It was a cold July morning in early July. Although it was heading to 10am, there was minimal activity at the sexology clinic.
Perhaps the cold weather had cured the sex problems that would c cause people to flock the clinic. I took advantage of the relaxed time to write my next article.
It was on erectile dysfunction. I had two cases I wanted to highlight: one was a man of 77 years with low testosterone, and another a 35-year-old addicted to alcohol which had totally knocked off his manhood.
As I debated which of the two ED stories to tell, a couple walked into the consultation room.
“He has infected me with a venereal disease, that is the appreciation I get for persevering his flaccid erections,” the lady said. I nodded as the lady went on and on pouring out her heart.
Her name was Joyce. She was 36 years old and ground staff at an airline company. Her husband, George, also 36, was an accountant in an international NGO. They had been married for seven years and had two children.
The couple had been undergoing sexual troubles for close to two years. Their frequency of sex had reduced to approximately once in three months, because of George’s dwindling erections. Even when penetration happened, sex did not last long as the erection would fade away leaving both of them frustrated.
“And after all these months of perseverance he brings an STD to our marriage? How senseless can a man be?” Joyce asked as I examined her to establish what disease she had.
PAINFUL GENITAL WOUNDS
Both Joyce and George had painful genital wounds typical of an infection called Chancroid. Chancroid is and STI. George already confessed to Joyce that he had tried sex with another woman which ended in him getting the infection. He was experimenting to see if his erection would be normal with someone else. “I am sorry, please forgive me and understand my situation,” George pleaded.
George’s was another case of the wrong solution to the problem of erectile dysfunction. When the erection fails, men resort to various unconventional acts. Some cheat on their partners, others become alcoholics or abusive towards their wives. Further still, some resort to working themselves silly.
“But doctor this thing is stressful, it is traumatising, you need to understand my situation,” George said, interrupting my explanation. “Just treat me if you can.” He was nearly weeping.
The urgent treatment needed was for the Chancroid. I also needed to investigate the cause of George’s ED. I put the couple on antibiotics and ordered for tests to identify the cause of the ED. I also ordered for HIV tests for both of them. Whenever an STD happens, it is important to be sure that there is no accompanying HIV infection.
I reviewed George three days later. The healing of the Chancroid was progressing well. The HIV test was negative. All other tests were normal except one: George had abnormal levels of a hormone called prolactin. The hormone is known to interfere with sexual function. The abnormal levels were because of over activity of the pituitary gland, a pea sized organ in the base of the brain which produces the hormone.
I put George on treatment to correct the levels of prolactin hormone. This was to be a long term treatment. Several weeks later his hormone levels were back to normal. George’s sexual performance progressively improved.
There was however one more problem. The infidelity had badly damaged the couple’s relationship. There was no intimacy between them anymore and Joyce had no sexual feelings. They had to undergo relationship counseling to repair the damage.
“I have had my lesson loud and clear,” George said as I gave them a clean bill of health to resume their routine marital lives. “I will always recommend professional care to anyone with the problem of ED.” I nodded with understanding as he waved goodbye.