I love to bring other voices into my blog. So when I met Dr. Geo Espinosa, N.D., L.Ac, C.N.S., a renowned naturopathic doctor recognized as an authority in integrative management of male and urological conditions, I begged him to write a blog post for me. Dr. Geo is the founder and director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center, as well as a master formulator of dietary supplements for prostate, bladder and sexual health.
Dr. Geo’s patients are predominantly male … but he also gets to know a lot of his patients’ spouses. Let’s take a look at one of their biggest concerns …
“Doc, I need a prescription for Levitra, the Cialis is not working,” my 51-year-old patient tells me, frantically.
“Wait, time out here, Tom,” I respond, “What’s going on?” I’d given him a prescription for the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Cialis, and Tom assumed since the Cialis wasn’t working, Levitra, another ED drug, would.
“My wife left this morning for a trip with her girlfriends,” Tom told me with a nervous tone. “And last night, I could not perform. … I need to be able to perform when she gets back on Sunday.”
“Tom, you don’t need another ED drug,” I assured him.
I had known Tom for 3 years, and I’d heard many stories about his wife. So I was pretty sure I knew the real issue. And I told him.
“What’s happening here is that you’re viewing sex with your wife as a job. No drug is going to work if that’s the way you feel. Chill out, have a glass of wine when she gets back, make believe you guys were just dating again. You will do fine.”
And Tom did do just fine Sunday night.
It’s not you!
When your partner can’t perform, it’s natural to question: Is he still attracted to me? What’s going on?
As a doctor who sees lots of male patients, I can tell you that 90% of the time, when he can’t perform, it has nothing to do with how attracted he is to you.
Here’s what’s happening:
The biggest sex killer, as well as the biggest sex enhancer, is the brain. When men are stressed — say they had a problem at work, their stock portfolio dropped, or they have a big meeting coming up — they will not be able to perform.
It’s that simple.
Stress activates the part of the central nervous system (CNS) that works when your life is on the line. You either fight or flee. The problem is that the CNS doesn’t know whether it’s a saber tooth tiger coming after him or an argument he may have had with you — it is still fight or flee.
When he’s stressed, his body releases adrenaline, which constricts blood vessels. If blood doesn’t get to where it needs to be, he won’t get an erection.
So, he needs to be cool outside of the bedroom in order to be cool inside of it.
What can you do?
First of all, acknowledging that sex is an important, if not a central, part of a relationship is a great initial step.
So it’s important to get to the root of the problem. Here are some steps you can take together:
1. Get a health checkup. The penis is a barometer of a man’s health. One night, not a big deal — maybe he had a hard (excuse the pun) day at work. He can’t perform a second time, maybe still not a big deal. But a third and fourth time may be a sign of poor health.
Being overweight, heart issues, heart problems, blocked arteries, etc. can contribute to erectile dysfunction as we age.
2. Take action. Exercise and eat sensibly. This will help him lose weight and improve circulation throughout the body — including the pelvic area.
3. Take the herb Rhodiola. This is an herb that has been shown to fight stress, lower stress fatigue and provide gradual energy.
4. Think penile health first. Feed the pelvic arteries (and those of the heart as well) with nutrients and antioxidants. Pomegranate and resveratrol are among the most intriguing antioxidants for erectile function, based on emerging research.
5. Try the herb panax ginseng. This therapeutic herb not only has a long history of traditional use as a general tonic for well-being and physical stamina, it also has been shown to promote erectile function in middle-aged men.
If all else fails, speak to a doctor who specializes in sexual dysfunction. Drugs used for erectile dysfunction should be a last resort. While effective, they can cause side effects, such as lack of feeling in the genitals, bad headaches, blurred vision and even skin cancer.
Fascinating, isn’t it? I love that Dr. Geo talked about one of the herbs we use here at RealDose. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s always nice to see how excited others get about Rhodiola. Rhodiola rosea is included in our Weight Loss Formula No. 1. Along with 2 proven weight-loss ingredients (each alone clinically shown to accelerate weight loss twice as fast as diet alone), this stress-reducing compound can have dramatic effects.
If you are interested in giving it a try, please check out the link below.
Steven Sisskind, M.D.
1. Hong B, Ji YH, Hong JH, Nam KY, Ahn TY. A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report. J Urol. 2002;168(5):2070-2073. PMID: 12394711.