with dr. Anne truong
If you’re looking to say goodbye to erectile dysfunction challenges in your relationship and discover proven ways to find more sexual vitality, then you're going to love today’s episode with Dr. Anne Truong.
Dr. Anne is a board-certified physician with over 20 years of clinical experience. She’s successfully treated over 7,000 men with erectile dysfunction (ED).
She is passionate about healing the cause of sexual dysfunction, not just masking symptoms and sharing education so that we can know how to have a better quality of life.
In this episode, Dr. Anne will talk us through the above as well as guide us through how to approach the situation if your partner is experiencing erectile dysfunction, how to best support your partner navigating erectile dysfunction, and steps to take towards solving the problem.
Listen below, or tune in via: Apple Podcasts,Stitcher or Spotify.
Complete Transcript Below
Listen in to discover
[1:30] - Why Dr. Anne’s Passionate About Her Work
[7:23] - How Being in Relationship with Someone with ED Affects Partners
[10:46] - Steps Towards Solving the Problem
[12:33] - How Dr. Anne Works to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
[23:02] - How to Support Your Partner Through Erectile Dysfunction
[27:44] - How to Work With Dr. Anne
[32:06] - Female Hormonal Changes
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION ON THIS EPISODE AND MORE IN MY FREE FACEBOOK GROUP, FIND YOUR FEMININE FIRE HERE.
Dr. Anne is a board-certified physician with over 20 years of clinical experience. A physician -entrepreneur, and innovator who thinks outside the box, Dr. Anne is a recognized leader in men’s health, particularly in regenerative medicine. She is passionate about healing the cause of male sexual dysfunction, not just masking the symptoms, and shares her wisdom to teach doctors conferences worldwide. She evaluates and supports each patient from beginning to end to accomplish their individual goals, recapture their vitality, age gracefully, and live their best life.
When addressed early, sexual dysfunction can be treated and reversed. Dr. Anne is a firm believer that sexuality is vital to a high quality of life at any age, but especially after 50.
* Dr. Anne’s Website: https://truongrehab.com/
* Modern Man Club: https://truongrehab.com/the-modern-man-club/ or www.mensexualityclub.com
* Erectile Dysfunction Booklet Download (scroll to bottom): https://truongrehab.com/male-sexual-health/
* Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy: https://truongrehab.com/bio-identical-hormone-replacement/
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EPISODE : with Dr. Anne Truong
[Fun, Empowering Music]
Amanda Testa: Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. I am your host, Amanda Testa. I am a sex, love, and relationship coach, and in this podcast, my guests and I talk sex, love, and relationships, and everything that lights you up from the inside out. Welcome!
If you are wanting to say goodbye to erectile dysfunction challenges in your relationship and to discover proven ways to find more sexual vitality, then you're gonna love this podcast episode. I am your host, Amanda Testa, and I am so excited, today, because I am going to be talking with Dr. Anne Truong. She’s a board-certified physician with over 20 years of clinical experience who’s successfully treated over 7,000 men with erectile dysfunction. She also works with women as well. She is passionate about healing the cause of sexual dysfunction, and not just masking symptoms. So, she’s really passionate about sharing education so that we can know how to have a better quality of life.
So, welcome! Thank you so much for being here, Dr. Truong.
Dr. Anne Truong: Well, thank you! Thank you, Amanda. I’ve been looking forward to us touching base within the past few months, and we’re finally here so I’m excited to collaborate and share our message together.
Amanda Testa: Yes, and I appreciate that because something I hear often from my clients is it can be really challenging if you're with a male partner and they’re struggling with erectile dysfunction because, you know, obviously that’s a tender topic. I’m curious why this is such a passion for you. Just in general, I’m curious.
Dr. Anne Truong: Well, it’s a passion for me because I’ve always been involved in looking at treating a condition in a holistic comprehensive manner. I’ve been a doctor -- oh, my gosh, I’m pretty old -- since 1997, a board-certified doctor, and 1997 is, like, 25 years, and I was trained as an interventional pain management doctor, so I was doing cortisol injections into the body and giving people cortisol or steroids, and I was giving people pain medication or anti-inflammatories.
