Archive for the ‘Mens’ Health’ category

Clock is ticking for men too…

June 28th, 2009

A new study suggests that chasing the biological clock isn’t just a concern for women. According to the report published in PLoS Medicine, the older a father, the more likely his child is to score lower on tests. Conversely, they found that older mothers tended to have children who scored higher on thinking skills tests.

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This finding had been confirmed by earlier studies, and it is thought that it may be due to the nurturing environment older mothers are more able to provide, although children of older fathers don’t reap the same benefit.

The study looked at more than 33,000 children born between 1959 and 1965, and their results on cognitive test administered at ages 8 months , 4 years and 7 years. The test evaluated the children’s ability to think and reason; measuring skills such as the ability to concentrate, learn, speak, read, do arithmetic, memorize and motor skills such as coordination.

Mens’ Health: Viagra wonders?

June 9th, 2009

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It has been 10 years since a blue pill containing sildenafil citrate triggered off a revolution in the bedroom. But, was it really a boon or has it simply opened another Pandora’s Box?

They say that love is the answer, but only if you’re ready for the right question. Until then, it is sex that otherwise raises some pretty interesting questions. This is especially so for medical professionals over the years – where looking after the ill and to make them better was our sole aim. Then came Viagra, which changed the medical landscape in a staggering manner. It was a cure that was charged with controversy because by treating the underlying ailment, it also meant a tremendous lifestyle change fraught with moral implications.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is an even more outrageous subject. Even in Western society, this has always been a skeleton hidden in the very back of the closet for a lot of men. Who can bring themselves to admit that they have a problem with their manhood?

Erectile dysfunction as its name suggests is the inability to develop or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual achievement. Causes range from mild cardiovascular disease and diabetes, neurological problems, hormonal insufficiencies such as hypogonadism and drug side effects.

However, there are also significant studies that prove psychological and relational issues also directly contribute to erectile dysfunction. Psychological impotence happens when an erection or penetration fails due to emotional issues rather than physical impossibilities.

Accidental pill

Known as the accidental pill, Viagra or sildenafil citrate was discovered by a group of chemists at Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical giant. Initial research was to find a treatment for hypertension ( high blood pressure ) and angina pectoris ( severe chest pain or heart disease ).

However, the end result was this little blue pill which was found to bring about a rather happy side effect instead; creating mile penile erections.

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Realizing the potential of such a drug, the pill was launched as an answer for erectile dysfunction and not angina. The drug was patented in 1996 and approved for administration later in 1998. And so, Viagra became the first oral treatment approved to treat erectile dysfunction.

 

Since then, Viagra has become such a phenomenon that its brand name is the second most recognizable name worldwide, after the drink Coca Cola. Globally, six tablets of this little blue pill are prescribed every minute. It’s everywhere! People want it, and perhaps, people do need it.

Viagra and drugs similar to it, for example Cialis and Levitra, may be prescription drugs but the availability and convenience of the cyber-world has made it available to basically every person alive.

Facts and myths

But seriously, do pills really work? Abuse comes when there’s misuse, so let’s look at the facts and fiction behind this potent pill.

· Viagra for ED and not just D ( Desire )

Viagra works to correct and assist in erections. It is not recreational drug, nor a party drug. Whatever one may want to call it, Viagra is, in very layman terms, medication. So, please treat it as such.

· Viagra was, is and will never be, an immortality pill

For those who think that it’s a fountain of youth, delude yourself no more. Viagra will not make a person 21 again. If you’re a normal 45-year old man, and you can attain an erection and have intercourse without any chemical aid, there’s no reason to take this pill. Please don’t confuse this medication with aphrodisiacs. It is not a magic wand, magic seed or magic pill.

· Viagra is no Energizer bunny

An instant erection after taking Viagra does not happen. The drug allows an erection to result following stimulation. No sexual stimulation equals no erection. Plus, Viagra also does not leave a person with an erection that does not go away. Once ejaculation occurs, the person goes back to his intended state of balance.

· Viagra is not addictive

Just as a person shouldn’t be addicted to paracetamol, you shouldn’t be addicted to Viagra. Some people who have been addicted to the results of Viagra have confused the addiction. But, let me stress that under no circumstances does Viagra cause a ‘natural’ addiction unless it’s self-induced.

Physical effect

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Scientifically, sildenafil citrate works to release a certain amount of nitric oxide in the corpus area of the penis. This in turn results in an increased level of cyclic guanosine monophosphate which leads to a relaxation of the muscle, increase inflow of blood and erection of the penis.

Most importantly, sildenafil acts a competitive binding agent of PDE5 in the corpus cavernosum, resulting in more cyclic guanosine monophosphate and better erections. Medical terms aside, sexual stimulation remains an important part in the achievement of true satisfaction.

Still, Viagra has also been found to be effective in treating cases of the rare disease pulmonary arterial hypertension. The pill will acts to relax the arterial resistance and pressure, which reduces the workload and pressure of the right ventricle of the heart – ultimately improving symptoms of right-sided heart failure.

