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Men are famous for ignoring their health problems, and complaining about their aches and pains somehow seems to make them seem like less of a man. And according to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, that’s one reason men are much more likely than women to avoid going to the doctor.

In fact, research shows that three out of four people who have not seen a doctor in more than five years are men. Men scoff at going to the doctor because it makes them appear dependent needy. And while this attitude is admirable in some other areas of life, it can be fatal when it comes to health.

Following are some subtle symptoms men should never ignore or dismiss:

A lot of men take a laxative to relieve their constipation. But this condition can be a sign of a tumor in the lower bowel that is stopping waste from exiting the body. If the constipation remains for more than a few days a visit to your urologist Des Moines is in order.

Painful urination. This is nothing to ignore, as it may be a symptom of an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

Odd-looking freckles. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women alike, and the rates are skyrocketing. A strange-looking freckle or mole that you noticed recently or that is irregular in shape should always be checked out by your urologist Des Moines.

Chronic indigestion. Occasional heartburn is nothing to be concerned about, but if you suffer from chronic acid reflux at least two times per week you may be suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux, which can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and ulcers of the esophagus. In some cases it can even cause esophageal cancer.

Unquenchable thirst. Constant thirst can signal diabetes. Other symptoms include frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss or gain, nausea, and blurred vision.  Every man should get a simple annual blood test at his urologist’s office to measure glucose levels and diagnose diabetes.

Erectile dysfunction. A recent study indicated that men who suffered from ED in their 40s or 50s were 50 times more likely to experience heart trouble later in life than those who don’t. So if you suffer from ED, you should have a thorough cardiac exam.

While snoring can be an annoyance — especially to a bed partner – it can also be a sign of sleep apnea, so if you snore regularly you should see a doctor.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms – don’t wait – call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a confidential consultation.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, when men are suffering from erectile dysfunction, they are surprisingly hesitant to seek help. In fact, studies show that only 25% of men diagnosed with ED actually seek treatment for their condition.

That means that 75% of men suffering from ED aren’t taking anything for it or even talking to their urologist Des Moines about their performance issues. This is surprising given the fact that we have effective treatments such as pills, pellets, shots, and surgery that are nearly 100 percent effective.

It may be time to try one of these other not so well-known treatments:

Prostaglandin E1 injections: An injection into your penis may sound like the last thing any man would even consider, but these injections are actually effective in about 90 percent of men who suffer from ED. And they work much faster than pills with an erection typically occurring within 10 to 15 minutes, making it a more spontaneous option.

Prostaglandin E1 pellets: If you’re definitely not interested in using a needle, there’s another way to administer prostaglandins.   You can insert them as a suppository into the tip of your penis so the meds are absorbed through the lining of your urethra. They do take a bit longer to kick in, causing an erection in about 20 minutes to half an hour.

Vacuum erection devices: A penis vacuum is a practical, fairly inexpensive option for treating ED. The patient attaches a pump to the end of his penis, and then they place a ring around the base of the shaft to trap the blood.

L-arginine: This amino acid can enhance blood flow to the penis by boosting the production of nitric oxide, a chemical that expands your vessels. You need to take just one gram per day, not exceeding that amount if you have a history of herpes flare-ups.

Testosterone replacement therapy: When your penis stops working, you may incorrectly assume that low testosterone is to blame. But the truth is, a shortage of testosterone accounts for only about 5 percent of ED cases.

If you are suffering from the effects of erectile dysfunction Des Moines residents trust urologist Dr. Fawad Zafar. Don’t wait – call us today to schedule a confidential consultation.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, children whose parents start toilet training before the age of two have a three times higher risk of developing daytime wetting problems later. Parents who toilet train their children early to meet preschool deadlines, save the environment (diapers in landfills) or because they think toddlers are easier to train should know there can be serious consequences. A recent study involved over 110 children between the ages of three and ten, in which half were seen in the urology department for daytime wetting or urinary urgency/frequency. The children in this group were then compared to a group seen in a general pediatric clinic and pediatric emergency room with no history of dysfunctional voiding. A questionnaire was used to gather information regarding the age that toilet training was started and the incidence of daytime voiding dysfunction. Patients were grouped into three categories of potty training:

  • Early (before the age of 2) which consisted of 38 children;
  • Normal (between the ages of 2 and 3) which consisted of 64 children;
  • Late (after reaching the age of 3) which consisted of 10 children.

