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Posts for: October, 2011

By now, you've probably heard that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening is no longer recommended for healthy men under age 75. This controversial draft recommendation was issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Given previous recommendations from the medical community encouraging PSA screening, many men are confused. Following are answers to some questions you may have about this recommendation -- and our advice on whether you should follow it.

Should You Have a PSA Screening Test? Here’s what Johns Hopkins recommends for patients:

By now, you’ve probably heard that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening is no longer recommended for healthy men under age 75. This controversial draft recommendation was issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Given previous recommendations from the medical community encouraging PSA screening, many men are confused. Following are answers to some questions you may have about this recommendation -- and our advice on whether you should follow it.

What is the USPSTF? The USPSTF is an independent group of 16 medical experts whose recommendations serve as guidelines for doctors throughout the country. In addition, the group’s recommendations ultimately impact what tests Medicare and private insurers will pay for.

Why did they make this recommendation? According to the USPSTF, the potential harms caused by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening of healthy men as a means of identifying prostate cancer far outweigh its potential to save lives. The group discourages the use of any screening test for which the benefits do not outweigh the harms to the target population.

What are the potential harms of PSA screening? An elevated PSA reading can lead to an unnecessary prostate biopsy. Although biopsies often reveal signs of cancer, depending on a man’s age, 30 to 50 percent will not be harmful -- even if left untreated. 

After a positive biopsy comes the decision about what to do. Most men choose radical prostatectomy, external-beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy. But each of these treatments has the potential to cause serious problems like erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence or bowel damage. And men who choose active surveillance must live with the uncertainty of knowing that they have an untreated cancer that could start toprogress at any time.

Why does the Task Force believe PSA screening does not save lives?  The USPSTF evaluated data from five large randomized clinical trials of PSA testing, including the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer (PLCO) Trial, which reported no mortality benefit among 77,000 men who underwent PSA testing and were followed for 10 years.

Do these recommendations apply to all men? These recommendations apply to all men regardless of age, race or family history as long as they do not have symptoms of prostate cancer.

My advice. Many leading cancer and patient groups and doctors agree that there is harm with PSA screening and the treatment that follows diagnosis. But a more targeted screening approach focusing on those at greatest risk of developing prostate cancer, and active surveillance for those who don’t need immediate treatment, could shift the balance of benefit and harm toward benefit.

PSA screening is the best test available for the detection of cancer cells in the prostate. Rather than discontinuing use of the only test available to detect the disease early and treat it successfully, efforts should focus on reducing harm.

Bottom Line:  Every man should discuss the benefits and risks of PSA screening with his physician. If you choose to be screened and the result is positive, you and your doctor should discuss whether any further intervention is appropriate or necessary. 

By contactus
October 25, 2011
Category: vasectomy
Coming soon.
By contactus
October 25, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

What Women Want to Know About Vasectomies

Answers to your most intimate questions.

The vasectomy procedure should be considered carefully by each man and every couple, as vasectomies should be considered permanent. As a woman, you may have special concerns that need to be addressed. Don’t hesitate to ask your physician for more information.

Vasectomy sterilization raises questions for every couple, both men and women, such as "do vasectomies affect male sexual performance?" or "how does the Essure® procedure compare to vasectomy?". Although men can be forthcoming about the questions, concerns and fears they share with their physician, it's just as important for women to be informed and reassured about the procedure. You may be surprised to know that many women share the apprehensions about vasectomies that men have.

Candid questions, correct information, and the assurance of an experienced physician are the keys to feeling more comfortable and sure about the decision you and your spouse to limit the size of your family. Make a list of the questions that concern you most about vasectomies before meeting with your doctor.

Here are some, but not all, of the questions commonly asked by women:

Will a vasectomy affect a man's sexual performance or ejaculation?
How long will it be until my spouse and I can resume sex?
Does the vasectomy procedure leave scars?
After the vasectomy, how soon will it be until my husband is no longer producing sperm?
How long will my husband be in pain after surgery, and how can I help?
Does a vasectomy make you more, or less, susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases?
How young is "too young" for a couple considering vasectomy surgery?
My husband doesn't want surgery-he says that a tubal ligation is just as safe, easy and effective. Is it?
What is the Essure® procedure and how does it compare to vasectomy?