On a lighter and not quite related note, the little blue pill has also been known to prevent flowers from wilting. So yes, pop a tablet in that vase of roses and you’ll see the flowers lasting longer.

Side effects of sildenafil include reports of headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nasal congestion and impaired vision including photophobia and blurred vision. Some users have also complained of a blue tinge in vision, blurriness and loss of peripheral vision.

While certain conservative group are constantly pointing out the social and cultural implications of this drug, it remains a fact that Viagra is already the success it is today. Taken appropriately, Viagra is certain to bring about much improvements and enjoyment in the bedroom.

As with all drugs and even decisions in life, there are both sides to the coin. So, despite the rants of opposition groups, Viagra, in the hearts of pharmaceutical chemists and doctors alike, was never meant to delude or destroy, but to recreate that spark that might have been lost so long in the bedroom.

Ouch....

Ouch....

Should all males be circumsized?

April 27th, 2009

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Some call it genital mutilation. Others, a lifesaving STD stopper ( for men and women ). Whether or not you still have your foreskin, you have a stake in the battle over circumcision. Circumsition, of course is the surgical removal of the penile foreskin from the glans – the fleshy crown of the penis. It is one of the most commonly performed procedures in American hospitals, and except abortion, it may be the most controversial. The procedure has long been known to reduce the spread of a few rare, serious diseases and to prevent a few annoying, uncomfortable ones. But in 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) determined that the risk of surgical complications, though small, nearly canceled out the banefits. They neither discouraged nor recommended the precedure. Since then, 16 states have eliminated. Medicaid coverage for nearly all circumsicions.

But two years ago, a consortium of experts convened by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS ( the United Nations’ HIV program ) announced that circumsicion should indeed “be part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package.” It did so because three separate, meticulous medical trials in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, involving more than 10,000 men, had proved that circumsicion should reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV infection by approximately 60 percent. This discovery is one that, over the next two decades, could save three million lives in Africa alone.

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Now, no one believes that the potential health benefits for American males are nearly as great or as urgent as they are for men in Africa, where HIV is spread mostly through heterosexual intercourse. Still, similar study results are turning up on this continent, as well. A team of researchers from the CDC, John Hopkins and the Baltimore health department examined the records of more than 1,000 African American males – all heterosexual – who are tested positive for HIV at Maryland clinics. Uncircumsized men were 50 percent more likely to be infected. These result have caused many U.S. doctors to reconsider their positions.

Pain, of course, is the first question that comes to mind whenever the word ‘cut’ and ‘penis’ are used in the same sentence. Ask Marilyn Fayre Milos about pain or better yet don’t. The founder of the National Organizations of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC) first witnessed the procedure in 1979 while training for her nurse’s degree. The unlucky baby, she later wrote, was “strapped spread eagle to a plastic board… struggling against his restraints-tugging, whimmpering and then crying helplessly” while awaiting the knife. Then as doctor began cutting into the penis with a scalpel, ” the baby began to gasp and choked, breathless from his shril continuous screams….” But I think that was in 1979. From what I see back in 2005 in a nursery, it doesn’t look that painful like what had been described.

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Circumsized or not, every man owes his foreskin in a great debt of gratitude for its service in the womb. In the 3rd month of gestation, when the nascent penis begins to bloom, the foreskin forms a little protective blanket under which the rest of the penis can safely grow. But once you and your penis are fully baked, the advantage of a foreskin is not clear. Some scientists speculate that it protected the prehistoric penis as it swung, naked, through thick forest and over tall grasses; and unless you take your penis on that sort of excursion, they argue, you don’t need a foreskin.

That perceived a uselessness may be one reason circumsicion has such a long and varied history. Archeological evidence suggests that the practice may be at least 6,000 years old. Muslims and Jews, along with the aborigines of Australia, the Aztecs and the Mayans of this hemisphere and many other cultures all independently adopted this squirm-inducing practice and it seems unlikely they’d have done so unless they were convinced that it conferred some earthly benefit.

Here in the United States, foreskins were left mostly undisturbed until second half of the 19th century. But it wasn’t until the North Africa campaign of World War II that American doctors turned into enthusiastic circumsicers. More than 145,000 American GIs based there slacked off on their cleaning regimens and came down with foreskin related ouches chiefly balanoposthitis (inflammation of the foreskin and glans), phimosis ( a foreskin too tight to retract over the glans) and paraphimosis (a foreskin stuck in the retracted position). After the war, doctors advanced a theory that circumcision reduces rate of cervical cancer- a hypothesis now confirmed by scientific research.

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Circumcision became routine, but anaesthesia wasn’t part of the plan. That, more than any other factor, may have provoked the fiery anti-circumcision movement that casts its long shadow over the Internet.

So what’s the verdict? Should all males be circumcised? That is for an individual to decide. But whatever you  decide for you and yours, do not let anyone tell you circumcision can’t slow the march of HIV. At a time when billions of American tax dollars are pouring into Africa to fight AIDS, it is extremely important that money is spent on methods that have been proved to help. For millions of men, circumcision could be a matter of life and death.

every safety has its price

every safety has its price