Notes from the meeting of 23rd February 2015

Administrative Matters: the Club needs to become more nearly self supporting/organising and to this end Alan Sayles has investigated the possibility of becoming small charity. We also have a relatively small amount of money – and therefore we need a bank account and treasurer. The outline constitution for a small charity is not onerous – it only runs to 3 well spaced pages – but we do need people who will take on the roles of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.

Presentation: Darren Breen of iMEDicare showed and explained products to help with erectile dysfunction (ED) and incontinence following surgery. It was explained that, if the very fragile nerve bundles running on either side of the prostate are damaged during surgery then erection becomes difficult or impossible. Nerve and blood vessel damage also arise from other conditions such as diabetes and aging issues. Drugs such as sildenafil (viagra) can be considered to amplify the nerve impulses and help to achieve a usable erection – but if the nerves are absent these drugs cannot work.

Normally, spontaneous erections occur at night associated with Rapid Eye Movement sleep. These exercise the penile cavernosa tissue and maintain a healthy penis. If erections do not occur then, like other tissues, atrophy occurs and the tissues waste away leading to penile shrinkage which in turn leads to other problems. Hormone treatment has similar effects. iMEDicare offer a medically approved pump which is used to exercise the penile tissues by drawing blood into the carvernosa and stretching/exercising all the penile flesh, avoiding shrinkage. Used regularly – a physiotherapy activity which iMEDicare call penis gym, the penis’s size and health can be maintained. Further, a stretchable ring can then be used to maintain the erection and allow penetrative sex. The ring does not completely block blood flow – it cannot act as a tourniquet as there is no bone in the penis. Although an erection can be achieved using other drugs – pills into the urethra (e.g. MUSE) or injections into the penis (e.g. Caverject), which achieve erection without the involvement of the nerves, this can be painful if the penis has become unused to such action. The pump is not expensive and should be available on prescription. Broomfield are hoping to start a clinic. iMEDicare also offer free home visits. Lots more information for those who did not take a leaflet on http://www.imedicare.co.uk/

iMEDicare also offer an incontinence product which may be useful for those suffering from stress incontinence, or more severe urinary difficulties following surgery or radiation therapy. It was noted that Kegel – pelvic floor exercises – help considerably in achieving improved control and need to be worked at. For those unable to do this, a further product with electrodes in a pair of thigh pads attached to the controller can exercise these muscles even more effectively than voluntary exercises.