The average man hardly sees the need to see the physician. In fact, scientific studies confirm that men don’t get to see the doctor unless they are coerced or forced, or when things are almost getting out of hand.
Ask why a man hasn’t been to the hospital for even the most basic of medical examinations, and he’s likely to tell you it’s because of his busy schedule, or he may even tell you outright that nothing is wrong with him!
Women are known to see the doctors more, perhaps because of their biological make-up: they get pregnant, deliver babies and nurture everyone around them to good health. They are the ones who take the kids to see the doctor for regular immunisation and every other reason that may fall in-between. As such, the statistics of hospital attendance tilts in favour of women than men.
That is not to say that men don’t have issues though; and physicians are quick to warn that hospital visits do more to either prevent health problems or to detect them early enough and thus save the patient.
Of utmost importance is the need for men to take seriously the health of their manhood, because it is one organ in their body that determines their manliness, biologically. Take it away and there goes the man!
Like any part of the body, the male sex organ is susceptible to the vagaries of the weather, so to say, and that’s why men must know what might likely ail their penises and therefore take charge before things go awry.
What are the likely troubles that stare the male sex organ in the face? These ones…
Physicians describe this as the abnormal, often painful and persistent erection of the penis. A urologist, Dr. Anthony Oritsegbubemi, says he has seen patients who had erections that lasted over six hours at a go.
“Needless to say, the pain is indescribable, and the situation could lead to permanent penis damage if it is not handled with the total professionalism it demands,” Oritsegbubemi warns.
He says apart from the fact that complications of sickle cell anaemia could also lead to priapism in males, much of the problem is due to the indiscriminate consumption of aphrodisiacs that litter the Nigerian market.
“They are touted as natural remedies for the so-called piles, but the truth is that they do nothing in the body except to stimulate sexual urge. That’s why the majority of users of the herbal preparations are men, especially those in middle ages.
“Ageing men are more likely to use sex stimulants because, as scientific studies show, the penis steadily loses sensitivity as men age; so these men get their kick from herbal medicines. But I can guarantee you that it’s a dangerous pastime they are engaged in,” the physician submits.
So, men, to preserve your penile health, watch what herbal medicines you take.
The urologist advises men to observe regular hygiene practices in order to stave off infections around the groin. These include rashes around the scrotum, which may lead to skin irritation and subsequent itching that may even spread to the thigh area.
Men who are not circumcised are even more prone to infection, hence the advice that they daily wash the penis with soap and water after retracting the foreskin.
“Otherwise, they can develop infections and other diseases. They may also develop phimosis (tightness of the foreskin that prevents its retraction over the penis), with symptoms such as painful urination or erection; and even tumors,” Oritsegbubemi says.
Experts therefore advise men to wash their willy the same way they do other parts of their bodies.
The scrotum is another important part of the male anatomy that deserves diligent care and attention, physicians say.
A General Practitioner, Dr. Biodun Oluwa, says the scrotum may become inflamed as a result of sexually transmitted disease or bacterial infection. Injuries and certain underlying medical conditions can also affect the health of the scrotum, hence the need to regularly examine this organ and make sure that it retains its size and texture.
The doctors say if you notice any unusual change in your scrotum, go to the hospital without delay.
Rehydrate for urethra health
The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out of the body. In men, it is also the means by which semen leaves the body. However, the urethra can encounter some trouble if certain precautions are not taken.
For instance, Oritsegbubemi says, since we live in humid and hot climate, it is absolutely necessary to drink water regularly so as to prevent dehydration and reduce possible genitourinary stone formation.
“Stones in the kidney and urethra come at a huge price and no man has to pay this,” Oritsegbubemi says.
Need for frequent ejaculation
Scientists say frequent ejaculation is a great way to maintain urological health. “In men between the ages of 20 to 50, regular ejaculation helps maintain sexual health, as it provides a form of exercise for the prostate gland. The more you ejaculate, therefore, the better for you,” researchers say.
Some scientists say getting down to ‘business’ with your partner thrice a week is good in this regard.
Oritsegbubemi says though testicular cancer is uncommon, it develops in a man’s testicles — that is the reproductive glands that produce sperm.
Scientists say this cancer occurs in men between ages 20 and 54. They suggest that all men have a testicular exam whenever they see a doctor for a routine physical.
They are of the view that men who have a family history of the cancer or those who have an undescended testicle should see a doctor for possible additional screening.
Physicians also advise regular self-exams by gently feeling for hard lumps, smooth bumps, or changes in size or shape of the testes — the same way women are advised to regularly examine their breasts for any lump or unusual changes in size or texture.
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