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Male genital health

Male health is important, do not let embarrassment prevent you from consulting a Urologist.

The health of the penis is a topic that is not usually talked about, however it is important to start doing so, in order to identify the most frequent problems of this organ, so that a Urologist can diagnose and treat the pathology present.

The pathologies in the penis may be the sign of a deep health condition, therefore it is important to have a urological consultation in order to evaluate the person in its entirety.

The difficulties caused by penile problems can affect other areas of life causing stress, relationship problems or lack of self-esteem. It is important to note that penile problems go beyond the ability to have and maintain an erection, ejaculate and reproduce.

Conditions that affect the functionality of the penis

Pathologies related to sexual function and penile health include:

  • Erectile dysfunction: inability to have and maintain an erection firm enough to achieve sexual intercourse.
  • Ejaculation problems: include inability to ejaculate, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, painful ejaculation, reduced ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation.
  • Anorgasmia: inability to achieve orgasm.
  • Decreased libido: decreased sexual desire.
  • Sexually transmitted infections: include genital warts, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and genital herpes, which can cause painful urination, discharge from the penis, and sores or blisters on the penis or in the genital area.
  • Fungal infection: can cause inflammation of the head of the penis (balanitis), reddish rash, white patches on the penis, itching, burning and/or a white discharge.
  • Peyronie’s disease: chronic condition resulting in bent (curved) or painful erections.
  • Fracture of the penis: rupture during an erection of fibrous tissue, usually caused by sexual intercourse.
  • Priapism: persistent, usually painful erection that is not caused by sexual stimulation.
  • Phimosis: a condition in which the foreskin of the penis cannot be retracted from the head of the penis, causing painful urination and erections.
  • Paraphimosis: a condition in which the foreskin cannot return to its normal position after being retracted.
  • Cancer of the penis: manifests itself in different ways, it may begin as a blister on the foreskin, head or shaft of the penis and then develop into a wart-like growth. 

We usually encounter several factors that can affect the quality of life, including the health of the penis. Some examples of these are:

  • Heart disease, diabetes and related conditions: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity can usually increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • Medications: Erectile dysfunction is a possible side effect of some medications. Examples include blood pressure medications, antidepressants, sleep medications, ulcer medications, and medications to treat prostate cancer.
  • Surgery for prostate cancer: Surgical removal of the prostate gland and surrounding tissue can sometimes cause urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
  • Smoking: smoking increases the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.
  • Heavy drinking: can contribute to decreased libido, erectile dysfunction.
  • Hormonal imbalances: especially testosterone deficiency, have been linked to erectile dysfunction.
  • Psychological factors: depression, stress or other mental health impairments, as well as medications to treat these conditions, can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. In turn, erectile dysfunction can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or stress related to sexual performance.
  • Neurological disorders: stroke, spinal cord and back injuries, multiple sclerosis and dementia can affect the transfer of nerve impulses from the brain to the penis and, consequently, cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Aging: a decrease in testosterone levels generally occurs and is associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • Piercing: piercing in the penis can cause a skin infection and alter urinary flow.

Reasons for consulting a Urologist that should not be overlooked

It is recommended that men do not fail to consult a Urologist if they present the following signs or symptoms related to the penis:

  • Changes in the way they ejaculate.
  • Abrupt changes in sexual desire.
  • Bleeding during urination or ejaculation.
  • Warts, bumps, lesions, or rashes on the penis or genital area.
  • Curvature or severely bent penis that causes pain or interferes with sexual activity.
  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • Discharge from the penis.
  • Severe pain after trauma to the penis.

Healthy behaviors

  • Be sexually responsible. Use condoms.
  • Vaccination: If you are 26 years old or younger, consider getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) to help prevent cancers associated with the virus.
  • Physical activity: Physical activity can significantly reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction, a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for erectile dysfunction.
  • Hygiene habits: wash under the foreskin with soap and water. Be sure to return the foreskin to its normal position after intercourse.Medications: learn about possible side effects.
  • Mental health: seek treatment and consider medication as indicated.