There are many reasons a man might put off going to the doctor. In fact, only about half of men get an annual physical, and the majority of men would rather do household chores than go to the doctor. Recently, men may have put off appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the reluctance, regular medical appointments are an important part of a man’s overall health. Important men’s health topics, such as sexual health, can be embarrassing for some people, but preventive care and early treatment are the best ways of managing many conditions.
“It can be embarrassing for some guys to talk about sexual health, but for men’s health specialists these aren’t sensitive or embarrassing topics,” says Washington University urologist Arnold Bullock, MD. “Because of this embarrassment, only one in five men with erectile dysfunction actually brings it up to a doctor. We want to change that, so that more men are speaking up and getting treatment. We have treatment options for most health issues men are facing.”
Men can look out for their overall health by taking a few simple steps.
Exercising regularly is a great place to start. A 30 minute walk, five days a week, is a good way to reach the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended amount of exercise.
Another lifestyle change that can help is eating a healthy diet. Chief of Urology Gerald Andriole, MD, recommends limiting red meat and fats, as well as eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. Washington University researchers have found that these lifestyle changes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Men experiencing any of the following conditions can take control of their health by scheduling an appointment with a Washington University urologist.
- Erectile Dysfunction: ED is a common condition that is very treatable with either medication or surgery. Many men with ED have an underlying condition causing their erectile dysfunction.
- Low Testosterone: Testosterone levels decrease as a man ages. Low sex drive, feeling tired or depressed, and loss of pubic, facial and underarm hair are all signs of low testosterone.
- Peyronie’s Disease: Penile curvature can be the result of scar tissue forming under the skin. This can form after an injury and can be disruptive to a man’s sex life. Washington University urologists have treatment options to help men get back on track.
- Infertility: About half of couples experiencing infertility have a male factor. Male infertility can be stressful for couples trying to conceive. Washington University urologists can help determine the cause of infertility and find a solution for the best outcome.
- Voiding Dysfunction: Caused by either an overactive bladder or an enlarged or obstructive prostate, voiding dysfunction affects a man’s ability to urinate. Men’s health experts at Washington University offer leading treatments for voiding dysfunction, including the Urolift Procedure.
- Testicular Lumps: Regular self-exams are important for early detection of testicular cancer. Men should check themselves each month and bring any concerns to their doctor.
- Other urinary, prostate or sexual problems.
Many of these issues are related to other underlying health conditions that a man might not be aware of. By seeing a men’s health specialist early on, a man might be able to catch a problem before it gets worse.
Screening for other health issues is another way to take care of men’s health. Men at average risk for prostate cancer should start prostate cancer screening at age 50. Washington University urologists use the most advanced screening tools in the region to help detect and treat prostate cancer.
“Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. That is why starting these screening tests early is so important,” says Andriole. “We want to catch prostate cancer before it causes any symptoms. We have to start PSA testing, MRI scans of the prostate and other ways of testing and screening for prostate cancer early in the game.”
Washington University Urology offers the highest quality of care at convenient clinical locations across the St. Louis area in a compassionate, respectful and responsive environment. The expert team of men’s health specialists participates in regular community education and screening events to help men understand their health care options and take action for their wellbeing.
To schedule an appointment with a Washington University urologist, please fill out the online appointment form or call 314-362-8200.