosterone deficiency, they may feel moody, fatigued, and less interested in sex. For some men, testosterone replacement therapy relieves those symptoms.

Self-injectable testosterone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2018 for men whose bodies cannot produce adequate amounts of testosterone on their own. It has not been approved for men whose testosterone levels decline as a normal part of aging.

The study involved 133 men between the ages of 18 and 75 who had testosterone deficiency with symptoms. (Low testosterone, in this case, was diagnosed at levels below 300 ng/dL.)

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Statins Before Prostatectomy Don’t Improve Erectile Function, Study Finds

Statins Before Prostatectomy Don’t Improve Erectile Function, Study FindsTaking statins before radical prostatectomy doesn’t seem to affect erectile function after surgery, scientists report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Prostatectomy – surgical removal of the prostate gland - is a frequent treatment for prostate cancer. Many men develop erectile dysfunction (ED) afterward.

Statins are drugs prescribed to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. While they are not specifically ED drugs, research suggests that some men’s erections improve while taking them. This effect might be due to statins’ anti-inflammatory properties.

This study investigated whether taking statins before prostatectomy might help men’s erections recover after surgery.  

The researchers worked with 118 Finnish men with prostate cancer. The men were randomly assigned to take either 80 mg of atorvastatin or a placebo before their scheduled radical prostatectomy.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Ovarian Cancer Survivors Report Lower Quality of Life

Ovarian Cancer Survivors Report Lower Quality of LifeMany ovarian cancer survivors struggle with changes in sex and relationships, reports a recent study in Sexual Medicine.

Poor quality of life, high rates of depression, poor body image, and low relationship satisfaction were common among the women studied.

Affecting about 1 in 75 women, ovarian cancer is thought to affect women’s sexuality in different ways than other forms of gynecologic cancer. Until now, there has been little research on sexual experiences specific to ovarian cancer survivors, the authors said.

The study had two parts. First, the researchers asked 64 ovarian cancer survivors to complete a group of questionnaires designed to assess quality of life, sexual function and relationships, sexual distress, and depression symptoms.

In the second part, three women sat down with researchers and discussed their experiences with ovarian cancer and sexuality in a focus group.

Based on the questionnaire scores, the researchers found that women with ovarian cancer were more likely to have sexual problems and feel sexual distress than women in the general population. They also had higher rates of depression and were less satisfied with their relationships.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

What Should Women Know About Testosterone Therapy?

What Should Women Know About Testosterone Therapy?Some postmenopausal women with low libido might benefit from testosterone therapy, according to recently-issued guidelines.

The “Global Consensus Position Statement on the Use of Testosterone Therapy in Women” was developed by a panel of experts to guide healthcare providers who prescribe hormonal therapy to women. The statement was endorsed by 11 medical organizations, including the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) (The Sexual Medicine Society of North America, which produces SexHealthMatters.org, is affiliated with the ISSM.)

While the news may be a step forward for women’s sexual health, the panel was very specific in its recommendations, which covered how testosterone should be measured, prescribed, and monitored.

Here are some key points from the statement:

Testosterone therapy may be recommended for women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), but not for women with other types of sexual problems.

HSDD is a persistent lack of sexual desire that has no apparent cause. For example, it’s not a medication side effect, and it’s not a result of other health conditions associated with low libido. Another component of HSDD is distress. Women who have HSDD are bothered by their low sex drive. It might cause stress in their relationship, or they might miss the intimacy they once shared with a partner.

Testosterone therapy may be recommended for postmenopausal women, but not premenopausal women.

The menopause distinction is important. Currently, scientists don’t have enough information to recommend the use of testosterone in women who have not gone through menopause.

During menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels decline, and she stops having menstrual periods. Testosterone levels decline, too.

Women are considered to be postmenopausal (finished with menopause) when they have gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Before this benchmark, periods may be irregular, and many women think they have finished menopause when in fact they haven’t. Women who are unsure of their menopausal status should talk to their gynecologist.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Peyronie’s Disease Could be Linked to Cancer, but More Research Needed

Peyronie’s Disease Could be Linked to Cancer, but More Research NeededMen with Peyronie’s disease might be at higher risk for cancer, scientists report in Sexual Medicine.

They stress, however, that “although the risk may exist, it remains to be definitively proven.”

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by plaques of scar tissue that form on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. Because the plaques make the penis less flexible, deformities occur. Usually, the penis starts to bend. But it may also shorten or take on an hourglass shape. Peyronie’s disease can be painful, and some men find it difficult to have intercourse.

Previously, it was unknown whether there was any link between Peyronie’s disease and cancer. The research team considered that both Peyronie’s and cancer can run in families and decided to investigate.

They used a US-based insurance claims database and found data for 48,423 men who had been diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease between 2007 and 2013. For a comparison group, they also collected data from 484,230 men without Peyronie’s disease or erectile dysfunction (another condition that sometimes occurs with Peyronie’s disease). This control group was matched in age and number of follow-up doctor’s visits.

The men’s average age was 50 years. Men with Peyronie’s disease had an average of 5.6 outpatient visits per year, compared to 3.6 visits annually for the control group.

The men with Peyronie’s disease were at higher risk for cancer in general and for stomach cancer, testicular cancer, and melanoma (a type of skin cancer) in particular.

The researchers weren’t sure why cancer risk was higher for the men with Peyronie’s disease, but they suggested a genetic connection.

They also acknowledged some limitations to their research. For example, they did not know how long men had had Peyronie’s disease or how severe it was. The also did not have further details about the men’s cancer, such as grade or stage.

More study on the relationship between Peyronie’s disease and cancer was recommended.

Resources

Sexual Medicine

Pastuszak, Alexander W., MD, PhD, et al.

“Increased Risk of Cancer in Men With Peyronie’s Disease: A Cohort Study Using a Large United States Insurance Claims Database”

(Full-text. Published online: September 14, 2019)

https://www.smoa.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-1161(19)30176-X/fulltext

News

Nomograms May Help Physicians Counsel Prostate Cancer Patients

Nomograms May Help Physicians Counsel Prostate Cancer Patients Evidence-based models called nomograms might help prostate cancer patients understand what their erections could be like after treatment.

Nowadays, most men with prostate cancer receive their diagnosis in the earlier stages of the disease. And more men are living longer after treatment. Many remain sexually active well into their older years.

Radical prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate gland) is an effective treatment. However, the prostate is surrounded by nerves that are essential for good erections. As a result, some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED) can be expected, at least temporarily, after surgery.

To what extent? Unfortunately, urologists don’t have a crystal ball to determine how well a man will have erections after prostatectomy. Nomograms could provide an educated guess.

Researchers developed three nomograms for this purpose and explained their process in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Addyi Manufacturer Announces Changes

Addyi Manufacturer Announces ChangesThe manufacturer of Addyi (flibanserin), an oral drug used to treat general, acquired hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women, has announced some changes for prescribers.

Affecting about 1 in 10 women, HSDD refers to a loss of sex drive accompanied by distress that can’t be easily explained by specific causes, like a health condition or drug side effect. HSDD is acquired if it happens after a period of healthy sex drive. It is considered general if it happens all the time, not just in certain sexual situations or with specific partners.

Addyi is a pill that balances the levels of three brain neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. It is typically taken at bedtime.

The drug was approved by the FDA in the spring of 2015.

Alcohol Use

One of the labeling changes concerns alcohol use with Addyi.

When the drug was first approved, the FDA required Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the company that produces Addyi, to include a boxed warning (the strictest required by the FDA) that instructed women to avoid drinking any alcohol while taking Addyi.

At that time, “the FDA reviewed data that included several concerning cases of severe hypotension (low blood pressure) and syncope (passing out) when Addyi and alcohol were taken together,” the agency reported in an April 2019 press release.

Since the approval, subsequent post-marketing studies have shown that while there are still concerns about drinking alcohol and using Addyi, women can do so if they are careful and as long as the timing isn’t too close. The FDA still requires a boxed warning, but the language has been updated.

The current instructions are as follows, according to the Addyi website:

If a woman has had one or two alcoholic drinks, she should wait at least two hours before taking Addyi at bedtime.

If she has had three or more alcoholic drinks in one evening, she should skip her bedtime dose of Addyi.

If she has taken her regular dose of Addyi, she should not drink any alcohol until the next day.

Sprout Pharmaceuticals defines “1 standard alcoholic drink” as one 12-ounce regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or shot.

Taking Addyi and drinking alcohol too close together could lead to severe low blood pressure and fainting.

REMS Certification

Before October 2019, clinicians who prescribed Addyi were required to have Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) certification through the FDA. REMS is a drug safety program for medications with safety concerns. Now, prescribers are no longer required to have REMS certification for Addyi.

More Information

Some of the more common side effects of Addyi are dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and dry mouth.

A woman’s doctor can best advise on whether Addyi is an appropriate choice for her.

Resources

Addyi.com

“Important Safety Information”

https://addyi.com/faq/

International Society for Sexual Medicine

“FDA Modifies Boxed Warning for Addyi”

(April 22, 2019)

https://www.issm.info/news/sex-health-headlines/fda-modifies-boxed-warning-for-addyi/

Sprout Pharmaceuticals

Correspondence dated October 16, 2019 concerning changes for Addyi.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

“FDA orders important safety labeling changes for Addyi”

(Press release. April 11, 2019)

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-orders-important-safety-labeling-changes-addyi

“Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies | REMS”

(Content current as of August 8, 2019)

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/risk-evaluation-and-mitigation-strategies-rems

News

Peyronie’s Surgery Safe and Effective for Older Men

Peyronie’s Surgery Safe and Effective for Older MenSurgical treatment of Peyronie’s disease is generally safe and effective for men age 65 and over, reports a recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Eighty-five percent of the men in the study were satisfied with their results.

Men with Peyronie’s disease have a deformity in their penis caused by areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques that form on the tunica albuginea (the tissue that surrounds the spongy chambers that fill with blood when a man has an erection).

Usually, the result is a distinct curve, but some men develop deformities that resemble an hourglass or a hinge. Sometimes, the situation is so severe that men cannot have intercourse. Peyronie’s disease can be painful, and erection difficulties are possible. It also becomes more common as men get older.