What I noticed was that I was really not helping my patient long term. I was really padding the problem and Band-Aid the problem. They kept coming back, and they weren't getting better long term, and I’ve always been a person that’s like let’s try to find other solutions that will be long term for you, and I really look at the cause. So, I started learning to do acupuncture and natural therapy, supplements, and I started learning how to do osteopathic manipulation. I’m a medical MD (I’m not a DO), so I started learning that. And then I started learning about prolotherapy and then, eventually, the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and then stem cell therapy.
So, what I was alluding to is that I’ve always had a passion of finding the root cause of the problem and treating a problem that lasts a long time. I don’t want to pad things. So, because I’m pain-management trained, I’ve been doing treatment on the joints and getting people back to functioning with stem cell therapy. Then in 2014 started doing treatment more for sexuality and aesthetic stem cell therapy.
And I really enjoyed that because what I realized is that, you know, it’s easy to talk to a doctor when you have knee pain or back pain or shoulder pain, but it’s so uncomfortable to talk about such a private subject such as erectile dysfunction or even a female having difficulty with intimacy because women were trained and raised when we were little that that’s not something we talk about, that’s it’s taboo, and all those culture layers that layer into the guilt that we feel when we talk about something like that. But I’m thinking, all right, well, we’re born because of the sexuality.
Amanda Testa: Right. Yes.
Dr. Anne Truong: We’re here, and it’s an integral part of what we do. We enjoy it, and that’s what bonds people together. That’s what bonds partners together is part of intimacy, and it’s such an integral part of our life. But yet, why is it taboo?
So, that really interests me, and I want to bring a subject that is taboo, that’s in the closet more out into the open. I know that it is so common because there was a study that was done in, actually, 1999, a review, that there were 30 million men living with ED, and that’s just from a questionnaire with extrapolation. That was in 1999, and now, with COVID, we know there’s a lot more, and that may even double that. So, we don't know exactly how many numbers there are for women. I will say probably the same as well. It’s just that, with women, it’s a little bit harder to tell because she doesn't have a genital that you can see physical changes on, and just being forward in that I see women not being aware that what they have changes in the way they feel during intimacy that they're not correlating that to, “Oh, you know, it’s my hormone change. I’m getting older. There are changes down there.”
They actually blame themselves. They say, “Well, maybe something’s wrong with me.” They blame themselves for some other thing versus a man. He could see whether his manhood is working well or not as well.
So, that’s why it’s passionate for me because I feel there's something that is so integral to what we do, but yet, there’s very little known. There’s a lot of myth, a lot of gimmicks out there, and there’s not a lot of real, true, research-based, evidence-based treatment for this other than, “Hey! Take the little blue pill. Take this pill.” There’s actually a pill for a woman now for sexual arousal. I tried, and I didn't feel anything. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Right.
Dr. Anne Truong: But, you know, there’s a pill for women as well. So, I feel like we’re being manipulated by pharma. We’re being manipulated by social media thinking, “Hey, there’s a pill to fix you!” It’s like there’s no pill -- I’ve been doing pain management for 25 years. There’s no pill to fix your pain. You have to treat the source of your pain and rehabilitate the condition.
The same thing with sexuality. You have to find out the cause of it and rehabilitate it, and I see sexuality as, like, weight loss. You know, once you treat it, you have to maintain the good habit that you learned to maintain the optimal function.
Amanda Testa: Yes, that makes so much sense because, usually, everything is connected, and if we’re having a problem in one area, there are, usually, many things going on, right? So, it’s not always just like, “Well, I need this one thing fixed.” It’s more -- I appreciate how you have that more holistic approach to kind of solving the problem. Yeah.
Dr. Anne Truong: Right. Right. But, you know, like I said, when you have knee pain, most likely your ankles and your hips are gonna be dysfunctional as well.
Amanda Testa: Right.
Dr. Anne Truong: It’s not just the knee pain that’s the problem. It’s above and below, and you have to address the whole entire leg and back. It’s the same thing with sexuality. Things are tied together. “Oh, you fixed this organ. Everything’s gonna do okay.”
