Other Viewpoints on Men's Health
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The Benefits of Viagra

Being a male is a health risk these days. When males and females suffer similar problems, males die faster and earlier than females.

Our biggest difficulties are that we seek help too late, deny a lot of problems and have trouble discussing our feelings. Few men turn up for checkups. Even when they do, many will not mention long-standing problems unless specifically asked.

Since the release of Viagra, GP's have been delighted to have seen many men for a checkup. All have had some problem with their love life for years and many have health problems that need attention.

The problems centre on relationships, stress, general fitness, alcohol, drugs, medications, and previously unrecognised illnesses. Over time some people have drifted apart, have not invested time and effort in communication. For these men, sex has become reduced to a biological activity and is simply boring.

Adrenaline interferes with male performance. Once the novelty of sex has worn off, men need to be relaxed and in the mood to perform. Being stressed means that blood is directed elsewhere.

We are not superhuman and every so often there are failures. If we do not accept these failures as being part of the human experience, every time an opportunity presents itself we worry that we will fail

This anxiety itself becomes the problem, kicks up too much adrenaline and as I said, it directs the blood elsewhere.

Poor sleep and poor fitness interfere with all performances, even in the bedroom. Self medication for stress such as alcohol, smoking and other drugs also have a definite effect on males.

Rarely, some medications can interfere with sexual functioning. But unless the doctor is told of the problem, an alternative cannot be offered.

And there is a wide range of medical conditions which interfere with male functioning, especially depression, diabetes and heart disease.

Discussion of impotence provides a great chance to check for illness, promote health and discuss the benefits of healthy living. As such VIRGO has already proven itself as a major help in GPs promotion of men's health

Dr Chris Hoagy is chairman of the Victorian Faculty of the
Royal Australian College of General Practitione

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