Men with vasectomies typically feel no vasectomy related side effects or change in sexual drive after the vasectomy recovery. Sperm is only a tiny portion of the seminal fluid that is released at ejaculation. A vasectomy does not change the volume, color, or consistency of the ejaculate. Sperm are impossible to detect without the use of a microscope. The quality, intensity and duration of a man's orgasm and ejaculate should not change after a vasectomy.

Physicians usually advise that it's best to wait a week or two following the procedure before returning to sexual activity. It will take additional time before sperm is no longer ejaculated, so an alternate form of birth control will need to be used initially.

Vasectomies leave virtually no scar or noticeable difference to the feel or appearance of the scrotum. Vasectomy is a safe, simple procedure.

the vasectomy procedure, men continue to produce sperm, which are absorbed by the body. Your husband will have one or more sperm tests following surgery, and it will take 6 weeks or longer before he no longer ejaculates sperm and the vasectomy is considered successful.

You can expect your husband to experience some degree of discomfort and swelling on the day of, and after, surgery. A gradually decreasing ache in the scrotal region may follow and last for a week or so. The best medicine for him during his vasectomy recovery time is to follow doctors' orders, lots of ice and rest, and your tender loving care.


Vasectomy surgery does not protect couples from the risk of transmitting or contracting a sexually transmitted disease. These diseases are transferred in body fluids, such as saliva or semen. Both men and women should use condoms if any potential risk of sexually transmitted disease exists.


An individual may choose not to ever father a child at any stage of life, and age is a subjective consideration. However, a good rule of thumb is that couples over the age of 25, who have all the children they desire, are old enough to make this personal, permanent decision.


Vasectomies are performed in just a few minutes with a local anesthetic. The procedure is faster, easier, less expensive and poses much less risk of complications to men than does a tubal ligation for women, which must be performed under general anesthesia, and requires a longer recovery period and is more expensive.

The Essure® procedure involves placing metal coils into the fallopian tubes with a scope through the uterus. Occlusion of the fallopian tubes then usually occurs through scarring over the ensuing months. It is complicated (requiring special expertise with internal instruments) and much more expensive than the simple 15 minute vasectomy. While vasectomies are virtually painless, the Essure procedure is done frequently with anesthesia, or at least with intravenous sedation. While confirmation of sterilization with vasectomy involves only a semen sample, that confirmation after an Essure procedure requires at least one uterine dye x-ray procedure. The Essure procedure offers no better sterilization and its long term data is much more limited than with vasectomy. A vasectomy would be much easier to reverse than the Essure procedure.

In Summary:

  • Vasectomies should be considered permanent birth control, so consider carefully your decision in light of your age financial and marital situation.
  • Be informed and discuss all your options with your spouse and your physician.
  • There is virtually no vasectomy scar post the procedure and sexual performance is not affected.
  • Tubal ligation is a more complicated sterilization procedure compared to vasectomy, which is safer, easier and just as effective.
  • Vasectomy is generally not recommended for couples under the age of 25.

Read more:

Niacin can help men with symptoms of erectile dysfunction who have elevated cholesterol levels. Niacin which is found in chicken, fish, and grains, helps the body process fats while lowering cholesterol levels. Like the popular statin medications, which have also been shown to improve erectile dysfunction, niacin increases the blood flow throughout the body by opening arteries, potentially leading to healthier erections.

A study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that 1500 mg dose of niacin in given to men with high cholesterol levels had a significant increase in their ability to engage in sexual intimacy with their partners. Even in men with severe erectile dysfunction saw even greater improvements in their sexual performance.

Since niacin has very few side effects and is relatively inexpensive, it may be a good alternative for men with erectile dysfunction with an elevated cholesterol levels.

Please don't interpret this study to suggest that treating erectile dysfunction can only be accomplished with niacin. Erectile dysfunction can be a precursor of heart disease and should be treated under a doctor's supervision.

Bottom line: Erectile dysfunction is a common condition affecting millions of American men. One cause of erectile dysfunction is high cholesterol levels which be impaired the blood supply to the penis. In some men this condition can be improved with oral niacin.

By contactus
October 25, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged
Coming soon.