While there are several non-surgical approaches to treating Peyronie’s disease, surgery is considered the gold standard. However, scientists weren’t sure whether surgery was a good option for older men. With the world’s population aging (and many men staying sexually active in their older years), they decided to investigate the subject further.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Concussions in NFL Players Could be Linked to Sexual Problems Later in Life

Concussions in NFL Players Could be Linked to Sexual Problems Later in Life A history of concussion might influence sexual function later in life, according to a recent study of professional football players.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury sustained during a forceful blow to the head. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, confusion, dizziness, disorientation, and memory problems. Some people with concussions lose consciousness.

The researchers surveyed 3,506 men who had played American-style football for the National Football League (NFL) after 1960. (After that date, most players wore hard plastic helmets.) The respondents ranged in age from 24 to 89 years, with an average age of 52. They had played for an average of 7 seasons.

The men reported on concussion symptoms experienced while practicing or playing football. They also told researchers whether a doctor had ever suggested treatment or prescribed medication for ED or testosterone deficiency.

Testosterone is an important hormone for men’s sexual function. When men have low levels of testosterone, they might become less interested in sex and have difficulty getting erections.

ED was a problem for almost 23 percent of the men, and about half of them took medication for it.

About 18% of the respondents said they had low testosterone, and about 40% took medication.

 

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Sexually Active Men Might Have Milder Parkinson’s Symptoms, Study Suggests

Sexually Active Men Might Have Milder Parkinson’s Symptoms, Study SuggestsHaving sex might be linked to milder symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in men, reports a recent study in the European Journal of Neurology.

Italian researchers found that sexually-active men reported a better quality of life than those who were not having sex.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological movement disorder that occurs when the brain does not produce enough of the neurotransmitter dopamine. As a result, a person can develop motor (movement) symptoms like slow movement, tremor, and stiffness. Non-motor symptoms, such as sexual dysfunction, apathy (lack of emotion), and cognitive decline are also possible.

The study involved 355 people (238 men and 117 women) with early-stage Parkinson’s disease.

The participants filled out several questionnaires and answered interview questions about non-motor symptoms, motor disabilities, cognitive abilities, depression, and health-related quality of life. These assessments were done three times over the course of the study: once at the beginning, again at a 12-month follow-up visit, and again 9-16 months after that follow-up visit.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Stereotactic Radiotherapy: More Research Needed on Sexual Outcomes

Stereotactic Radiotherapy: More Research Needed on Sexual OutcomesMen who undergo stereotactic radiotherapy for prostate cancer may have a shorter treatment time, but they could still face sexual difficulties that are comparable to other forms of treatment, according to new research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Men with prostate cancer usually have several treatment options available to them, such as hormone therapy (sometimes called androgen deprivation therapy), surgery (radical prostatectomy – removal of the prostate gland), and radiotherapy.

Experts say that over the long term, one treatment isn’t necessarily better than another. So when men go over their options with their cancer care team, they often look at how treatment might affect their quality of life.

Unfortunately, many men develop sexual issues, especially erectile dysfunction (ED), after prostate cancer treatment. Radiation, for example, can damage nerves and other tissues that are essential for firm erections.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Peyronie’s Disease: Testosterone Levels Not Linked to Extent of Penis Curve

Peyronie’s Disease: Testosterone Levels Not Linked to Extent of Penis Curve For men with Peyronie’s disease, the degree of penis curvature doesn’t appear to be affected by low testosterone levels, according to a July 2019 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

A bent penis is one of the main characteristics of Peyronie’s disease. The curve is caused by plaques that form on the tunica albuginea, the tissue that surrounds two spongy chambers that fill with blood during an erection. The plaques make the penis less flexible, and the penis bends, making intercourse a challenge.

Previous research has suggested that the severity of the curve might be linked to a man’s testosterone levels. In the current study, researchers further investigated this idea.

They recruited 184 men with Peyronie’s disease to participate. The men’s average age was 54 years, and they had had Peyronie’s disease for an average of 18 months. About three-quarters of them were still able to have intercourse.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Testosterone Therapy Might be Appropriate for Postmenopausal Women

Testosterone Therapy Might be Appropriate for Postmenopausal WomenTestosterone therapy might benefit some older women with low libido accompanied by distress. But further research is still necessary, experts say.

The hormone testosterone is often associated with men, as it helps with the development and maintenance of male characteristics, like a deeper voice and facial hair. It drives men’s libidos, too.

When men’s bodies don’t produce enough testosterone, replacement therapy is an option. For many, the treatment boosts wellbeing, mood, and sex drive.

Can it do the same for women? That question has been debated for some time. Women’s bodies make testosterone, too, but in much smaller amounts. And it has not been completely clear whether testosterone therapy is safe and effective for women.

To learn more, researchers analyzed 36 studies published between 1990 and 2018. Overall, the studies involved almost 8,500 women who had gone through menopause. All of the women underwent testosterone therapy for at least 12 weeks.

Many women experienced sexual improvements with therapy. Desire, arousal, and sexual pleasure increased, and some women reported having better sex more frequently. Fewer sexual concerns and less distress were also noted.

None of the women had serious side effects, but some developed acne and hair growth.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Intervention May Help Men Comply with Injection Therapy

Intervention May Help Men Comply with Injection Therapy Prostatectomy – the surgical removal of the prostate gland – is a “gold-standard” treatment for prostate cancer. However, surgery can damage nerves that are essential for erections, leaving some men with erectile dysfunction (ED) that can take time to resolve. Some nerves take two years to recover.

In the meantime, many men undergo penile rehabilitation therapy, which may include self-injecting medication into the penis to induce erections. The reasoning behind this protocol is that “medication-assisted erections” can help erections come back naturally.

Unfortunately, complying with this therapy can be difficult. The idea of injecting the penis with anything can make men understandably squeamish, and they might not see results right away. The process can be frustrating. Many men feel anxious and avoid the therapy and sexual situations altogether.

A new intervention called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for erectile dysfunction (ACT-ED) could help. In a July 2019 Journal of Sexual Medicine article, experts discussed an ACT-ED pilot study.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Sexual Effects of ADHD Different in Men and Women

Sexual Effects of ADHD Different in Men and WomenAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could affect the severity of hypersexuality in both men and women, but a link with problematic pornography use appears to be stronger in men, new research suggests. 


Often diagnosed in childhood, ADHD is characterized by restlessness, impulsiveness, and risky behavior. ADHD can continue into adulthood. In fact, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), estimates that about 10 million adults have ADHD. It is more common in males than in females. 


Hypersexuality is an obsession with sex with urges that are hard to manage. A hypersexual person might masturbate often, seek multiple sexual partners, and engage in unsafe sexual behaviors in order to satisfy their urges. 


A person who has problems with pornography might view pornographic material excessively, to the point that it interferes with daily life and functioning. 


In March 2019, the Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study that investigated ADHD symptoms, hypersexuality, and problematic pornography use in relation to each other. Researchers also questioned how situations might be different for men and for women. 

 

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Fibrosis Could Be Key to Understanding Peyronie’s Disease

Fibrosis Could Be Key to Understanding Peyronie’s DiseasePeyronie’s disease is a complicated condition, especially since scientists still aren’t sure of its exact cause. And while current treatments, like surgery and injection therapy, can be effective, they manage symptoms rather than target causes. 


With this in mind, a team of scientists decided to further investigate potential causes of Peyronie’s disease to see how future treatments might develop. They published their findings in April 2019 in the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews


Men with Peyronie’s disease have a distinct curve in their penis. The curve comes from the formation of hardened, fibrous plaques on the tunica albuginea – the membrane that surrounds two chambers of the penis that fill with blood during an erection (corpora cavernosa). 


In its first stage, Peyronie’s disease can be painful. By its second stage, the condition typically results in “a stable, permanent, more-often-then-not painless deformity.” However, that deformity can make intercourse difficult, and some men develop erectile dysfunction (ED).

 

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Sex and Fertility Issues May Continue Two Years After Testicular Cancer Diagnosis

Sex and Fertility Issues May Continue Two Years After Testicular Cancer DiagnosisBased on the data, 26% of the men reported sexual difficulties. About 18% said they weren’t satisfied with their sex lives, and 17% said they had little interest in sex. About 8% had problems with erections.

Just over a quarter of men with testicular cancer experience sexual problems two years after their cancer diagnosis, according to new research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Testicular cancer affects the testes – two small glands that produce sperm cells along with the hormone testosterone. Overall, testicular cancer is rare, but it’s the most common form of cancer for American men between the ages of 15 and 35.

Fortunately, testicular cancer is quite curable, with an estimated 5-year survival rate of 97% in men who receive proper treatment. Men might have surgery to remove the affected testicle and surrounding lymph nodes. Radiation and chemotherapy are other common treatments.

Still, men with testicular cancer often worry about their sexuality and fertility, and these concerns may linger for some time after diagnosis. In this study, researchers from Sweden investigated the prevalence of these concerns after two years.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Testosterone Supplement Claims Not Always Backed by Medical Research

Testosterone Supplement Claims Not Always Backed by Medical Research“Testosterone boosting” (sometimes called “T boosting”) supplements may claim to improve a man’s testosterone levels along with his libido, muscle mass, and energy. But there is little scientific research available to substantiate such claims, according to a recent study in the World Journal of Men’s Health.

Men’s testosterone levels gradually decline as they get older. For some men, this drop leads to fatigue, moodiness, less interest in sex, and reduced muscle mass. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is sometimes prescribed to alleviate these symptoms.

However, some men decide to try dietary supplements instead, feeling that it is a more “natural” approach. But supplements aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their manufacturers aren’t supposed to make claims that their products can treat medical conditions. Yet some still do.

“Many supplements on the market merely contain vitamins and minerals, but don’t do anything to improve testosterone,” study co-author Mary K. Samplaski said in a University of Southern California report. “Often, people can be vulnerable to the marketing component of these products, making it difficult to tease out what is myth and what is reality.”

