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Doctors to receive erectile dysfunction guidelines next year

SINGAPORE — Riding on the increasing willingness among men to talk about sexual issues, a local society of multidisciplinary doctors promoting men’s health has come up with an 80-page guideline booklet to advise medical professionals on the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Doctors to receive erectile dysfunction guidelines next year

Dr Ronny Tan (left), co-chairman of the SMHS ED Guidelines Committee and Dr Colin Teo, President of SMHS.

SINGAPORE — Riding on the increasing willingness among men to talk about sexual issues, a local society of multidisciplinary doctors promoting men’s health has come up with an 80-page guideline booklet to advise medical professionals on the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). 

The guidelines, to be published in January, are the first of their kind to be developed for family doctors in Singapore and Asia. 

The purpose is to keep medical professionals updated on ED treatments available in the region, said the Society for Men’s Health Singapore (SMHS) today (Nov 19), which was also International Men’s Day. 

The booklets will be distributed to about 3,000 general practitioners and specialists next year. They will also be available for public viewing.

“We saw a need to develop something locally because most (ED patients) would see their local general practitioners or family doctors,” said Dr Ronny Tan, co-chairman of the guidelines committee and a consultant at Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Department of Urology. 

Existing guidelines on ED treatments are mainly from the United States or Europe, and are generally targeted at urologists, added Dr Tan. 

SMHS’s guidelines will detail risk factors associated with ED, including issues stemming from mental or emotional stress, lifestyle habits such as diet, smoking and alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk factors. It will also list treatment options beyond drug therapy.

Dr Colin Teo, president of SMHS and head of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s Department of Urology, said the guidelines might help deter ED patients from turning to alternative, potentially harmful treatments. 

The condition is quite common among men aged 30 and above, with more than one in two (or 51.3 per cent) respondents in a survey reporting some degree of erectile dysfunction, SMHS said. 

The study, which surveyed 729 men in Singapore, showed the prevalence of ED increased along with age: From 42.8 per cent for men in their 40s to 77.4 per cent for men in their 60s. 

“It is important that people know ED is easily addressed,” he said, adding that better public education has played a key role in helping men become more open about their sexual problems.

The guidelines were put together by an SMHS sub-committee made up of urologists, cardiologists and family practitioners following a three-year study on Singaporeans’ perception of sex and their attitude towards sexual dysfunction.

The study, released today, found that 80 per cent of respondents were comfortable discussing satisfaction levels and raising any issues faced during sex with their partners. 

It also found that up to 35 per cent of people in Singapore have intercourse less than once a month, while about 27 per cent have sex one to three times a month, 22 per cent up to thrice a week, and 16 per cent more than three times a week.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, we referred to Dr Ronny Tan as Dr Ronny Teo. We are sorry for the error. 

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