Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Dear Doc | My wife puts Viagra in my food

Published:Sunday | May 21, 2017 | 5:00 AM

Q Doctor, I have discovered that my wife has been putting Viagra in my food. She does this on a Sunday, when the children are out so that we are alone in the house.

I was mad when I first found out what she was doing, but now I can see the funny side of it!

However, could this medication hurt me?

A Unlikely, unless you have any of the recognised contraindications to Viagra, such as a particular type of eye disease, called 'retinitis pigmentosa'. Have you had a check-up from a doctor to make sure that it is OK for you to take this medication?

I cannot imagine how your wife managed to insert Viagra into your food without you knowing it! But apparently she did it, and we have to ask ourselves why.

I presume that recently you have not been giving her as much sex as she would like. If that is the case, then the two of you should talk things over, and try to reach some sort of compromise. At least you can laugh about it, so that is something!

 

Prolapse and her sex life

 

Q Doc, could my sex life be affected by a prolapse?

I am a married woman with four children, and recently sex has become very difficult. My husband has trouble entering me even though his erections are always good.

Sometimes we can't manage at all, so we are reduced to giving him a hand-job. He does not mind, but he said that he feels that there is an 'obstruction' in my vagina, so he has urged me to go to the doctor.

She examined me, and told me that I had this thing called a prolapse. She said it is very common. I think she mentioned that it has something to do with childbirth, and I am going back to her next week to find out about treatment.

I am a little worried, because I heard something about a treatment being dangerous. But what is prolapse, Doc? And will I be able to have sex again?

ASorry to hear about your problem. As your doctor says, prolapse is very, very common, particularly among women who have had children.

The word means a 'falling downwards' of the internal organs. Because the vagina is an opening in the lower part of the body, there is a tendency for internal structures to fall down through it! These structures include the womb and bladder.

In young women, there are a lot of natural supports (like ligaments) which prevent everything from falling down. But childbirth does weaken these supports. The more children you have, the weaker the supports are likely to get. I note that you have had four children, so the support of your womb and bladder may have taken a bit of a battering!

Now what are the symptoms of prolapse? These vary, but if the womb is coming down through the vagina, you may well feel a swelling progressing downward. This bulge may make intercourse impossible.

Furthermore, if the bladder is starting to come down through the vagina, you'll very likely get urinary problems, like difficulty in urinating and perhaps incontinence.

So, a prolapse can be a great trial to a woman. What can be done about it? Well there are various possible treatments:

- Pelvic exercises. These build up the supports of the womb. In mild cases, they can be very helpful. Any midwife can teach you how to do them.

- A 'ring pessary.' This is a kind of solid 'prop' which a gynecologist fits into the vagina. Mainly for older women, it has to be changed every few months.

- Hysterectomy. This is complete removal of the womb. In some women, that is a good solution, but it's not for everybody.

- A 'repair' operation. This term is applied to various surgical procedures, in which the surgeon/gynaecologist 'darns up' the tissues, so as to make them all strong again.

- Surgical mesh. This is a rectangle of polypropylene which the gynecologist inserts under the bulging bladder, so as to try and support everything.

Now it is this surgical mesh that you have heard bad news about. When this treatment was invented - quite a while ago, it seemed like a great idea. People often referred to it as 'the hammock', because it seemed like placing it between the front vaginal wall and the bladder would be a comfortable way of holding everything up.

But unfortunately, things have not turned out so well. It turns out that the female body is not too keen on polypropylene, which is the kind of plastic used in packaging, and in drink bottles. Sometimes, the material cuts into the tissues and causes pain and swelling. The edge of the mesh sometimes pokes into the vagina, making intercourse very difficult and even painful. Some male partners have actually been injured by the sharp edge of the mesh!

As a result, thousands of American women are trying to sue their surgeons, or the makers of the mesh. This is a sorry state of affairs.

So now that you are aware of some of the options that are open to you, you can choose your course of action. I strongly advise you not to choose the mesh (also known as 'the tape').

 

How often can a 40-y-o man have sex?

 

Q Doc, how often should a man in his 40s be able to have sex?

AStatistics suggest that once or twice a week is average.

 

Treating vaginal dryness

 

Q I am a 27-year-old female, and to my surprise, in recent months, I have been suffering from vaginal dryness. This is making sex with my boyfriend uncomfortable, and sometimes painful.

Could this be a hormone thing, Doc?

A As you are only 27, a hormone deficiency is unlikely. It would be different if you were 47, or 57.

Nevertheless, I think you should ask a doctor to examine you, in case she can see something wrong. But most likely she will just suggest the use of a good vaginal lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly.

I should point out that at your age, vaginal dryness is quite often caused because the woman is not being sufficiently stimulated by her partner. Does he give you enough foreplay (love play)? If not, then you must urge him to do more. You may need a good half-hour.

 

Trouble maintaining an erection

 

Q I am a 30-year-old man, and recently I have had trouble maintaining an erection when I am with my wife. But I can do it OK when I am with my (secret) girlfriend.

Could this be prostate trouble?

A No, the prostate gland does not usually cause problems with a man's nature. The fact that you are OK with the 'secret' woman but having problems when you are with your wife, does suggest that your troubles lie in your emotions.

Nevertheless, it would probably be useful to have a check-up at your doctor's office. Do not be afraid to tell him that you are OK with your girlfriend but not with your wife. This situation is more common than you might think, and he may well have seen it before.

deardoc@gleanerjm.com