Researchers used the search terms “testosterone booster” and “testosterone supplement” to conduct a Google search of these supplements. They studied the ingredients and manufacturers’ claims for 50 products.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Women with Colorectal and Anal Cancer Need Sexual Support

Women with Colorectal and Anal Cancer Need Sexual SupportUnderstanding the sexual impact of treatment is important for women with colorectal and anal cancer, and support is essential, experts report in a recent Sexual Medicine Reviews study.

The term colorectal cancer refers to cancers of the colon (the large intestine) and the rectum (the lower portion of the large intestine). Anal cancer affects the anus, the area connected to the rectum that allows waste to pass out of the body.

Treatments for these cancers may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these approaches. Patients might need a stoma (an opening in the abdomen) so that their waste can pass into a special collection bag.

After treatment, many women feel less desire for sex, experience poor arousal, and have difficulty reaching orgasm. Pain and vaginal dryness are common. Some women struggle with poor body image, feeling less feminine and less attractive. Anxiety may also be an issue. A woman may worry about her partner’s response to a waste bag or whether the bag will leak during intimacy.

To learn more about women’s experiences with sexuality following colorectal and anal cancer treatment, researchers conducted a two-part study.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Peyronie’s Disease: Which Treatment is Most Cost-Effective?

A penile traction therapy called RestoreX might be the most cost-effective treatment option for men with Peyronie’s disease, but goals and preferences still play an important role in patient choice, experts say in a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study.

When a man has Peyronie’s disease, areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques form on his penis. The plaques make the penis less flexible, and as a result, the penis bends. In some cases, the curvature is enough to make intercourse difficult.

There are several ways to treat Peyronie’s disease, but three common ones are:

  • ·         Surgery to correct the curvature and straighten the penis.
  • ·         Injections of collagenase Clostridium histolyticum (CCH) directly into the plaques.
  • ·         Traction therapy – stretching the penis with a device like the RestoreX, which is used 30-90 minutes every day.

Researchers looked at data from 201 men who had been treated for Peyronie’s disease. One hundred fifteen men had CCH injections, 23 underwent surgery, and 63 used the RestoreX traction device.

For this study, success was defined as a curvature improvement of at least 20 degrees, an accepted benchmark based on past research. The men’s progress was followed for 10 years after treatment. Costs were calculated based on payer costs, such as Medicare reimbursements.

Overall, 96% of the men in the surgery group, 66% of the CCH group, and 48% of the RestoreX group met the success benchmark.

After considering 10 years of follow-up, the RestoreX was considered the most cost-effective treatment option, with an average per-patient cost of $883. Surgery came in second at an average of $11,419 per patient, and CCH was the most expensive with an average per-patient cost of $33,628.  was the most

However, each per-patient cost was not necessarily what each patient paid individually for his treatment. The figures did not take insurance or manufacturers’ rebates into account. In fact, surgery cost more than CCH when patient out-of-pocket costs were determined.

Cost-effectiveness could also depend on complication rates (such as during and after surgery), patients’ goals, and patients’ treatment preferences. For some men with Peyronie’s, decreasing curvature isn’t always the first priority. Penile shortening, deformity, erectile dysfunction, pain, and other concerns may be more important. So while one treatment could be more cost-effective than another, it might not meet the patient’s goals. In addition, men may prefer one type of treatment over another, such as RestoreX over surgery.

“Ultimately, the preferred treatment option for patients is only partially driven by cost-effectiveness analyses and is dependent on patient preference and goals of therapy, provider experience, insurance coverage, and clinical considerations,” the authors concluded.

For more information about Peyronie’s disease and its treatment, please see these links:

Treating Peyronie’s Disease Without Surgery

About 20% of Men with Peyronie’s Disease Stop Injection Therapy Early

Peyronie’s Disease: RestoreX Traction Device Investigated With Injection Therapy

Peyronie’s Disease: Treatment Priorities May Guide Intralesional Injection Choice

Treating Peyronie’s Disease with Penile Stretching

Peyronie’s Disease Surgery: Can Penile Length be Preserved?

Resources

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Wymer, Kevin, MD, et al.

“Comparative Cost-effectiveness of Surgery, Collagenase Clostridium Histolyticum, and Penile Traction Therapy in Men with Peyronie’s Disease in an Era of Effective Clinical Treatment”

(Full-text article in press. Published online: July 24, 2019)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(19)31269-X/fulltext

News

Study Examines Sexual Benefits of Testosterone Therapy

Study Examines Sexual Benefits of Testosterone TherapyMen with very low testosterone may see improvements in sexual function with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), according to a recent review of medical studies.

Experts note that TRT may improve erections in men with very low testosterone levels. However, TRT is not a standard treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED).

After analyzing studies involving both animal and human subjects, researchers got a better understanding of how testosterone affects male sexuality and more specifics on how TRT may help.

Produced by two glands called the testes (testicles), testosterone is sometimes referred to as a “male” hormone because it plays such a large role in masculinity. (Women’s bodies make testosterone, too, but in smaller amounts.) Characteristics like facial hair, muscle mass, and a deeper voice are all driven by testosterone. The hormone is important for a man’s sex drive and erections, too.

Sometimes, men’s bodies don’t produce enough testosterone because of problems with the testes themselves or with areas of the brain that trigger testosterone production. This is called hypogonadism. Men in this situation may undergo testosterone replacement therapy in the form of gels, patches, and injections. In March 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a pill form of TRT for certain hypogonadal men.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

9-11 Responders Have Higher Rates of Prostate Cancer

9-11 Responders Have Higher Rates of Prostate CancerRates of prostate cancer are higher among first responders who handled operations at New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC) following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. And now, scientists think they might have an explanation.

Their research, published in June 2019 in Molecular Cancer Research, suggests that toxic dust inhaled at the WTC site could be to blame.

The dust contains “carcinogens and tumor-promoting agents,” that could be linked to DNA damage, cell proliferation, and chronic inflammation, the authors wrote.

The researchers compared two groups of prostate tissue samples. The first came from 15 men who had been exposed to WTC dust and developed prostate cancer. The second came from men who had prostate cancer, but had not been exposed to WTC dust.

When comparing the samples, the scientists discovered that the men exposed to WTC dust showed greater degrees of inflammation and genetic change that could contribute to cancer.

Next, the researchers worked with rats to learn more about WTC dust and prostate inflammation. After 30 days of dust exposure, the rats had genetic changes in their prostate tissue related to inflammation.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Premature Ejaculation: Do Topical Treatments Work?

Premature Ejaculation: Do Topical Treatments Work? Topical treatments for premature ejaculation (PE) can be effective, but formal medical research on such products is limited, researchers say in a new Sexual Medicine Reviews paper.

Men with PE climax before they want to and often feel that they can’t control the timing of their ejaculation. For some men, the problem occurs from their first sexual experience (lifelong PE). For others, it starts happening after a period of normal sexual functioning (acquired PE). Either way, PE can be distressing for couples who wish their sexual encounters could last a bit longer.

While the time frame considered bothersome varies from couple to couple, the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) considers PE to be ejaculation that occurs within one minute from vaginal penetration (lifelong PE) or within three minutes of penetration (acquired). According to the ISSM definition, the situation occurs most of the time and has a negative effect on a person’s wellbeing. (For example, a man with PE might avoid sexual relationships because he is so anxious about disappointing a partner.)

PE is one of the most common sexual complaints among men, but it’s sometimes challenging to treat. Currently, topical medications – ones that can be applied directly to the penis as creams or sprays – are the “first line” therapies, but they haven’t been widely researched by scientists.

To learn more, researchers analyzed medical studies and clinical experiences. Based on their review, they commented on several types of PE treatments:

  • EMLA cream. This cream, called “eutectic mixture of local anesthetics” or EMLA, combines lidocaine and prilocaine, two medications that cause numbness. In the studies, patients used the cream 10 to 30 minutes before having intercourse. Most of them saw improvements in their PE symptoms. To avoid transferring the cream to a partner, experts recommend washing the penis before sex and using a condom.
  • Lidocaine and prilocaine spray. This preparation comes in a metered dose, which means men should get the same amount of spray every time they use it. Studies have found that men using the spray took longer to climax compared to men who used a placebo spray.
  • Severance secret cream. The nine ingredients in this cream derive from natural products and include ginsenoside, eugenol, and bufosterioid. The cream is meant to provide numbness and might help with erections, too. In studies, men with PE had improvements and any side effects were mild.
  • Resiniferatoxin. This substance, which comes from cactus plants, is intended for men with lifelong PE. In studies, men were instructed to soak the tip of their penis in a solution for 30 minutes, then wash it before intercourse. The treatment was found to be more effective for uncircumcised men. Some men experienced pain, swelling, discomfort while urinating, and reddening of the skin.
  • Over-the-counter treatments. The researchers found no controlled studies of over-the-counter treatments in terms of safety of effectiveness.
  • Medicated latex condoms. No controlled trials of medicated condoms were found; instead, the researchers consulted online forums. The condoms discussed contained benzocaine, an anesthetic. Forum participants noted that the condoms were easy to use and worked quickly, but there were instances of decreased sensitivity. Some men developed contact dermatitis as well.

The study authors added that psychotherapy, paired with medical treatments, may also help men with PE.

Overall, they concluded that topical treatments “are an effective and well-tolerated option for treatment of PE.” However, they recommended more research on effectiveness and safety.

Resources

Sexual Medicine Reviews

Butcher, Michael J., DO, et al.

“Topical Agents for Premature Ejaculation: A Review”

(Full-text. Article in press. Published online: April 12, 2019)

https://www.smr.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-0521(19)30020-4/fulltext

News

About 20% of Men with Peyronie’s Disease Stop Injection Therapy Early

About 20% of Men with Peyronie’s Disease Stop Injection Therapy EarlyApproximately one in five men who start intralesional injection therapy to treat Peyronie’s disease don’t complete the recommended eight-injection protocol, according to new research in Sexual Medicine Reviews.

A review of 15 relevant studies found that discontinuation rates ranged from 13% to 56%, depending on the study design.

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques. Because the plaques make the penis less flexible, a distinct bend develops. For some men, the curve makes intercourse quite difficult. Experts aren’t sure what causes the condition, but some believe it stems from an injury to the penis that doesn’t heal properly.

