Male Sexual Health & Dysfunction
Male Sexual Health, Dysfunction, Diagnosis and Treatments
Male sexual health difficulties are not uncommon and in most cases, can be fully resolved through sexual medicine. A complete sexual cycle is made up of four parts: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. To experience the maximum satisfaction from sexual activity or to regain functionality with the purposes of growing your family, each of the four stages should be working properly. With the right diagnosis and treatment, male sexual health can be restored.
Many patients delay making appointments about male sexual dysfunction or health. Patients are advised to seek help, even if a bit uncomfortable with the topic. An appointment brings with it the possibility to vastly improve your relationship, sex life and overall happiness. Our San Diego office in Southern California is always open for consultations with patients
Virtually every male can regain sexual function if he so chooses. The silent suffering experienced by over 50% of males can come to an end with a wide spectrum of treatments from well-known means like Viagra to not so commonly known ones like penile implants.
A directed history and physical exam can identify the causes of sexual dysfunction as well as other health risks. The evaluation may include:
- Initial Testing
- Blood Studies
- Assessment of Penile Blood Flow
Advanced testing is sometimes required for specific initial findings such as blocked blood vessels in the penis. Dr. Bastuba offers a complete evaluation of sexual dysfunction and provides comprehensive treatment options.
Penile Duplex Doppler Ultrasound
Often used as a screening tool, the Penile Duplex Doppler Ultrasound provides important information about what's going on inside the penis. This information is often invaluable in helping couples to understand the cause of erectile dysfunction and in accepting that it is indeed a physical problem. This acceptance often begins an important aspect of the healing process allowing the couple to start to move forward to a brighter future.
Oral Agents (e.g. Viagra, Levitra, Cialis)
The choice between the various available treatment options involves interaction between the physician and patient, and is optimized when the patient's partner is also included. Patients are often given an oral agent to try during evaluation. Response to an oral agent such as Viagra does not work for everyone, but if you have tried it before without success there may still be hope. Incomplete training on the proper use of this drug is often a cause of perceived failure. Up to 50% of Viagra failures will actually be successful with full training in its correct use. If a treatment doesn't work, sometimes patients feel a sense of failure - but it is not the patient, it is the treatment. Keep trying. The most important component of success in the treatment of erectile dysfunction is interest. With interest, virtually every patient can attain success.
Topical agents are substances applied to the surface of the penis with the aim of entering it and creating an erection. Past attempts produced only modest results. New agents utilizing improved delivery systems are undergoing testing to gain FDA approval. These medication delivery systems are not currently FDA approved and are therefore not commercially available. The industry is rapidly advancing, therefore if you have interest in topical agents ask us about them at your consultation for the latest developments.
The Medicated Urethral System for Erection (MUSE) is FDA approved. With this therapy, a soft pellet of a substance is placed into the tip of the penis with a plastic applicator. The substance causes the channels that bring blood into the penis to open up, initiating an erection. The combination of MUSE and a tourniquet applied to the base of the penis results in an erection adequate for intercourse in a number of patients.
Penile devices are safe, effective and FDA approved. Many motivated couples successfully use them and they function regardless of the cause of the erectile dysfunction. The process involves a clear plastic cylinder being placed snugly over the penis. A vacuum is then created which draws blood into the penis. A tourniquet placed at the base of the penis traps blood within it and the cylinder is then removed. It is strongly recommended that patients take advantage of the free training to optimize function and minimize frustration.
An inflatable penile implant remains the gold standard form of therapy for erectile dysfunction when other options don't meet a couple's needs. These devices are completely concealed within the body and recapture a natural erection by allowing full hardness and softness at any time, for as long as desired. Following a short healing process, couples can begin to experience the return of natural function and intimacy. Various studies have shown inflatable penile implants to have the highest long-term satisfaction rate of any form of therapy (~95%). The devices are not subject to rejection and look and feel quite natural. The device is placed through a small opening at the base of the penis and can be done in an outpatient setting. Penile implants are completely concealed within the body and there is no external sign that one is present.
Penile Microvascular Arterial Bypass Surgery (PMABS)
There is a select group of young patients in which initial testing suggests blocked arteries. Heart bypass surgery can save lives by redirecting the flow of blood around blocked heart arteries. PMABS can save a loved one's life by redirecting blood-flow around blocked penile arteries. Typically these patient may have had a direct trauma to the groin or penis. Sometimes these injuries involve avid bicyclists. Definitive testing for blood flow issues is required in these patients and creates a roadmap for care. Dynamic Infusion Cavernosometry and Cavernosography (DICC) is the study of choice. Dr. Bastuba heads up the only team in this region that can direct and interpret the sophisticated studies required and render the microsurgical repair (PMABS), which can lead to the return of spontaneous erections.
Would you like to talk to somebody who resolved their sexual dysfunction problems? Read about our 'Straight Talk' patient educator program. Or test your knowledge of male sexual health with our online male sexual dysfunction test.