When I approach sexuality, I approach it as a foundation. You start fixing the foundation, and then you start fixing lifestyle factors and diet and exercise.
Amanda Testa: Yes, so key. I’m curious, too, because I know a lot of my listeners might be in a relationship with someone with erectile dysfunction, and I’m curious. How does that affect partners?
Dr. Anne Truong: Right. So, that’s something common that I hear all the time from my patients. Sometimes women that come in are thinking there’s something wrong with them when their partner has ED because they're thinking, “Well, it’s my fault he’s not getting aroused by me. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. There’s something wrong with me. When we’re together, he’s not turned on. There’s something wrong with me! Fix me!” Then the guy comes in -- this is even in the same relationship -- [Laughs] I treat a lot of husbands and wives. The husband comes in and says, “There’s something wrong with me! I have ED. I love my wife. I’m attracted to her, and I just cannot get it to be functional,” and he’s embarrassed to talk to her, and she’s embarrassed to approach him because she doesn't want to hurt his feelings.
They both love each other, and you know what happens? They turn away from each other because they don't want to approach a subject that is so sensitive that got, maybe, misinterpreted and then hurt each other.
So, what I always say is, “You know what? Know that your partner knows there’s something wrong, okay?” Not that something is wrong, but there’s something going on. Just be honest and be curious and be transparent. Be honest, be curious, and be transparent because if your partner knows that you are having difficulty, she will support you, and she will say, “Hallelujah! I’m so glad you brought it up, and I’m here to help you as much as you need.”
So, I’ve never seen a partner that said, “Well, you're having problems? That’s your problem. Goodbye,” you know? It’s really more like, “Hallelujah! Oh, my god, I’m so glad you talked about it. Let’s move forward from here. How can I be supportive of you?”
How you approach it as for even a female noticing that, yeah, a man has difficulty is you just approach it and just be transparent. “I’ve noticed this, and I want to be supportive of you. Can we have a discussion of what’s going on that we can help move forward from this?” You want to present it as open and showing that you’re supportive of your partner and you both want to move on forward together in a supportive relationship and try to resolve this problem.
Believe it or not, if a man that has ED has a supportive partner, that’s actually therapeutic. That’s actually 30% to help him get better because, emotionally, he knows that she’s there for him and that he can focus on the physical part that is causing the ED.
Ninety percent of ED is physical, and ten percent is psychological meaning performance anxiety and emotional and trauma, but what we do know from research is that a supportive partner can be therapeutic for a man undergoing ED.
Amanda Testa: Yeah, and that makes sense because I think it’s so common, right? It’s such a common thing, and there’s so much shame around it, I feel like, a lot of times. Like you say, it’s a tender topic, and so, you want to make sure that you approach it with care and support. I’m wondering, too, you know, say someone’s listening, and they're like, “I would love if we could talk about this.” What would be some steps we could take? How would we go about moving towards solving the problem?
Dr. Anne Truong: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Yeah.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Dr. Anne Truong: Yeah, and there are options. There are treatments for a man with ED and, like I said, it doesn't have to be with a blue pill (the Viagra or Cialis).
I was talking to a patient of mine yesterday, and he was saying that he had ED for, like, a year. He went to see a doctor first, and they gave him Viagra before any blood work, before any type of question to what’s his lifestyle, what his sleep is. “Here, here’s Viagra.” He took Viagra, and it didn't really help him. He came back, and the doctor gave him an injection for him to do to help him with his ED, and he’s like, “I’m not injecting myself down there!”
Then, the next thing was the doctor says, “Well, maybe you should consider a penile implant.” During this whole time, there was no blood work that was done to see if maybe he has diabetes, maybe he has high cholesterol, maybe he had inflammatory markers in his blood, maybe he had low testosterone that is contributing to his ED. So, that’s why he came to see me because he was, I guess, insightful enough to know that, “I probably need to seek another option before I get surgery down there.”
He’s only had ED for a year. So, it almost seems like we’re going in the same direction with surgery to solve this problem, kind of like knee replacement, hip replacement.
Amanda Testa: Right. That should be the last resort, right?