Treatments for Peyronie’s disease vary depending on the symptoms. Surgery to straighten the penis is one option. But some men undergo a less invasive route – intralesional injections. This therapy involves injecting a substance called Clostridium histolyticum (CCh) directly into the plaques.

Injections can be effective, but the process takes time. Therapy usually includes eight injections given periodically over several months at a doctor’s office. Men may experience pain, itching, swelling, bruising, or bleeding. They might need to abstain from sex. The cost of treatment, if not covered by medical insurance, can be burdensome, too.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

FDA Approves Vyleesi for Women with HSDD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug called Vyleesi for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women.

HSDD is a lack of sexual desire that can’t be explained by other medical or psychiatric conditions and causes distress. In addition, HSDD is not related to relationship conflict or medication side effects. It can be frustrating for both women and their partners, who may have enjoyed a satisfying sexual relationship before.

Vyleesi (bremelanotide) has been approved for women with acquired, generalized HSDD. This means that the HSDD occurs after a period of normal sexual functioning and that it happens in all sexual situations, not just every once in a while or with specific partners.

Vyleesi works by activating cells called melanocortin receptors, but scientists aren’t sure why it helps with desire and distress. The drug is injected under the skin of the thigh or abdomen about 45 minutes before sex, although this time frame may be adjusted based on personal experience.

Women should not use Vyleesi more than once every 24 hours and should not take more than 8 doses per month.

To test Vyleesi’s effectiveness and safety, scientists conducted two clinical trials involving 1,247 premenopausal women with HSDD. About a quarter of the women who took Vyleesi had improvements in desire. For women who took a placebo, the rate was 17%.

About 35% of the women who took Vyleesi saw their distress levels go down as well, compared to 31% of the placebo group.

Both groups had similar rates of satisfying sexual events.

In the trials, nausea seemed to be the biggest side effect of Vyleesi, affecting about 40% of women. Some women reported flushing, injection site reactions, and headache. About 1% of the women developed darkened gums and parts of the skin, including their face and breasts.

Experts advise against the use of Vyleesi in these circumstances:

  • If women have uncontrolled high blood pressure, known heart disease, or a high risk for heart disease. Blood pressure may increase after taking Vyleesi, although it usually goes back to normal within 12 hours.
  • If women take naltrexone-containing medication by mouth. Vyleesi can decrease levels of naltrexone, a drug used to treat alcohol and opioid dependence.

Vyleesi should go on sale later this year, according to a New York Timesreport.

Another drug, Addyi (flibanserin), was approved for some women with HSDD in 2015. (See recent news about Addyi here.)

Resources

The New York Times

Thomas, Katie

“New Sex Drug for Women to Improve Low Libido Is Approved by the F.D.A.”

(June 21, 2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/health/vyleesi-libido-women.html

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

“FDA approves new treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women”

(Press release. June 21, 2019)

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-treatment-hypoactive-sexual-desire-disorder-premenopausal-women

News

FDA Warns Against Three “Sexual Enhancement” Supplements

FDA Warns Against Three “Sexual Enhancement” SupplementsThe manufacturer of a supplement called The Beast has issued a voluntary recall of the product after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered an erectile dysfunction (ED) drug among the ingredients.

The agency has advised consumers to stop using The Beast capsules and return them to the place of purchase.

The capsules are manufactured by Stiff Boy, LLC. and distributed online in the United States. They are touted to enhance sexual performance, but their safety and efficacy have not been proven by the FDA.

In laboratory tests, the FDA found that The Beast contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, a drug commonly prescribed to men with erectile dysfunction (ED).

Sildenafil is classified as a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE 5) inhibitor and is available only by prescription.

While PDE 5 inhibitors are an effective ED treatment for many men, they are not safe for all patients. Men who take nitrates for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease should never take PDE 5 inhibitors because drug interactions can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

As of now, no adverse events related to The Beast have been reported. The manufacturer has notified customers of the recall by email and is arranging for product returns. Customers may contact Stiff Boy, LLC by phone at (914) 281-4059 or email at info@youcanbeabeast.com with any questions.

Last month, the FDA advised consumers not to purchase or use two other “sexual enhancement” supplements for similar reasons:

  • Man Fuel Xtreme Edition was found to contain sildenafil and structurally similar compounds dithiodesmethyl carbodenafil and desmethyl carbodenafil.
  • Man Fuel Male Enhancement Shooter (Tropical Fruit Flavor) was found to contain tadalafil (the active ingredient in the ED drug Cialis, also a PDE5 inhibitor) and the structurally similar compound desmethyl carbodenafil.

Consumers who have had side effects from using any of these products should contact their healthcare provider. They may also make a report to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Reporting program.

Resources

Urology Place

“FDA Announces New Supplement Recall”

(June 6, 2019)

https://community.auanet.org/blogs/policy-brief/2019/06/05/fda-announces-new-supplement-recall

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

“Public Notification: Man Fuel Male Enhancement Shooter (Tropical Fruit Flavor) contains hidden drug ingredients”

(May 22, 2019)

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/public-notification-man-fuel-male-enhancement-shooter-tropical-fruit-flavor-contains-hidden-drug

“Public Notification: Man Fuel Xtreme Edition contains hidden drug ingredients”

(May 22, 2019)

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/public-notification-man-fuel-xtreme-edition-contains-hidden-drug-ingredients

“STIFF BOY LLC. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of THE BEAST Capsules Due to Presence of Undeclared Sildenafil”

(June 3, 2019)

 https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/stiff-boy-llc-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall-beast-capsules-due-presence-undeclared-sildenafil

News

Genetic Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Low Testosterone

Genetic Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Low TestosteroneMen with genetic vitamin D deficiency could be at greater risk for low testosterone, according to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The finding is based on a study of 4,254 Chinese men whose genetic information was available through an additional study.

Vitamin D is essential for skeletal health, as it absorbs calcium, one of the primary components of bones. Vitamin D also helps nerves, muscles, and the immune system work properly.

Testosterone is predominantly a male hormone, although women’s bodies produce it in smaller amounts. It’s responsible for most masculine traits, like facial hair, a deeper voice, and increased muscle mass. It also fuels a man’s libido and helps with erections.

Men with low testosterone often feel tired, moody, and less interested in sex. (Learn more about low testosterone here.)

Past research has linked vitamin D deficiency has been linked to low testosterone, although it’s unclear why. In January 2018, a study in the International Journal of Endocrinology suggested that taking vitamin D supplements might improve sexual health.

What makes the current study from China different is that the study subjects had genetic vitamin D deficiency. “Whether vitamin D supplementation can raise androgen [e.g., testosterone] levels merits further investigation in long-term randomized control trials,” the authors wrote.

They explained that their study included only Asian men. Men from other backgrounds might not have the same results.

Men who are concerned about their vitamin D levels, testosterone levels, or sexual health are encouraged to see their healthcare provider.

Check out these links for more information:

Low Testosterone Could Be Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D and Erectile Dysfunction

Resources

International Society for Sexual Medicine

“Vitamin D Important for Men’s Sexual Health, Study Finds”

(April 2, 2018)

https://www.issm.info/news/sex-health-headlines/vitamin-d-important-for-mens-sexual-health-study-finds/

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Chen, Chi, et al.

“Causal link between vitamin D and total testosterone in men: A mendelian randomization analysis”

(Abstract. Published: March 21, 2019)

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1210/jc.2018-01874/5393291?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Mayo Clinic

“Vitamin D”

(October 18, 2017)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-d/art-20363792

Medline Plus

“Vitamin D”

(Page last updated: May 9, 2019)

https://medlineplus.gov/vitamind.html

Medscape Medical News

Harrison, Pam

“Low Vitamin D Tied to Testosterone Dip in Healthy Men”

(May 27, 2015)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/845483

Renal and Urology News

Akirov, Amit, MD

“Genetically Determined Low Vitamin D Concentrations Associated With Low Testosterone Levels”

(April 24, 2019)

https://www.renalandurologynews.com/home/departments/mens-health-update/hypogonadism/genetically-determined-low-vitamin-d-concentrations-associated-with-low-testosterone-levels/

News

Not Having Sex? You’re Far From Alone

Not Having Sex? You’re Far From AloneTwenty-three percent of Americans had no sex at all in the past year, according to a recent Washington Postreport.

This percentage is the highest in 30 years, a 4% increase from 1989, thePost said.

The data comes from the General Social Survey (GSS), a project conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

Younger people in particular seem to be having less sex. In 18- to 29-year-olds, the percentage of people not having sex rose from 14% in 1989 to 23% in 2018.

The change was most dramatic for men aged 18 to 30. In 1989, roughly 15% of men reported having no sex during the previous year. In 2018, the rate was 28%. (The 2018 rate for women in that age group was 18%.)

What’s behind “the Great American Sex Drought”? It’s hard to say, exactly, but the Post offered some explanations:

  • People are aging. While many people enjoy sex well into their golden years, others struggle with sexual dysfunction and health conditions that can make sex difficult, like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Also, older people don’t always have partners.
  • Younger people aren’t always pairing off. Many people spend their twenties working on their careers and don’t marry or commit to long term relationships until they’re older.
  • Technology gets in the way. Emails, texts, videos, games, and other forms of electronic networking and entertainment can be distracting, taking couples’ minds off of sex and intimacy. (This 2014 blog post explains these trends more.)

The recent survey results aren’t the first time scientists have found reduced sexual frequency. In 2017, a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior reported on GSS survey results from 2010 to 2014. During that time, Americans had sex nine fewer times annually than they did from 1995 to 1999. In addition, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) had less sex than people the same age did during the 1930s.

Resources

Pew Research Center

Dimock, Michael

“Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins”

(January 17, 2019)

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/

SexHealthMatters

“Americans Are Having Less Sex Nowadays”

(April 25, 2017)

https://www.sexhealthmatters.org/news/americans-are-having-less-sex-nowadays

Today.com

Holohan, Meghan

“America is in a 'sex drought' and here's why it matters”

(April 12, 2019)

https://www.today.com/health/americans-are-having-less-sex-here-s-why-it-matters-t151817

Washington Post

Ingraham, Christopher

“The share of Americans not having sex has reached a record high”

(March 29, 2019)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/03/29/share-americans-not-having-sex-has-reached-record-high/?utm_term=.2ea0d1651b22

News

Peyronie’s Disease: RestoreX Traction Device Investigated With Injection Therapy

Peyronie’s Disease: RestoreX Traction Device Investigated With Injection TherapyMen with Peyronie’s disease may benefit from combining injection therapy with a particular traction therapy, experts report.

