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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

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TV's 'Sex and the City' Tackles Real-Life Problem: Impotence

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So what's likely to happen next for the unhappy couple? "Their therapist will try to integrate Trey's masturbatory fantasies into sexual intercourse," Grazig tells WebMD. "But with so much riding on his success, performance anxiety may get in the way."

Doctors say sex therapy can be effective, but it's often used in combination with Viagra. That's why Trey's concern about the drug's side effects may be misguided.

"About 15% of men report mild side effects like headache, facial flushing, and nasal congestion, but few discontinue the drug because of it," says Drogo Montague, MD, director of the Center for Sexual Function at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic. "Of course, people with heart disease that are on nitroglycerine or long-acting nitrates, such as Isordil or Imdur, shouldn't take Viagra," he cautions.

Trey might also want to cut back on the wine with dinner, says Montague, who is also chairman of the American Urological Association's ED Guidelines Panel. "As they age, men become more vulnerable to the effects of fatigue, stress, and alcohol. So it's very important to get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and limit alcohol intake," he says.

When in doubt about the cause of erectile dysfunction, Montague says, urologists run a souped-up version of the stamp test. But if you'd like to give Charlotte's method a try, here are a few tips from Grazig:

  • Use a roll of stamps with unbroken perforations
  • Moisten just enough stamps to fit around the penis
  • Attach them to the middle of the shaft while flaccid

Then, see what happens. If the stamp ring is broken in the morning, that means there's a good chance the ED has a psychological, rather than physical, cause. Either way, doctors say, real-life couples should follow the example of Trey and the tireless Charlotte, and work together to try to figure out a solution.

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