Painful bladder syndrome in women and erectile dysfunction, or men’s inability to get and maintain an erection, are the two leading “killers” of a healthy, happy sex life in Taiwan, according to the Women’s Healthcare and Urology Foundation of Taiwan.
Some 52 to 67 of every 100,000 women in Taiwan have suffered interstitial cystitis (IC), or painful bladder syndrome (PBS), the group said.
The condition is characterized by an urgent or frequent need to urinate and is often accompanied by pelvic pain.
No one knows what causes IC or PBS, but some sufferers experience pain or other difficulties during intercourse, the foundation said. These symptoms often cause women to shun sex with their husbands, which in turn affects their marriage, it added.
IC and PBS is normally not caused by germs or infection, the foundation said, citing doctors. Most researchers believe they represents a spectrum of disorders in the immune, endocrine or nervous systems.
The foundation said IC and PBS is treatable. About 70 percent of sufferers usually feel better after receiving infusions of hyaluronic acid, which helps to relieve pain and the exhaustion that results from going to the bathroom all night, it said.
This infusion treatment, which is covered under the National Health Insurance program, helps in general to improve sufferers’ quality of life, but it has not yet been determined to what extent it helps improve their sex lives, the foundation said.
Meanwhile, according to the Taiwan Medical Association of Andrology, erection quality is an indicator of cardiovascular health in males and also reflects the degree of male ego and confidence.
However, men suffering from erectile dysfunction generally care more about orgasm, the process of intercourse and their own feelings, the association said.
About 30 percent of men in this category either do not talk or are uncomfortable talking with their sex partners about the problem, according to association chairman Chien Pang-ping (簡邦平).
Chien, a urological surgeon at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, suggested that couples talk more and pay closer attention to each others’ feelings.
At the same time, men with erectile dysfunction should seek