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For most men, the thought of not being able to get an erection is almost too much to tolerate. But have no fear – according to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, some lifestyle changes can help to prevent erectile dysfunction (ED).

When it comes to ED, at times a man’s worst enemy is his own mind. A man’s biggest sex organ is actually his brain. Fear and over-thinking are often one of the biggest hindrances to a man’s sexual performance, especially in younger men. To help relieve some of the pressure, your urologist Des Moines suggests that men no view sex as a performance.

Then there are some men who want to look perfect with a six pack and muscles all over their body. In order to obtain and keep this unrealistic expectation, men sometimes resort to anabolic steroids. This is a huge mistake, as these steroids can shrink a man’s penis and testicles, resulting in erectile dysfunction. And that’s a high price to pay for what people think is a healthy or appealing body.

Smoking is another lifestyle habit that your urologist Des Moines says may impact a man’s sexual performance in the bedroom. It’s not only a bad habit that affects your lungs and overall health, but it also lowers the chances of you being able to get an erection.

There are also a few illnesses that lead to erectile dysfunction, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. There are also painful illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, which might not directly affect a man’s ability to get an erection but the pain can sidetrack him from getting one.

Preventative methods such as a balanced diet and consistent exercise are rather simple to implement into your lifestyle. According to your urologist Des Moines, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help a man last longer in the bedroom. He also suggests that his male patients opt for boxers instead of briefs so that their testes can breathe; in fact, the cooler, the better.

If you’re suffering from the effects of erectile dysfunction, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar to schedule a confidential consultation. Don’t give up – there is help available!

Stage I or II (early stage) prostate cancer refers to cancer that is restricted to the prostate. According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, this type of prostate cancer is easier to cure and treatment is administered with the goal being to cure the cancer.

Now that you’ve tests to confirm the presence of prostate cancer, you will need to learn more about the traits of your cancer. The following tests provide more information about the cancer to help your urologist Des Moines create the best treatment program for you.

PSA Level: This test measures the level of PSA, which is a biological marker, in your blood. PSA is a substance created by the prostate and is higher in men who have prostate cancer at the time of their diagnosis.

Gleason Score/Cancer Grade: This score provides information regarding how quickly the tumor is going to grow. It’s actually a description of the tumor based on how abnormal the tissue and cells appear under the microscope. Gleason Scores typically range from six to ten


The stage reveals the location and size of the tumor. These and other factors help your urologist Des Moines the stage of your prostate cancer and the risk group: low, medium/intermediate or high. It’s a belief that in more than half of men recently diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, the cancer will not spread to other body parts.

Genomic Testing:  There are several new tests available today that allow us to go beyond the standard risk assessment acquired with the PSA and Gleason Score testing. These tests are particularly important when choosing a treatment option if you have been diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer because you might be a good candidate for Active Surveillance.

If you are diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer, your urologist Des Moines will probably recommend an aggressive course of treatment so the disease does not spread throughout your body. 

These genomic tests look at the actual make up of the cancer cells to advise how the cancer will act, allowing your urologist to provide a more personalized risk assessment when recommending treatment options.

If you would like more information regarding prostate cancer or feel that you might be at risk don’t hesitate – call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, recent research is indicating that diets rich in whole walnuts or walnut oil can actually slow down prostate cancer growth in mice. In addition, both walnuts and walnut oil have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and increase sensitivity to insulin.

The walnut diet also decreased levels of the hormone IGF-1, which had been previously associated with both prostate and breast cancer.

For years, people have been on a crusade against fat, and that thinking is not always right. Your urologist Des Moines cites walnuts as a perfect example because while they are high in fat, their fat does not encourage prostate cancer growth. In fact, it does just the opposite.

A previous study found that walnuts reduced prostate tumor size in mice; however, there were questions about which parts of the nuts provided these benefits. It wasn’t clear if it was the meat, the oil or the omega-3 fatty acids of the walnuts. If it did turn out to be the omega-3 fats, the benefit might not be exclusive to walnuts. Since the fatty acid profile for the soybean oil used as a controlling factor was similar – but not identical – to walnuts, more research had to be conducted.

In the most recent study, researchers mixed fats with essentially the same fatty acid content in walnuts as their control diet. The mice were fed whole walnuts, walnut oil or the walnut-like fat for a period of 18 weeks. According to your urologist Des Moines, the results duplicated those from the previous study. While the walnuts and walnut oil reduced cholesterol and slowed prostate cancer growth, the walnut-like fat did not have these effects, confirming that other nut components caused the improvements – not the omega-3s.

While the study does not isolate which combination of compounds in walnuts slows cancer growth, it did exclude fiber, zinc, magnesium and selenium. In addition, the research showed that walnuts modulate several mechanisms associated with cancer growth.

If you would like more information about prostate cancer and your risk level, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.


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.

Men constantly hear all kinds of advice regarding how to retain their fertility, ranging from the type of underwear they wear to where they place their laptop. But according to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, there may be an even easier way to protect your sperm – by watching what you eat.

That’s right – recent research suggests that the foods you consume may be a factor in your sperm count. Although the research is still new, it’s clear that the foods that may potentially be a threat to male fertility are many of the same dietary offenders responsible for more serious conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

The following foods might be adversely affecting your fertility:

Processed meats: In a 2014 Harvard study, men who ate the most processed meat – such as hamburgers, hot dogs, salami and bacon – produced almost 25% fewer normal sperm than men who consumed it less often. However, saturated fat intake – which has previously been linked to poor sperm quality – wasn’t the nutritional connection.

Non-organic produce: In a study presented at the 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine Annual Meeting, researchers found that men who consumed the most pesticide residues via the produce they ate had 64% fewer normal sperm.Your urologist Des Moines warns that pesticides can throw your hormonal balance out of whack and interfere with the production of sperm.

