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What urologists want men to know

What urologists want men to know
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For most guys, it’s uncomfortable thinking about erectile dysfunction, let alone discussing it with a doctor. But, according to Dr Stacy Elliott, that reluctance to address potential problems ‘down there’ comes at a cost. “Men should pay attention to their sexual health,” says sexual medicine physician and clinical professor, Elliott. “All too often, they either try to fix it quietly on their own or suffer with it unnecessarily.” To save you any potential embarrassment, we went straight to the urologist to find the answers to everything you ever wanted to know about men’s sexual health – but were afraid to ask.

Erectile problems are more common than you think

Erectile problems are more common than you think
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Think you’re the only guy struggling with, erm… performance issues? Think again. Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are common conditions among men of all ages. In fact, in a study of 4000 men, nearly half were found to suffer from erectile dysfunction, leading researchers to believe it impacts roughly one million Australian men over the age of 40. The real problem, says Dr Elliott, is that men typically don’t seek help soon enough and suffer in silence. A doctor can help you not only fix these issues, but also address the underlying causes – an important distinction, as erectile problems aren’t always physical.

Do you know the most common causes of erectile dysfunction? Read on to find out.

Low sex drive doesn’t necessarily mean low testosterone

Low sex drive doesn’t necessarily mean low testosterone
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According to Dr Elliott, a man’s sex drive is a combination of biological and psychological factors. Although these factors include testosterone, they also reflect your overall health, your fitness level and your self-perception. “We also look at depression and relationship issues which can prevent the person from being sexual,” Dr Elliott says.

An app can help you with premature ejaculation

An app can help you with premature ejaculation
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Prone to premature ejaculation? Believe it or not, there’s an app for that, and it’s got Dr Elliott’s seal of approval. PEA (yes, that’s an acronym for Premature Ejaculation App) is an app that serves as your virtual sex therapist, teaching behavioural techniques ranging from arousal control to Kegel exercises, and provides charts to help you track your progress.

Don’t miss these sex mistakes you don’t realise you’re making.

Kegels can change your sex life

Kegels can change your sex life
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You’ve probably heard of Kegel exercises for women, but according to Dr Elliott, they’re great for men too. The next time you have to pee, try stopping and starting the flow of urine. In doing so, you’re exercising the muscles that hold your urine back, known as pubococcygeus (PC) muscles. Strong PC muscles can help with a whole host of sexual performance issues, including premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Oh, and they can result in stronger orgasms, too.

Don’t go on ‘penis watch’

Don’t go on ‘penis watch’
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It’s totally normal to have a night where your guy didn’t feel like showing up. According to Dr Elliott, virtually every man experiences difficulty sustaining an erection at one point or another. The worst thing you can do is to go on what she calls ‘penis watch.’ “If you’re focusing on it, and anxious about what it’s going to do, it’ll usually run away,” she says. For some men, this ‘penis watch’ can snowball into full-blown performance anxiety.

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Penis sizes vary quite a bit

Penis sizes vary quite a bit
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Worried about how you measure up? It’s a big issue for many men, so much so that professional urological surgeon association, BJU International, took to measuring more than 15,000 men to compile data for what constitutes a ‘normal’ penis size range. The study found that the average penis length is 13.13 centimetres erect and 9.17 centimetres flaccid. Try not to get caught up on the numbers game, though: Dr Elliott is quick to point out that neither length nor girth are any indications of sexual ability or drive.

Check out these simple ways to improve your sex life.

Be skeptical of miracle aphrodisiacs

Be skeptical of miracle aphrodisiacs
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The cure for your erectile dysfunction won’t be found on those late-night television commercials hocking ‘all-natural’ libido boosters. Although it might seem easier (and more discreet) to take these matters into your own hands, Dr Elliott advises against it. Medical doctors are the only ones who can prescribe erection-boosting PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra. “There isn’t any oral medication you could take that beat those pills,” Dr Elliott says.

Here are the best foods to boost your sex life.

Men can get urinary tract infections too

Men can get urinary tract infections too

Do you have the frequent urge to pee? Is it painful? Is there blood in your urine? Although they’re relatively rare, Dr Elliott says it’s not impossible for men to develop urinary tract infections. Men have longer urethras (the tube that moves urine and semen through the penis) than women, which is why it’s quite unusual, as it means bacteria tends to get flushed out by urination before any bugs can get into the bladder. Symptoms include the frequent urge to urinate, pain with urination and sometimes blood in the urine, says Dr Elliott.

Check out these natural home remedies for UTIs.

See a doctor you’re comfortable speaking with

See a doctor you’re comfortable speaking with
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It’s important to have an open dialogue with your doctor about your health – including issues you may be uncomfortable with, and parts of the body you rarely refer to by their, erm… proper names. “Some men prefer female doctors because there isn’t that competitive masculine thing,” explains Dr Elliott. “Other men don’t want to see a woman because they’re embarrassed.” What’s important to keep in mind, she says, is that your doctor isn’t there to judge, but to help.

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