Men - Health
& Contraception Issues
The rising incidence of
prostate cancer among our men over the age of 50, is
indeed a disturbing trend. If you are 45 or over, you
should have an annual prostate examination.
the prostate located?
The prostate gland is
situated in the pelvic region, just below the bladder.
The gland surrounds the urinary passageway as it exits
the prostate do?
The prostate gland's
primary function is to manufacture and excrete a milky
fluid. This fluid becomes a carrier for the sperm,
produced in the testes, and is ejaculated during the
male orgasm. It is also believed to function as a
protective medium for the sperm after
happen to the prostate?
A variety of things:
- Bacterial infection, either
acute (short term) or chronic (long term).
- Benign enlargement.
Normally, the prostate gland enlarges as a man
enters his late years. This enlargement
(hypertrophy) itself is not a major concern to
physicians. That is why it is called benign. But if
the enlargement causes blockage of the urethra or
urinary passageway, it gives rise to problems.
- Tumor. Cancer is not, by
far, the leading cause of prostate problems, but,
of course, it is the one that gives us all the
greatest concern. Because cancer is easiest to
treat successfully in its early stages, early
discovery is vitally important. Cancer of the
prostate is the most common cancer in men over 50
in this country.
Why do I
need a prostate examination?
You feel fine, and you
have no symptoms. Why the exam? To be sure your
prostate gland is healthy. There are types of prostate
diseases that are silent. That is, there are no
symptoms, but by palpating (feeling) the gland itself
with his finger, your doctor can tell when something
about the prostate is not right. Chances are you have
nothing wrong with your prostate. But because prostate
problems develop in so many men in their middle or
later years, doctors recommend that all men over 40
years of age, undergo annual prostate exams. Also, you
may have cancer of the prostate and yet have no
complaints in the early stages.
signs of prostate problems:
- Vague muscle pains and
- Low back pain
- Low sex drive
These could be symptoms of a
variety of diseases. However, your doctor may want to
perform a prostate examination to at least rule out
that definitely warrant a prostate
- Difficulty in urinating -
hesitancy (difficulty in starting a stream)
- Frequent urination - urgency
(a need to void in a hurry)
- Painful urination
- A feeling that you have not
emptied your bladder
Once again, these could be
symptoms of some other condition, but they are
strongly suggestive of a prostate problem.
happens during prostate examination?
The garb you wear will
depend on the extensiveness of the examination. You
may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a gown
in a private changing room. Or, if your physician
plans to limit the examination to the prostate, you
may be asked simply to drop your trousers and
underwear for the brief moment it takes to complete
the examination. Wearing a glove, the doctor will
liberally lubricate the index finger. This will be
inserted into the anal canal and the inside of the
rectal wall examined. The hand will than be rotated so
that the flat part of the finger comes into contact
with the surface of the prostate gland.
anything I can do to help?
Believe it or not, there
is RELAX. No, it isn't easy, because the most natural
thing is to clamp down on the rectal muscles, to
resist the intrusion of a foreign object. But, if you
can make yourself relax those muscles, you'll make it
a lot easier yourself. Here's a tip: As the doctor
starts to insert his finger, strain down slightly as
if you were having a bowel movement. At the same time,
breathe rapidly through your mouth. These are sure
ways to relax those muscles and assist in a quick,
smooth, and thorough examination.
the doctor feel?
Assuming your prostate is
healthy, the doctor will feel a soft (but not too
soft), smooth, symmetrical, heart-shaped gland that is
only 2.5 centimeters (one inch) long. And you will
feel nothing but the presence of his finger in your
rectum. If the prostate feels tender to the touch,
there is a strong suggestion that infection is
present. An enlarged, elastic smooth gland with no
tenderness suggests hypertrophy. An irregular shaped,
lumpy prostate suggests the presence of a
we go from here?
The doctor may request a
special blood test called the Prostatic Specific
Antigen test. Very probably you can go home with a
renewed feeling of confidence, because the doctor
would have told you that you have a healthy prostate.
However, should some abnormality be found, your doctor
will probably want you to undergo further tests and
examinations to define the problem more precisely. He
will therefore refer you to a urologist.
For more information, advice and
counselling come in or call our clinics.
For men there are basically
two methods of contraception: the condom and the more
permanent vasectomy. The latter is recommended for men
who are perfectly sure that they don't want anymore
children. The operation has been successfully performed
on millions of men all over the world.
A vasectomy is a 15-30 minute
operation under a local anaesthetic in the doctor's
office, clinic or hospital. It is a permanent method of
birth control. The doctor closes the narrow tubes (vas
deferens) through which the sperm travels from the testes
to the penis so that sperm can no longer enter the semen
that is ejaculated. When semen does not contain sperm, a
man can no longer cause a woman to become