Peyronie’s disease involves the formation of plaques on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. These hardened areas make the penis less flexible, and erections take on a distinct curve.

The condition is often treated surgically, but men do have some non-surgical options. Some have medication injected directly into the plaques; a common one is called collagenase Clostridium histolyticum (CCH). Others use a traction device designed to straighten the curve and improve penile length. And some have a combination of both therapies.

Several traction devices have been developed for Peyronie’s disease treatment. But studies on their effectiveness have had mixed results, and men must use the devices for at least three to five hours a day.

Scientists created the RestoreX device with improvements in mind. It uses greater traction force, and men can use it for a shorter time period each day (generally 30 to 90 minutes).

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

After ADT, Testosterone Levels Don’t Always Recover

After ADT, Testosterone Levels Don’t Always RecoverMany men undergo androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) as part of their prostate cancer treatment. But even two years after ADT ends, patients may still struggle with low testosterone, according a recent report.

The term androgens refer to male hormones like testosterone. This hormone is important for men’s health, but it can also fuel the growth of prostate cancer cells. ADT reduces the amount of testosterone in a man’s body, cutting off the cancer’s power supply.

ADT is more common in men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer as well as men whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland.

Decreasing testosterone in this way has its drawbacks, however. Low testosterone is linked to lower bone density, leaving men at higher risk for osteoporosis. Men with low testosterone are also more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease.

There are sexual side effects as well, including diminished libido, orgasm difficulties, and erectile dysfunction.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Healthcare Providers Need to Consider Needs of Transgender Adolescents

Healthcare Providers Need to Consider Needs of Transgender AdolescentsMore adolescents are identifying as transgender, and doctors need to stay up to date on transgender healthcare needs, according to a recent review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

Gender dysphoria occurs when a person identifies as a gender other than one’s birth gender. For example, a child born male might feel more female and prefer clothes and activities that are typically associated with girls.

Often, people with gender dysphoria feel that they are born in the “wrong” gender. Many decide to live as their desired gender and physically transition by undergoing hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgery.

While the study authors acknowledged the need for shared decision making among doctors, families, and patients with gender dysphoria, they emphasized that adolescent’s wishes should come first.

“Ideally, the approach to youth with gender dysphoria revolves around collaborative decision-making among the youth, family or guardians, and care providers,” the authors wrote. “The youth’s voice is always paramount.”

The authors also commented on medications that suppress the onset of puberty.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Prostate Cancer Survivors and Partners Want Information on Sexual Recovery

Prostate Cancer Survivors and Partners Want Information on Sexual RecoveryAfter prostate cancer treatment, men and their partners often need guidance on the sexual aspects of recovery. What do they look for? A recent study investigated this question.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual problems faced by prostate cancer survivors, but it is not the only one. Low sex drive and arousal difficulties are possible. Some men find that their orgasms aren’t as intense as they were before cancer. Many struggle with anxiety and depression.

Partners feel the effects, too. Changes in intimacy, along with adjustments in relationship roles, can be a challenge.

Unfortunately, a man’s cancer care team might not address the sexual effects of treatment. In the study, researchers wanted to learn more about patients’ and partners’ experiences. They also wondered if patients and partners would be open to using online support for sexual problems.

They conducted a series of interviews and focus groups with 14 prostate cancer patients and 10 partners (8 women and 2 men). (Note: The partners were not necessarily in relationships with the patients.)

The patients’ average age was 62 years, with 6 to 36 months passing between their cancer treatment and the study. The partners’ average age was 63 years. Most of the participants had been in committed relationships for a long time – an average of 19 years for the patients and 39.5 years for the partners.

All of the participants filled out validated questionnaires about their sexual function.

After listening to the participants, the researchers identified several themes:

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Study Analyzes Sexual Dysfunction in Female Adult Entertainers

Almost a quarter of female adult entertainers have some degree of sexual dysfunction, according to a recent anonymous survey.

This rate is lower than the estimated 43% sexual dysfunction rate for women in the United States, the researchers noted.

Adult entertainment is a broad industry that includes the making of pornographic films. Actors in such films may be expected to perform sex acts as part of their professional activities. Until this study, it was unclear to what extent female adult entertainers experienced sexual problems.

In collaboration with the Free Speech Coalition and the North American Trade Association of the Adult Industry, researchers sent anonymous online surveys to a group of female adult entertainers. They compiled the results from 96 respondents.

The women’s ages ranged from 20 to 66, with an average of 34 years. They all had biological vaginas. In other words, they had not undergone male-to-female gender affirming surgery. About 15% of the women had gone through menopause.

In general, the women said their personal sex lives were more satisfying than their professional sex lives.

The survey included an assessment tool called the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), which is commonly used in studies of women’s sexual problems. Women whose FSFI scores are 26.55 points or less are considered to be at risk for sexual dysfunction. Just under a quarter of the women fell into this category, reporting less personal sexual satisfaction, less frequent sex, and fewer satisfying sexual encounters than women without sexual dysfunction.

“This trend suggests that engaging in professional sex work is not strongly associated with FSD [female sexual dysfunction] in these women; biopsychosocial factors, which drive FSD in the general population, may be driving FSD in entertainers as well,” the authors wrote.

“Given the explosive growth of pornography production and use in the Internet age, there is an imperative to study the impact of pornography, not only on those who consume it but also on the growing population of men and women in front of the camera,” they added.

The study was published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in April 2019.

Resources

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Dubin, Justin M. MD, et al.

“Evaluation of Indicators of Female Sexual Dysfunction in Adult Entertainers”

(Full-text. Published online: April 4, 2019)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(19)30425-4/fulltext

News

Penile Sensitivity Ratio Could Standardize Assessment

Penile Sensitivity Ratio Could Standardize AssessmentSensitivity in the penis can change with a man’s health. Assessing such changes can be a challenge, as different methods are used. However, researchers have come up with a suggested standardized parameter – the penile sensitivity ratio (PSR) – to make the process easier.

Using the PSR could help physicians determine where a man’s penile sensitivity stands in comparison to other men. It may also help doctors understand sensitivity changes that occur from treatments like surgery or chemotherapy.

Researchers developed the PSR through biothesiometry, an approach used to diagnose and monitor neuropathy (nerve damage). Their study involved 1,239 men with an average age of 53 years. All of the men were patients who were seen at the same clinic for sexual problems. Just over half the men had Peyronie’s disease. Others had diabetes or problems with ejaculation. About 20% said they felt less sensitivity in their penis.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Prostate Cancer Survivors Need Sexual “Support”

Prostate Cancer Survivors Need Sexual “Support”Most men experience sexual problems, especially erectile dysfunction (ED), after prostate cancer treatment. But for many, these problems aren’t addressed by doctors, according to a recent survey of men in the United Kingdom.

Prostate cancer treatments can affect a man’s sexual function in a number of ways. The prostate gland itself is surrounded by nerves that help make erections happen. Unfortunately, surgery and radiotherapy can damage these nerves, and ED follows.

Hormonal therapy can take a toll as well. Hormones called androgens spur the growth of prostate cancer cells. Limiting this fuel can slow down the cancer, but one hormone, testosterone, is essential for men’s sex drive and erections. When levels drop, sexual function is often compromised.

Almost 36,000 men with prostate cancer took part in the survey, answering questions about their experiences with urinary incontinence, sexual function, daily living, pain, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. The men’s median age was 71 years, and the survey was completed from 18 to 24 months following their cancer diagnosis.

Overall, 81% of the men reported having poor erections, which were most common in men with advanced disease. About 45% of the men said sexual problems caused them distress.

Hormonal treatment was associated with the highest rate of sexual dysfunction at 94%, followed by surgery (84%), and radiotherapy (79%).

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

FDA Approves Testosterone in Pill Form

FDA Approves Testosterone in Pill FormThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an oral form of testosterone therapy for some men with hypogonadism (low testosterone).

Jatenzo is a capsule, offering men an alternative to testosterone preparations that are injected or applied directly to the skin.

The drug is approved only for men whose ability to produce testosterone is caused by medical conditions like Klinefelter syndrome and pituitary gland tumors. It is not approved for men who experience natural declines in testosterone as they age.

“It’s important to emphasize that this drug should not, like other testosterone treatments, be used to treat older men with ‘age-related hypogonadism,’” said Dr. Hylton V. Joffe of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in a press release.

He added, “The benefits of testosterone therapy, including Jatenzo, have not been established for this use, and Jatenzo’s effects on raising blood pressure can increase the risks of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death in this population.”

In a four-month clinical trial of 166 men, 87% of the men taking Jatenzo saw their testosterone levels reach a normal range, the FDA reported.

The most commonly reported side effects were headache, increased red blood cell count, higher prostate-specific antigen levels, decreased HDL (“good”) cholesterol, high blood pressure, and nausea.

In accordance with FDA rules, Jatenzo comes with a boxed warning on its label. Boxed warnings let consumers know about potentially life-threatening risks associated with a certain drug.

There are concerns that Jatenzo could cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure, increasing the risk for heart attack, stroke, and deaths related to heart disease. Before prescribing Jatenzo, doctors should make sure a patient’s blood pressure is under control, the FDA said. Blood pressure should also be checked regularly.

Please see these links to learn more about hypogonadism and testosterone replacement therapy:

Low Testosterone

What Should Men Know About Topical Testosterone?

Self-Injectable Testosterone Now Available

Testosterone Therapy Impedes Diabetes Progress, Study Finds

Resources

FDA.gov

“FDA approves new oral testosterone capsule for treatment of men with certain forms of hypogonadism”

(New release. March 27, 2019)

https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm634585.htm

“A Guide to Drug Safety Terms at FDA”

(November 2012)

https://www.fda.gov/downloads/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm107976.pdf

Medscape Medical News

Brooks, Megan

“FDA OKs Jatenzo Oral Testosterone Replacement for Certain Forms of Hypogonadism”

(March 27, 2019)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/911014

News

Sex Health Drugs are Expensive. What Can Consumers Do?

