About five percent of men who are 40 years of age have complete erectile dysfunction (ED); that number increases to 15 percent for 70-year-olds. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection that is firm enough for sex.
ED can be triggered by stress, a reduction in sexual desire, or an underlying health issue. One’s ability to get and maintain an erection requires the proper functioning of psychologic, neurologic, endocrine, vascular, and local anatomic systems combined.
For this reason, diagnosing the condition typically involves a variety of testing. Let’s explore how this is done.
Testing for ED
Your clinician will first ask a series of questions. It’s best to keep track of when your symptoms started and how long they’ve been a problem, because these answers will be important in this phase of diagnosis.
There are many risk factors associated with ED, from medical conditions such as high blood pressure to psychological conditions such as stress, depression, or anxiety. The list of possible triggers is boundless, so your physician will begin with an evaluation of your medical history.
Your doctor may also ask you to fill out a questionnaire that answers how confident you are about keeping an erection, whether you have erections when you wake up in the morning, how often you find sexual intercourse satisfying, and how often you’re able to climax, orgasm, and ejaculate.
While these topics may feel taboo to discuss, doing so can make all the difference in solving your erectile issues. Remember that a urologist diagnoses and treats health issues like these every day, so there is no reason to be embarrassed.
Examination Techniques for Erectile Dysfunction
Your urologist will conduct a physical exam of the testes and penis – which will test for sensation and other issues. This exam will also confirm whether there may be an issue with the nerve endings in these areas.
Your doctor may direct you to have lab work done if you haven’t already done so. Both urinalysis and blood draws will help to diagnose many different health conditions, and they will also indicate whether heart disease, diabetes, or low testosterone levels are to blame for your ED.
Radiology imaging is integral to the field of medicine and to diagnosing of health issues. Ultrasound – which is a commonly known type of radiology due to its role in pregnancy – is beneficial for detecting poor blood flow in the genital area, as well as recording the speed and direction of blood flow.
Psychological Causes for ED
There is sometimes a psychological factor involved in health conditions such as ED, so a mental health evaluation may be a necessary part of your diagnosis. NYU Langone Health estimates that approximately 10 percent of ED cases have a psychological component; ED due to psychological reasons tends to be more common in younger men.
If you’re experiencing extreme stress at work, or you have a history of depression, it may be impacting you sexually. The most common mental triggers for erectile dysfunction are fear of sexual failure, depression, and stress.
Who Can Help Treat My ED?
Seeking the medical advice of a reputable and trustworthy urologist can help you get back to feeling like yourself again. Led by board-certified urologist Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, Urology Specialists of Milford diagnoses and treats a variety of men’s health issues – including low testosterone, male infertility, and ED.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (508) 473-6333or fill out our appointment request form here. We look forward to helping you achieve optimal health and wellness so you can enjoy life to the fullest.
Kidney stones are hard crystalized deposits that form as the kidneys produce urine. Kidney stones cause a lot of different types of symptoms, including severe pain that can radiate to other parts of the body like the lower abdomen, groin, lower back, and ribs. Kidney stones can also cause urine to become discolored (red or brown), cloudy, and foul-smelling.
Once kidney stones form, there are a few ways to get rid of them. Drinking a lot of water may help, as well as the use of medications like alpha blockers for larger stones. Ultrasound is sometimes used to break up kidney stones so that they pass through the urinary tract more easily. Depending on the stone size and location, your urologist may recommend surgery to remove the kidney stone.
A popular and effective way to prevent kidney stones from developing is called the kidney stone diet, which consists of eating foods that help prevent the formation of kidney stones and avoiding foods that increase the chance of them forming. Let’s take a look at what foods to eat and what foods to avoid when on a kidney stone diet.
What to Eat
Vegetables – Vegetables are a great way to decrease your risk of developing kidney stones. However, some vegetables are better than others. Vegetables that contain oxalates are not good for your kidney stone diet. Stick to vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, kale, cabbage, and lettuce. These vegetables do not contain oxalates and can help you decrease the risk of kidney stones.
Citrus Fruits – Citrate, found in citrus fruits, helps block the formation of kidney stones and can help keep you safe from them. Examples of citrus fruits that you should include in your kidney stone diet are oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.
Dairy Products – Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are great sources of calcium, which is essential to balancing the oxalates in your diet. Increasing your dairy intake can help reduce the formation of kidney stones.
