wenty to 30 million men in the United States suffer from chronic erectile dysfunction, which may deeply affect the men, their spouses or partners, and their intimate relationship.
As the Medical Advisor to the Long Island Chapter of Impotents Anonymous (IA), Brett C. Mellinger, MD, Chairman of the Department of Urology at Winthrop, urges concerned men and their partners throughout the Metropolitan area to attend the monthly IA meetings at Winthrop, where critical information on the newest approaches to the treatment of erectile dysfunction is presented.
"Impotents Anonymous is a completely confidential self-help group for men who suffer from chronic erectile dysfunction, as well as their partners," Dr. Mellinger explains. The Long Island Chapter of Impotents Anonymous, part of a national organization, is the only such group serving this need in Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens. IA is a forum for the community, providing reliable facts on the causes and available medical treatments for male impotence, with an opportunity to question professionals. Through IA, many men have availed themselves of treatments enabling the resumption of healthy sexual function.
IA meetings focus on the newest pharmaceutical approaches to chronic erectile dysfunction, with discussions about related psychological issues. Dr. Mellinger is ably assisted in program planning and presentation by Pamela Schrock, PhD, Director of Psychotherapeutic and Sexual Health with Winthrop's Department of Ob/Gyn, and Sheldon Bloom, IA Coordinator.
"Ninety percent of erectile dysfunction has a physical basis," says Dr. Mellinger, identifying diabetes and prostate cancer as two frequent causes. Any condition causing a
vascular problem can result in impotence, including elevated
cholesterol levels. Even smoking can be problematic. Spinal and pelvic surgical procedures, and resection for bowel cancer, can also be detrimental to erections, as can neurological conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries.
A recent program featured a representative from Pharmacia & Upjohn, manufacturer of Caverject, the first FDA-approved penile injectable drug to be proven safe and effective for organic erectile dysfunction.
Another meeting presented a representative from Vivus, Inc., maker of MUSE, an FDA-approved treatment, similar pharmaceutically to Caverject, which utilizes a urethral suppository to induce penile erection by increasing blood flow - an alternative for men who are uncomfortable with penile self-injection therapy. A third therapy - a vacuum constriction device made by Mission Pharmacal - has been
discussed. Dr. Mellinger also led a recent program on "The Pill for Impotence is Coming: Just How Good Is It?"
Each meeting explores therapies, alternatives, and outcomes in down-to-earth language - with sensitivity and the utmost confidentiality. Approximately six new members join IA each month, says Dr. Mellinger, who welcomes your inquiries at 516/663-2305.