When it comes to dealing with concerns about their sexual health, men typically spend a lot of time standing in their own way, too inhibited to ask the right questions of the right people.
Finding a doctor with whom you can speak candidly about your nether-regions is an essential part of growing up and aging gracefully.
On a recent episode of Northwell Presents Hanging Out, Drs. Richstone and Blacksburg take an unflinching look at erectile dysfunction with Dr. Boback Berookhim, the director of Male Fertility and Microsurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Dr. Berookhim deals with all things related to male sexuality on a daily basis, and there's not much left in that world that's going to surprise him.
"The bottom line is that this is a normal thing that affects everybody's life," Dr. Berookhim says. "I think the main issue with the discomfort here is that these tend to be taboo topics. ...These are common conditions, and the bottom line is that we can help."
While erectile dysfunction might not be easy to talk about, if you've ever experienced it, you're in good company.
By age 40, about half of men will experience ED in some form. The prevalence only increases as men age.
"The bottom line is that everybody has their own normal," Dr. Berookhim says. "...It's a very subjective issue."
If men notice an unwelcome change in their sexual performance — if they begin to have "performance anxiety" because of that change, they should talk to a doctor about their options. Lifestyle modifications like changes to diet and increase in exercise are typically the first line of defense, but pills have very few negative side effects. If those don't get results, injections and surgery remain viable options.