Male | Female

Overview

At the William D. and Pamela Hutul Ross Clinic for Sexual Health within the John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health, our commitment to the whole patient is embodied in the array of patient support services we offer, which provide a continuum of care and assurance to patients and their families, including our focus on sexual health.

Sexuality is integral to human identity and expression, yet is often overlooked or minimized in the treatment of urological diseases and disorders.  Concerns regarding sexual health occur commonly and increasingly with age and are related to the many diseases that impact sexual function in the aging population. For example, by age 40, about one-third of American men experience some degree of erectile dysfunction and by age 70, two-thirds.

The overwhelming majority of men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer experience at least some form of erectile dysfunction (ED) following treatment. In addition, almost half of American women report some problems in terms of sexual dysfunction.

Why NorthShore

At the William D. and Pamela Hutul Ross Clinic for Sexual Health, our staff of board certified urology healthcare professionals take a proactive approach to helping patients and their partners maintain and regain sexual function. Heading our team is Director of Sexual Health, Jeffrey Albaugh, PhD, APRN, CUCNS, an advanced practice nurse who is a board-certified urology clinical nurse specialist with a PhD focused on sexual health research.  Dr. Albaugh has expertise in evaluating and treating both male and female sexual dysfunction.  Dr. Albaugh works closely with Dr. Peter Colegrove, a urologist who specializes in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, as well as other specialists in gynecology, pelvic health, pelvic floor physical therapy, integrative medicine and relationship and sex therapy.

Common sexual issues addressed in the clinic include:

Male Sexual/Intimacy Issues:

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED): inability to get or keep erections firm enough for sex
  • Desire disorder (lack of libido or sex drive)
  • Penile rehabilitation after prostate cancer treatments
  • Orgasmic disorders: premature, rapid or delayed ejaculation disorders

Female Sexual/Intimacy Issues:

  • Desire disorders (lack of libido or sex drive)
  • Orgasmic disorders: difficulty reaching climax
  • Arousal disorders: difficulty becoming excited
  • Pain disorders: pain during sexual relations
  • Sexual issues arising from cancer treatment

Treatment

At the William D. and Pamela Hutul Ross Clinic for Sexual Health, we work closely with the patient and his or her partner in an effort to restore their sexual relationship as quickly and completely as possible.  We offer a variety of treatments based on individual needs and goals.  The multidisciplinary team coordinated by Dr. Albaugh will carefully evaluate each patient's particular issues and empower patients to make informed choices about treatment options.

For instance, for patients undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, the clinic offers the following protocol, targeting each patient’s issues with a treatment plan appropriate to his/her concerns:

  • We discuss sexuality with both the patient and his partner, explain the benefits and risks involved with each treatment and work to preserve maximum sexual function after prostate cancer treatment. 
  • Penile Rehabilitation:  Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, increasing evidence in the past few years demonstrates that penile rehabilitation in the months after prostate surgery may improve recovery of erectile function.

    Recent studies suggest that ED leads to a prolonged decrease of blood flow to the erectile tissue. This lack of blood flow and subsequent decreased oxygenation in the flaccid penis can lead to permanent and irreversible damage to the erectile tissue. Penile rehabilitation attempts to increase blood flow to the erectile tissues during the surgical recovery period to diminish potential long-term damage while the nerves to the erectile tissue heal.

    Several modalities can be employed to increase blood flow to the penis including scheduled use of oral medications, a vacuum erection device or sometimes use of injection therapy. Prospective research studies demonstrate that patients participating in penile rehabilitation therapy were more likely to have recovery of spontaneous erections than patients who did not receive any therapy.

For More Information

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847.503.3000.

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