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Written by Jackie Jones, BlackAmericaWeb

The most important thing black men can do for themselves, and their lovers, is to get eat right, exercise, get regular checkups and go to the doctor when something seems off-kilter.

That latter issue, especially when it affects a man’s sex life, is particularly important.

Many men are afraid they may have prostate cancer and realize that a possible side effect of treatment is a reduced ability to get and sustain an erection or diminished sexual desire. Sometimes, though, the problem isn’t cancer at all, but other illnesses that have not been managed properly, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse.

And erectile dysfunction (ED) isn’t just an older man’s problem. Younger men can have trouble, too, and it can create marital or relationship problems, result in low self-esteem and create fertility problems, especially for young couples trying to get pregnant.

“Men seem to be reluctant to go in and get this sort of thing treated and we’ve had many patients that are literally dragged into the room by the women who love them,” said Dr. Samuel Wood, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility and sexual medicine specialist, said in a recent television interview.

Wood has pioneered a procedure in which a patient’s blood is withdrawn and the platelets and plasma, which contain growth factors, are reinjected. It increases blood flow and enhances nerve function in the body’s reproductive areas. The procedure is called the O Factor for women and the M factor for men.

Click here for answers to your prostate health questions.