The prostate sits just below the bladder and it wraps around the top portion of the tube that runs from the bladder to penis. With age this prostate gland can increase in size pressing on the tube causing urinary problems like peeing several times at night, urgency and dribbling of urine. We call this Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) - this can cause significant distress in men affecting their quality of life. Less known, is a problem called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) that can stem from a long standing prostate inflammation. CPPS is often misdiagnosed. It presents with symptoms like lower abdominal and groin discomfort, burning when passing urine, discomfort with ejaculation and these symptoms seem to go on for a long time and occur intermittently with some good and bad days. Many times urine tests for infections and scans show up with no results. The journey with CPPS can be distressing.
Regularly feeling your “jewels” or your “nuts” whichever you call your testicles is key to early detection of unhealthy lumps that can suggest testicular cancers. Your testicles are carried in a sac called the scrotum and within the scrotum live an extensive network of blood vessels and the coils of the sperm duct. It is pivotal that the testicle stay cool hence they dangle outside from the core of your body. Swollen blood vessels or varicose veins of the testicles can heat up the testes reducing sperm production.
The inability to achieve consistent strong vigour of erection to maintain the hardness of the penis right through a sexual encounter can greatly upset many men. This ruins the pleasure one derives from sexual intercourse. The penis is a spongy tissue that gets engorged with blood when one’s aroused causing an erection. Erectile dysfunction (ED) has multiple underlying causes. Issues that hamper blood flow into the penis, issues that stop the blood from staying in the penis, issues that cause blood to move of the penis too quickly, issue that affect the nerves that supply the penis, issue which affect the size of the prostate gland and issues of the mind- stress, anxiety. All of these alone or in combination can contribute to ED.
Andropause, the male menopause occurs gradually as men age. Testosterone levels decline over time reducing by 1% every year. Testosterone being the hormone of masculinity, maintains muscle mass, energy levels, mood, sexual arousal and erections. Some men who feel the impact of dwindling testosterone levels will complain of fatigue, reducing muscle mass, body aches, irritability and poor libido and erections. Andropause can be very simply detected by a blood test. Include blood testosterone checks as part of your health screening once you are over 50.
Penile Itch & Rash
Itch and rash over the penis are very commonly encountered. The most common cause being fungal infection of the penile skin. Other possible causes include sexually transmitted infections like trichosomonas which is a parasite. Redness or itch that doesn’t heal must be assessed more seriously to rule out skin cancers of the penis. Uncircumcised men appear to have more frequent problems with repeated penile skin infections or irritation. The build up of yellow material under the foreskin is called smegma and it is important the men draw back their foreskin and clean away this build up of smegma regularly.