Salmon – Foods like salmon that are rich in vitamin D are also great for a kidney stone diet. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium better.
What to Avoid
Foods High in Salt – Salt is detrimental to a kidney stone diet. High sodium can increase the buildup of calcium in the urine, which can lead to kidney stones. A low-sodium diet is essential to avoiding kidney stone formation.
Animal Protein – Eating red meat increases the levels of uric acid in the body, which can increase the chances of kidney stone formation. Additionally, animal proteins also reduce citrate in the body that blocks the formation of kidney stones. To follow the kidney stone diet, consume less animal protein and more plant-based foods. However, be careful in choosing which vegetables to eat because some vegetables contain oxalates such as spinach, chard, and beets.
Sodas – Soft drinks like Coca-Cola, and Pepsi-Cola are high in artificial sugar (fructose, sucrose) and a chemical called phosphate, which promote kidney stones. Make sure to cut them out of your diet.
If you are experiencing kidney stones or another urological health problem, it’s important to consult with a reliable and experienced team of medical professionals. The Urology Specialists of Milford can expertly treat your kidney stones, as well as a host of other urological conditions. Call (508) 473-6333 to make an appointment today.
If it seems like you are losing interest in your partner – or your partner is losing interest in you – it might be low testosterone that’s to blame. In addition to a lowered sex drive and difficulty performing, other consequences of Low T include sleep
Low testosterone levels, however, can indicate serious health issues beyond sexuality. Low T levels can affect a man’s overall health and has been linked to problems with diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis. Recent studies cited by medical experts suggest that low testosterone has been linked to a lower life expectancy.
If you seek out a doctor for what you suspect could be signs of low testosterone, they might suggest lifestyle changes before deciding to prescribe medication or other options. This means getting regular exercise, eating well, trying to get enough sleep, and managing your stress in a healthy way. If these lifestyle adjustments yield no change in your testosterone levels, your doctor will want to confirm your Low T with a blood test.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Your doctor might suggest you try testosterone replacement therapy, otherwise known as TRT. Before deciding on TRT, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons, familiarize yourself with the risks of testosterone replacement therapy and how it can help with some symptoms of Low T.
Health experts agree that TRT was designed to elevate your low levels of testosterone, which should improve performance in the bedroom, but there are no guarantees that it will necessarily solve all issues that arise from Low T levels. A side effect of TRT includes an increased risk of blood clots and stroke.
How does TRT work? Testosterone replacement therapy can be applied to your body like a gel, but it is important that women and children do not come in contact with the application area for a few hours, as TRT contact can cause negative effects in women and children – such as hair growth and early puberty.
Talk to your doctor about TRT to learn if it could be an option for you. If you are experiencing the symptoms and see the signs of low testosterone levels, you don’t have to live with it forever; there are options to get you back to your old self. Call the medical experts at Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 or request an appointment online.
Kidney stones can develop in your body and you may not even know it – until a stone moves through your kidney or passes into the ureter (the passageway connecting the kidney and bladder) and causes terrible abdominal pain.
Kidney stones are formed by a buildup of concentrated salts, minerals, and other substances in your urine. These minerals can start to crystallize and stick together in large masses; a hardened mass is called a kidney stone.
A stone can remain in your kidney for some time, and you may not even realize it until it starts to travel out from your kidney and to your ureter or bladder. Your body wants to expel it with your urine, and this can cause excruciating pain.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Sometimes the stones are small enough to cause no symptoms at all – they just pass through with the urine like usual. Other times, you may start to feel pain as a kidney stone travels through the narrow ureter.
The movement of a stone can also affect your urination patterns, causing the sense of needing to urinate frequently. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience are:
- Pain in your sides, lower back, or under the ribs
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
- Difficulty or pain during urination
- Brown, pink, or red urine
- Cloudy, fishy, or foul-smelling urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- Fever and chills (signs of infection)
What Type of Doctor Should I See About a Kidney Stone?
If you pass a kidney stone, it’s likely that there are more inside your body. You’ll want to ensure that if you do pass any more stones, that any future ones are passed as painlessly as possible – and also to prevent your body from forming more.
