Healthy Sex Life for Men
Enjoy a healthier, safer sex life with
these simple suggestions.
Practice Safe Sex
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 20 million Americans are infected with common sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs) each year. The
more sexual activity you have, the higher
the risk of contracting one or more of these diseases. Use condoms to guard against herpes, chlamydia,
gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and other STDs.
Condoms also protect against unintended
Doctors differ on the guidance they give male patients when
it comes to STD screenings. Most do not recommend an annual test, but if you have
had unprotected sex with more than one partner in a year (male or female), be
honest with your doctor. Talk to them about
getting an STD screening. Some doctors will want to conduct an HIV test as
well. Resist the urge to bury your head in the sand. Most STDs, including HIV,
can be treated with modern drugs. Not all STD infections will yield noticeable symptoms, but they can still damage your health
and can be passed on to unwitting partners.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are ready to father a child, keep in mind that the
health of both partners affects the success of efforts to conceive. A
recent study suggests that obese and overweight men tend to have
lower sperm counts and poorer sperm quality than leaner men. It is believed
that body fat — in particular abdominal fat — alters your levels of
testosterone and other reproductive hormones. In addition to affecting
fertility, obesity may also bring about erectile dysfunction.
Talk About Surgical Options
When you are finished having children or if you decide you
do not want any, you might consider talking to your doctor about a vasectomy. A
vasectomy is a simple surgery that severs the tubes that carry sperm from the
testicles into the semen. It is nearly 100 percent effective as a birth control
method after a few months. If circumstances change, it is often reversible with
an additional surgical procedure. The highest rates of reversal success are
usually achieved within 10 years of initial vasectomy.
Be Aware of Your Hormones
Although the drop in
sex hormones is more dramatic among women
undergoing menopause, men also experience
changes in hormone levels as they age. The age-associated drop in hormones such
as testosterone is known as male menopause.
Female menopause marks the
end of ovulation and features a drastic drop
in estrogen. The drop in male hormones (most
notably testosterone) is more gradual.
For men, changes in sexual
function and desire, energy level, muscle mass, bone density, and mood are usually subtle and may go unnoticed.
Some men may experience a dramatic decline in testosterone production, which
leads to a condition known as hypogonadism. Again, obesity may influence the
likelihood that a man will experience this problem. In such cases, doctors may
prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
Do Not Hide Your Problems
ejaculation, or reaching climax
earlier than you would like, is an occasional occurrence for many men. If it
occurs regularly, talk to your doctor. Both physical and psychological factors
could be at play. Your doctor can work with you to sort this out.
This is also true of the most common sexual problem in men;
erectile dysfunction. If you cannot reach and maintain an erection suitable for
successful intercourse, you may have erectile
Treatment might include medications or other remedies. In some cases, it may be
necessary to address another health condition. Examples include high blood
pressure, diabetes, tobacco use, or heart disease.