Wed, Jul 30, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Group advises men to seek help for erectile dysfunction

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

As many as 1.7 million adult men have erectile dysfunction, but only 4 percent to 5 percent will seek professional help, the Taiwan Erectile Dysfunction Advisory Council and Training (EDACT) said yesterday, adding that since sexual satisfaction is a vital part of adult life, those in need should see a urologist at an accredited hospital as soon as possible.

“The more advanced and civilized a society, the younger the age group of men who start to experience erectile difficulties” because of pressure in life, EDACT chairman Thomas Hwang (黃一勝) said during a Taiwanese puppet show on how men should address erectile dysfunction.

“Among the 6.54 million men in Taiwan above the age of 30, about 1.7 million cannot sustain or initiate an erection, but few ever seek professional help,” said Hwang, who is also the chairman of Shin Kong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital urology division’s department of surgery.

As such, the council has made a DVD using Taiwanese folk art puppets that perform skits discussing these “embarrassing, but important” problems, which will be played in the urology departments of major hospitals around the country, Hwang said.

“We chose folk art puppets because most men with physical erectile difficulties are between the ages of 40 and 65, and puppet shows are a part of their childhood. With this familiarity, as well as a little humor blended into the skits, we hope to encourage men to open up and seek professional help when they are in need,” he said.

Saying that sex is vital to a healthy relationship, Hwang said that those who have dysfunction in bed may also suffer from low confidence, troubled relationships, low overall life satisfaction and health problems.

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction, including high blood pressure, diabetes, severe depression, heart disease, aging, or psychological problems, Hwang said.

While sexual dysfunction in twentysomething men stems from psychological causes, such as pressure from work or family responsibilities, older men often suffer from impotence because of comorbid physical diseases or advanced age, he said.

“With prescribed oral medication, such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, about 75 percent of patients’ conditions can be improved. If that doesn’t work, intracavernosal injections or surgery can be employed for treatment,” Hwang said.

Uncertified impotence medication may only produce a placebo effect and can even have negative side effects, Hwang said, adding that prolonged undertreatment of impotence may aggravate the problem and make it harder to cure.

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