Sexual Health

Sexual health is a key component of any man’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. AHN has multiple options to treat men struggling with sexual health issues, including low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and Peyronie’s disease. 

Low testosterone

Testosterone is the male sex hormone primarily produced by the testicles. Testosterone levels can affect mood, muscle mass, energy, sex drive, and erections. It’s common for the body to produce less testosterone as men get older.

On the other hand, testosterone deficiency, also called hypogonadism, occurs when your body produces less testosterone than it should, which results in:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Changes in mood, including sadness or irritability
  • Body changes such as changes in muscle mass or fat

Testosterone deficiency can result from several factors, including:

  • Genetic disorders
  • Testicular damage or removal
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Pituitary gland disease
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep or exercise
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high
  • Certain medications

Treating low testosterone

If you want to start feeling like yourself again, there are options to treat low testosterone. Learn more about testosterone replacement therapies

  • Lifestyle changes: These include activities that help minimizing stress, regular exercise, weight loss, a healthy diet, and the right amount of quality sleep.
  • Topical gels: These work by replacing the testosterone that would normally be produced by the body.
  • Transdermal patches: Like gels, patches replace testosterone that would normally be produced by the body. They’re usually applied to the back at night. 
  • Oral medication: Often prescribed for testosterone deficiency due to structural or genetic causes.
  • Short-term Injections: This short-acting, self-administered testosterone can be administered yourself. We’ll teach you how, where, and how often to administer the injection.
  • Intranasal treatments: Self-administered gels that provide short-acting testosterone.
  • Long-term Injections: Administered in the doctor’s office, it’s given again four weeks later and then every 10 weeks after that.
  • Implants: Small testosterone-containing pellets are placed under the skin of the buttocks. 

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is difficulty achieving or keeping an erection firm enough for sexual activity. About one half of men over the age of 40 have some degree of ED. ED is diagnosed by history and physical exam, evaluation of life stressors, and, if appropriate, certain lab tests. 

Causes of erectile dysfunction

ED is often linked to other underlying conditions like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Other causes include trauma, emotional or mental stressors, testosterone deficiency, and certain medications.

Treating erectile dysfunction

  • Lifestyle changes: A heart-healthy lifestyle is an erection-healthy lifestyle. Smoking cessation, regular exercise, weight loss, and a healthy diet all promote erectile health.
  • Managing other conditions: Keeping underlying conditions like diabetes, depression, or anxiety under control can improve erectile function.
  • Vacuum erection devices: A pump creates a vacuum that increases blood flow to the penis. Once an erection is achieved, a tension ring is placed to trap the blood and maintain the erection.
  • Medications: Oral ED medications work by relaxing smooth muscle in the penis to allow for better blood flow. Other forms of medication can be put directly in the penis as well (urethral suppositories).
  • Intracavernosal injection therapy: This medication is injected directly into the penis to produce an erection when needed. It works similarly to the oral medications and is often effective if oral medications fail. Patients are taught how to inject the medication.
  • Penile prosthesis implant: This is a surgical option for when other treatment methods have been unsuccessful. Learn more about penile implant surgery.

Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease (PD) causes a change in the shape of the penis. Fibrous scar tissue, known as penile plaque, develops within the penis. This keeps the penis from stretching properly during an erection and can result in difficulty during sex or make it difficult to maintain an erection. For some, this can also cause anxiety that contributes to erectile dysfunction.

Causes of Peyronie’s disease

Scar tissue that causes PD is the result of abnormal healing after injury. One large injury or repeated small injuries (microtraumas) can lead to plaque formation. Sometimes the injury can be the result of autoimmune disease. While the plaques aren’t cancerous, they can cause pain or changes in penile shape during erections.