• Prostate Health Month

    Prostate Cancer Awareness

    Prostate Cancer Awareness

    September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

    About one in 9 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, making it the second most common cancer, after skin cancer. Like many cancers, though, it can be treated successfully if detected early. In September, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and November, Men’s Health Awareness Month, we want to spread awareness to help men take better care of their health.

    Prostate Screenings are Important

    Men often get a little bit nervous about prostate exams, because the doctor must perform a digital rectal exam (DRE). This involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate’s surface, as well as examining the lower rectum and assessing the function of the anal sphincter. These exams are necessary, though, and people assigned male at birth should start having them around age 45 or 50, depending on their level of risk. In addition to the DRE, a prostate screening involves a PSA blood test, which measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood.

    What to Expect from a Prostate Exam

    You don’t have to do much to prepare before a prostate exam, but you should let your doctor know if you have any issues like hemorrhoids, anal tears, or anal fissures. You’ll also need to abstain from sex for 48 hours before the exam, because ejaculation can cause your PSA levels to temporarily increase, and this can affect the test results. You don’t need to change your bathroom habits or be nervous if you haven’t defecated, because your doctor is used to this type of exam.

    Doctors perform the two different types of screenings because, while a PSA blood test is very effective for detecting prostate cancer, the DRE can find cancer in people with normal PSA levels. During the DRE, your doctor will feel for lumps and bumps on the back portion of the prostate, where many cancers start. This exam only takes a few seconds, and while it may be uncomfortable, it’s not usually painful. The PSA is just a simple blood draw, sent to the lab for analysis. It only takes about a day to get the results, and if the PSA level is high, you may need further testing to diagnose prostate cancer, like a prostate biopsy, MRI, or other lab tests.

    A Healthy Lifestyle can Help Protect Your Prostate

    Prostate screenings are important for protecting your prostate health, because prostate cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms. They’re not the only measure you can take to keep your prostate healthy. Following these healthy living tips will help not only with your prostate health, but also with your overall well-being.

    • Watch your weight. Prostate cancer is just one of the many health issues linked to obesity.
    • Eat your veggies. Vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens, are important for prostate health. The vitamins and minerals found in foods like Romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and broccoli are vital for a healthy prostate.
    • Cut back on red meat. Heavy consumption of red meat can increase your risk of prostate cancer, but eating it on special occasions only will reduce your risk.
    • Understand your risk. Talk to your doctor about your risk level; high risk groups include African Americans, those of Scandinavian descent, and people with a family history of prostate cancer.
    • Get regular exercise. Exercising for 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace can have a preventive effect on many health issues, including prostate health.
    • Drink plenty of water. The recommended amount of water for proper hydration is at least eight cups of water daily, and more if it’s hot or you’re very active.
    • Manage your stress. Long-term stress weakens the immune system and alters your hormonal balance, increasing your risk of disease. Strategies like mindfulness and meditation can help with stress management.
    • Don’t smoke. Smoking causes carbon monoxide to attack your red blood cells, increasing your risk of prostate cancer and other diseases. If you are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor.

    Center for Vasectomy Reversal Cares About Men’s Health

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, men’s health is our priority. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their health and fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.


  • Pimples on Your Testicles and When You Should Be Concerned

    Pimples are problematic, wherever they occur, but a pimple on your testicles can be particularly troublesome. Given that pimples can happen anywhere on your body, it’s not surprising that they could happen down there, but are they a cause for concern? Can you treat them at home, or do you need to see a doctor? Most importantly, how can you keep them from coming back?

    What makes your scrotum susceptible to pimples? Some of the common causes of pimples are ingrown hairs and pore blockage, and since that area contains many hair follicles and pores, it is a welcoming environment for pimples. Unfortunately, sometimes a pimple is more than a pimple. In some cases, it could be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or another infectious condition. How can you tell the difference?

