Is it possible to identify men who are at risk for erectile dysfunction? Some researchers say yes. In particular, there’s a method that can reasonably predict who among men receiving prostate cancer treatment are most likely to experience erectile dysfunction due to such treatment. This can be a very helpful tool for helping men decide whether or not to go for prostate cancer treatment immediately or adapt a wait-and-see approach.
In general, prolonging life and increasing the chances of survival are top priorities for treating cancers in general. For prostate cancer, chances of survival are relatively higher compared to others as most men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer survive the condition. That being said, another important concern when it comes to treatment are side effects that men may suffer as a result.
Diagnostic tests like the PSA or prostate-specific antigen blood test can reveal tumors in a man’s prostate. However, most of these tumors grow at such a tortoise- like pace that they pose very little threat to a man’s health. The problem is, such a test only identiﬁes presence of tumors and isn’t able to distinguish aggressive ones. As such, most men go for early treatment just to be sure.
These treatments don’t come easy — they have side effects too. These may include bowel dysfunction, incontinence and erectile dysfunction, which is the most common side effect. It also happens to be one that most affects men emotionally. As such, any testing procedure that can reasonably predict the chances of men suffering from post-treatment erectile dysfunction can be of great help in making the decision to go for treatment immediately or not.
Dr. Martin Sanda and his colleagues at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston have developed a test that has an accuracy rate of up to 90% in predicting a man’s risk for developing post-treatment erectile dysfunction. According to Dr. Sanda, the test can be administered in a clinical setting and scored within just 7 minutes and that the key is determining a patient’s baseline prior to receiving treatment.
Based on their research, they’ve have suggested that a man’s chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction varies based on the kind of prostate cancer treatment administered. They found that men who didn’t suffer from erectile
dysfunctions prior to receiving prostate cancer treatment had a 60% likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction within 2 years after surgical removal of the prostate. They also found that over 40% of men who have never encountered erectile dysfunction and who had received external radiation treatment for prostate cancer experienced erectile dysfunction after the treatment. The ﬁgure goes to less than 40% for those who received brachytherapy or had radioactive “seeds” implanted in the prostate.
It was also noted that high PSA levels also increased the risk for post-treatment erectile dysfunction. Race, age, sexual history and body mass index (BMI) were also identiﬁed as key pre-treatment variables for assessing one’s risk for post-treatment erectile dysfunction together with the type of treatment methods administered.
Restless legs syndrome and erecﬁle dysfunction
Another factor to consider in assessing one’s risk for erectile dysfunction is restless legs syndrome. Men who have this, a study suggests, have higher risks for a limp wiener than those who don’t.
Restless legs syndrome triggers in a person a strong need to move the legs, particularly because of discomfort when sitting or lying down. Others describe the feeling of restless legs syndrome as a burning, tingling, crawling or creeping sensation and that this sensation seems to diminish when the legs are moved. Such relief, however, is short-lived. Although there are no established causes for this, there are cases that this is caused by pregnancy or anemia and can be aggravated by consuming alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
This study, conducted by Harvard University researchers, is one that is built on the earlier researches that linked the frequency of erectile dysfunction in men with restless legs syndrome. The study also noted that as the frequency of restless legs syndrome symptoms increase, so do the risk for erectile dysfunction.
The study involved over 11,000 men averaging 64 years of age by the time the trial study started in 2002. Further, these men had no history of erectile dysfunction, arthritis or diabetes. The study started with the men being administered a standard set of health questions. The basis for classifying the men as having restless legs syndrome or RLS is meeting 4 RLS diagnostic criteria and experienced symptoms for more than 5 times monthly.
During the study, 1,979 cases of erectile dysfunction were identiﬁed. The study also found that men with RLS had a 50% higher chance of experiencing erectile dysfunction vs. men who didn’t have RLS, taking into consideration the subjects’ weight, age, and histories for anti-depressants, smoking or chronic diseases. It also noted that men who experienced RLS symptoms by as much as 14 times monthly had a 68% higher chance of struggling with erectile dysfunction.
