Although men and women can be susceptible to many of the same health conditions, like respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes, certain health conditions are unique to men. Some of these can have a negative impact on personal relationships or lead to serious implications if left untreated.
Prostate problems are common among men, with as many as 1 in 9 men being diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. The prostate gland is a small organ in the male reproductive system located behind the penis. Its main function is to produce part of the semen that is needed to nourish and protect sperm and to ensure the semen is expelled during ejaculation. It is common for the prostate gland to increase in size with age, but this can sometimes lead to problems.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is another term for an enlarged prostate gland. BPH is not caused by a cancerous (malignant) growth, and it does not increase your risk of getting cancer, but its symptoms can be similar. The upper section of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) passes through the prostate gland, meaning that if the prostate becomes enlarged, it can obstruct the passage of urine through the urethra and result in symptoms such as a weak stream, bladder weakness, urinary incontinence, and a backflow of urine (which can cause bladder or kidney infections). In severe cases, a complete inability to urinate (retention) can also happen, which can cause kidney failure.
Cancer can develop in any part of the body, which refers to uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells that invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue and organs. Prostate cancer often grows very slowly, which means many men have it for years without any symptoms. Screening tests can identify prostate cancer before symptoms even develop, and many forms of prostate cancer can be treated successfully if detected early.
Many men fail to achieve or sustain an erection from time to time. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, it may be a sign of erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection on a regular basis, and it can be caused by a number of physical and emotional problems. Sexual arousal in men is a complex process involving the brain, emotions, hormones, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. When there’s a problem with one of these areas, it can result in ED. Cardiac and circulatory problems, neurological and nerve disorders, endocrine disorders, certain medications, and lifestyle and psychological factors can cause or contribute to ED.
The sex hormone, testosterone, is produced in the testicles and is important for a number of factors, including sex drive, sperm production, bone density, fat distribution, red blood cell production, muscle strength, and the growth of facial and body hair. Low testosterone (Low-T) is a deficiency or underproduction of testosterone, which can be caused by factors including aging, certain medical conditions, infection, obesity, injury to the testicles, or hormonal disorders. If an insufficient amount of testosterone is produced, it can lead to symptoms such as low sex drive, sexual dysfunction, irritability, fatigue, low bone density, and weight gain.
Peyronie’s disease causes scar tissue (known as plaque) to form inside the penis, causing it to bend upward or to the side. It may also cause you to lose width and length. Many men with the condition can still have sexual intercourse, but for some, it can be painful and contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction.
Diagnosis And Treatment
The risk of some health conditions, particularly prostate disorders, can increase with age. Although they cannot always be prevented, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing a condition, such as having regular screenings, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, and stopping smoking.
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
· Blood in urine or semen
· Frequent urge to urinate
· Pain or burning during urination or ejaculation
· Increased urination during the night (nocturia)
· Difficulty starting urination
· Dribbling at the end of urination
· Weak or intermittent urine stream
· The inability to fully empty the bladder
· Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, pelvis, hips, upper thighs, or rectal area
Men’s Health in Phoenix & Gilbert, AZ
At Ironwood Urology, our experienced urologist Dr. Desiderio Avila focuses on all aspects of men’s health and is committed to evaluating and treating many health conditions. For the specialized men’s health care you need or to find out more about our services, call us today at (480) 961-2323. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you at one of our convenient locations in Phoenix and Gilbert.