Sex Health Drugs are Expensive. What Can Consumers Do? Are prescription drug prices too high in the United States?

If you said yes, you’re in good company. In a recent survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 79% of respondents said they thought drug costs were “unreasonable.” Just 17% thought prices were “reasonable.”

The 1,440 respondents answered the survey questions by telephone over a ten-day period in February. Forty-two percent of the respondents were age 65 or older.

Almost a quarter of the people who took prescription drugs said they had difficulty paying for them.

Affording medications for sex health issues can be particularly troublesome. Many drugs are not covered by insurance plans or Medicare, so some consumers pay out of pocket or just don’t take the drug at all because of costs.

In December 2018 a Journal of Sexual Medicine study reported that, depending on the type of pharmacy dispensing the medication, a prescription for sildenafil [the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Viagra] could cost anywhere from $48 to $500. (See more details about the study, along with price ranges for other ED drugs, here.)

Addyi, a drug for women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) had a price cut last year, from $800 to $400 for a monthly prescription, according to Bloomberg. The price was further lowered to $99 for women without insurance coverage, but even that cost could be beyond the reach of the average consumer.

While generics usually cost less, they can still be quite expensive.

Why do prescriptions cost so much? Drug manufacturers set their own prices and raise them regularly, experts say, because rules in the United States allow it. High demand can drive up the prices. Patent rules and complex negotiations between drug manufacturers and insurers are also involved with pricing.

Lowering drug costs may seem daunting, there are steps consumers can take to get keep more money their wallet:

  • Ask your doctor if there are non-drug alternatives. For example, men with erectile dysfunction might see their erections improve by managing related health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Ask about generics. These drugs are usually less expensive.
  • Ask your health insurance company whether certain drugs can be purchased with lower copays. You might also ask if you can save money by ordering prescriptions by mail or through a preferred pharmacy.
  • Contact the drug manufacturer and ask about special programs for consumers who cannot afford their medication. Some companies offer coupons and discounts. (Your pharmacist might have this information, too.)
  • Check with your state government to see if there are any pharmaceutical assistance programs available to you.

Resources

AARP.com

“5 Ways to Lower Drug Costs”

(April 21, 2017)

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2017/lower-rx-prices-drug-costs.html

“How to Pay Less for Drugs”

(April 21, 2017)

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2017/pay-less-drugs-rx.html

“Why Our Drugs Cost So Much”

(May 1, 2017)

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2017/rx-prescription-drug-pricing.html

Bloomberg.com

Koons, Cynthia

“Drugmaker Revives Female Libido Pill at Half the Price”

(June 11, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-11/drugmaker-revives-female-libido-pill-addyi-at-half-the-price

CNBC.com

Blumberg, Yoni

“Here’s why many prescription drugs in the US cost so much—and it’s not innovation or improvement”

(January 14, 2019)

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/10/why-prescription-drugs-in-the-us-cost-so-much.html

Health Affairs

Hernandez, Immaculada, et al.

“The Contribution Of New Product Entry Versus Existing Product Inflation In The Rising Costs Of Drugs”

(January 2019)

https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05147

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Mishra, Kirtishri, MD, et al.

“Variability in Prices for Erectile Dysfunction Medications—Are All Pharmacies the Same?”

(Full-text. December 2018)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(18)31262-1/fulltext

Kaiser Health News

Andrews, Michelle

“The High Cost Of Sex: Insurers Often Don’t Pay For Drugs To Treat Problems”

(February 19, 2019)

https://khn.org/news/the-high-cost-of-sex-insurers-often-dont-pay-for-drugs-to-treat-problems/

KFF.org

Kirzinger, Ashley, et al.

“KFF Health Tracking Poll – February 2019: Prescription Drugs”

(March 1, 2019)

https://www.kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kff-health-tracking-poll-february-2019-prescription-drugs/?utm_campaign=KFF-2019-February-Poll-High-Prescription-Drug-Prices&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8LzrhASGyJ3Vy-Nx24NHe8KZQ0ZHCfPfHaWaMtAHyNgIPHeTx0pD0pmtki-0Zs865Ek8xC5sRJYdwI4WdUe00240oLUA&_hsmi=2

“Poll: Nearly 1 in 4 Americans Taking Prescription Drugs Say It’s Difficult to Afford Their Medicines, including Larger Shares Among Those with Health Issues, with Low Incomes and Nearing Medicare Age”

(Press release. March 1, 2019)

https://www.kff.org/health-costs/press-release/poll-nearly-1-in-4-americans-taking-prescription-drugs-say-its-difficult-to-afford-medicines-including-larger-shares-with-low-incomes/

SexHealthMatters.org

“Does Medicare Cover Erectile Dysfunction Treatments?”

(October 8, 2018)

https://www.sexhealthmatters.org/sex-health-blog/does-medicare-cover-erectile-dysfunction-treatments

“For Erectile Dysfunction Drugs, It Pays to Shop Around”

https://www.sexhealthmatters.org/did-you-know/for-erectile-dysfunction-drugs-it-pays-to-shop-around

News

Testosterone Therapy Impedes Diabetes Progress, Study Finds

Testosterone Therapy Impedes Diabetes Progress, Study FindsTestosterone therapy might slow down the path to type 2 diabetes in some men, experts report in Diabetes Care.

The finding applies to men who have both prediabetes and low testosterone.

People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but these levels are not high enough for an official diabetes diagnosis. However, prediabetes increases a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke.

Prediabetes can be a wake-up call. People with prediabetes may be able to lower their risk for more serious health conditions by making healthier lifestyle choices.

Men with testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) are also at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

The study involved 316 men with prediabetes, low testosterone levels (less than or equal to 12.1 nmol/L), and symptoms of hypogonadism, which may include low sex drive, fatigue, moodiness, and decreased muscle mass.

Two hundred twenty-nine men received testosterone therapy; the remaining 87 men received no treatment. For eight years, the researchers assessed the men’s health twice annually.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Peyronie’s Disease: Treatment Priorities May Guide Intralesional Injection Choice

Peyronie’s Disease: Treatment Priorities May Guide Intralesional Injection ChoiceMen who opt to treat Peyronie’s disease through intralesional injections have several drug options available. Which should they choose? The answer may depend on their overall treatment priorities, according to a recent literature review in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

One of the more prominent symptoms of Peyronie’s disease is the formation of plaques – areas of hardened scar tissue – beneath the skin of the penis. Plaques make the penis less flexible, resulting in a distinct curve. Some men experience pain, and intercourse can become difficult. Erectile dysfunction is common as well.

During intralesional injections, a healthcare provider uses a needle to deliver medication directly into the plaques. Men may need several injections spread out over many weeks. (Other treatments for Peyronie’s disease include oral medications and, in more severe cases, surgery.)

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Sexual Problems Can Persist Two Years After Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis

Sexual Problems Can Persist Two Years After Colorectal Cancer DiagnosisCancer and its treatment can affect sexual health in profound ways, and for colorectal cancer survivors, these effects may continue for two years after diagnosis, according to new research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.  

In addition, sexual health concerns are not always discussed with healthcare providers, the study authors reported.

Colorectal cancer affects either the colon (the large intestine) or the rectum (the end of the colon). It may be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or with targeted therapy drugs.

Unfortunately, most men and about half of women with colorectal cancer have sexual difficulties. Patients often cope with incontinence, rectal discharge, and gas. They may have depression, anxiety, and body image concerns, too. For example, some patients have ostomy procedures, which reroute waste through an opening in the body (a stoma) into a special waste collection bag. Some feel self-conscious about their ostomy bag. (Learn more about sexual challenges specific to rectal cancer patients here.)

The study involved 487 colorectal cancer survivors (258 men and 229 women) in France. Their ages ranged from 20 to 84 years. Just under a quarter of the participants had been diagnosed with rectal cancer; the rest had had colon cancer.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Supplements, Heart Disease, and Erectile Dysfunction

Supplements, Heart Disease, and Erectile Dysfunction Studies show that vitamins and supplements don’t protect against heart disease, but people continue to buy them anyway. Could this have implications for sexual health? It might.

In May 2018, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a review of 179 medical studies on vitamin and mineral supplements used for preventing or treating heart disease. The research team focused on four particular supplements: multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C. But they found “no consistent benefit” for the prevention of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, or deaths from any cause. (Folic acid was found to decrease stroke risk, however.)

“Despite high use, there is no agreement on whether individual vitamins or minerals or combination supplements should be taken to prevent or treat heart disease,” the American College of Cardiology said in a press release.

“Current recommendations to adopt healthy diets that are heavy in plant-based foods from which these vitamins are derived naturally should be reinforced,” the organization explained.

Still, vitamins and supplements are popular. In 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that 52% of almost 38,000 study participants used some form of supplement in the 2011-2012 time period.

And last month, in an article for Medscape, Dr. Christopher Labos discussed the reasons why people may take vitamins and supplements even if they don’t have to. “Ultimately, it seems that many people use vitamins and supplements because they believe that it will make them healthier,” he wrote.

So what is the connection with sexual health? The answer is two-fold.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Treating Peyronie’s Disease with Penile Stretching

Treating Peyronie’s Disease with Penile Stretching Techniques that stretch the penis could be effective for treating Peyronie’s disease, according to a review of medical literature.

Peyronie’s disease occurs when scarring develops just below the skin of the penis. These areas form hardened plaques that limit flexibility. As a result, the penis bends. Sometimes, the curve is so severe that intercourse becomes extremely difficult or even impossible. Men may experience pain, penile shortening, and erectile dysfunction (ED).

There are two phases of Peyronie’s disease. First is the acute phase, when plaques form and the penis starts to bend. Erections may become painful. The chronic phase follows. At this point, the plaques and curve become stable and don’t typically worsen. Pain usually subsides during the chronic phase as well.

Treatment for Peyronie’s disease might include oral medications, injections of medicine directly into the plaques, and surgery. However, stretching therapies might be worth considering, scientists report.

