Currently viewing the tag: "erectile dysfunction"

Passing the joint may not be a marijuana thing after all, as recent research shows the penis to be filled with receptors for THC, marijuana’s active ingredient.  As a result, marijuana may have a negative impact on male sexual performance, ultimately leading to erectile dysfunction.  Doh!

Rany Shamloul, a physician with appointments at the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University in Canada as well as the University of Cairo, conducted a review of studies on marijuana to determine how weed affects male sexual function.  He found that many of the studies were not only contradictory, but rife with problems as well.

Some early studies found marijuana to have positive effects, sexually, for men.  For instance, in a 1982 survey 75% of men reported sexual enhancement from smoking marijuana (…love weed, baby).  But a study published last year in the journal European Urology found the penis to contain receptors for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in the Mary Jane.  The receptors are located mainly throughout the smooth muscle of the penis.  Additional lab studies suggest that THC has an inhibitory effect on the muscle.

Says Shamloul, “This is a more serious effect on the erectile function because the smooth muscle makes up 70 percent to 80 percent of the penis itself.”

According to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 162 million people worldwide use marijuana every year.   More than 22 million use it daily.  That makes understanding long-term effects important, Shamloul said.

Check it and weep, stoners.

As Shamloul says, many of the older studies showing marijuana to have positive effects on sexual performance are flawed in their lack of controlling for perceptual alterations caused by the THC itself.  Other studies from the same year showed male marijuana smokers to have twice the rate of erectile dysfunction as non-smokers.  Another study showed the effects of marijuana on sexual function to be dose specific–small doses having positive effects and larger doses working in the negative.

“What we are really missing are clinical studies,” Shamloul said. “We are stuck with only animal studies and molecular studies, and some clinical studies done in the ’60s and ’70s, most on a very small number of men… We need well-designed, placebo-control studies examining marijuana’s effect in both the short-term and long-term.”

Hmmm…pot and sex…any volunteers?

Get this: Geriatric gentlemen popping Viagra are more likely to have VD.  Doh!  Yes, it’s true–middle-aged and elderly men that take the erectile dysfunction (ED) med seem to be more likely to practice risky sexual behavior.  This the latest report in the recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

According to the report, individuals most likely to fall into this group are men that have sex with men.  The data comes from a study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Southern California, where researchers looked at a representative sample of privately insured older men.  The study was unable to determine if the men were primarily homosexual or bisexual.

Researchers examined health insurance claims records covering 1997 though 2006 from 44 large U.S. employers. The study group included about 34,000 male beneficiaries over 40 who used ED drugs, for whom the researchers collected data covering one year before and one year after the first prescription was filled, and nearly 1.37 million men over 40 who were non-users, for whom claims data was also collected.

They found that men using Viagra or other ED drugs were two to three times more likely than non-users to have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).   The most frequently reported STD was HIV/AIDS, followed by chlamydia. The researchers did not know if ED drug use itself increased STD risk but they plan on investigating that in future studies.

The study’s authors conclude that:

  1. Drugs like Viagra are not only being prescribed to men with ED but also to those engaging in risky behavior.  This blog has reported for a long time the use of ED drugs to party.
  2. Age is not an inherent protection against STDs.  On the contrary, it appears that men (and women) partying with older men might want to carry their own protection (or demand health records).
  3. Doctors are doing a poor job of discussing STD risk with older gentlemen.
  4. HIV was probably most reported because its symptoms are most likely to bring men into doctors’ offices.
  5. Men that do not use condoms 100% of the time or are not in a mutually monogamous relationship need routine STD screening with repeated follow-ups.

All I can say is that I think it’s human nature to make assumptions, and most people probably don’t think of their gray-haired neighbor as the typical clap carrier.  But making assumptions is foolish.  Now you know.  Carry your own rubbers, doggone it.

More on sexual dysfunction. A recent European study looking at male and female sexual concerns when calling a helpline* disclosed the following:

  • Users were more often male (62.2%), aged between 26 and 35 years
  • Males’ most frequently reported sexual difficulties were erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation
  • The majority of female callers reported vaginismus and orgasmic disorder (OD)
  • There was a definite association between desire disorder (DD) and ED in men (41.7%)
  • There was a definite association between OD and DD in women (36.8%)

Although erectile dysfunction and orgasmic disorder are old hat for me (I mean what I know about them…now stop!), I had never heard of vaginismus. For others that don’t know, vaginismus is the tensing up of vaginal/pelvic musculature preventing penetration. It is comparable to to the response of the eye shutting when an object comes towards it. It is not under the conscious control of the woman affected.

And I was rather amazed in my research that there exists an actual association for asexual people. How ’bout that–I had no idea. The incidence of people exhibiting asexuality, also known as non-sexuality, is reported at 1%. Wow! Like I said, never had a clue. Well, different strokes for different folks, if you’ll forgive the pun.

The study on sexual concerns concludes with placing an importance on sexual counseling–talking about the problems. For men, I’ll refer back to the last post. For women, the good news is the capacity for orgasm increases with age, especially as women acquire more knowledge about the responses of their bodies. And masturbatory training is available (I do NOT make this stuff up) to help women with orgasmic disorder.

Finally, for asexuals…be who you are. Join the association if you are looking for like minded people as support. Other than that just focus on what you love. That’s what life is ultimately about anyway.

*The study included selected records of the calls received during the 3-year period between 2006 and 2008.

“Hey doc…I can’t get it up.” There now that wasn’t so bad was it? Say it again. Go on, say it. I promise you, your doctor will not laugh. Trust me, it’s a hell of a lot better than buying counterfeit Viagra online. Duh!A recent study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice reports that fake drug sales via the internet have skyrocketed over the last couple of years. In fact, seizures of fake drugs in Europe have quadrupled between 2005 and 2007; in the U.S. FDA investigations have increased eightfold from 2000 to 2006. The distribution of fake drugs is a booming business: one estimate has the sale of fake drugs hitting $75 billion in 2010.

The problem is not just that consumers are being ripped off, the fakes can actually be harmful to health. Two pregnant women died after they were given injections of a counterfeit iron preparation for anemia, and 25 children died in Bangladesh of kidney failure after taking paracetamol syrup that was contaminated with diethylene glycol, which is also used as antifreeze in cars.

However, the purchasing of fake drugs on the internet persists. Viagra seems to be the big one, but the consumers of such pharmaceuticals know not what they take. According to lead author of the study, Dr. Graham Jackson, a cardiologist at London Bridge Hospital in the UK, “The first danger is people don’t know what’s in it. Some are just talcum powder or brick dust, while some have a bit of Viagra or Cialis and some chemicals that have nothing to do with it.”

According to the study, one-third of men surveyed reported sidestepping a health-care professional when buying erectile dysfunction drugs. Why? What IS the big deal? Do you think your doctor finds this funny, pathetic, or what? C’mon guys, you would rather buy fake stepped-on garbage than risk a moment of humiliation I guarantee will pass the minute your doctor says okay? How much you want to bet he or she doesn’t even look up at you and just writes the scrip. There…I given you support. Now get off the damn net and get to your doctor’s office pronto. Just one humiliating second and it’ll be happy days are here again….

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