Dr. Anne Truong: Yeah! [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: There are so many first easier steps, right?
Dr. Anne Truong: Yes, yes.
Amanda Testa: Well, I’m wondering if you could share a little bit, Dr. Truong, about how your approach is different and how you work with them to solve the ED?
Dr. Anne Truong: Right, right. So, when I evaluate a man with ED, I do blood work first, you know? We spend an hour with him in a consultation, but we order the blood work first, so when he comes and sees me, I know what’s going on in his body. We do a total whole panel. Our approach is not subjective; it’s objective. I look at the hormones from the head all the way down to the toe.
I look at whether he’s at blood sugar, his liver. I look at his cholesterol, inflammatory markers. I also look at whether he’s creating enough growth hormone or not (the hormone that’s released in the body), and I also look at blood clotting factors as well. That will give me an idea, internally, of what’s going on with the men. Interestingly, the first symptom of a man showing ED is that he is a diabetic. So, but that’s the first time somebody will say, “Oh, you're a diabetic,” when he starts having symptoms of ED.
So, my approach is to start looking internally at what’s going on and questioning the patient about their lifestyle and what they're doing. “How’s your stress factor? How is your sleep? Are you smoking? Are you drinking alcohol? How much alcohol?” I assess for whether they have tried other medications in the past or not if they have tried doing exercise at all.
Are they doing stress management? Do they meditate? All those factors -- if you're not sleeping enough, if you're not exercising enough, you have a poor diet, you eat processed food and fast food and sodas and so forth, all of that inflammation and, therefore, decreased blood flow is related to the cause of ED, a decreased blood flow.
Simple things such as sleep, smoking, alcohol. (I’m saying you can drink alcohol. You shouldn't drink more than 10 drinks a week, cumulative.) High stress can actually produce more cortisol which, then, decreases your testosterone hormone. You’re not sleeping. When you're not sleeping, your body is not healing, mentally and physically. That will decrease your testosterone level as well, other hormone levels, and increase cortisol. Just simple things like that -- or diet and whether he exercises or not.
We put all that information together, and then I do a test called a penile doppler ultrasound where I look at the blood flow down there to see how the blood flow is and, oftentimes, those tests are actually good, and then those are all the collective objective data that we get, and then we come up with a treatment plan.
I have a multi-modality approach treatment plan which is not just addressing one thing. We address multiple factors. One of the things that we’re doing to restore increased blood flow, and so, we do Hormone Replacement Therapy with testosterone, we do stem cell therapy to increase more blood flow, and then we also do shockwave therapy which uses soundwave technology to, again, increase blood flow down there, and then supplements.
The main thing I stress to every patient is lifestyle factors such as what you're eating. I recommend a Mediterranean diet and decrease processed food.
Then, I recommend three times a week at least one hour of exercise. I recommend a high-intensity interval, but just even walking and going to the gym and doing some weight because, for a man, if he does some weight, his muscle will help produce more testosterone as well. Then, simple things such as sleep. You need to sleep seven hours a night because that’s how your body heals, and your body produces more testosterone as well. If you're smoking, you’ve got to stop. If you're smoking, that’s a dead ringer for your sex life because it’s gonna decrease blood flow down there, some irreversibly, but some if you stop smoking, it may be reversable as well.
And then a lot of alcohol (I’m talking about more than 14 drinks in a week) is inflammatory. Just simple things like that along with the treatment that we have with hormones, shock waves, stem cell therapy, and supplements and just changing lifestyle, all that will reverse any man that has ED.
So, that’s treating from the inside out but also treating the blood flow problem as well, too. Now, I want to mention, also, that Viagra is not treating your ED, all right? Listeners here, get well! Viagra is padding the symptoms. It does not treat ED. A lot of my men come and think, “Oh, I’m on Viagra. My ED is treated.” No! Think of Viagra almost like as a drug, like a pain medicine like a Percocet or an Oxycontin because it gives you short-term relief, but in the long term, you're in the black hole. Why is that? Because Viagra makes your body dependent upon the medication for you to get an erection, all right? Your body is used to having it in the system to get an erection, and when you take Viagra, you’re hijacking, you’re giving up your natural response to create an erection in your body.