They analyzed medical studies that focused on two stretching approaches:

  • Traction therapy. Men who go this route wear a special device that pulls the penis in the opposite direction of the curve, thus keeping it straight. The device is worn for several hours a day.

 

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Prostate Cancer is a “Couples Disease,” Scientists Say

Prostate Cancer is a “Couples Disease,” Scientists SayWhen a man has prostate cancer, his partner may feel the effects, too.

Those effects might not be direct, but they can greatly change a partner’s quality of life, according to a recent article in Urologic Nursing.

Prostate cancer is a “slow-growing disease,” the authors explained. Most men have a good prognosis, and treatment often focuses on a man’s quality of life in addition to the cancer itself.

Treatment can have side effects, however. Urinary incontinence and sexual problems frequently occur, and they may be permanent. Past research has analyzed patients’ views on their treatment. But for partners, little was known.

For the current study, researchers looked at 13 peer-reviewed, medical articles concerning prostate cancer and partners, focusing on papers that included comments from partners themselves.

Reading through the partner quotations, the researchers noticed some common threads (quotations from partners are in italics):

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Clomiphene Citrate Might Preserve Fertility in Men with Low Testosterone

Clomiphene Citrate Might Preserve Fertility in Men with Low TestosteroneMen with low testosterone might consider taking clomiphene citrate instead of undergoing testosterone replacement therapy, especially if they wish to father children later on, according to new research.

Clomiphene citrate therapy has been an off-label treatment for low testosterone, since the 1970s, the authors said.

Men’s testosterone levels gradually decline as they get older. This hormonal drop can leave men feeling tired and depressed. Their sex drive and erections might suffer, and their muscles could weaken.

Testosterone replacement therapy can boost a man’s levels and relieve his symptoms. It is usually administered through gels, patches, injections, or implanted pellets.

However, one problem with replacement therapy is its potential effects on fertility.

Typically, when a man’s body needs to make testosterone, the pituitary gland “notices” the deficit and releases two hormones – luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – to start testosterone production in the testes. These hormones also help with the development of sperm.

When a man has synthetic testosterone in his system, his pituitary gland doesn’t register any deficit, so LH and FSH aren’t sent to the testes and less sperm is produced.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

How Does Testicle Removal Affect a Man’s Sex Life?

How Does Testicle Removal Affect a Man’s Sex Life?A new study has examined sexual function and quality of life for survivors of bilateral testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer affects the testicles (or testes), two small glands located in the scrotum. The testes are responsible for producing sperm cells and male sex hormones like testosterone.

One way oncologists classify testicular cancer is by its location. Unilateral cancer affects just one testicle. Bilateral cancer affects both testicles, either at once or at separate times. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, about 2% of men with testicular cancer have the bilateral type.

Some men have one or both testicles surgically removed in a procedure called an orchiectomy. Men who have one remaining testicle usually have normal sexual function afterward, as the testicle can still make enough testosterone and sperm on its own. But if both testicles are removed, the lack of testosterone can lead to sexual problems like low desire and erectile dysfunction (ED). Men will also become infertile if both testicles are removed.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Peyronie’s Disease Surgery: Can Penile Length be Preserved?

Peyronie’s Disease Surgery: Can Penile Length be Preserved?Men with Peyronie’s disease should be aware of possible penile shortening after surgical treatment, experts say. But some procedures might be able to preserve length.

Peyronie’s disease is a benign condition characterized by areas of hardened scar tissue called plaques that form just beneath the skin of the penis. Typically, Peyronie’s disease goes through two phases. During the first (active) phase, men usually experience pain, and their penis starts to curve. In the second (stable) phase, pain tends to subside, but the curve remains, and some men have trouble with erections. Sometimes, the curve is so severe that intercourse becomes impossible.

Not surprisingly, Peyronie’s disease can lead to emotional distress and sexual dissatisfaction. Once the curve has stabilized, many men opt for surgical treatment. However, surgery has some drawbacks, including penile shortening.

This loss of length can worsen emotional distress. Men often associate their penis size with their masculinity. Having it reduced may make them feel like less of a man.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Hormone Kisspeptin Linked to Sexual Arousal

Hormone Kisspeptin Linked to Sexual ArousalA hormone called kisspeptin might eventually be useful in the treatment of pychosexual and mood disorders, new research suggests.

The hormone could be involved with sexual behaviors, but more research is needed, scientists say.

Produced in the brain by the hypothalamus, kisspeptin triggers a series of chemical processes that ultimately results in production of the sex hormones testosterone and oestradiol and, in turn, the production of sperm and egg cells. It is sometimes called the “master regulator of reproduction.” (The hormone was discovered in 1996 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the Hershey Company, which is known for its chocolate kisses candy.)

Researchers from Imperial College London wanted to know more about kisspeptin’s effects on the resting brain. “At rest” refers to times when the brain is not focused on a particular task.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Want to Increase Your Penis Size? There Could Be Complications

Want to Increase Your Penis Size? There Could Be Complications

Are you or your partner ready to go under the knife for a bigger penis? Would you undergo injections to make it wider? These are just two penis enlargement options men consider, and while some patients find success, experts warn that such procedures can be quite risky.

Penis size has been a concern for men since ancient times. The penis is a symbol of masculinity, and for some, this symbol isn’t as large as they believe it should be. Others worry about pleasing a sexual partner.

Men may also seek penis enlargement if they’ve had birth defects or injuries that impair the function of their penis.

Generally, penis enlargement is accomplished through surgery or injections. But the procedures don’t always go smoothly. Infection, scarring, sexual problems, and penile deformity are just some of the potential complications. Fat injected into the penis can be reabsorbed by the body, and filler materials can move around, leading to an uneven look.

A recent report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine describes the situations of eleven men who needed treatment after their penis enlargement procedure went awry.

1 2 3 Next » (page 1 of 3)

News

Vapers Beware: E-Liquids Could Contain Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

E-Liquids Could Contain Erectile Dysfunction DrugsThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned vapers (consumers of e-cigarettes) to avoid two particular e-liquids - E-Cialis HelloCig E-Liquid and E-Rimonabant HelloCig E-Liquid – because they contain undeclared erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs.

An e-liquid (sometimes called e-juice) is a substance used for vaping (smoking e-cigarettes). Usually, e-liquids contain nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals.

In a laboratory analysis, the FDA found sildenafil and tadalafil in the E-Cialis HelloCig E-Liquid product and sildenafil in E-Rimonabant HelloCig E-Liquid. Both products are sold by HelloCig Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.

Sildenafil and tadalafil are the active ingredients in Viagra and Cialis, respectively. These drugs are phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors and work by increasing blood flow to the penis to produce a firm erection. These medications are available only by prescription and should be used under a doctor’s care.

1 2 3 Next » (page 1 of 3)

News

Stigma, Body Image Concerns May Affect Sexuality in People With Focal Dystonia

Stigma, Body Image Concerns May Affect Sexuality in People With Focal DystoniaSexual dysfunction is a common problem for people with some forms of focal dystonia, scientists report.

Dystonia is a movement disorder that causes a person’s muscles to contract. A person with dystonia cannot control these movements. A focal dystonia occurs when the contraction happens in one part of the body, such as the neck, leg, or arm.

In a recent study, researchers investigated sexual problems in people with two specific types of dystonia: cervical dystonia, which affects the neck, and blepharospasm, which affects the eyelids.

One hundred ninety-four people participated in the study. Of these, 65 people had cervical dystonia and 54 had blepharospasm. The remaining 75 people served as a control group for comparison. They did not have dystonia but were similar in gender and age.

Each participant filled out a sexual health assessment questionnaire called the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale. This tool helps clinicians evaluate sexual function in terms of sex drive, sexual arousal, vaginal lubrication or erections, ability to reach orgasm, and satisfaction with orgasm. The study subjects were also evaluated for depression.

The participants’ average age was about 60 years, and 61% of them were male.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Study Examines Sexuality in People with Dementia

Study Examines Sexuality in People with DementiaPeople with dementia may still be sexually active, especially if they have a partner, experts report in a new study.

With the number of dementia patients expected to rise over the next few decades, the findings may help doctors and caregivers who work with this population.

The study, published in October 2018 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society focused on 3,196 adults (1,682 women and 1,514 men) who were participants in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a national study of older adults conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago.

All of the participants lived in their homes and were not residents of skilled nursing facilities. They ranged in age from 62 and 91, with an average age of 72.

About 55% of the participants (1,752 people) had normal cognitive function. Twenty-seven percent (865 people) had mild cognitive impairment – problems with memory that are noticeable but do not interfere with daily life. The rest of the patients (579 people) had dementia – memory loss and cognitive difficulties that prevent them from functioning normally. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but there are several other types.

(Note: The NSHAP excluded people who were cognitively unable to participate or give consent. The authors noted that in their study sample, people with dementia were likely to be at an earlier stage of the disease.)

In the overall group, most people felt positively about sex, but weren’t having sex as much as they would like.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Breast Cancer Treatment Could Preserve Ovarian Function

Breast Cancer Treatment Could Preserve Ovarian FunctionOvarian function could be preserved for some women with breast cancer, reducing their chances of undergoing early menopause and potentially increasing their chances of becoming pregnant, according to the results of the Prevention of Early Menopause Study (POEMS).

Researchers have found that adding injections of a drug called goserelin to standard chemotherapy lowered the risk of ovarian failure in women with hormone-receptor negative breast cancer.

Breast cancer is classified by its hormone receptor status. Found in cancer cells, receptors are proteins that attach to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Unfortunately, these hormones spur the growth of more cancer cells. Women with hormone-receptor positive breast cancer might take hormone therapy drugs to control the cancer.

Not all breast cancers have hormone receptors, however. Women with hormone-receptor negative breast cancer would not take hormone therapy drugs. This type of cancer is more common in women who have not gone through menopause yet.

Chemotherapy, a common breast cancer treatment, can damage the ovaries, leading to early menopause. At this point, women can no longer become pregnant and may develop sexual problems, such as vaginal dryness.

In the POEMS, researchers wanted to see whether early menopause could be avoided in women with hormone-receptor negative breast cancer.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

What’s Really in Your Dietary Supplement?

