ISSM Welcomes SASSM as Affiliated Society
Meet Your Colleagues: Marlene Wasserman
We are pleased to announce that the South Asian Society for Sexual Medicine will become affiliated with the ISSM effective January 1, 2014.
Established in 2012, the SASSM represents sexual medicine specialists from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The ISSM Board of Directors approved the affiliation at its last meeting, held on November 2, 2013.
Please click here for more information. You can also learn more about the SASSM at their website: www.sassm.in.
COPD is a Risk Factor for ED
Our latest ISSM Member Profile features Dr. Marlene Wasserman of Cape Town, South Africa.
Dr. Wasserman began her career as a family therapist, eventually working with couples who had sexual problems. She later became certified with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).
In 2000, she earned her doctorate in Human Sexuality from the Institute of Advanced Study in Human Sexuality (IASHS).
Currently, Dr. Wasserman teaches at the University of Cape Town, runs a private practice, and works with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supporting the transgender and sex work communities.
She was recently elected to the Advisory Committee of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) and is the WAS Associate Secretary for Africa.
When asked about the particular challenges of working in her region, she replied, "My challenges are many: the socio-political-economic-cultural environment is harsh on the majority resulting in high incidences of HIV/AIDS, GBV, and rape. There are lots of reasons and opportunities to view sexuality as a health and rights issue. But people are defensive and surviving."
She added, "My particular challenge is educating healthcare providers in sexual medicine. There remains no local training in sexual health /sexual medicine at all, so healthcare providers are reluctant to integrate sexual medicine into their work."
Turkish scientists report that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED).
Their study, published last month in Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, found that men with COPD had higher rates of ED and depression when compared to men without COPD.
One hundred thirty-eight men between the ages of 42 and 81 participated in the study. Seventy men had COPD. Sixty-eight healthy volunteers formed a control group.
The men completed the International Index of Erectile Function and the Beck Depression Inventory.
The researchers also tested the men's lung function and took blood samples to assess levels of testosterone and other hormones.
Seventy-nine percent of the men with COPD had ED, compared to 56% of the control group.
Almost half of the COPD patients had depression, compared to 24% of the healthy men.
The men with COPD also had lower blood oxygen levels, which can interfere with erectile function.
The researchers encouraged doctors to discuss sexual problems with their COPD patients.
“When establishing a treatment plan for improving the pulmonary function of COPD patients, sexual dysfunction and depression, which are usually neglected but diminish quality of life, should also be addressed,” they wrote.