Supporting men at all ages and stages of life
At Complete Care, we’re firm believers in the importance of men’s health and offer a range of products, services and support for men of all ages and stages of life.
Our partnership with Men’s Health Downunder gives you the confidence to live your best life with a range of products that includes:
- Continence products
- Sexual health and wellbeing
- Daily living aids
- Expert advice
- And, much more
How our Men’s Health Service works
In our pharmacy, we place a strong emphasis on Men’s Health, particularly focusing on non-surgical approaches to enhance erectile function and supporting individuals in revitalising their lives post-prostatectomy. This encompasses various aspects, including but not restricted to, reestablishing continence, enhancing erection function, and preserving penile length.
Tailored guidance for each patient is our priority. We will gather your medical history, assess your medication usage, and formulate strategies aimed at enhancing your outcomes.
All males, no matter their age or stage of life, require professional health and wellbeing care and various stages of their lives. Men’s Health Downunder offers a huge range of quality products and services for men.
Products can be ordered and purchased in-store or simply by making a phone call to your nearest participating Complete Care Pharmacy. View our locations here.
To make an appointment with our trained pharmacist, simply book via the secure portal by clicking the Book Now button below. Appointments and consultations are carried out in private with a trained pharmacist.
Men’s Health - FAQs
You can access our men’s health service by simply asking in-store or booking an appointment online. You don’t require a doctor’s referral.
The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It is usually about the size and shape of a walnut. Anatomically, the prostate rests below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra passes through the prostate as it exits from the bladder. Physiologically the prostate and Cowper’s Gland, which adjoins the prostate, secrete fluid that nourish and protect sperm as they leave the testes during ejaculation. From here, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra and it is expelled with sperm as semen.
There are different types of prostatectomy.
- OPEN RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY
A radical prostatectomy consists of the removal of the entire prostate gland as well as some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles. An open radical prostatectomy is the more traditional approach to the procedure, wherein the surgeon makes a single long incision to remove the prostate and nearby tissues. There are two main ways to perform this operation: radical retropubic prostatectomy and radical perineal prostatectomy. During a radical retropubic prostatectomy, an incision is made in the abdomen, from the belly button down to the pubic bone, while during a radical perineal prostatectomy, the incision is made between the anus and scrotum (the perineum). In either cases, the patient is asleep under general anesthesia or numbed with spinal or epidural anesthesia. The peritoneal approach is less common since it is more likely to cause erectile dysfunction, but it is also a shorter and faster procedure. During the retropubic approach, the surgeon may also remove some of the lymph nodes if they are affected by cancer.
- LAPAROSCOPIC RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY
A laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a more modern, less invasive and more likely nerve sparing form of prostatectomy that results in better post-operative outcomes with particular reference to erectile dysfunction, continence and general recovery. During a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, the surgeon makes several small incisions and uses special long surgical tools to remove the prostate. When the surgeon holds the tools directly, the surgery is called laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. In addition to the surgical instruments, the surgeon also inserts a small camera called a laparoscope into the incision to increase visibility. This approach to prostatectomy has become more common, however today, surgeons will generally opt for robotic-assisted surgery where possible in the private system and where possible in the public system (the cost of purchasing the robot is often prohibitive for the public hospital system). In terms of ensuring the best possible post-operative outcomes, the most important factor of a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is the skill and experience of your surgeon.
- ROBOTIC-ASSISTED RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY
This is the latest and greatest option for men undergoing prostatectomy today. Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy consists of the use a robotic interface called the da Vinci system to perform the operation. During a robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, the surgeon sits at a control panel in the operating room where she or he control robotic arms which operate through several small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. For the surgeon, the robotic system provides greater manoeuvrability and more precision when moving the instruments than with standard laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. Generally this sees better postoperative outcomes with respect to erectile dysfunction, continence and general recovery. Still, it is worth noting that one of the most important factors in the success of either type of laparoscopic surgery is the surgeon’s experience and skill.
Vacuum therapy solutions such as those offered by Men’s Health Downunder are another option. Vacuum therapy offers many advantages over medication. Vacuum therapy systems are very easy to use and work by using a vacuum to gently pull blood into the penis, creating an erection.