It’s like going to the gym and having a robot do bicep pull-ups for you. You're not doing the work. A machine is doing the work for you. So, what happens is you're not gonna get any benefit from it, and what we see is that, with Viagra, only 70% of men will respond to Viagra, but then after about three to five years, you don't respond to the medication, or the medication doesn't work as well to help you with the erections because the root cause of the problem is still there. The problem is maybe you’re diabetic, maybe you have high blood pressure, maybe you have high cholesterol, maybe you're not sleeping or exercising, or you have a poor diet or you're drinking more, maybe you're still smoking. All those causes are not addressed, so that’s why your ED gets worse, right? Because if you're not addressing the problem, it just erodes. I call it, if you let ED go, it’s like a puss that gets worse and worse and worse. Then, your Viagra is just a little Band-Aid covering that puss. You’re not treating the reason for that infection at all. You just put a Band-Aid on and go, “Okay, well, it looks a little bit better now. I can go on with my life,” but one of these days, that puss is gonna burst, and that Band-Aid of Viagra is not gonna be able to cover it.
So, I equate it to having a festering infection that, if you don't treat the root cause, it’s only gonna get worse and go deeper, and it may cause more problems than you think. Simple things, I treat men that have ED the first year to men that have ED 17 years, and he’s 80 years old, and I’m able to restore their function because we’re not only doing treatment to restore blood flow, but we’re also instituting lifestyle changes that will decrease inflammation, for one thing, but also restore more blood flow, not only to the genital area, but also the heart as well because when a man has better sexual function, it equates to better health function because all the risk factors for sexual dysfunction are the same as heart disease as well.
So, you're not only improving your sex life, you're also improving your heart health at the same time and, therefore, longevity and, really, wellness to that.
Then, one of the things that the women that are listening -- simple things that your partner can do to help with ED, like I just mentioned. I’m gonna reiterate it again because I’m so passionate about it. There’s a thing: you don't know what you don't know, but now you know you can do it. What’s one thing?
Start with if he’s smoking, he needs to stop because smoking is just a strangler for your ED.
Number two: getting enough sleep, getting at least six to seven hours of sleep.
Number three: what type of diet is he on? Is he eating a hamburger, French fries, and chips, and drinking Coke and Sprite every day? Well, no, that’s not good. Get him on a Mediterranean diet.
Number four: alcohol. I mean, I enjoy a glass of wine. I’m a bourbon girl myself. [Laughs] But, you know, there’s a certain limit. It’s moderation as well. You know, stay in the realm of 14 drinks or less.
Number five: Stress. Stress is a big factor. We all have stress, but it’s how you react to stress. Stress is not to you; it’s how you’re reacting to the situation that causes you stress. So, you can control stress because of how you react to the circumstance. That’s how you control your stress. Stress management like helping him realize that if he’s stressed, maybe he needs to do more meditation, more exercise to get his mind off of that.
Just do simple things that you can tweak, and I have seen patients, literally, all he did was just cut off bread, cut off sodas in his diet, and he started seeing, “Hey, you know what? I’m functioning a little bit better. I’m sleeping better. I have more energy,” just by making those little tweaks that go a long way.
What I mentioned before, the five to six levers that are really gonna turn the needle that you can do on your own before you go see the doctor. The man may see his ED actually reverse by just doing all those.
Amanda Testa: That’s huge, and I think, too, like you say, it’s, overall, vitality and wellbeing, and I truly think that our sexual energy is our life-force energy, and the more that we can have that health, it affects every part of us, right? So, like you say, better sexual, better blood flow, better heart health, all of the things.
I’m wondering, too, because I know you mentioned when you also are kind of looking at all these different factors, when it comes to being supportive of your partner, what else could you do to be supportive as they are looking for solutions or what else can they do to be supportive?
