1. RESPECT YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND - Communicate honestly with one another to protect both of you and avoid dangerous situations.
2. EAT MORE FIBER - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Lack of fiber was associated with decreased sexuality. Fiber helps remove estrogen from the male's intestines.
3. LIMIT FAT INTAKE - No more than 30% of daily caloric intake from fat. This lowers your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes - both conditions impair the ability to have an erection.
4. LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE - Shakespeare's Macbeth was right - alcohol "provokes the desire, but ... takes away the performance." Alcohol decreases testosterone and the hormone balance required to make an erection.
5. DON'T SMOKE - Impotence is more prevalent among heavy smokers. Testosterone levels return to near normal a week after quitting.
6. PROTECT YOUR TESTICLES WHEN EXERCISIN G - If you are not comfortable wearing a jock, snug support brief underwear may provide the support you need.
7. EXAMINE YOUR TESTICLES ONCE A MONTH - to feel for any lumps or swelling. If you detect anything abnormal, consult your health practitioner.
8. EXERCISE, BUT DON'T OVERDO - At least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise two/three times a week improved men's sex lives. Always warm-up and cool down.
9. REPORT ANY BLISTER-LIKE SORES - in the genital area. If you are sexually exposed, this may be a herpes infection. This can occur 2 to 30 days after exposure. Infection may not have obvious symptoms.
10. REPORT ANY PAINFUL, BURNING URINATION OR PUS-LIKE DISCHARGE - from the penis. If you are sexually exposed, this may be a warning that you have Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. These are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs ) that can be cured by antibiotics. Even if the symptoms disappear, you can still be infected.
11. TREATMENT - All sexually exposed men with burning on urination and their partners should be treated with antibiotics even if their cultures are negative. Men who have Chlamydia often have negative cultures but if untreated they can become infertile.
12. EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR BODY AND YOUR HEALTH - Knowledge is the best defense in disease prevention. If you are diagnosed with any STD, consult your health practitioner about additional sources of information as well as support groups.
This is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses or treatment, please consult your health care provider.
Mary Lee O'Connell, CRNP