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Sexual Medicine’s 2015 Congress

The African Society for Sexual Medicine’s 2015 Congress commenced on the 26th of November in Durban  with a series of presentations from internationally renowned speakers on a variety of sexual health topics.

In one of the first presentations Prof Hartmut Porst a Urologist/Andrologist from Germany provided insight into the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). He stressed the importance of the impact of ED on partners. In one study in Germany, 55% of partners of men with ED reported sexual dysfunctions. “When ED renders a couple impotent there is a clear need to treat the condition.”

Prof Porst explained the importance of identifying cardiovascular risk factors in men who complain of erectile dysfunction. ED and cardiovascular disease are closely linked and although there are now a variety of effective treatments available for ED these treatments are likely to work more effectively in men if they adopt a healthy lifestyle. This includes exercising, losing weight and reducing carbohydrate intake in the evening.

He also stressed the importance of checking what medications men are taking as several commonly prescribed drugs can actually cause ED, these include diuretics and beta blockers which are used to treat high blood pressure.

Apart from checking for cardiovascular disease, doctors should also check that there are no hormonal causes by measuring levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Prolactin and Testosterone.

The good news for men and their partners affected by ED is that treatments include a number of options and that if one option doesn’t work, there is a strong possibility that another treatment or a combination of treatments will.