Dr. Anne Truong: Right. What they could do is to find resources for their partner. Find resources for their partner, but, before you do that, you have to have a conversation first because if the man’s not buying -- the man, first, has got to realize he has a problem, too, but you work through it together, and you work through it together, and you tell him, “Whatever it is, I’m right here with you. I am going on this journey with you, okay? We’re gonna go into it hand-in-hand together. Whatever support you need, I’m there.” All right? That’s one thing. He needs to know that you're there because all the men I see -- men love to be a provider. They want to protect, they want to provide, and they love their partner very, very much, and all the guys that I see want to get themselves better to please their partner, physically and mentally.
Oftentimes, I wish the woman would hear this, right? The woman sometimes doesn't hear how much their partner cares about them. It’s because nobody is talking.
So, once you open up that dialogue, that, “Hey, I’m here for you. Whatever you need, I’m supportive of you. Let’s go on this journey together. Let’s move forward together for this because --,” you have to realize that intimate sexuality is important in a relationship. Yes, you can still love each other without having sex in the bedroom, but when you do have that physical connection, it enhances it, right? So, I’m not saying every couple needs to have the physical stuff, but if you do have that component, it accentuates it. That’s what brought you together with that person in the first place, right?
Amanda Testa: Right.
Dr. Anne Truong: So, I think it’s an emotional and physical connection. The other thing is help him find the correct resources for him to do, like the five things I mentioned: sleep, exercise, diet, smoking, alcohol. Those are the five things I mentioned. Start with that!
Say, “Honey, you know what? Let’s go work out together! Let’s go to the gym together. Let’s go walking.” Have him go walking three times a week, and if he’s stressed, “Okay, let’s do something together. Let’s get you out of this stressful environment, and let’s go watch a movie.” Oftentimes, removing him from that stress that is causing him to stress will help a lot, but the number one thing is show your support and show him that you're there for him.
When a man feels that he’s not functioning sexually, it’s an affront to his manhood. But when he knows that you're supportive of him, that you're not judgmental, then it frees him up of that protective barrier that he has to maintain, and I think that once that happens you can, together, move forward with a lifestyle modification that I talk about with sleep and diet and exercise and smoking and alcohol. Just little things like that will go a long way.
Amanda Testa: Yeah, I think those are big, and I think, too, like you say, when you're having the conversation, too, it’s like you can think about why is your connection important to you? Why is that something that you're missing? Why is that something that you -- what is it at the root that you really want? Is it the connection? Is it the physicality? Is it the closeness?
A lot of times, from what I see in my clients is, if a partner is struggling, often, they might avoid anything intimate because they're afraid of not being able to perform. It’s also opening your mind of what sex can look like. It doesn't always have to look like a penis in a vagina. There are a million ways you can be together and have intimacy and connect. So, there are still ways that you can be together and support one another as you work through it, right?
Dr. Anne Truong: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: So, I think that’s just important to note, too. I think sometimes it’s easy to just totally avoid the situation and be like, “Oh, we just won't even go there at all,” but I think the more you can, just be supportive and know you can still have a lot of fun together no matter what. [Laughs]
Dr. Anne Truong: Yeah. Yeah, exactly, exactly, and give him supportive space, whether he’s working through it -- but I will tell you, the partner involvement and support are very important to a man struggling with ED. If a partner is supportive, he’s a third of the way better already. I see that all the time.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Dr. Anne Truong: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: I’m wondering, too, because I know you work with people all over, so if people are wanting to learn more about your clinic and how they can work with you, what’s the best way for them to connect and learn more?
Dr. Anne Truong: Right. So, there are two ways to connect with me, and I know that -- like I said, my big passion is education about sexual health because I feel that once you know you can prevent. I talk about, “Well, you know, if you knew that you shouldn't be eating candy right before you go to bed or maybe you don't brush, maybe that will prevent a cavity, but if somebody never told you that, you wouldn't know, right?
So, knowledge and education are the power for prevention. So, if you know that, “Oh! Okay, so, Dr. Truong said, wow, if I just change my diet and get rid of some sodas and some other things, that will help with my erection? Oh, yeah! I’m doing it.” So, it’s that knowledge.
So, that’s the reason why I started a membership called Modern Man Club, and that is a membership where you can join to be part of my tribe where I coach men in restoring sexual function and not be depended upon medication. And even sometimes those that don’t even need interventional treatment, I teach lifestyle things and things that you can do to increase blood flow.