    If you’ve got a pimple, it will be red or discolored, and may have pus in the center. Pimples with white pus in the center are called whiteheads, while clogged pores that look black are a type of pimple called a blackhead. Sometimes pimples occur on their own, but they can also cluster, especially on your scrotum, where it’s moist, sweaty, and rubs against your clothing. Pimples that occur there are typically either due to an infected hair follicle or the build-up of skin oil. While those pimples are not a big deal, you should seek medical attention if you notice pain or itching around the pimple, pain when urinating, inflammation of the testicles or scrotum, sores on your penis, thighs, anus, or buttocks, large blisters that burst, large patches of red or white bumps, swelling in the genital area, hard lumps in your testicles, or discharge from your penis. These could be signs of an STI or a serious condition, like cancer.

    If you just have a regular pimple, or even a bunch of them, you can usually treat them at home. Don’t apply acne medication like you’d put on your face, because the skin around your genitals is very sensitive. Never pop a pimple, no matter where it is located; this can cause the breakout to get worse. Instead, apply a warm, wet washcloth to the area for 20 minutes, four times a day. If you’d like, you can put two drops of tea tree oil on the washcloth, and this will help clean the area of oils. A dot of castor oil on the pimple can help reduce infection, and so can using gentle soap and a washcloth to clean around it when you shower. You can also mix corn starch with water and apply this paste to the pimple to help dry it, or use an antibacterial cream or ointment to help clear out bacteria and fungi. If the pimples don’t go away or at least look better after several days of treating them at home, see a doctor.

    How can you prevent pimples on your testicles? Keep the area clean by bathing or showering at least once every day or two, and use corn starch or a powder to keep the area dry. Wear underwear made of natural materials like cotton to allow air flow, and refrain from wearing tight clothing. Don’t tweeze, pluck, or wax hair in the genital area, and if you engage in some manscaping, pay attention to see whether it causes a flare up of pimples. Practice safe sex, to protect yourself from exposure to bacteria and viruses.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we are concerned with every aspect of men’s health, and we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.


  • Can Certain Medications Affect Your Sperm Health?

    Man rethinking taking medication.

    Often, infertility is assumed to be a woman’s problem. However, male infertility is also significant, and sperm quality can heavily impact the chances of conception. Many factors can affect male fertility, including excess weight, cigarette smoking, excessive drinking, and use of recreational drugs. While all of these factors are commonly known, what is less well known is that certain medication can interfere with male fertility.

    How can medications affect a man’s fertility? Often, medication will decrease the production of sperm, but in some cases, medications will affect the function of the sperm itself. Decreased production leads to low sperm count, which means fewer sperm will be available to fertilize an egg. If a medication impacts the motility of the sperm, that means the sperm won’t move as efficiently and will have difficulty reaching the egg. Generally, once a man stops taking medication, it takes at least two or three months for his sperm to recover, since it takes that long for sperm to form and mature. With certain medications, however, it can take months or years for fertility to return to normal, and it might not return at all.

    So, what types of medications have a negative impact on sperm? Over-the-counter medication does not usually cause an issue, as long as it’s taken correctly and in the proper dosage. However, it’s important to be cautious when you’re trying to conceive, so it’s wise to discuss any OTC medications with your doctor. Certain OTC medicines warrant particular caution:

    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) sometimes reduce fertility. According to a recent study, men taking 1,200 mg of ibuprofen daily can develop a hormonal condition that causes a problem, especially if the man is older. What was not made clear in the study is whether lower doses of ibuprofen can have the same effect. Additionally, while the effects are reversible when the medication is taken for short periods of time, it’s unclear whether they’re reversible if taken long-term.
    • Natural or herbal remedies can cause problems for men trying to conceive. Because herbal remedies are not held to the same regulatory standards as medications, it’s better to stay away from them to protect fertility. Supplements that contain testosterone can be particularly problematic, so avoid anything that uses terms like “male enhancement,” “andro booster,” or “T-booster.”

    There are prescription medications that can have a significant impact on fertility.

