"Not now, honey… I have a headache" is a phrase that's long been associated with the bedroom. But are more men saying it now?
Headaches are one of the common side effects of sex drugs like Viagra, along with vision problems, hearing loss, difficulty breathing and more – including those infamous painful prolonged erections.
And a new review published in Urology finds that we still don't know enough to make any conclusions about the long-term use of this pleasure pill. But the researchers did find that men who took Viagra were 56 percent more likely to experience any kind of side effects than the men who took a placebo. They also found that, naturally, the odds of side effects increased with higher dosages.
Since none of the 39 studies they reviewed went beyond 12 weeks, these researchers want to see more long-term data on this drug. So do I – because more than a decade after these meds started to hit the market, we're missing the kinds of long-term research you'd expect by this point.
What makes it all the more troubling is that few people realize they can cure their own sexual dysfunction without any meds at all.
Most cases of erectile dysfunction – especially in older men – are due to physical conditions that are completely within your control. Obesity, spinal problems and cardiovascular problems can all cause or contribute to the condition.
If you're in that boat, then the answer isn't a dangerous quick-fix solution courtesy of Big Pharma. It's to get your whole body functioning the way it should.
You'd be amazed at how much better everything will work – especially that one private part – if you simply lose some weight, eat better and get some exercise. Some people might also benefit from acupuncture, chiropractic care and even massage therapy (no, not that kind!).
One more note about those prolonged erections. They've been the butt of many late-night TV jokes, but they're no laughing matter.
It's a condition called priapism, and the commercials tell you to call your doctor if you experience one. But there's no magic word he can say over the phone that will fix it – he'll simply tell you to get to the hospital as quickly as you can.
These erections aren't just painful, they can lead to permanent damage. Most are relieved by inserting a needle into the penis to withdraw blood and inject a saline solution.
Sometimes, surgery is needed. I'll spare you the details on that, but it's probably about as bad as what's running through your mind right now.