What’s Really in Your Dietary Supplement?It’s not uncommon for dietary supplements to contain hidden ingredients, and a new report emphasizes this public health concern.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dietary supplements are defined “as products taken by mouth that contain a ‘dietary ingredient.’ Dietary ingredients include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs or botanicals, as well as other substances that can be used to supplement the diet.” Supplements are not intended to treat medical conditions.

Supplements can be found in pill and liquid forms. Energy bars are another type of dietary supplement. In the United States, federal law dictates that such products be labeled as dietary supplements, and the FDA monitors any adverse events related to the products. However, FDA approval is not required for the production and selling of supplements.

 “As its resources permit, FDA also reviews product labels and other product information, such as package inserts, accompanying literature, and Internet promotion,” the FDA explains on its website.

1 2 3 Next » (page 1 of 3)

News

Man Develops Red-Tinted Vision After Sildenafil Overdose

Man Develops Red-Tinted Vision After Sildenafil Overdose A 31-year-old man experienced long-term vision damage after taking an exceedingly high dose of the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug sildenafil citrate, according to a recent case study in Retinal Cases & Brief Reports.

Sildenafil citrate is the active ingredient in Viagra. It is commonly prescribed for men who cannot get an erection firm enough for sex, but men with pulmonary hypertension may also take it. (Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the lungs.)

Unfortunately, experts don’t know exactly how much sildenafil the man took, but they do know it was over 50 mg.

The man purchased the drug in a liquid form from an online retailer. The instructions recommended a dose of 50 mg, but the man said he took more than that.

Not long after, he started having trouble with his color vision, seeing things with a red tint. The problem happened with both of his eyes.

While vision problems can be a side effect of sildenafil citrate, they usually get better within 24 hours.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

FDA Approves HPV Vaccine For Adults

FDA Approves HPV Vaccine For AdultsThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 in adults aged 27 to 45.

The vaccine was previously approved for both males and females between 9 and 26. The new approval extends this target age group.

HPV stands for human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted infection. There are over 150 types of HPV, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that 80% of people will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives. Every year, about 14 million Americans become infected.

Most of the time, HPV infections clear up on their own without causing any symptoms. But certain types of HPV can lead to genital warts and cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. Some head and neck cancers care caused by HPV as well.

Gardasil 9 protects against nine types of HPV, as long as a person has not been exposed to any of those types before. For this reason, experts recommend vaccination before a person becomes sexually active – before exposure to any HPV type.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Could Erectile Dysfunction Be Genetic?

Could Erectile Dysfunction Be Genetic? If a man’s father or grandfather has erectile dysfunction (ED), could the man be at higher risk? Scientists might be closer to an answer.

ED – an inability to get or keep an firm erection – affects millions of men around the world and becomes more common as men get older. The condition is often related to other health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, or multiple sclerosis. But past research on twins has suggested that about a third of ED cases are genetic.

Scientists think they have found a specific genetic location (called the genetic locus) in the human DNA that affects erections. They published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America last month.

The location is near the SIM1 gene, which is thought to be related to obesity.

The researchers examined data from two genome-wide association studies. The first study used genetic information from the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging cohort, a division of the Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health.

This project involved 36,648 men with ED who had completed an ED survey or been treated for ED.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

One in Three Male Childhood Cancer Survivors Has Erectile Dysfunction, Study Finds

One in Three Male Childhood Cancer Survivors Has Erectile Dysfunction, Study FindsAlmost 30% of male childhood cancer survivors develop erectile dysfunction (ED) as adults, according to a research letter published last month in JAMA Oncology.

After examining sexual health data from 956 men, researchers determined that 29% had ED.

ED is an inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. It can have a variety of causes, both physical and psychological. (Learn more about ED and its treatment here.)

Treatment for childhood cancer, such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, can affect a patient’s sexual function later on.

For example, surgery and radiation may affect glands responsible for the production of testosterone, an important hormone for male sexuality. And damage to pelvic nerves and blood vessels in the penis might be unavoidable during surgery.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Electrical Nerve Stimulation Might Help Women with Sexual Problems

Electrical Nerve Stimulation Might Help Women with Sexual ProblemsPlacing electrodes on the ankle may not sound like it would help a woman’s sexual function, but scientists say it’s a path worth pursuing.

Between 40% and 45% of women have some degree of sexual dysfunction, such as poor lubrication, low desire, or trouble reaching orgasm. Unfortunately, these symptoms aren’t always easy to treat.

Researchers from the University of Michigan were intrigued to learn that a process called neuromodulation – stimulating certain nerves through electrodes – could benefit women with bladder problems. The stimulation helps nerve cells work together for better bladder control.

The nervous system is a complex network. Nerves associated with pelvic organs branch out from the spinal cord, and some appear to overlap with nerves in the foot. This is why the ankle became an area of interest.

Some women who underwent neuromodulation for bladder issues reported sexual improvements. The research team wondered whether this would be the case for women without bladder problems.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Counseling Cancer Survivors With Vaginal Pain

Counseling Cancer Survivors With Vaginal PainNurses are encouraged to consider a counseling model when treating female cancer survivors with sexual pain, according to a paper published last year in Nursing2017.

The model is called the Minimizing Pain with Vaginal Penetration Model (MPVP). As the name suggests, it targets pain with penetration. It also addresses other effects of sexual pain, such as low desire.

The medical term for painful intercourse is dyspareunia. In cancer survivors, it is linked to three specific situations:

Vaginal Dryness

Typically, when a woman becomes sexually aroused, her vagina lubricates to prepare for penetration and make it more comfortable. But some cancer treatments disrupt this process. For example, surgical removal of the ovaries or chemotherapy might reduce a woman’s levels of estrogen, a hormone that is essential for vaginal health. Other treatments, like radiation and medications, can lead to vaginal dryness, too.

Nurses should counsel women about vaginal lubricants and moisturizers, the authors explained. Both products, which are available over the counter, can help with vaginal dryness, but they are used in different ways. Lubricants are applied as needed just before sex, but moisturizers are used every few days regardless of whether a woman is sexually active.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Fewer Biological Boys Referred to Gender Identity Clinic

Fewer Biological Boys Referred to Gender Identity ClinicThe number of biological boys referred to the world’s largest gender identity clinic has dropped over the years, experts report.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, focused on children with gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria refers to situations in which people feel uncomfortable or unhappy with their biological sex at birth and identify with another gender. For example, a biological boy might feel that he is meant to be a girl and prefer toys or clothes that are traditionally considered feminine. Similarly, a biological girl might wish she was a boy and choose more masculine toys and clothes.

Children who show tendencies toward gender dysphoria are usually referred to a gender identity clinic, where they receive counseling and, if they decide to, hormone therapy to either suppress puberty (allowing them more time to think about their path forward) or start their transition from one sex to another. When they get older, they might undergo gender-affirming surgery.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Study: Antidepressant Lurasidone Has Fewer Sexual Side Effects

Study: Antidepressant Lurasidone Has Fewer Sexual Side EffectsPeople with a certain form of depression might benefit from a drug called lurasidone, which has fewer sexual side effects than other depression medications, according to a recent clinical trial.

Depression is linked several sexual difficulties, including low desire, poor arousal, and trouble reaching orgasm. Experts estimate that up to 85% of people with untreated depression experience some degree of sexual dysfunction.

Unfortunately, medications used to treat depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have sexual side effects that can make things worse. Many people stop taking their medicine because of these side effects.

The drug lurasidone is classified as an atypical antipsychotic drug. It is used to treat mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.

The clinical trial focused on a group of 209 people who had major depressive disorder, which can be severe. In addition to depression, the participants had subthreshold hypomanic symptoms. (Sometimes, doctors refer to these symptoms as “mixed features.”) This means that they had symptoms of mania, such as distractedness, little need for sleep, or being more talkative. However, these manic symptoms were not severe enough to interfere with the participants’ everyday lives.

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

For Women, Placebo Effect Might Explain Improvement in Sexual Function

For Women, Placebo Effect Might Explain Improvement in Sexual Function Treatments for female sexual dysfunction are “minimally superior to placebo,” according to new research in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Researchers reached this conclusion after analyzing eight medical studies on treatments for women’s sexual difficulties, including hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and problems with arousal, sexual pain, and orgasm.

Flibanserin, ospemifene, and intravaginal prasterone were some of the treatments used.

The analysis was sparked by previous research showing a “marked” placebo effect in clinical trials of treatments for women’s sexual dysfunction.

What is a placebo effect?

When researchers test new medications or therapies, a placebo group is a key component of the study. Some of the study participants take the drug or undergo the therapy. But the rest take a placebo, such as sugar pill, instead of the tested treatment. Participants don’t know whether they are in the treatment group or the placebo group. In this way, researchers can get a better idea of whether outcomes (such as side effects or improvement of symptoms) are likely to be from the drug or from other factors.

Sometimes, people in placebo groups respond in a similar way as those in the treatment group. This is called aplacebo effect. For example, let’s imagine that Maria and Laura are taking part in a trial for a pain medication. Maria takes the drug and feels better. Laura takes the drug and feels better, too. Does that mean the drug has no effect? Not necessarily.

The force behind placebo effect is difficult to explain, but some experts think a patient’s expectations are involved. Laura, knowing that she is participating a study of pain medication, might see improvements because she expects to. 

1 2 Next » (page 1 of 2)

News

Conversations About Sexuality and Fertility Should Start Early, Experts Say

Conversations About Sexuality and Fertility Should Start Early, Experts SaySometimes, children develop medical conditions that could impair their sexual function and fertility as adults. For example, some forms of cancer or disorders of sex development can have a dramatic impact on reproductive health. And eventually, patients and their parents need to be informed.

However, these discussions don’t always occur, or if they do, the information might be incomplete or inconsistent. Some doctors aren’t fully trained in these areas, and patients and families are often confused and anxious. Adolescents might be reluctant to date and have serious relationships because they are unsure about sexuality.

How should doctors and parents approach these conversations? What should children know about their situations? And when should they be told? Recently, the journal Pediatrics addressed some of these questions in a clinical report.

1 2 3 Next » (page 1 of 3)