    • Steroids and testosterone therapy can have a strong negative impact on sperm production. In fact, testosterone supplements will completely stop sperm production. Whether the man is taking anabolic steroids, herbal supplements with testosterone, or a prescription testosterone replacement from the doctor, the effect is the same. Testosterone blocks the body’s natural hormonal signals that cause the testicles to make sperm. The result is that the semen will either have a very low concentration of sperm or will have no sperm at all. This effect is reversible, but it takes a long time for the sperm to recover. In fact, it can take six to 12 months for sperm count to get back to normal.
    • Chemotherapy can wipe out your sperm count. This is because chemo works by killing rapidly dividing cells, like cancer cells, but also, unfortunately, sperm cells. After cancer treatment, it’s common for men to have no sperm in the semen. However, natural fertility can return one to five years after the treatment is discontinued. If you’ve been through chemo, it’s best to wait at least two years before attempting to conceive. For some people, though, fertility never recovers. If you are about to start chemotherapy, talk to your doctor about freezing your sperm for later use.
    • Blood pressure medications can decrease semen volume, sperm concentration, and sperm motility. These medications, especially calcium channel blockers, can also cause decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.
    • Opioids can interfere with sexual performance and fertility. Long-term use, in particular, can disrupt the signals that control testosterone production. If you’ve only used opioids short-term, as for the treatment of a broken bone or when recovering from surgery, you may not need to worry.
    • Antidepressants can cause a drop in libido and may negatively affect sperm production. Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most common medications used to treat depression and anxiety, and they can hinder your chances of conception. However, there are other medications your doctor or mental health provider can prescribe that won’t have the same impact.
    • Other medications may be problematic if you’re trying to conceive. Antibiotics can interfere with testosterone and sperm production, especially an antifungal antibiotic called Ketoconazole. Biologics, used to treat autoimmune disorders, can reduce sperm count, and alpha-blockers, prescribed to treat the symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, can inhibit ejaculation. 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors like Propecia® and Avodart®, used for hair loss and prostate enlargement treatment, can make it hard to conceive, but the effect goes away when you stop taking them. Anti-epilepsy medications, antiretrovirals, blood pressure medications, and some other medications can also cause fertility problems.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we are concerned with every aspect of men’s health, and we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Can getting kicked in the testicles affect fertility?

    It’s a joke in Hollywood movies and a staple of America’s Funniest Home Videos, but if it happens to you, you’re unlikely to find it funny. Getting kicked or hit in the testicles can hurt badly, and if it’s significant enough, it can lead to complications that include sexual dysfunction, urological problems, low testosterone, and even infertility. Let’s look at why testicles are so sensitive, and how to know if your injury is serious enough for concern.

    The testicles are vulnerable to injury because they hang outside of the body. These two, small, egg-shaped organs are contained in the scrotum, and having them outside the body keeps them 2 degrees lower than the rest of the body, the ideal temperature for sperm production. While that’s great news for sperm production, it means there are no muscles or bones protecting the testicles from blunt force trauma or penetrating injuries. Blunt trauma, resulting from being kicked or struck by an object, makes up 85 percent of testicular injuries. Penetrating injuries, which happen when something like a knife or bullet pierces the skin, makes up the other 15 percent. Vehicular accidents, bicycle collisions, animal bites, and machinery accidents are all sources of testicular injury.

    If you suffer an injury to your testicles, you may experience a contusion, which involves swelling, bleeding, or bruising, cause by damage to the blood vessels. There are also other, more serious types of injuries. Testicular torsion happens when the spermatic cord inside the testicle is twisted, and this leads to tissue death. A rupture or fracture is a tear in the testicle covering, while a degloving means the scrotum skin has been torn away from the testicles. Your testicle may be forced out of position, which is called a dislocation, or it could be detached from the body.

    No matter what kind of injury your testicles sustain, it’s going to hurt intensely, and that pain will probably last at least an hour. That’s because the genital area is packed full of nerve endings, so it is much more sensitive than areas of the body where the nerves are spread out more. You will probably feel referred pain in your stomach, because there are shared nerves and tissues between the abdomen and scrotum. To get over the pain, you may need to lie down, apply a cold compress, and take an over the counter pain reliever. Wearing supportive underwear can help because it limits movement.

    If the pain lasts more than an hour, you should probably head to the emergency room. Bruising, fever, persistent nausea, difficulty urinating, or blood in the urine are also symptoms that necessitate emergency medical care. These symptoms could mean that enough damage has happened to impact your fertility. Testicular torsion and rupture are both conditions that require surgery to repair them, and if you get medical treatment quickly enough, normal function can be restored.

