Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Focusing on key health issues that men face, we give you the tools to figure out your risk factors, recognize early warning signs, and take the right steps to ensure a long, healthy life.


Enjoying an active and healthy sex life is an important source of joy and pleasure for most men. Your sexual health likely reflects your overall health. Certain chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease can affect sexual function. The medications to treat these conditions can also affect your sexual health.

Sex not only feels good, but it is good for you. Regular sex can give you more energy, help you sleep better, improve your mood, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.

Regular sexual activity offers the following health benefits:

  • Reduces stress and lower blood pressure
  • Improves immunity
  • Enhances heart health
  • Raises self-esteem
  • Builds trust and bonding
  • May reduce the risk of prostate cancer
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Burns calories
Common sexual health issues

The most common sexual health issues of men are:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Changes with aging
  • Erectile dysfunction

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

When you are sexually active, you may be at risk for getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). STDs are infections that may be caused by a bacteria, virus, or yeast. They pass from one person to the next in blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. You can get an STD from intercourse (vaginal or anal), from oral sex, or from sharing sexual devices such as vibrators. Some examples of STDs include HIV, chlamydia, genital herpes, and gonorrhea.

Most STDs are easily treated with no long-term effects, but others can be carried for life or cause serious or life-threatening conditions.

Talk openly and honestly with your partner about your risk for STDs and the importance of safe sex. Remember that a person can be infected with an STD without knowing it. Be clear about what you will and will not do sexually, and respect what your partner will and will not do. Decide together what is right for both of you.

There are steps you can take to maintain your sexual health:

  • Practice safer sex and prevent unplanned pregnancy by using condoms.
  • Get tested for HIV and other STDs if you have unprotected sex or have any reason to think you may be at risk.

Staying sexually active as you get older will help maintain your sexual health and well-being.

Sexual Changes with Aging

As you grow older, you will likely notice changes in your physical responses to sex. Your testosterone (male hormone) level gradually decreases as you get older.

Normal changes with aging include:

  • It takes longer to become fully erect.
  • Erections may be less firm.
  • A delay in ejaculation can occur.
  • Orgasms may be shorter.
  • You may need a longer time between erections.

While changes occur as we age, sexual problems are not a normal part of aging. They may be a sign of a medical problem. Talk with us if you have questions or concerns about your sexual health and well-being. We can assess your health and recommend ways to continue to have a satisfying sex life.

Actions you can take

Staying sexually active is one of the best ways to sustain a satisfying sex life as you get older. There are many ways to be intimate with your partner.

Here are some tips:

  • Talk to your partner about your sexual concerns.
  • Choose a time to make love when you are relaxed and can enjoy each other.
  • Use music or soft lighting to develop a romantic mood.
  • Kissing, holding, and touching create intimacy and closeness.
  • Be open to exploring new ways to find sexual pleasure.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to obtain or maintain a hard penis sufficient for sexual activity most of the time. Having erection trouble occasionally is not cause for concern. It is normal for men to have occasional problems getting or maintaining an erection.

Male sexual arousal and erection is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any part of this process. Stress and mental health problems can worsen erectile dysfunction. While it may take longer to get an erection as you grow older, ED is not necessarily due to aging.

You may notice that certain situations are more likely to cause a problem with getting and sustaining an erection, for example:

  • New partner
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Stress in your life
  • Fatigue due to overwork
  • Illness

You can also change lifestyle habits that may damage your blood vessels and affect ED. These include:

  • Stop smoking. Smoking is one of the most common causes of ED.
  • Get more physical activity but avoid prolonged bicycle riding, which puts pressure on the nerves to the penis and may lead to ED.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit alcohol to fewer than 2 drinks a day and avoid it before sexual intercourse.
  • Learn how to manage your stress.

Certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure can lead to ED.

If you have a family history of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, or stroke, talk with us about scheduling regular checkups starting in your 20s. We want to ensure that you are managing your health to help prevent ED in the future.

Let us know if you are having difficulty with getting or maintaining an erection, since ED may be a sign that you could have an underlying health problem.

If you are taking medicines for a chronic condition, it is possible that your medicines are contributing to ED. We will find alternatives that will work for you. We may ask that you stop using any supplements or over-the-counter medicines that may be contributing to your ED.

Explore counseling and sex therapy

Counseling and sex therapy may be helpful even if the cause of your ED is due to physical reasons such as chronic illness. Counseling can help if you are experiencing performance anxiety or lack of libido (interest in sex). If you are having relationship problems, counseling may help improve your relationship and make it stronger.

Related Health Tools:


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If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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