Men's Health

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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Men's Health: Essential Screening Tests Every Man Needs

Testosterone

Sexual health and function are important parts of a healthy lifestyle. The ability to participate in sexual intercourse depends upon the brain, hormones, nerves, and blood vessels that supply the penis. A variety of mechanisms and feedback loops need to work for an erection to occur. There are numerous causes of erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) including:

Impotence is also a complication of prostate cancer treatment, which can include surgery and radiation.

Smoking is an independent risk factor for developing impotence.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction depends upon the cause but may include medications (for example, tadalafil [Cialis], sildenafil [Viagra], and vardenafil [Levitra, Staxyn], testosterone replacement therapy and, for some men, prosthetic devices surgically inserted into the penis.

Testosterone levels that are required for puberty, muscle, and bone development in young adulthood gradually decrease over a man's lifetime (sometimes referred to as Low T). Testosterone levels need to be at a certain level to maintain body and brain function. Numerous theories exist about the use of testosterone therapy routinely in older men, but these theories have not been widely accepted. There are however, a few health care practitioners that use testosterone to "prevent aging."

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/17/2016

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