Posts Tagged ‘men’s health’

Spotlight: Men’s Fitness

Men's Health MonthJune is Men’s Health Month. It’s also the time of year when many men become more active. The warm temperatures and long days make it easier (and more fun) to play on a softball team, tend to the yard, or start a new exercise routine, like biking or swimming. But after months of rest, the sudden explosion of activity can wreak havoc on the body.

If you’re about to ramp up a new summer workout, keep these injury prevention tips in mind:

1. Get Professional Help

If you are new to exercise, or just haven’t been active in a while, see your doctor for a physical to make sure you are healthy enough to take on strenuous activity. Also consider hiring a professional trainer or coach who can teach you proper form and technique.

2. Wear Proper Clothing

Always wear appropriate footwear. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you will also be able to alleviate undue stress to your ankles, knees and hips by providing much needed support. Also choose appropriate clothing that fits well, allows you to move naturally, and doesn’t interfere with your safety.

3. Warm Up

Never start a workout in full throttle. Begin slowly and build the pace. This gets the blood flowing to your muscles gradually, giving them time to warm up and acclimate to the activity. This also gives you time to listen to your body and identify any aches or pains that may be red flags to more serious problems.

4. Leave Your Ego At The Door

Many men start a workout program thinking too much about what they should be able to do rather than what they are honestly capable of at the time. Attempting too much too quickly invites injury. So, take the pressure off. Concentrate on your individual progress rather than comparing yourself to or competing with others.

5. Stretch

When your muscles have warmed up, stretch. Many men skip this part of a workout. After all, stretching is for girls, right? But, as your muscles get stronger and tighter they start pulling on one another. Eventually, this tug-of-war affects your body posture and you start to feel aches in your back, hamstrings, and shoulders. These minor aggravations can turn into serious problems, all preventable if you take the time to stretch.

6. Take A Day Off

Rest is important. It gives your body time to recuperate and repair. If you’re just starting an exercise program, make sure you take two days off each week. Listen to your body and respond accordingly. Pain and fatigue are subtle signs of overtraining that can lead to more serious problems.

7. Eat Well

Pay attention to nutrition. In order to maintain healthy energy levels and have the physical endurance to push through tough workouts, you need to fuel your body with good, healthy food. Avoid high-fat foods and sweets and drink lots of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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Exercise May Enhance Sexual Function in Men

Exercise Men's Sexual Health Erectile DysfunctionMen under the age of 40 now have one more reason to hit the gym. According to a recent Emory University study, increased physical activity is associated with better sexual function in men under 40.

The study, published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, assessed the association between physical activity and erectile function in young, healthy men ages 18 to 40. Previous studies have suggested that erectile dysfunction in men under 40 is correlated with increased cardiovascular risks.

“The men in our study who exercised more seemed to experience a protective benefit against erectile dysfunction,” says Wayland Hsiao, MD, co-author of the study and assistant professor of urology, Emory University School of Medicine. “We hope that early screening for ED may be a gateway issue to help motivate young men to live healthily on a consistent basis so that they can possibly avoid health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We see this as just the beginning.”

For the study, a group of men ages 18 to 40 kept a record of their exercise and sexual function. Researchers found improved erectile function in men under 40 with increased exercise, as well as higher rates of sexual dysfunction in sedentary men under 40. The study also noted that men can start experiencing issues with erectile dysfunction as early as their 30s.

“Several studies have evaluated the relationship between exercise and erectile function in older or obese men,” says study co-author Chad W.M. Ritenour, MD, director of the Emory’s Men’s Health Center and associate professor of urology, Emory University School of Medicine. “Our goal with this particular study was to determine if there is a connection between increased exercise and better erectile function in younger men.”

Drs. Ritenour and Hsiao recommend that men follow the recommendations of the CDC and get at least two and a half hours of physical activity a week, ideally spread throughout the week. Also, men should eat a diet that includes variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol.

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No Needle, No Scalpel Vasectomy – Q&A with Emory’s Dr. Hsiao

Dr. Wayland Hsiao, Emory Urology

Dr. Wayland Hsiao

When the Urology Department of Emory Healthcare started offering no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomies as part of their men’s health treatment options, our ears perked up. Obviously, as the name implies, this type of vasectomy procedure allows doctors to forego the scalpel and needle combination used in traditional vasectomies, but what is used in their place? And what are the benefits? To get our questions answered, we went straight to the source, Emory’s own Dr. Wayland Hsiao, who is one of the surgeons performing the procedure. Our questions for Dr. Hsiao (and his answers) are below:

What exactly does it mean when we say no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy? Can you describe the procedure?

A vasectomy is a procedure in which when the outflow of sperm through the vas deferens is interrupted to stop the outflow of sperm. It is a permanent form of male contraception. The procedure has no effect on sexual function. The no-scalpel vasectomy is a technique that allows us to perform the vasectomy through a puncture. The puncture is made in the scrotum and requires no suturing or stitches.

When compared to the conventional vasectomy, the primary difference is that the vas deferens tissues and blood vessels are spread aside from the surgical site rather than cut with a knife. This is less traumatic, and results in less pain and fewer postoperative complications. To numb the patient before the vasectomy, a Madajet injector is used. This is a tool that facilitates a highly pressurized lidocaine (anesthetic) to be sprayed on and through the scrotal skin to numb the skin and the underlying vas deferens. No needle is used in this anesthetic technique.

So, in terms of how the procedure is performed, what are the biggest differences?

We are able to replace the traditional scalpel with a specially design sharp clamp, which alleviates the need for an incision. The traditional incision is replaced by a small puncture hole which seals itself after the procedure. We also replace the needle with an anesthetic spray (diffused via the Madajet injector) that is applied to the scrotal skin and the vas deferens itself.

What are the benefits to no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy?

Good question. There are several. With the no-scalpel vasectomy, there is less bleeding. In fact, the bleeding rate decreases from being seen in about 3% of patients down to 0.3%. In other words, there is 10 times lesser chance of bleeding. The infection rate after vasectomy is also decreased with the no-scalpel, no-needle technique. Infection is seen in 1.4% of patients with a traditional approach, while we only see infections inabout 0.1% of men undergoing the no-scalpel technique.

The bladeless vasectomy procedure is also faster, because the need for suturing is eliminated because there is no incision. The hole or puncture (2-3mm) created from the procedure will close up on its own.

Are there any risks associated with this procedure? If so, what are they?

The no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy doesn’t come with any additional risks that we don’t already see with the standard vasectomy procedure, which include the risk of hematoma (with no-scalpel, this risk is significantly lowered to less than 0.5 %) and infection. As is true with all vasectomy procedures, the procedure is not guaranteed to be 100% effective. The general post-vasectomy failure rate is less than 0.5 % (1 in 500 short term failure; 1 in 4500 long term failure).

How long does the no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy take?

The procedure takes about 30 minutes.

What can patients expect after the no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy?

Patients can expect to experience swelling of scrotom for 2-3 days and bruising for up to a week. They might also experience a feeling of heaviness or dragging testes for 2-3 weeks.

How long is the recovery? How soon can I have sex post-procedure?

To achieve full recovery, patients should wait approximately 2 weeks after the procedure before participating in intercourse, but men should consult with their physician for guidance here.

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