    If the damage is not repaired in time, or there is damage to the epididymis that causes testicular shrinkage, it can impact your fertility. There is also a type of infection which may go undetected until days after the injury. Left untreated, it can cause the epididymis to be unable to store and carry sperm. Scar tissue from an injury may cause a reduction in sperm production. In other cases, a testicular injury can affect hormone production, making it difficult to maintain an erection or conceive a child. It’s always important to get a testicular injury checked out if you think it might be severe, so that you can protect your fertility.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.


  • How to Prevent Burnout as a Father

    When you are a parent, it seems there’s always something you need to be doing. Whether you’re working at your job or working at home, it seems like there’s always pressure to do more. Sometimes, men fail to take care of themselves, and this can cause a dad to experience burnout. Burnout is an actual condition, and it’s been especially prevalent since the onset of the pandemic. Left unchecked, it can wreck your health, your marriage, and your friendships. How can you prevent this? Recognize that self-care doesn’t necessarily mean pampering, but it does mean taking care of yourself, so you’ll be strong enough to take care of others. Here are some tips for avoiding burnout.

    • Take a timeout. Timeouts are not just for kids, they’re good for adults, too. Taking 15 minutes to take a break can help you catch your breath so that you can re-engage with your family in a better headspace.
    • Get some sleep. Research shows that people who get eight hours of sleep each night are more productive. Even if you are busy, prioritize your sleep, rather than skimping on rest in order to get ahead.
    • Go outside and exercise. It’s easy to feel exhausted, grumpy, and irritable if you haven’t been getting enough exercise. Something as simple as taking a walk can boost your energy and clear your head.
    • Connect with your wife. Spending time with your spouse, listening to her and talking to her, can improve your relationship and strengthen your ability to work as a team. Raising a family is hectic, and you each need a partner, so make this a priority.
    • Have an adventure. Try something new, whether it’s a new creative hobby or an epic outdoor adventure spent kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, or deep sea fishing. You can do this by yourself, with some buddies, or take your wife and children on a fun adventure with you. The family time you spend doing something new and fun can strengthen your bond.
    • Spend some time in quiet reflection. Learn to meditate, institute a daily prayer routine, or simply sit each day or a few minutes and quietly ask yourself a few questions. Think about something you recently learned, pick words to describe your week, identify your biggest challenges and wins, and think about how you can make your next week better than this one. Think about your priorities or identify areas of stress. It doesn’t really matter what you think about, as long as you are alone with your thoughts for a little while.
    • Make time to hang out without kids. Don’t neglect your social life just because you have kids. Spend time out with friends, and spend time out with your wife, remembering who you used to be before you were a dad.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Perform Testicular Self-Exams

    Did you know that testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting young men? Fortunately, survival rates are high, but when diagnosis comes during the later stages, patients often require chemotherapy, which can not only cause unfortunate side effects but can also impact fertility. It’s best to catch it in the early stages, so that the cancer can be removed through surgery, with no other treatment required. How can you catch it? With regular testicular self-exams. Here, we offer instructions on how to effectively perform these exams.

    The first step is to know your own anatomy. If one testicle is larger or hangs lower than the other one, don’t be alarmed, because this is normal. Be aware that the epididymis is located at the back and top of each testicle and can be mistaken for a mass. Feel for it to get a sense of where it is: it will feel softer and bumpier than the testicle.

    Once you have a good understanding of how your testicles normally feel, it’s time to start performing a monthly exam. It’s best to do it in the shower because a warm shower will make the exam easier by relaxing the scrotum and the surrounding muscles. Examine each testicle separately, following these steps.

    • Cup the testicle, using both hands.
    • Roll it between the thumb and fingers, using slight pressure.
    • Feel for lumps or irregularities.

    If you do find something unusual, see your doctor as soon as possible. Typically, men wait four to six months to see a doctor, and this is a mistake, because it can allow the cancer to spread. Don’t wait too long out of embarrassment or fear, the doctor has seen it all before and it won’t be a painful exam. Your doctor will perform a quick exam, talk to you, and send you for an ultrasound. Most of the time, testicular masses are not cancerous, but it’s important to see the doctor to make sure. Even a benign condition can cause pain and threaten your fertility, including cysts, infection, injury, varicocele, or hydrocele.

