future challenges on Sexual Medicine discussed in Lisbon

Nov 22 2007

Patrícia Adegas

The 10th Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine (ESSM) takes place in Lisbon Congress Center, Lisbon, Portugal. Leading European experts will discuss the importance of Sexual Health, on men and women. Sexual Health, its influence, not only on quality of life, but also as a key component and indicator of Health, not to let aside the role of sexuality in individual and social construction of identity, constitutes the ESSM commitment.

The vast program includes subjects such as psychological and couple consideration in treating premature ejaculation, positive and negative factors effecting sexual desire, surgery advances and
research on erectile dysfunction treatment.

This international meeting is a valid opportunity to all professionals related to sexual medicine research and treatment to update their knowledge, providing a straight interdisciplinary
collaboration among all participants.

The sexual dysfunction on women is one of the main themes to discuss. Today, the idea that only men have sexual problems is no longer acceptable, therefore known to be incorrect. This meeting
will arouse to debate questions related to the importance of psychological aspects of a couple and its importance in treating sexual problems.

The varied program of this four-day meeting enhances the relation between psycho-socio-cultural and biomedical issues in promoting sexual health, satisfaction and intimacy, which are often central
to enduring relationships.

Despite all the information available today, sexuality is still somewhat of a taboo subject. Especially men, have the difficulty to assume with their doctors and even friends, that they have erectile
problems, i.e.: Erectile Dysfunction (ED), or ejaculatory problems, i.e.: Premature Ejaculation (PE), this being even more prevalent than ED.

On the other hand, physicians rarely, if ever, ask their patients about sexual functioning, despite of sexual function and dysfunction, are in fact, related with almost all the fields of medicine, as a symptom or a component of many diseases/conditions.

For example, endocrinologist should take into account that up to 50% of diabetics suffer from sexual disorders; rheumatologists may be concerned with sexual dysfunction since chronic administration of painkillers can reduce sex drive; psychiatrists should pay attention to ED, as an early sign of depression and problems with erection and orgasm are common side effects of antidepressant medication.

In addition people can no longer miss the opportunity to know about how lifestyle, unhealthy diet, and toxic habits can affect their health, and in turn their sexual health. Among the society’s major
health concerns, we identify cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, which all relate to sexual dysfunctions and many times precede the overt expression of the underlying condition.

The opportunity to approach such health problems, through asking and identifying sexual dysfunctions, is unique to Sexual Medicine practitioners, thus should be a commitment. We will discuss this as

“We are delighted to receive in Lisbon, the 10th Congress of ESSM. This has been an important meeting all over the years not only because it’s an opportunity to update knowledge but also to promote an interdisciplinary collaboration and sharing of experiences between physicians from all over Europe”, says Nuno Monteiro Pereira, Chair of the 10th ESSM Congress.

“This will also be an opportunity for all the participants to present new scientific results and to take away new understanding and fond memories,” he added

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