Archive for September, 2017

Game Plan for Men’s Healthy Sexual Functioning

September 30, 2017

Andrew Siegel MD 9/30/17


Thank you, Pixabay, for image above.

Functioning well in the bedroom–like health in general–should never be taken for granted. During early adulthood it rarely, if ever, crosses our minds that at sometime in the future many body functions decline, including sexual function.  However, the truth of the matter is that paralleling general health and fitness, maintaining our sexual health and fitness takes some effort to avoid the almost inevitable deterioration in function.  Today’s entry reviews a “game plan” for maintaining healthy sexual functioning into our golden years.

  • Know the Fundamentals

For better or worse, penile erections are not on the basis of a bone in the penis, as they are in many mammals.  Erections occur when pressurized blood inflates the erectile chambers of the penis. The erect penis has blood pressure in excess of 200 mm (extreme hypertension), giving rise to bone-like rigidity and hence the slang term, boner.

The penis is a marvel of hydraulic engineering, uniquely capable of increasing its blood flow 50 times over baseline within nanoseconds of sexual stimulation, transforming its shape and size. This is accomplished by smooth muscle relaxation within the penile arteries and within the sinuses of the erectile chambers.

Once blood inflates the erectile chambers, closure of penile veins and contractions of the pelvic floor muscles effectively trap the pressurized blood in the penis and maintain the penile hypertension necessary for a sustained erection.

  • Know the Stats

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study showed that after age 40 there is a decline in all aspects of sexuality.  Erectile dysfunction (ED) is present in about 40% of men by age 40 with an increase in prevalence of about 10% for each decade thereafter. Although there are many causes of ED, the common denominator is insufficient blood flow to fill the erectile chambers of the penis, or alternatively, sufficient inflow but poor venous trapping, both often caused by a decline in smooth muscle relaxation with aging.

  • Know the Score

Performance ability with every physical activity declines as we get older and this explains why most professional athletes are in their twenties or thirties. Although everything eventually goes to ground, hopefully it will happen slowly. Young men can achieve a rock-hard erection simply by seeing an attractive woman or thinking a vague sexual thought. As we get older, it is not uncommon for erotic thoughts or sights to no longer be enough to provoke an erection, with the need for direct touch. Some of the common male sexual changes that occur with aging are: diminished sex drive; decreased rigidity and durability of erections; decrease in volume, force, and arc of ejaculation; decreased orgasm intensity; and an increased recovery time before being able to get a second erection.  

  • Know the Opponents: Gluttony and Sloth

A healthy weight and healthy eating habits, exercise, adequate quality and quantity of sleep, tobacco avoidance, use of alcohol in moderation, stress avoidance, and a balanced lifestyle will optimize sexual potential.  Abide by the golden rule of the penis: “Treat your penis nicely and it will be nice to you in return; treat your penis poorly and it will rebel.

  • Fuel for Performance

A healthy diet will reduce the risk of sexual dysfunction. Eat a variety of wholesome natural foods including fresh vegetables and fruit, plenty of fiber, lean protein sources, legumes and healthy fats including nuts, avocados and olive oil. Avoid eating processed foods and minimize sugar, refined carbohydrates and highly saturated animal fats.

  • Stay in Peak Form

Try to achieve “fighting weight” to maximize your performance in the sexual arena.

  • Train for Performance

Exercising—including cardio, core, and strength training—is vital for health in general and sexual health in particular. When it comes to sexual health, it is vital to focus on the all-important pelvic floor muscles (PFM). PFMT (pelvic floor muscle training) will help optimize erectile function and prevent/treat ED.

To understand why PFMT can help your performance in the bedroom, it is necessary to have some understanding of what the PFM do. When you have an erection, the bulbocavernosus muscle and ischiocavernosus muscles engage. Contractions of these muscles not only help prevent the exit of blood from the penis, enhancing rigidity, but also increase blood flow to the penis—with each contraction of these muscles, a surge of blood flows into the penis. Additionally, they act as powerful struts to support the roots of the penis (like the roots of a tree), the foundational support that, when robust, will allow a more “skyward” angling erection (like the trunk of a tree).  The bulbocavernosus muscle also is the “motor” of ejaculation, contracting rhythmically at the time of sexual climax and forcing semen out of the urethra.

Increasing the strength, tone and condition of these muscles through PFMT will allow them to function in an enhanced manner—namely more powerful contractions with more penile rigidity and stamina as well as improved ejaculatory issues, including premature ejaculation.

  • Talk to your Coach

Visit the PelvicRx website where you can purchase a male pelvic floor training DVD and have a private chat session with a pelvic floor trainer.

Wishing you the best of health,

2014-04-23 20:16:29

A new blog is posted every week. To receive the blogs in the in box of your email go to the following link and click on “email subscription”:

Dr. Andrew Siegel is a practicing physician and urological surgeon board-certified in urology as well as in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.  Dr. Siegel serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor New York Metro Area, Inside Jersey Top Doctor and Inside Jersey Top Doctor for Women’s Health. His mission is to “bridge the gap” between the public and the medical community that is in dire need of bridging.

Author of:

 MALE PELVIC FITNESS: Optimizing Sexual & Urinary Health

THE KEGEL FIX: Recharging Female Pelvic, Sexual and Urinary Health 

PROMISCUOUS EATING: Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship with Food

Co-creator of the male pelvic floor training DVD: PelvicRx