    There are other symptoms and signs of testicular cancer as well, so it’s smart to keep an eye out for them. A lump or enlarged testicle is typically the first sign, and other symptoms could mean that the cancer has spread. These symptoms include pain, discomfort, or numbness in the testicle or scrotum, change in the way your testicle feels, or a feeling of heaviness, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, or sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum. You might also experience breast tenderness or growth, lower back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and bloody sputum or phlegm. Sometimes a blood clot can form because of testicular cancer, causing swelling in the legs and shortness of breath. Any suspicious symptoms warrant a visit to the doctor as soon as possible.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • The Importance of Brotherhood

    Close friendships are important for our health and wellbeing, and all humans have an innate desire to connect with others. In a recent survey from the Survey Center on American Life, however, only about one in five men reported receiving emotional support from a friend within the last week. The number is about double that for women. According to that same survey, fewer than half of men are satisfied with their friendships. Why do men have trouble making friends and maintaining friendships? Does it matter?

    In a word, yes. Research indicates that men need close friendships with other men to help them cope with anxiety, stress, and depression by providing support and a sense of belonging. The reason men have trouble connecting with other men may be that they’re too busy, have difficulty finding other men with whom they share interests, or simply prioritize work and other obligations over finding and keeping friends. Additionally, because men are conditioned to be independent and self-sufficient, which can make it difficult for them to reach out to others when they need support or companionship. Boys grow up believing that relationships and emotional vulnerability are feminine, and this makes it harder for them to develop true friendships.

    Men who do not have close friendships, though, run the risk of emotional isolation, which is a leading factor in medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s heart disease, high blood pressure, and more. Often, men mistakenly believe that having a romantic partner is enough, relying on the women in their lives to provide support and allow them to be vulnerable. This, however, can strain a relationship. No one person can be all things to another person, and it’s important to have different people in your life, to provide you with different perspectives. Healthy male friendships are an important part of a man’s community.

    What constitutes a healthy male friendship? Open, healthy male relationships have mutual respect, trust, and support, and communicate openly and honestly. There’s also a willingness to be there for each other, during the good times and the bad. Healthy male friendships are built on shared interests and activities, and there’s a balance of give and take. Both men can be open with each other, and there’s a sense of acceptance and confidence to be themselves without being judged. Friendships can evolve and grow over time, as the men pass through different stages of life.

    If you are a man who struggles to find friends, how can you go about forging friendships? Start by getting involved in activities that interest you. This is a great way to meet like-minded individuals, and friendships often develop naturally when you interact on a team or in a class. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone if he’d like to have lunch or grab coffee with you, so that you can get to know each other better. Be genuine and a good listener, and be proactive about maintaining friendships, making time for your friends and being there when they need you. Over time, these new friendships can develop into deep, meaningful, long-lasting relationships.

    Making friends is important for your mental wellbeing, as well as your physical health. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we are concerned with every aspect of men’s health, and we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How Taking Care of Your Teeth Can Impact Your Overall Health

    You know that taking care of your mouth is important, so that you can maintain a healthy smile throughout your life. But did you also know that the health of your mouth has an impact on the rest of your body? Oral health is linked to overall health, so taking care of your teeth is vital. Here, we look at the ways taking care of your teeth can help keep your body healthy.