They can find out about that at www.mensexualityclub.com, and my website is www.truongrehab.com, and they can also go to my website under membership. They can also check out the membership as well because I know that not everybody can come to my office for treatment, and I can only treat whatever I can. It’s limited by me, but I can definitely help them, coach them through the struggle. Women and men that are listening to this episode, the earlier you start, the better you're gonna get, right? You don't want to wait until you have ten years of ED, you fail Viagra, fail Cialis. At that time, the disease has gone too far or long to be treated with lifestyle changes, but if you start to feel -- let me define what ED is.
ED can go from having an erection that’s not firm enough all the way to having an erection that is not firm and then you either orgasm early (ejaculation early) all the way to not having any firmness at all. Some people think, “Well, I don't have ED because I can still have an erection.” That’s not the case at all. ED is defined by The World Health Organization as “the inability for a man to have satisfactory sexual relation and penetration.” So, that is what it’s defined as. And so, it’s a broad spectrum.
So, if you have a man that’s noticing that it’s taking longer for him to get firm or he gets firm and he loses it, that’s when it’s time to start doing the lifestyle intervention that is gonna make a greater impact rather than ten years down the road, after you try various medication already.
That has always been my passion in that it’s like brushing your teeth every day, you know? Why do we brush our teeth every day, right? Why do we go to the dentist twice a year? It’s prevention. Why don't we do the same thing for our sex life? Why don't we institute measures and prevention for our sex life? Not only our sex life, but also for our heart, right, which is also our wellness. If we start kind of doing some of that, it will go a long way.
Amanda Testa: I think that’s so true because we just don't know what we don't know, and we haven't learned a lot about our sexuality coming along, most of us, right? The education out there is poor. So, people are kind of piecing together what they can, and there are opportunities to find what you need. So, yes, thank you again for sharing all this wisdom because I think it’s important to know the options that are out there, and it doesn't always look like what you think. So, I think it’s important to realize what really can entail curing your problems versus just, like, Band-Aiding them like you say.
Dr. Anne Truong: Yes, yes. I wanted to kind of mention (I know that a lot of your audience is female) that, for the female, the first symptom that -- because female goes through perimenopause which is at the beginning of menopause, and then menopause is defined as going for 12 months without a period. Well, a woman can go through ten years of perimenopause. It can start from about early 40s to about mid-50s. Most women are in menopause by around 55 to 57. I was in menopause at 52, but you can go for a whole decade with it, and, oftentimes, the first symptom that shows up in menopause is your libido. You're just not into it as much as you used to be or it’s just not as pleasurable as it used to be, and it’s not because you're distracted with the kids or you're distracted with work or anything like that, it just, maybe, is a little uncomfortable down there. It’s not lubricated as much.
So, that’s the first symptom. Oftentimes, women say, “Oh, no, it’s my work. I’m not sleeping enough. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” But those are the first symptoms because we don't have a penis like a man that we can tell whether it’s firm or not, right? We just know how we feel, but if you're getting frequent UTIs, that’s also a sign that you're in perimenopause as well, that your hormones are changing. If you have frequent UTIs or that is uncomfortable down there when you have intimacy, just those little subtle things like that. Another thing, too, is your hair falling out. Noticing if your hair is falling out [Laughs] is part of the whole range of --
Amanda Testa: I’m not accepting -- oh, yeah.
Dr. Anne Truong: I know! [Laughs] It’s not your fault because you start to gain weight as well because those are the hormone changes that happen within that whole decade for a woman. Believe me, if you're feeling those changes, your man also has some changes as well, too.
That, maybe, is a good time to talk to each other around that time because with the age that men start to feel that they may have sexual changes, it’s around the same age. It’s around the early 40s. Early 40s is when they're noticing it at that time, and so, maybe it’s a good time to have a conversation again.