Sixty percent of the early trainers experienced daytime wetting, which was over three times increased risk of daytime wetness as compared to the normal group. The researchers believe early trainers are more prone to subsequent voiding dysfunction because they are more apt to “hold” their stool or urine, which typically results in it backing up in the rectum. Children who are toilet trained at an early age are also more apt to delay urinating, a behavior that can lead to bladder contractions and reduced bladder capacity.  On the other hand, uninhibited voiding in diapers is likely beneficial to bladder development. The study also revealed that among the ten children who trained in the late stage, seven experienced daytime wetting problems and constipation. Consequently, the three late trainers who did not have wetting problems were not constipated. The age of two is not a magical number, but if parents opt to train early or late and are meticulous about making sure children void on a regular schedule and monitor them for signs of constipation, the incidence of voiding dysfunction would decrease. If you have any questions regarding your child’s potty training, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a confidential consultation.

From pills to surgery, there is an array of options to give your sex drive a little boost. Sexual problems such as a low libido, the inability to keep an erection, or the inability to orgasm, may be lessened through medications, but healthy lifestyle choices like a good diet, exercise, and reduced stress can improve sexual functioning in both men and women. Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar advises his patients to avoid these six bad habits that can silently be killing your sex drive.

1. Binge Drinking: While alcohol may make some people more social, and lowering inhibitions, it can ironically, impair your performance in the bedroom. Although a little alcohol can ignite desire, too much will take away your ability to perform. Alcohol inhibits erections making them slower to rise, while vaginas are slower to lubricate.

2. Bad Posture: In this digital age, it comes as no surprise that society has assumed sedentary behaviors that have led to the development of bad habits. Spending an average of nine hours staring at screens from computers to smartphones can jeopardize not only your spine, but also your sex drive. According to your urologist Des Moines, bad posture can lead to shallow breathing, which exacerbates feelings of stress, and depletes energy levels, affecting your libido.

3. Being Overweight: This condition has been linked to cardiovascular complications, low self-esteem, and poor body image, and it can negatively impact your sex drive from a psychological standpoint. Excess weight also drags down a man’s sex life by affecting the health of his blood vessels.

4. Poor Teeth: A good reason to brush and floss your teeth daily is your sex life. Patients – especially men with gum disease – are more likely to have erectile dysfunction, according to your urologist Des Moines. Prolonged chronic inflammation, as observed in men with gum disease, has the ability to damage blood vessels, leading to impotence.

5. Smoking: Lighting up a cigarette a day can impact not only on your lungs, but also your sex life. It can cause the arteries to narrow, resulting in and obstruction of the blood flow to the penis. The damage that smoking has on the blood vessels, and its effect on sexual performance can be permanent.

6. Stress: When people are stressed, their body produces more cortisol, which can negatively affect weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and sleep patterns. Stress can also be a psychological cause for low sex drive, especially in women.

Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar suggests avoiding these bad habits to effectively boost your performance in the bedroom.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, if you’re not paying attention to — and acting on — any changes in your urination habits, you’re not being very smart.

If you are experiencing any of the following, you need to see your urologist Des Moines:

  • A weak urine stream;
  • A sensation like urination is incomplete;
  • An increase in the number of times you wake up to use the bathroom at night;
  • Your urine turns a pinkish-reddish color.

All these conditions are things you need to discuss with your urologist, even if the symptoms seem like they are fading or disappear completely, because they could signal a health problem.

Men are often reluctant to see an urologist when they notice a change in their bathroom habits, but it’s important for men to deal with prostate and other urologic issues sooner than later. Their symptoms may disappear over time, but the underlying cause of the issues may still be present.

For example, blood in the urine may indicate kidney stones, a urine infection or an early warning sign for cancer, especially bladder and kidney cancer. Meanwhile, other urination changes can signal prostate problems such as enlargement, infection and cancer. An enlarged prostate can also cause difficulty with urination and emptying of the bladder.

Bacterial infections are characterized by sudden symptoms such as frequent urination, pain in the bladder and pelvis and sometimes chills and fever, but they can be cured with antibiotics.

Chronic infection is marked by chronic inflammation of the prostate gland and symptoms vary but can include pain in the pelvic region (including the penis and testicles), frequent and urgent urination and burning with urination. Your urologist Des Moines can help you decide the best management approach.

It’s important that you have a prostate cancer screening at age 55 or earlier if you have any risk factors such as race or family history. Going forward, you should get screened every one to two years, depending on your urologist’s recommendation.

Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar often hears men say that they’re confused about prostate cancer screenings or are simply unaware of their importance but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Screening provides a peace of mind, knowing they are fine. For others, it can mean finding prostate cancer early enough to be cured.

If you are in need of prostate screening, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule an appointment.

