Oscar Wilde thus summarises the essence of male sexuality and the centrality of the penis in the construction of the virility of every man. Nevertheless, this organ, powerful yet vulnerable, owes its sexual and reproductive effectiveness to a balance as complex as it is fragile to which all the great systems of the human body contribute: neurological, vascular and hormonal.
Male sexual dysfunctions set in during different phases of sexual response and hinder or impede the normal execution of intercourse. According to estimates regarding the most common diseases, during their lifespan one in five men will suffer from sporadic premature ejaculation, for one in three it will be systematic and for one in two starting from fifty years of age obtaining and maintaining an erection will become a problem.
The psychological component is always present and can be the cause or the aggravating circumstance of a dysfunction which often has investigable and treatable physical origins thanks to the enormous progress of science.
Sexual health is a precious commodity which current knowledge and diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities permit, in many cases, to conserve for the whole lifetime. Medicine and surgery today enable the correction of anatomical abnormalities, congenital or acquired which in the past would have compromised or destroyed the sexuality and the reproductive capacity of a man.
Contemporarily, new technology such as cryopreservation allow the preservation of fertility in critical situations, robotics to perform highly preservative operations on the prostate, prosthetics to restore sexual power and diagnostic imaging to pick up otherwise invisible lesions.
The future is just as promising and soon regenerative medicine might largely substitute current methods permitting the treatment of many diseases of the urogenital system using stem cells.
Next to functional surgery for the correction of genital malformations, in recent years, the increasing attention to physical prowess has opened the road to aesthetic surgery, which has the job of improving the appearance of the external genitals.
Operations like elongation and enlargement phalloplasty, the correction of imperfections of the scrotum or non pathological curvatures of the penis are increasingly requested by men of all ages. Myths, beliefs and preconceptions but also disinformation and embarrassment make male sexuality a minefield in which too many men, even today, bury potency, pleasure and passion.
Prevention is made up of gestures which save lives, such as self-examination in testicular cancer, and of decisions which change lives, such as visiting the doctor to clear doubts and questions, signs and symptoms. Prevent in order to preserve, this is the only road to remain healthy and sexually active for a long time.