The 1 January 2010 edition of the Sleep journal also reported that impotence seems to be more prevalent among older men afflicted with restless legs syndrome compared to those that aren’t afflicted with RLS and that the higher the frequency of symptoms, the higher were their risks.
Dr. Xiang Gao — who is an instructor at Harvard Medical School — postulated a simple explanation for the link between RLS and impotence. He said that the association between the two may be due to underproduction of dopamine, a brain chemical.
How Porn Can Affect Your Performance
You may be surprised to note that porn can have a devastating effect on your love life. The reasons? These are many but the biggest reason is that pom movies can actually change your perception of what sex should be like and can alter your expectations.
What has been found is that younger and younger men are seeking help for impotence and that his has a direct link to their porn viewing. Sex experts have said that overstimulation of sexual activity is actually something that can and does happen. What this means in terms of performance is that the levels of dopamine in the brain are affected and that this can lead to being unable to sustain an erection.
Many men are heavily into porn — almost worshipping it like a deity. Why? For one, most men aren’t the sexual conquistadors they’d like to be and pornography enables them to fulﬁll their wildest and biggest sexual fantasies — and more — with all the hottest, nastiest and horniest chicks around. And with the advent of the Internet, it’s practically free to indulge in it anytime and anywhere. It’s like breathing air for many men!
As with many good things (assuming for the sake of argument that it is “good”), too much of it can be bad. In particular, addiction to the stuff is a very real factor that can contribute to a man‘s inability to experience erections.
What? Porn addiction can lead to erectile dysfunction? Seriously?
Yes, I’m serious. But before we go further as to how it can lead to erectile dysfunction, let us first find out just how much porn is too much? \/Vhen does an appetite for beautiful, naked women become an — as one of the popular rock band Guns N’ Roses’ albums is named — appetite for destruction?
When a man becomes addicted to porn, his view of females alters as well. He sees all women as potential porn stars, which of course they are. They participate in sexual acts and although they don’t do this behind a camera, they could. Thus, men who are addicted to Internet porn are unlikely to distinguish between their partner and the women that they see on the screen. The reality, of course, is much different. His expectations of his partner become exaggerated.
Another thing about porn and masturbation addiction is that it can cause a man to be more anxious about his sexual performance. He’l1 start to believe that the “passing grade” for sexual performance is the ones he sees on porn — inhumanly large penises, mutant abilities to hold off ejaculation despite all the nasty and horny stuff women do to those well—endowed sex—marathon men. Because he starts to believe that such superhuman characteristics are the standards, he’ll feel so inadequate and will start to see himself as unworthy, leading to low self worth. And as mentioned in an earlier chapter, a man who looks lowly upon himself will have a hard time feeling aroused and may struggle to experience erections.
It also affects an area of the brain called the frontal cortex. This part of the brain is used for sending messages to the body and planning action. Thus, if over or under stimulated, it appears that the frontal cortex messages can become distorted and impotence may result. The messages needed from the brain to the penis are not getting through clearly and thus its impossible to become erect.
Scientists found through study of a case where a man had sustained serious damage to this area of the brain that this frontal cortex also determines the kind of person that someone is. A damaged frontal cortex was responsible for changes in behavior by one man, who, unfortunately, suffered an accident which pierced the area in question. Although he survived, he was not able to continue to be the mild and polite man that he was before the accident.
Another reason why excess of porn or porn addition can alter a man’s perception of what lovemaking should be is that it stimulates unhealthy interest in porn, rather than realistic lovemaking and closes off the mind to anything other than that as being normal. Thus, he becomes disinterested in normal stimuli and can rely upon porn rather than real sex as something that satisﬁed his sexual needs. Thus, with this very unrealistic view of sex, a man may not achieve erection because the picture in his brain of raw porn sex is more interesting and vital to the man than real sex ever can be.