Believe it or not, according to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, there are certain foods that can affect your sex life in a positive way. Intrigued? Read on for more information.

Cranberries: Cranberry juice is full of vitamin B that is necessary for hormone balance and vitamin C, and it’s thought to help with healthy sperm function.

Brussel sprouts: While you may not consider them to be the tastiest of foods, they contain a compound that reduces oestrogen levels in the body, giving men a great libido boost.

Coffee with nutmeg: Your urologist Des Moines recommends adding a pinch of nutmeg to your morning coffee. Nutmeg is said to be an aphrodisiac, which stimulates nerve cells and blood circulation to boost sexual desire.

Oatmeal with flaxseed and nuts: Oatmeal contains a nutrient that keeps a healthy supply of testosterone (a libido-booster) in your system. Flaxseeds also help sustain a good testosterone level, and they contain a rich supply of lignans, which guards against vaginal dryness. Walnuts, pine nuts and almonds contain an amino acid that increases blood flow to the genitals, enhancing arousal and orgasms.

Pumpkin seeds: These seeds are loaded with zinc, which elevates the female sex drive and omega 3 fatty acids, which keep your libido healthy.

Salmon and asparagus: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and because it is essential for good blood circulation, it’s must for maintaining erections and improving clitoral stimulation. And your urologist Des Moines says that adding a little asparagus will help maintain levels of sexual hormones in your body such as, testosterone, oestrogen, and progesterone, all of which help stimulate sexual responses like vaginal lubrication and clitoral swelling.

Pomegranate juice: A glass per day of fresh juice from this super-food will help battle erectile dysfunction. It’s also high in antioxidants that help prevent free radical molecules from disrupting blood circulation to your genitals.

Watermelon: This sweet fruit contains an amino acid that helps dilate blood vessels and increases blood flow to the genitals.

Sweet potatoes: Packed with potassium, sweet potatoes help fight high blood pressure, which is associated with a higher risk of erectile dysfunction. They’re also rich in vitamin A, which is said to help boost fertility in men and women.

Chocolate-dipped bananas: Bananas are rich in potassium, an essential nutrient for muscle strength, which can mean stronger muscle contractions during orgasm. They’re also loaded with things that are good for the libido such as, B vitamins and magnesium, and dipping them in chocolate releases endorphins and leads to feelings of increased excitement.

Have you had a consultation with your urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar lately? Don’t wait…schedule an appointment today.




Kegel exercises have always been prescribed for women because they tone the pelvic floor muscles that support the uterus. But according to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, Kegel exercises are not just for women anymore.

Studies have shown that pelvic floor exercises can help treat incontinence and perhaps even sexual dysfunction in men. People typically do cardio exercises for their heart, and strength training to improve their six-pack, but the pelvic floor is neglected. And these muscles are actually the basis of sexual and urinary health.

Men have the same system of pelvic floor muscles as women, which extend like a hammock from the tailbone to the pubic bone. And according to urologist Des Moines, these muscles provide support for the back, abdomen, bladder and bowel, and help sustain fecal and urinary continence.

In men, these muscles surround the base of the penis and they are responsible for the surge of blood flow to the penis, and are thereby stimulated during erection, orgasm and ejaculation.

Your urologist Des Moines advises that like all muscles, the pelvic floor muscles weaken with age. In order to strengthen them, men are instructed to tighten the muscles they might normally use to cut off the flow of urine midstream or prevent passing gas. The contractions should be held for a few seconds, and then released, with the movement repeated 10 to 15 times for each workout.

While some supporters believe Kegels can enhance erections and orgasms, there’s not much evidence to support the claim. But clinical trials have revealed they can be beneficial for men with one of the most common sexual disorders – premature ejaculation. And some experiments suggest Kegel exercise may actually help restore potency in men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.

For most men lifestyle changes are the surest route to a better sex life. Yet there is strong evidence that pelvic floor exercises are important for men who undergo a radical prostatectomy and are at high risk for incontinence.

If you’re interested in more information or have any concerns you’d like to discuss, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar to schedule a consultation.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, the following six diet guidelines can reduce your risk of prostate cancer. The advice outlines a combination of what foods to limit or avoid, and which ones to eat.

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, to help reduce overall cancer risk. Most doctors agree that a plant-based diet lowers your risk of cancer and heart disease. And your urologist Des Moines explains that the reason fruits and vegetables help lower cancer risk is that they contain protective compounds that reduce the risk of several cancers and the toxic effects of the pollutants from petroleum.