    • How are oral health and overall health connected? It’s easy to think of your mouth and body as separate entities, especially since your dentist and doctor are separate. In fact, though, your whole body is a unit, and since the mouth is the primary pathway into the body, it is important to protect it. The mouth is full of bacteria, and some of these bacteria can cause disease. It’s easy for the bacteria in your mouth to enter your digestive and respiratory tracts, as well as entering the bloodstream through small injuries in the mouth. Without the right oral care, your body is vulnerable to illnesses. What’s more, certain diseases and the medications that are used to treat them can impact your oral health.
    • What happens when you neglect your dental health? Inflammation and oral bacteria can increase your risk of certain conditions, including:
      • Endocarditis- Bacteria from your mouth or other parts of your body spread through the bloodstream, they can cause an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers.
      • Cardiovascular disease- For reasons not entirely understood, it seems that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke are linked to inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria. Periodontal disease, in particular, seems connected to stroke and clogged arteries, though which causes which has not been determined.
      • Complications with pregnancy and birth- Periodontal disease is also linked to premature birth and low birth weight, as well as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and stillbirth.
      • Pneumonia- When bacteria is pulled into your lungs, it can cause pneumonia and other respiratory ailments.
    • What diseases impact your oral health?
      • Diabetes puts your gums at risk by reducing the body’s resistance to infection, so people with diabetes are at a higher risk of gum disease. Further, when people with diabetes do get gum disease, it tends to be more severe. It is a reciprocal risk, though, because people who have gum disease have more difficulty controlling their diabetes.
      • People who have HIV/AIDS often have oral problems. These include painful mucosal lesions.
      • Osteoporosis causes a weakening of the bones. Unsurprisingly, it is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Additionally, some of the medications used to treat osteoporosis can be damaging to the bones of the jaw.
      • Alzheimer’s disease is connected to worsening oral health. This escalates as the disease progresses.
    • What’s the best way to protect your whole body by taking care of your teeth? It starts with brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride, and flossing at least once a day. Eat a nutritious diet, limiting sugar consumption, and do not smoke. Consider home dental care tools like mouthwash and a water flosser, and see your dentist twice a year. You might also want to see a periodontist once a year, and talk to your doctor about managing health conditions that could impact your oral health.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we care about our patients’ overall health, just as much as we care about their reproductive health. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Are Aphrodisiacs Real

    If you are looking for a way to improve your love life, you may be curious about aphrodisiacs. After all, certain foods and herbs have been the stuff of legends when it comes to the stories of the world’s great lovers. It is said that Casanova ate copious amounts of oysters to maintain his libido, and throughout history, many foods have been considered aphrodisiacs, from chocolate to berries, to artichokes. Is there any science behind aphrodisiacs, or is the power of these love enhancers all in your head?

    With most popular aphrodisiacs, the libido boost is psychological. Some foods make people think of sex, and since we, as a species, are very suggestible, these foods can help stimulate desire. So, while those strawberries, oysters, and figs may not actually be aphrodisiacs, they are a “turn-on” for many people.

    There is a little bit of science behind some foods considered aphrodisiacs. Nuts, grapes, and chocolate have all been shown to help with blood flow, and avocados help keep the hormones in balance. Pomegranates can improve testosterone levels in both men and women, and berries are linked to a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction. So, all of these foods can improve the physical ability to have sex, but they do not stimulate desire.

    Alcohol, on the other hand, lowers inhibitions and can increase sexual desire. However, too much alcohol can diminish the physical ability to have sex. So, ironically, the things that make you better able to follow through are not necessarily what causes you to want to, while the substance that makes you want to can diminish your ability to follow through.

    While foods don’t typically enhance libido, there are herbs that can definitely have an aphrodisiac effect. Ginkgo increases blood flow to the genitals and improves sexual function, ginseng can heighten sexual excitement, and maca can increase desire.  Tribulus can help women get more interested in sex, and fenugreek can increase libido in men. Of course, before you take any herbs, it’s smart to talk to your doctor. Some herbs can actually be dangerous, and some can interfere with certain medications.

    When it comes to food, sometimes the placebo effect is powerful, and if you think something is an aphrodisiac, it might work for you. Of course, part of the appeal of most aphrodisiacs is that they are food. Throughout history, bringing food to a loved one has been looked on as a romantic gesture, and this very act can stir sensual feelings. It makes sense, from a biological perspective. Food is necessary to provide energy needed to prolong stamina, and people who are healthy and well-fed have a better shot at reproduction. As fun as sex may be, in the end, the biological drive to mate comes down to building a family. If you want proof that feeding a mate is a universal phenomenon, all you have to do is look to the animal kingdom. There is a species of cricket that makes something like jelly to convince females to mate with them, and spiders catch flies to give to their lady loves in order to convince them to start a family.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

    Did you know that heart disease makes up almost 25 percent of all deaths in males in the United States each year? It is the number one killer of men, and half of men who die suddenly of heart disease did not experience symptoms ahead of time. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, too, but it affects more men than women. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.

