New minimally invasive technique to help men regain erectile function after prostate cancer surgery

Melbourne surgeons have modified a minimally invasive technique to help men regain erectile function lost after prostate cancer surgery.

The surgery had a 71 per cent success rate with two participants achieving their first erection in 12 years.

Published in European Urology, the study is the first to report this procedure, which can restore the ability to have satisfactory sexual intercourse and improve sexual quality of life in men with erectile dysfunction following a nerve-sparing or non-nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy.

Of the 8500 Australian men with prostate cancer who have a radical prostatectomy each year, at least 70 per cent experience erectile dysfunction. Many are unaware of the risk or suffer in silence.

Unisex, hormone-free contraceptive pill on the horizon

Side effects from hormonal contraceptives are common. That’s why YourChoice Therapeutics, a start-up launched by researchers at UC Berkeley, is developing a hormone-free contraceptive that can be used by both men and women.

YourChoice Therapeutics are developing a unisex contraceptive pillAleksandra Berzhets | Shutterstock

The hormonal contraceptives currently taken by women often come with unwanted and unpleasant side effects, including weight gain, nausea, changes in mood, and decreased libido.

Hormonal contraceptives have been linked to breast cancer

There has also been a great deal of research into the effects of long-term contraceptive use and whether it increases women’s risk of developing certain types of cancer. Results on this important issue are varied and widely debated.

UCI discovery may lead to mitigation of side effects caused by erectile dysfunction drugs

In a study published in Science Advances magazine, researchers from the University of California, Irvine have captured, for the first time, the full-length structure of the rod photoreceptor phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6), an enzyme that plays an indispensable role in human vision.

PDEs are associated with various diseases and are targets of several widely used drugs and major targets for drug development. Unfortunately, many of these enzymes have similar structures, particularly their catalytic domains, where the chemical reaction takes place. Because of this, inhibitors that target one type of PDE can stop the reaction in multiple members of the PDE family, resulting in unwanted side effects.

Inflammatory arthritis may impact intimacy, sexual function for men and women

A systematic review and analysis of published studies found consistent links between inflammatory arthritis and impacts on intimacy and sexual function for both men and women. The Arthritis Care & Research analysis included 55 studies.

People living with inflammatory arthritis demonstrated a higher prevalence of sexual dysfunction compared with other individuals. For both genders, disease-related factors—including pain, fatigue, and mobility restrictions—contributed to sexual dysfunction and reduced sexual desire.

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Erectile dysfunction in men largely accounted for sexual dysfunction, while females experienced pressure to continue intimate relationships despite their sexual dysfunction, which caused stress in relationships for some people.

Male contraceptive pill crosses the human clinical trial hurdle

Birth control pills have been around for the past six decades but have been for use of women only. A team of researchers this week have announced the success of the first male birth control pill that could safely prevent pregnancy.

Image Credit: Areeya Ann / Shutterstock

Image Credit: Areeya Ann / Shutterstock

The findings of the study were presented on the 24th of March at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual conference. The results of the study are published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 104, Issue 3, March 2019.

Male contraceptive pill shown to be safe and tolerable in phase I trial

A potential new male birth control pill has been declared safe for use after a phase-one trial showed that the once-daily capsule seemed to work without causing any significant side effects.

The male contraceptive pill has been shown to be safe - picture shows man taking pillsMonika Gruszewicz | Shutterstock

The trial investigators say the pill may be available to use within a decade. The drug aims to suppress the hormones that drive sperm production, whilst preserving libido and enabling reversal of the effect once men stop taking the treatment.

The goal is to expand contraceptive options and create a menu of choices for men like we have for women. We are neglecting a major potential user population with the limited options currently available to men.”

Long term opioid medications impacts production of important hormones

Many people who use opioid medications long term do not produce enough testosterone or another important hormone, cortisol, according to a new study. Results of what the researchers called “the most up-to-date and most comprehensive clinical review of endocrine effects of long-term opioid use” are being presented Sunday at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, La.

“These hormone deficiencies can cause a wide variety of symptoms, such as infertility, extreme fatigue and malaise,” said study investigator Amir Zamanipoor Najafabadi, M.D./Ph.D. student at Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands. “People may not recognize these symptoms as possibly related to the increased use of opioids.”

UCD researchers lead development of new urine test to detect prostate cancer

Cancer researchers at University College Dublin (UCD) have led the development of a new test which uses urine to detect prostate cancer. Studies have so far shown the test to be 70% more specific for prostate cancer compared to the blood test currently used by doctors.

If the new ‘epiCaPture’ test is further validated it could help to more accurately identify which men do or don’t need invasive tests. This means that many men could be spared harsh treatments that often have long-term side effects.

The test could also help to identify aggressive prostate cancer early, so that more patients can be potentially cured of their cancer.

Hormonal treatment associated with depression in men with prostate cancer

Men who receive anti-hormonal treatment after having their prostate removed are 80% more likely to suffer from depression than men who don’t receive this treatment. This leads researchers to suggest that patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy should be monitored for post-surgical depression. This is presented at the European Association of Urology congress in Barcelona.

Increasingly doctors are becoming aware that for many men, a cancer diagnosis and treatment leads to depression, with suicide rates seen rising disproportionately for those with urological cancers. Now a group of Danish researchers has shown that men who receive anti-hormonal treatment after a radical prostatectomy have an increased tendency to depression.