A plastic cylinder is placed over the penis and a pump is used to create the vacuum. Then, an elastic support ring is moved from the cylinder to the base of the penis before the cylinder is removed. The support ring holds the blood in the penis and maintains the erection for up to 30 minutes.
Men who have limited use of their hands due to arthritis or neurological issues can find vacuum therapy systems difficult to use. They may have difficulty operating the pump or loading the support ring onto the cylinder.
Systems like the one offered by Men’s Health Downunder, however, are designed to make their use as easy and simple as possible. They come with a loading cone and a device to assist with loading the support ring. Electric pumps are available. If the system is still too cumbersome, a willing partner can operate it, creating another opportunity for intimacy and bonding.
Vacuum therapy systems are discrete, requiring only a single purchase instead of repeated visits to the pharmacy. After ordering a system, nobody outside the bedroom need know that vacuum therapy is being used.
The systems are more effective at treating erectile dysfunction than oral medications. Of men who use vacuum therapy, 90% report satisfaction with the device. Unlike oral medications, which can take up to two hours to reach peak effect, vacuum therapy devices are used immediately before intercourse. There is no need to plan ahead and no fear of wasting a dose if plans get interrupted. Some couples also believe that there is more romance when there is more spontaneity.
There are very few side effects with vacuum therapy devices. The most common issue is a cooler-than-average temperature of the penis when it is erect, and some men experience slight bruising. Because the system is natural and there are no drugs entering the body, vacuum therapy devices can be used in conjunction with other medications and even other erectile dysfunction treatments. No prescription is required to purchase a vacuum therapy system.
After using a vacuum therapy device, most men are able to regain sexual function. Once couples are able to begin enjoying a healthy sex life again, men who were having difficulty dealing with erectile dysfunction are able to move past it and begin repairing their relationship and regaining their confidence.
Your Urologist or Doctor may prescribe erection drugs which are injected into the penis. These are known as an intracavernosal injection. These medications are often used to bypass the oral route of administration. This can be for a number of reasons such as side effects of oral medications, poor outcome of oral equivalents, drug interactions, impaired blood flow and so on. Despite the fact that injections can be uncomfortable (and certainly unnatural for most patients) they are very effective and with the correct dose and technique will be reliable.
The 2 most commonly used medications for penile injection are Caverject (alprostadil) and Trimix, a mixture of 3 ingredients: alprostadil (PDE5i), phentolamine (alpha blocker), and papaverine (vasodilator). These ingredients work by relaxing the smooth muscle and opening the blood vessels in your penis, thus leading to an erection.
Caverject is a propitiatory injection made by Pfizer which is available at most pharmacies (some may need to order it for you).
Trixmix comes in a range of strengths and is specially compounded by a sterile compounding Pharmacy. Because each batch is made to your specific prescription, Trimix needs to be specially ordered each time you need it. Men’s Health Downunder Pharmacists can arrange this for you – please get in touch and we will be happy to arrange it for you and teach you how to use it safely and effectively.
Your Urologist/Doctor will decide which medication and dose is most appropriate for you and provide you with a prescription.
It is suggested that you begin rehabilitation 2-8 weeks post surgery. It is worth noting that 2 weeks post surgery, there will still be considerable inflammation and discomfort. For this reason it is suggested you wait until you are more comfortable or go very gently with any form of rehabilitation. Whilst it is never too late, it is always advisable to start rehabilitation as soon as possible; if you have any questions about timelines please feel free to contact our pharmacists
Beyond incontinence pads or in cases where you are struggling to achieve continence and need extra help, there are devices (also called clamps) that are used to stop leakage from the bladder. They are applied to the base of the penis and physically block the urethra, preventing urine from being passed until the clamp is removed. These are most beneficial in the case of social outings or when you experience light bladder leakage. A range of clamps are available from Men’s Health Down under – see the shop.
Erectile dysfunction is often referred to as “trouble in the bedroom,” however the impact of ED often reaches beyond the bedroom, affecting many parts of a person’s life and relationship with their partner. Feelings of embarrassment, along with guilt, anxiety or low self-esteem, cause many men to avoid the issue. This leads to a breakdown in communication between the man and his partner, and the relationship suffers as a result.