For women, it’s the same thing. Just know that you're in menopause, and just look at your lifestyle (your diet, your exercise, your sleep, your stress, your smoking, your alcohol content). In fact, women drinking alcohol is very toxic for their breast tissue also. Same thing for men with prostate as well because increased alcohol will irritate the prostate, and, not only the prostate, but also the liver as well. But, for a woman, breast cancer is important for that. Just looking at those things that I mention for men doesn't mean that women shouldn't be doing it also. If you start doing that, then you will probably see an improvement in how you feel.
I’m a big advocate for Hormone Replacement Therapy, for both men and women, once they're in menopause or even perimenopause. When you're in perimenopause, you can get testosterone first because that’s the first hormone that dips for a woman to achieve when you're in perimenopause, but for a man, same thing. His testosterone levels start to dip around age 35.
Amanda Testa: Well, I’m glad that there are so many options that we can use for optimizing these things, and I know you also work with women, and I know we could talk a whole other episode on that. But I know we’re coming to the end of our time together, so I do want to just make sure to direct everyone. I’ll put in the show notes, too, to go to your website because there are all kinds of great resources there as well, and you have a whole booklet you can download on erectile dysfunction and also there’s a whole section on women’s health, and so, all the things are there. There are so many resources, and two, I’m wondering if there are any last words or anything that you feel is really important to share or maybe a question that I didn't ask that you wished I would have asked?
Dr. Anne Truong: Right, right. I think that the final thought I want to leave for your listeners is that you can have sexual vitality for life. It doesn't necessarily mean because grandma didn't have sex, that means you can't either. Just because grandma didn't know. [Laughs] Nobody told her that you can have sexual vitality and sexual enjoyment for life. You just need to start taking care of yourself now for the longevity. For anti-aging and living longer with better quality of life, just start thinking about Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
For women, you're gonna need that testosterone and that estrogen and progesterone because it’s a game changer for me when I got started on hormones at the age of 52. It was a game changer for my husband as well. I mean, I have seen multiple men and women say that hormones changed their life. They were on the brink of getting a divorce, on a suicidal brink until they started doing hormones, and they're like a whole new different person.
I saw a 37-year-old cop who came to see me, and he was depressed. He had ED. He couldn't sleep. He just felt horrible. He thought there was something wrong with him. We gave him testosterone pellets, and he’s sleeping better, he’s having a better sex life, he’s having a better connection with his girlfriend, he’s more alert, he’s more focused, he’s feeling more strong, he’s able to do his job. Before, he was worried that he may not be able to do his job as a cop.
For women, I see women that come in and have foggy brains. That’s another thing, too, between the 40s and 50s, you feel like sometimes you're like -- I hear a lot of women say, “I feel like I’m losing my mind. I feel like I’m going crazy.” Well, you're not. Your hormones are dipping, and you're just not remembering that. As for me, when I was 50, I forgot how to drive home from my work to my house. I thought I was going crazy because I got to my car, and I forgot the road back, and, for me, that’s very unusual. This is the road I’ve been driving through for, like, 15 years. That’s what hormones did to me. When I didn't have Hormone Replacement Therapy, I became foggy-brained and, at that time, I was having hot flashes. So, for women, it’s more subtle, and sometimes you don't notice it as much as for men.
So, my end point is, yes, you can have sexual vitality for life if you start with these recommendations that I mention now, and as you get older, see a Hormone Replacement Therapy doctor, and maybe get supplemented with hormones as well because I think it’s a game changer, and it’s a game changer for quality of life. It’s also to protect your bones, too. It prevents women from getting osteoporosis because I see women getting osteoporosis as a neglect in the healthcare system in helping her get the treatment that she needs. As you and I both know, there’s a disparity in medical treatment for men and women, right? [Laughs]
Actually, I can't hear you.
Amanda Testa: Sorry, I forgot to unmute myself.
Dr. Anne Truong: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: I was gonna say thank you so much, again, for sharing your wisdom and for taking the time to come on, and I will, again, share everything in the show notes. I just am looking forward to sharing this, and I know that the listeners -- I just want to thank you, too, for listening. If there’s anything that really hit home that you want to learn more about, I’ll invite you to reach out to Dr. Truong and let her support you. So, thank you, again.
Dr. Anne Truong: Thank you!
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