2. Eat soy products to reduce both the risk and recurrence of cancer. Soy products — such as edamame, tempeh and tofu — also have protective properties, which – if substituted for red meat – can help reduce exposure to fats and other chemicals that advance cancer and heart disease.

3. Limit or avoid dairy products to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Studies have linked dairy products to prostate cancer, but the offender might actually be calcium. Some studies suggest that consuming dairy products might prevent colorectal cancer, and that men should consider limiting dairy if they have a family history of prostate cancer.

4. Avoid red and processed meats to reduce the risk of colon and rectum cancers. According to your urologist Des Moines, following this advice may help prevent heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Large studies have revealed that regular consumption of red meat — particularly processed meats such as sausages and cold cuts — can shorten your life.

This news doesn’t need to ruin your summer cookout plans. Use common sense and that the occasional hamburger or hotdog is fine. The broader issue is reducing consumption to reduce risk, given your risk profile and family history.

Cancer risk reduction doesn’t necessarily guarantee cancer avoidance. According to the World Health Organization, up to 30 percent of all cancers might be caused by a poor diet, and the rest are attributed to smoking, pollution and genetics, which may affect you no matter what you eat.

If you would like more information regarding cancer risk reduction tips, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule an appointment.


Premature ejaculation comes with an unnecessary, stigma. And since men don’t want to talk about it, it’s no surprise that they don’t know much about it, either.  Today your urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar is debunking the most popular myths about premature ejaculation.

Myth #1: Premature ejaculation is nothing more than a psychological problem.

Premature ejaculation may be the direct result of performance anxiety. However, there are different diseases that also predispose a patient to this condition.  A difficulty in serotonin levels in the brain may add to its existence.  Now there is a drug approved to address premature ejaculation.  Dapoxetine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, helps hold off orgasm for several minutes.

Myth #2: A man who reaches orgasm in less than 5 minutes is suffering from premature ejaculation.

The length of time preceding orgasm is not the most important measure for a diagnosis of premature ejaculation. Instead, it’s the perception of the intended outcome.  Premature ejaculation is more a measure of satisfaction than of time.

Myth #3: Premature ejaculation is a result of age.

Although diseases of old age may prompt a person to experience premature ejaculation, it’s not a condition necessarily related to advanced age.  Younger adults may also suffer from it, including men who are having sex for the first time, due to anxiety.

Myth #4: Premature ejaculation isn’t common.

About one out of every three men suffers from premature ejaculation.   There are more males who experience premature ejaculation than erectile dysfunction.

Myth #5: If you ignore it, it won’t worsen.

The anxiety that comes with premature ejaculation is due in part to the social stigma that accompanies it. Communication and acceptance play a major role in relieving performance anxiety. Not seeking medical help from your urologist Des Moines may also delay diagnosis of other illnesses and required therapy.

If you’re having problems in the bedroom, ask help from your urologist Des Moines.  It’s typically easy to diagnose as long as you seek help for it.

Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their hardworking kidneys, but according to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, more than half of seniors over 75 are believed to have kidney disease, according to recent estimates by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

As we age, our kidney function tends to weaken, and most people with chronic kidney disease aren’t even aware that they have it. Because March is National Kidney Month, your urologist Des Moines is urging everyone over 60 to be tested for kidney disease.

The two leading causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are both often closely linked to diet. Other kidney issues, such as kidney stones, are also aggravated by poor dietary habits and lack of sufficient hydration.  With proper nutrition, it’s possible to keep our kidneys healthy.

A healthy diet is one of the best ways to help prevent kidney disease. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet was developed by the National Institutes of Health. It embraces an emphasis on complex carbohydrates, more fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy.  It also supports a decreased intake of animal meats, fats, oils and sweets.

According to your urologist Des Moines, studies have shown that the DASH diet helps decrease blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, and reduces the risk of kidney stones.

Following are a few other tricky tips for optimizing your pantry, if kidney health is a priority:

  • Buy canned goods with “no salt added”
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned
  • Look for the word “whole grains” on the package
  • Cook with olive and canola oil
  • Flavor your food with spices and herbs instead of salt

Diet isn’t the only key to kidney health. Your urologist Des Moines recommends a number of other health tips to keep your body in its best working order for as long as possible:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Get plenty of physical exercise
  • Stay on top of chronic health conditions that could be risk factors for kidney disease
  • Stay well hydrated; water and cranberry juice is best.

Last not least, be sure your senior loved ones get an annual screening once they’re over the age of 60, especially if they’re in a higher risk category. The testing, includes urine testing for blood, protein, and infection. Medicare typically covers diagnostic laboratory services, especially those that are ordered by your urologist Des Moines.


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