Alcohol: Consuming too much alcohol can also negatively impact sperm concentration and mobility. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can result in total-body oxidative stress, which your urologist Des Moines reports is a major cause of male infertility. In moderation, alcohol intake seems to have no effect on semen quality, but habitual alcohol intake may compromise sperm quality.

Soda: Healthy young men who regularly consume more than a serving per day of sugar-sweetened drinks suffer from poorer sperm mobility. Sipping on sugary beverages such as soda, sports drinks, sweet tea also boosts your odds of insulin resistance, which in turn results in oxidative stress that can damage your sperm.

If you have questions regarding your fertility and how your diet may be affecting it, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a confidential consultation.

According to Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, male enhancement drugs such as Viagra won’t help erectile dysfunction (ED) if the underlying, cause isn’t identified and treated first. And many of these causes may not be what you think!

It’s estimated that ED affects as many as 30 million men in the United States and three-quarters of those men do not seek treatment. Many men are just embarrassed and don’t feel comfortable discussing the issue with their doctor, or even their partner.

Chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, along with an unhealthy lifestyle have long been publicized as underlying causes of ED. But there are some lesser-known causes of ED as explained by your urologist Des Moines below.

You’re Not Getting Enough Vitamin D: A growing number of studies point to a vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for heart attacks, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, strokes, and the conditions associated with cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes which can lead to diminished desire.

You Work In Health Care: Studies have shown that men who work in an environment predisposed to depression and anxiety, like health care workers, firefighters, and police officers, were more likely to deal with their stress by smoking, drinking too much and taking antidepressants, all of which can lead to ED.

You Watch Too Much Porn: Surveys reveal that millions of men are watching porn per hour and almost 10% of those surveyed were unable to stop. Excessive pornography is connected with low self-esteem, poor relationships and lower sexual satisfaction.

You Snore Too Much: Untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, problems with memory loss, weight gain, impotence and headaches. And studies have found that of the millions of Americans who are affected by sleep apnea, over 60% experience relationship problems, including ED.

You’re Spending Too Much Time on Your Bike: The hard, narrow seat of a bike can dull and damage the nerves and blood vessels located in your pelvic floor. And according to your urologist Des Moines, the damaged blood vessels can contribute to ED.

You Have A Big Neck: It sounds strange, but researchers haveconcluded that men with larger necks are at an increased risk of suffering from ED. Larger neck circumference is also associated with sleep apnea, which is also linked to decreased sexual desire.

The bottom line is that the cause for your ED may not be what you think and can be a warning sign of other serious health conditions. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from living your best life. Call urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a confidential consultation.

Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar is joining crusaders against overpopulation by urging men to get vasectomies on Nov. 7 to help reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies. According to Dr. Zafar, the second-annual “World Vasectomy Day” is bringing together women’s health organizations and urologists to promote the procedure.

Documentary filmmaker Jonathan Stack, a founder of the event, said the event designed to encourage men to think about their role in family planning.

There are many undeniable reasons for supporting World Vasectomy Day. One of them is the over 325 million women worldwide who have had tubal ligations, which is six times the number of vasectomies being performed.

Tubal ligations are exceedingly more invasive, and while each procedure experiences a failure rate 1% of the time, tubal failures can result in ectopic pregnancies, which is a leading cause of maternal mortality.

Vasectomies, according to your urologist Des Moines, typically result in a normal pregnancy. Tubal ligations cost a bit more because they require full anesthesia and the recuperation time is longer. And while it’s true that a about 1% of men suffer pain for some time following a vasectomy, there’s no effective long lasting form of birth control that doesn’t carry some risk.

The difference between the two procedures is that taking risks and making sacrifices is what women do every day for over a third of their lives. Isn’t it fair that men take on some of the responsibility?

Your urologist Des Moines finds that convincing most men to get a vasectomy is not an easy task. Even the conversation is a difficult one to have, but Dr. Zafar feels that it is not just about vasectomies, but a shift in awareness that our world desperately needs.

The bottom line is that World Vasectomy Day is not just about how many vasectomies are completed, but how many conversations are initiated. Involving men in family planning is the right thing to do for yourself, your family and our future.

If you are interested in more information regarding getting a vasectomy Des Moines residents rely on urologist Dr. Fawad Zafar. Call our office today to schedule a confidential consultation.

Put aside the fact that it might damage your ego – if sitting down to urinate improves your ability to do it comfortably because you suffer from a prostate condition, such as lower urinary tract symptoms, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, not every man will benefit from sitting down to pee, but those with minor prostate issues probably will.

A new study finds that while sitting down offers men without prostate issues no real benefit, men who suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are able to urinate quicker, more forcefully, and with less urine remaining in their bladders. These are all challenges men who suffer from LUTS face, in addition to the complications of urinary pain and increased urination at night.

Recent studies found that in patients with LUTS the sitting position is with a trend towards a better urodynamic profile. The research confirmed that when men with LUTS sat down to urinate, they urinated faster, longer, and more forcefully, and released more urine than men who stood up to pee.

According to your urologist Des Moines there are several explanations for this result. One is that men who are older typically surrender to prostate-related issues, and along with the fear of falling is a tentativeness to go. However, this isn’t an issue with younger participants, leaving researchers to suggest that the ease with which urination takes place while sitting is also a factor.

While standing, the body tries very hard to maintain an erect spine and correct posture, thereby activating many of the muscles located near the hips and pelvis. However, when people sit, these same muscles are relaxed, making urination easier. Also, the contraction of the pelvic floor muscles inhibits the activity of the muscle whose contraction is necessary for proper urinary function.


So what’s the bottom line?

What you do in a public bathroom is still your own business. People have been sitting to urinate for far longer than they’ve been standing, and evolution hardly ever gets it wrong.

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.


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