If a man experiencing erectile dysfunction has already tried a treatment which didn’t work out, the psychological impact can be even greater. He may feel that it’s a lost cause or simply not worth the trouble. There is no reason for embarrassment, though. At age 40, it is estimated that four out of every ten men are dealing with erectile dysfunction. That ratio increases to seven out of ten by age 70. And, though it becomes more common as men get older, it can happen at any age. A study at one outpatient clinic found that a quarter of men seeking treatment were under the age of 40.
There are a wide variety of issues that can cause erectile dysfunction. Vascular diseases can affect the blood flow to and from the penis, and neurological disorders or injuries can disrupt the signals sent from the brain to trigger arousal. Even men who are physically healthy can experience erectile dysfunction brought on by stress or anxiety.
The good news is that there are always treatment options for erectile dysfunction. Even if previous attempts have failed, there are many effective alternatives for men of any age and in almost any condition.
Mainstream oral medications for erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil or tadalafil are very popular, but they are not the right option for everyone. There are a variety of reasons why oral medications may not work for everyone. These reasons range from ineffectiveness or dangerous risks for certain groups of men to side effects which may not be tolerable. Men taking nitrates for heart problems can experience dangerous interactions with erectile dysfunction medications. Erectile dysfunction medications work by enhancing the impact of nitric oxide to allow greater blood flow. Combining these with heart or blood pressure medications can lead to a sharp and sudden drop in blood pressure.
Erectile dysfunction medications simply cannot overcome some problems. They allow for greater blood flow to the penis but if there is nerve damage due to surgery or illness, the signal triggering blood flow will not get through and the medication will not be effective. It’s also possible that the blood vessels are too damaged for oral medications to be effective. In this case some find that their erections improve, but not enough for intercourse.
In approximately 25 percent of cases, erectile dysfunction is the result of psychological issues such as stress, depression or anxiety. In these cases, the assistance of a specialist may be needed to help with these issues before erectile dysfunction can be addressed.
There are also several side-effects associated with medications for erectile dysfunction. After taking them, many men experience headaches, flushing, nasal congestion or an upset stomach. The particular effects can vary depending on which drug you are taking. Though these effects are usually considered minor, and some men may experience them to a lesser degree than others or not at all, for some they may be enough to spoil the mood.
It’s important to remember that a failed treatment is nobody’s fault. Even in the best case scenario, medications only work 75 to 80 percent of the time and in many circumstances the success rate is much lower. Doing the maths, that means of all men who are at age 70, about 1 in 7 will be dealing with erectile dysfunction that is not successfully treated with oral medication.
The development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis causing a curved and/or painful erection is know as Peyronie’s disease. The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is not completely understood. As you would be aware, men’s penises vary in shape and size, and having a slightly curved erection isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. With Peyronie’s disease however there is a significant bend or pain for some men; this can prevent sufferers from having sex and may make it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. Peyronie’s disease may also cause stress and anxiety.
Peyronie’s disease may sometimes go away on its own, but in most cases it will remain or may even worsen.
Signs and symptoms of Peyronie’s disease may appear suddenly or develop gradually. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Scar tissue – the scar tissue (plaques) associated with Peyronie’s disease can be felt under the skin of the penis as flat lumps or a band of hard tissue.
- Significant bending of the penis – the penis might be curved upward, downward or bent to one side. In some cases, the erect penis might have narrowing, indentations or an hourglass appearance, with a tight, narrow band around the shaft.
- Erection problems – Peyronie’s disease might cause problems getting or maintaining an erection.
- Shortening of the penis – the penis might become shorter as a result of Peyronie’s disease.
- Pain – there might be pain in the penis, with or without an erection.
The curvature associated with Peyronie’s disease might gradually worsen. At some point, however, it typically stabilises. Pain during erections usually improves within one to two years, but the scar tissue and curvature often remain. In some cases, both the curvature and pain associated with Peyronie’s disease improve without treatment.
Your Urologist can assist with treatment including stretching devices, injections and vacuum erection pumps. Men’s Health Downunder can assist with these devices on your Doctor’s advice.