Expert: When it comes to erectile dysfunction, meds very often men’s last resort

BY A. RUBAN
UMK’s Professor Datuk Dr Zulkifli Zainuddin (pictured) believed many Malaysian men suffering from erectile dysfunction were too embarrassed to seek medical help. — Pix by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Most Malaysian men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) prefer to find alternative “cures” rather than seek medical help, a urologist said today.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s head of Urology, Professor Datuk Dr Zulkifli Zainuddin, said the main reason for this was embarrassment.

“Secondly, it is may be because they do not want to spend a lot of money because pills and surgery to treat erectile dysfunction can be very expensive,” he said.

Dr Zulkifli pointed out that these alternative treatments include traditional penis massage — known as “urut batin” in Malay — putting on a penis ring, and drinking energy drinks that have no scientific basis behind them.

“Energy drinks like Tongkat Ali are tested on rats so unless your penis is the size of a rat’s, it won’t work,” he added, referring to the plant Eurycoma longifolia or also known as longjack, which root is used as folk medicine in Southeast Asia.

Dr Zulkifli urged those who suffer from ED to seek medical attention immediately.

“If the situation isn’t very bad, we can treat it with pills but if they are really unable to have an erection, then a surgery to insert a penile pump may be required,” he said.

A penile pump, he said, costs around RM40,000 in Malaysia.

Prof Dr George Lee speaking during Pfizer’s WTF of Sexual Habits survey at Bobo Kuala Lumpur April 14, 2017.

Dr Zulkifli was a panel speaker at a discussion on Pfizer’s Global Sexual Habits Survey 2015 this morning, together with another urologist Dr George Lee.

He mentioned that masturbating the “wrong way” could also lead to premature ejaculation.

The “wrong way” here refers to not using a lubricant during the practice, or just using a sheet or tissue as substitute.

“When you masturbate in a hurry, your body is taught that that is the way to ejaculate during sexual intercourse,” he said.

He also rubbished claims that masturbation could lead to “weak legs” or other negative outcomes, unless it becomes an addiction.

The 2015 Pfizer global survey — its most recent — showed the frequency of sexual intercourse for ED medication users is six times a month on average.

However, Malaysia was not among the seven countries in the 2015 study, which were carried out on slightly over 1,000 respondents in Brazil, China, Italy, Japan, Russia, Taiwan and Turkey.