Reproductive health is vital, but men are so often overlooked as female reproductive health takes the spotlight. So we at SelfCollect wanted to give the men a little love and talk about five things your urologist wants you to know.
1. Urologists Treat Everyone
First off, a urologist is a physician that specializes in diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system. A common misconception is that only a male can see a urologist, but this simply is not the case. Because they also can specialize in urinary tract functions, a urologist can treat cancers of the kidney, bladder, prostate, penis, and testicales; stone diseases; urinary infections; voiding dysfunction, including neurological causes; urinary incontinence in females; and benign prostate enlargement.
If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of your urologist treating women in the same clinic, there are some that specialize in reproductive health. Just remember that visiting a urologist may be part of your normal health care routine.
2. Genitourinary Issues are Common
Having problems with your reproductive organs is common. A typical trend is that the older you are, the more likely you are to develop an issue with your genitals.
Mild and moderate erectile dysfunction affects men in percentages that parallel their age: 40% of men in their 40’s, 50% of men in their 50’s, 60% of men in their 60’s, and so on.
When it comes to the prostate, a small percentage of men under the age of 40 have to worry about prostate enlargement. The percentage jumps to 90% in men over the age of 80.
If you’re seeing a urologist because you’re having difficulty conceiving, it’s okay. About one-third of infertility problems have been linked to the male reproductive system. That’s not one-third of the entire population, either. It’s one-third of the 10-15% of couples who cannot conceive.
3. A Lump Doesn’t Always Mean Cancer
While finding a lump should always initiate immediate medical attention, it does not mean you have cancer. So if you or your partner notice something abnormal, contact your doctor, but do not panic. A lump could be caused by a variety of things that are benign (non-cancerous), such as:
Genital Warts: Certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as genital warts, can cause lumps, sores and lesions on sex organs. Gential warts are highly contagious and should not be touched during a flare up. They are typically caused by low risk types of HPV.
If you or your partner are worried about genital warts, consider getting tested. We offer at-home STD tests that are mailed to your door in discrete boxes. The tests are swabs, so no blood work is necessary.
Fordyce spots are small raised bumps that appear on the shaft of the penis or scrotum. They can be pale red, yellow-white, or skin-colored. They are completely harmless.
Pearly penile papules are dome-shaped small lumps that can appear around the head of the penis. They typically form in rows and are harmless. They can go away on their own.
Pimples and Tyson Glands both produce oil and cause small lumps. They are harmless.
Lymphocele causes a large swelling lump on the penis shaft. It is typically caused by a blockage due to sexual activity and will go away on its own. It is not a cause for concern.
4. Heart Health Ties To Reproductive Health
Everything that is good or bad for your heart will be good or bad for your reproductive health. Smoking cigarettes can cause erectile dysfunction and lower levels of testosterone, thus decreasing your sex drive.
Exercising, on the other hand, has been shown to increase sex drive in men as it helps regulate heart rate, breathing, increases eundurance and builds muscle.
5. When In Doubt, Ask a Professional
In today’s online world, everyone is quick to jump online and search their symptoms. While their ailment may be listed, it is impossible for an untrained person to diagnose themselves based on symptoms alone. Many common problems and STDs share symptoms or do not have any symptoms.
Only a trained medical professional, such as a urologist, will be able to tell you if something is wrong with your reproductive system. If you’re worried about your health, skip online searches and pick up the phone.
If you’re worried the issue is caused by an STD, you can skip the doctor’s appointment by going to our website, SelfCollect. We test for all male and female STDs through our at-home testing system; no doctor visit required!