WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BPH: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT
In my own experience, the decision to wait or to take immediate action was not an easy one to make as the symptoms of my BPH worsened. The quality of my life had definitely been impacted, yet I was very apprehensive about going in for surgery.
The first urologist I visited appeared to be very impatient with me when I asked questions pertaining to my BPH. He suggested that I consider surgery; due to the size of my gland and the symptoms I was experiencing, he believed an operation was inevitable. He was later proved to be correct, but he did not mention any other options, and I perceived that he was too aggressive in wanting to schedule a date for this procedure.
Due to my public health background (as a health educator for the Los Angeles Health Department, a teacher of gerontology, and an author of two books on health), I was well aware of the complications that could develop during surgery. A review of literature pertaining to BPH revealed that the mortality rate of BPH and prostate surgery was less than 1 percent, but I didn't want to be that one out of one hundred. Actually, the cause of death from this operation is usually due to a heart attack or pulmonary problem, and it generally targets patients older than I was.
I decided to get a second opinion. I asked several of my physician friends to whom they would go if they or members of their family had prostate disorders. The name of one particular urologist was mentioned, so I made an appointment with him.
This urologist took the time to explain to me in detail, using diagrams, the progression of my problem and the options for treating it. He outlined a plan of watchful waiting and advised me to call him immediately if I noticed any change in the symptoms, which is what I did.
The most serious problem developed when I experienced urinary retention. The pain, to put it mildly, was excruciating. On the way to the emergency room for some immediate and possibly life-saving treatment, I made up my mind: This is itno more waiting. If I had any doubts about changing my course of action, the events in the hospital confirmed my decisionnever again do I want to go through that much pain. With a great deal of enthusiasm, I looked forward to an operation as soon as possible. But I had to wait about a week for the healing process to take place, during which time a catheter was attached to my leg for the withdrawal of urine. The catheter was finally removed, and an examination showed that I -was ready for the operation.
My urologist explained to me, using an enlarged picture of the gland, that my prostate was of a size that required open surgery an incision through the abdomen. During surgery, the prostatic tissue causing the blockage was removed, and it was found to be nonmalignant. My rehabilitation ran its course, and now I feel as if I have been reborn.
Looking back, I don't regret the problems and inconveniences I subjected myself to during all those years of waiting. I still think it made good sense not to go for surgery until it was definitely necessary, as it turned out to be in my situation. Your situation or your brother's or your friend'smay be different.
Men's Health Erectile Dysfunction
MAINTAINING A GOOD SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP
As superfluous as it may appear, it is nonetheless important to mention at the outset of this discussion the fundamental significance of a clean and attractive body to successful sexual interaction. Sex appeal is most certainly not confined to the marriage bed; it exists between the partners at all times, and should be carefully nurtured. By attractiveness, facial and bodily handsomeness is not implied; rather, attractiveness means scrupulous cleanliness of body and clothing, and taking the greatest advantage possible of all the physical endowments that nature has seen fit to bestow on each of us. Not everyone can be beautiful, but there is no excuse for anyone's not being attractively neat and clean at all times.
A man who is overweight, chronically unshaven and slovenly dressed, and whose breath reeks of tobacco or alcohol, can hardly expect to be considered a desirable bed partnereven after a session with shower, toothbrush, and razor later in the evening because his wife's memories of his earlier unattractiveness will simply detract from the excitement of the experience. Similarly, a woman who neglects to make up her face, sits around home in bathrobe and curlers, allows herself to become significantly overweight or underweight, permits even faint urine, vaginal, or underarm odors to emanate, or does not often shave her legs and underarms is setting the stage for a loss of respect, admiration, and even love; sexual failure cannot then be far behind.
Certainly before joining each other in bed, whether or not sexual activities are anticipated, each spouse should see to it that he has at least a clean body, fresh breath, and neat, attractive nightclothes. To do otherwise is to deny to the marriage bed one of the basic ingredients for a happy sex life.
The sense of smell is almost as important in sexual stimulation as the sense of sight is. There is a physiological relationship between the tissues of the nose and of the sex organs, as was described earlier. Conditioning factors also are frequently present in the relationship between the sense of smell and sexuality. During courtship, for example, the faint scent of a girl's perfume or of a man's after-shave lotion may become associated with their love and subsequent sexual arousal. After marriage, the same pleasant scent may well serve to reestablish the excitement that developed in the atmosphere of courtship. Conditioning quite naturally involves many sensory elements other than smell. Almost any occurrence during the period of courtship that forms an association with love and passion can later be woven advantageously into the fabric of the couple's sexual interaction.
The qualities of courtesy, kindness, and sensitivity to the needs and desires of others are fundamental to all successful human relationships; most particularly are they vital to sexual associations. Bearing in mind the differences in individual needs and desires, it is incumbent upon each person to discover what, precisely, offers the greatest pleasure to his partner in the sexual relationship. Genuine efforts to incorporate these discoveries into one's technique of sexual approach must be made before one may expect complete emotional fulfillment. For example, some partners prefer the conversation during sexual activity to be quite earthy, even to the point that the expressions used would be vulgar under other circumstances. Another couple might be shocked by such utterances, preferring to speak to one another softly in tender and loving words.
Pace, as well as style, is also a matter of individual taste. However, it is ordinarily wisest to proceed slowly and gently, with the goal in mind of bringing gratification to the partner rather than hurrying to satisfy one's own needs. One should not hesitate, furthermore, even to sacrifice one's own present fulfillment altogether if it means giving greater pleasure to the spouse; not only is it a generous and loving thing to do, but it will assuredly pay handsome dividends later. The best, and certainly the least stressful, way for each partner to determine the specific amatory desires of the other is to open wide the doors of candid communication. Neither partner is clairvoyant, and an inadvertently offensive gesture or clumsiness might impede the present response, and inhibit response in similar circumstances at a future time.
Variations in sexual approach and in the settings can add considerable spice to marriage. Too often sexual acts become ritualized, stale, and unimaginative, engaged in only to provide relief to physical urgency. Couples who wish to preserve delight and vigor in their sexual interaction will work as consistently on this aspect of their marriage as on any other. A husband who impulsively sweeps his wife into his arms in the middle of a happy afternoon and carries her off to the bedroom and makes wild love to her, or the couple who occasionally has sexual intercourse while taking a shower, or the wife who surprises her husband by appearing in his study wearing nothing but a smile and two cold, very dry Martinisthese couples are not likely to find sex dull, even after years of marriage. The playing of soft music, using mirrors to observe closely the intimacies of the sex act, perusing sensuous literature and art: all these can help keep boredom out of the bedroom.128 Men and women both want variety in their sexual lives; and if this ideal is reached within their marriage, there is considerably less likelihood that either husband or wife will seek it elsewhere. Imagination and willingness to experiment, coupled with an air of confidence and consideration, will serve most marriages very well.
Men's Health Erectile Dysfunction