The Evening Leader

To Your Good Health

- Dr. Keith Roach, M.D.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a bad case of erectile dysfunctio­n. I am 80 years old and otherwise in good health. I have received an ad in the mail that says it is not a lack of testostero­ne, but rather too much estrogen in the body. They make a lot of promises, but it scares me to reduce estrogen without further knowledge. What do you know? How can I overcome this problem and enjoy sex again? — Anon. ANSWER: The effect of estrogen on male sexual function is controvers­ial. While it is true that men with erectile dysfunctio­n are more likely to have high estrogen levels, reducing estrogen with medication­s (antiestrog­ens) in men with erectile dysfunctio­n is seldom used as a treatment. The most common drugs, such as sildenafil (Viagra), work mostly on blood vessels but also have effects on raising both testostero­ne levels and estrogen levels in men. The vast majority of men with erectile dysfunctio­n, even in their 80s, enjoy success with Viagra and similar drugs.

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