If you are having unexplained abdominal pains, you should visit with a doctor immediately and ask for an analysis. If you do have kidney stones, they will likely recommend that you increase your water intake and to wait for the stones to pass with your urine. If a stone has become lodged, seek medical attention immediately as this may require surgery.
Diets high in protein and salt can cause more crystal-forming substances to remain in the kidneys. Be sure to stay properly hydrated and maintain a nutritious diet.
A balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. If you are not drinking enough water each day, your urine can become more heavily concentrated, creating a perfect environment for stones to develop.
Urologist in Massachusetts
If you’re experiencing lower abdominal pain or difficulty urinating, or if you know from experience that you have kidney stones, visit us at Urology Specialists of Milford. The goal of our practice is to provide the best urologic care and treatment to patients with a variety of urological problems.
Ivy League-trained urologist and surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg uses the latest treatment options available. To learn more about kidney stones and kidney health, call the Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you and helping you achieve and maintain optimum health.
Convincing a man that a vasectomy is a simple surgery with lasting results can be a difficult sell. However, it’s the honest truth. The procedure, which can be performed in your doctor’s office, is relatively painless and quick. It only takes about 40 minutes and is much less invasive and uncomfortable for a man than it is for a woman to receive a tubal ligation. It’s also less expensive and offers the possibility that it can be reversed.
While the fact seem clear, convincing your partner might be a challenge, but presenting the details that are involved with a vasectomy will help in determining whether or not the procedure is the best choice of birth control for you and your partner. If you do hope to talk to your partner about getting a vasectomy, here are some talking points to jump start the conversation.
What is a vasectomy and is it effective?
Vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control in which the two tubes that transfer sperm are snipped and sealed. When the vas deferens are sealed and snipped, sperm is blocked so that it isn’t ejaculated along with semen. Testicles continue to manufacture sperm following a vasectomy, but the body absorbs them. Less than three women in a thousand will get pregnant following their partner’s vasectomy making it the most effective form of birth control, that is, aside from abstinence.
How many men choose vasectomy as a form of birth control?
There is strength in numbers. It may be comforting to know that in the United States 500,000 men choose to have a vasectomy every year.
What to Expect
A man will visit a doctor’s office for the procedure, though a vasectomy may also be performed in a hospital. The procedure will be completed under local anesthesia after the scrotum is cleaned and shaved. The scrotum will receive a small scalpel cut by the urologist, but not more than one or two. The tubes are gently pulled through the cuts to be snipped, then tied and sealed with heat. Once the vas deferens are snipped and sealed, they are then placed back inside the scrotum and the small cuts on the scrotum are stitched closed. The patient won’t have to have the stitches removed by a doctor; the stitches will dissolve.
What does the recovery period look like?
Following the surgery, the patient’s scrotum will be numb. Cold packs and over-the-counter pain medication will help to relieve the discomfort. It is recommended that the patient wear tight underwear or a jockstrap to ease any pain. Discomfort can last a few days following the procedure. Avoid lifting heavy objects for a week, however, if desired you may return to work within a day or two.
Does this procedure affect an erection?
The after effects of a vasectomy, in regards to sexual performance, are generally unchanged. With most vasectomies, there are no problems with erection.
How long before we can be sexually active?
There’s no time restriction on when sexual activity may resume; it totally depends on how comfortable the patient is. Know however that sperm may remain in the semen and it’s still possible to become pregnant. Semen is free of sperm up to three months following surgery, though this may vary from one man to the other. Your urologist will test your sperm count. When the sperm count is zero, it is safe for the patient to engage in sexual activity without the use of additional birth control.
What can we expect, permanence-wise?
A vasectomy is a birth control method that is considered to be permanent, though the procedure can be reversed. Still, there are no promises that the reversal will be a success and that pregnancy will be possible following surgery. It is very important that a couple is absolutely certain concerning the decision to have a vasectomy.
Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg of Urology Specialists of Milford is a preeminent urologist in New England. Board certified and Harvard trained, he has been practicing urology since 1992. Dr. Steinberg treats general urological disorders in both men and women, including kidney stones and cancer. As a men’s health expert, he treats prostate enlargement, male sexual dysfunction, and male infertility. Dr. Steinberg is a recipient of the 2017 Castle Connelly “Top Doctor’s Award” and has a 5-star rating on Health Grades.
To make an appointment with Dr. Steinberg, please call (508) 473-6333. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
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