    There are certain factors that increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. These include:

    • A higher than normal heart rate
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • History of smoking
    • Family history of heart disease
    • Lifestyle factors
    • Obesity

    So, what are some signs of heart disease in men? Chest discomfort with physical exertion that goes away when you rest, shortness of breath, jaw pain and pain in the left arm are all symptoms. Cold sweat and nausea are also typical signs of heart disease. Atypical symptoms include a feeling of faintness or light-headedness, a squeezing sensation in the back, and abdominal discomfort.

    Of course, there are different symptoms for different heart problems. A heart attack can cause pain the chest, left arm, and jaw, a feeling of pressure or heaviness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and sudden shortness of breath. Heart failure, on the other hand, causes shortness of breath during exercise or while lying flat in bed, waking up gasping for air in the middle of the night, and swelling in the ankles.

    So, what can you do to keep your heart healthy? It starts with awareness. Know your family history, to understand your genetic risk. Pay attention to your overall health, too, having your blood pressure and blood sugar checked regularly. Keeping your blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, blood sugar, and waist circumference numbers in the healthy range can go a long way towards protecting you against heart disease, so make sure you’re paying attention to these numbers. Additionally, take the following measures to stay in good heart health.

    • Exercise regularly. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week. Aerobic exercise is great for your heart, so try biking, swimming, or even just taking a walk. Practicing yoga is another good way to get in some exercise, and it can help with stress reduction as well.
    • Eat a nutritious diet. Pack your diet with nutrient-dense foods, like berries, spinach, avocado, and fish with omega-3 fatty acids. Plant-based and Mediterranean style diets are good for your circulatory system, and eating enough fiber is good for your heart. Cut down on unhealthy fats like butter, high-fat meats, and fried foods, and increase your intake of good fats, found in salmon, nuts, and seeds, as well as some vegetables. Talk to your doctor about supplements that can help support your heart health. While you are eating well, make sure to limit your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water.
    • Get enough sleep. Sleep is restorative, and helps your body repair itself. Deep sleep helps blood pressure to regulate and can decrease stress. The amount of sleep that’s needed varies from person to person, but it’s generally somewhere between six to eight hours a night.
    • Manage your stress. Stress is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially continuous stress or stress that is handled with unhealthy behaviors like smoking, overeating, or reacting with hostility. Look for ways to lower your stress and find ways to manage the stress you can’t avoid. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, mindfulness, and even just brief period of rest are all good stress reducers.
    • Don’t smoke. It is somewhat surprising that anyone still smokes in this day and age, when we know how bad it is for our bodies. Smoking can damage your arteries and other blood vessels, raise your risk of developing blood clots, and cause inflammation that hurts your heart. What’s more, chemicals in cigarette smoke cause plaque build-up in the arteries that is a major cause of heart disease. The good news? The minute you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease begins to drop.
    • Take care of your teeth. Poor dental health can raise your risk of a heart attack. In fact, multiple studies have shown a connection between bacteria from gum disease and tooth decay and heart disease, because that bacteria can travel through the bloodstream from your mouth to your heart.
    • Talk to your doctor about medication. If your risk of heart disease is amplified by another condition, ask about medication that can help manage it. Your doctor may want you to take blood pressure medication, for example, or medication to combat high cholesterol. Brush twice daily, floss once a day, and see your dentist twice a year to protect the health of your mouth and your heart.

    Interestingly, there is a link between heart health and erectile function. This is because the penis, like the heart, depends on healthy blood flow and blood vessels to work properly. What’s more, some of the same conditions that increase your risk for heart disease also increase your risk of erectile dysfunction. These include hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and increased body weight. Interestingly, low testosterone creates a higher risk of heart trouble, but testosterone levels that are too high can also increase your risk of heart attacks and blood clots. Working with your doctor to stay in a healthy range can improve both your heart health and your fertility.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.