Lamm has endorsed an herbal remedy, marketed under the Roaring Tiger label, that combines horny goat weed and other herbal extracts with the amino acid L- arginine. He has a loving wife who has always enjoyed their sex life. It's a testimony to men's abiding insecurities about sexual performance. For young men with sexual performance problems and no signs of physical problems, Boyle may prescribe counseling and a low dose of Viagra as they work out issues of insecurity. Men's Health Feature Stories. Herbs and Male Enhancement Thousands of years before Viagra, men were consuming everything from horny goat weed to powdered rhino horn in hopes of boosting sexual performance.
Links Between Sexual and Overall Health
The question is, do any of these "male enhancement" techniques really work? Richard, a mechanic from upstate New York, is a muscular, athletic guy. He has a loving wife who has always enjoyed their sex life. But ever since he was a young boy, Richard couldn't get over the feeling that his penis was too small.
In public bathrooms, he'd use the handicapped stall. He felt embarrassed in gym locker rooms and when standing naked before his wife. Then, in the back of a weightlifting magazine, he saw an ad for the FastSize Extender, a device that claims to make the penis longer and fatter through traction. Richard began wearing the device almost eight hours a day, every day. He was shocked to notice a difference within a few days. After four months of wearing the device, he says his flaccid penis has stretched from 3 inches to over 5 inches; erect, he has gone from less than 6 inches to over 7 inches.
The FastSize Extender, though not extensively tested, has received some validation from mainstream medical sources. But that makes it a true rarity among the nonprescription methods of male enhancement. Most are a waste of money, and some are downright dangerous, doctors say. Instead of furtively turning to untested methods, men with persistent concerns should consider opening up about them with their doctors.
That's because performance problems sometimes act as an early warning signal for serious health problems. Your doctor might be able to prescribe something that can really help, or least provide a valuable dose of perspective about what constitutes "normal" sexual performance.
Sexual performance declines naturally as men age, doctors say. But a rapid or severe decrease in performance or libido can be a red flag. Most importantly, erectile dysfunction may be an early predictor of heart disease. Atherosclerosis , a condition in which fatty deposits build up inside arteries , may restrict blood flow to the penis and cause erection difficulties.
For men with ED who are at risk of heart disease , prescribing Viagra or its cousins isn't enough, Boyle says. These men should be also be controlling their weight and cholesterol level, limiting their alcohol intake, and quitting smoking. Evidence shows that these changes in themselves can have a positive effect on sexual function, Boyle says. Sometimes men with erection problems or a diminished libido have low levels of testosterone , Boyle says.
Testosterone deficiencies can also affect mood and energy levels. Boyle tests for testosterone levels and prescribes it as a topical gel, though she warns it is only safe when prescribed and monitored by a physician.
Nonprescription testosterone, such as the kind used by some bodybuilders, is dangerous, she warns. For men with performance issues who are physically healthy, Boyle often prescribes counseling, such as marriage counseling for men with relationship issues or psychiatric help for men who are preoccupied with a problem in penile appearance.
For young men with sexual performance problems and no signs of physical problems, Boyle may prescribe counseling and a low dose of Viagra as they work out issues of insecurity. The FastSize Extender device promises results, but it's far from quick and easy.
Just ask Bob, a retail manager from New Jersey. He says he's gained over 2 inches of erect length. All it took was 25 months and over 2, hours wearing the device, typically five hours a day, seven days a week. Richard, the mechanic from New York, got results faster than Bob, but still wore the device under his clothes for about eight hours a day. Richard's wife has also been supportive. She also says the lengthening has enhanced their sex life, though she had no complaints before.
Chicago urologist Laurence A. Levine, MD, director of the male fertility program at Rush University Medical Center, tested the FastSize Extender on 10 men afflicted with Peyronie's disease , which can cause bending and shrinkage of the penis.
At the end of the six-month study, which was funded by the maker of the FastSize Extender, Levine found increased penile length and reduced curvature in every man and increased girth in seven of the men.
In August , they told the manufacturer of this supplement to drop the magic act and take it off the shelves because the product's two main ingredients, hydroxyhomosildenafil and sulfoaildenafil, aren't listed on the box, aren't "supplements" and aren't really tested.
It's not magic in this instant coffee sold to boost sexual performance. Magic Power Coffee's website says the extra mojo comes from honey goat weed and goji berries. If you wind up with Duro Extend in your stocking this year, you might want to send it back to Santa. The FDA recalled the product in early December because the "dietary supplement" is secretly supplemented with sulfoaidenafil, a drug similar to Viagra, but not tested.
Vigor may be keeping hope alive for its users, but the FDA says the product marketed as a "natural dietary supplement to enhance male sexual performance," is really giving consumers a dose of sulfoaildenafil, a chemical similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.
Dangerous interactions with nitrates and low blood pressure are possible. The agency says the pills contain "hydroxythiohomosildenafil, a chemical similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Like sildenafil, this chemical may interact with prescription drugs such as nitrates, including nitroglycerin, and cause dangerously low blood pressure.
If patients want Viagra, they visit a doctor. If they want more Vitalex, they might consider a trip to a federal prison in Texas, where company founder Phu Tan Luong is serving a year sentence for an unrelated Medicare fraud.
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