Most men’s health concerns focus on areas like the heart, but it’s just as important for men to take care of what’s going on a little farther south. In males, the urinary tract and reproductive organs are susceptible to various problems and diseases, including erectile dysfunction, infertility, and prostate enlargement or cancer. These urological conditions can often affect more than just the man himself, particularly in cases of infertility. Here are a few major problems that every man (and woman) should be aware of:
Symptoms and Causes for Major Urological Problems in Men
Let’s face it, this is a bummer for any man, not to mention his significant other. And while erectile dysfunction is more common in older men, it can affect men of all ages.1
The inability to achieve and maintain an erection during sexual intercourse.2
Erectile dysfunction may result from one or more physical, psychological, or lifestyle factors, including:
- Physical: Atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries), which can also lead to heart disease and peripheral artery disease, as well as high blood pressure, diabetes, and neurological or hormonal disorders. Some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs can also cause erectile dysfunction.
- Psychological: Anxiety, depression, stress, and relationship problems.
- Lifestyle: Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs, and a sedentary lifestyle.
The prostate can become enlarged when cells in the area gradually multiply. Growth in prostate size places pressure on the urethra and causes lower urinary tract symptoms. This can eventually result in long-term complications such as Acute Urinary Retention [AUR] or even require surgery in serious cases.34
Prostate enlargement may be the most common health problem in men older than 60. For most
The actual cause of prostate enlargement is unknown. But, most experts agree that it is linked to hormonal changes that occur as a man gets older.
If your loved one is suffering from this urological condition, encourage him to seek medical care. Also, advise him to make some important lifestyle changes, like limiting his caffeine and alcohol intake and exercising regularly — these may help improve his symptoms.
This is the most common cancer among men and is the second-leading cause of death from cancer in men (after lung cancer). Often a very slow-progressing disease, prostate cancer begins when cancer cells in the gland start to grow uncontrollably.5
Early on, prostate cancer usually has no clear symptoms. In its advanced stages, it may cause symptoms including difficulty urinating, decreased force
The exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown, although several factors might affect a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. These include:6
- Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Most cases are diagnosed in men over 50 years old.
- Family History: Having a brother or father with prostate cancer increases an individual’s risk of developing the disease as well.
- Obesity: Recent research suggests that there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer.
- Diet: Though there is not a direct link yet found between diet and prostate cancer, some studies suggest that a diet rich in high-fat dairy products and calcium (through food and supplements) might raise a man’s risk.
It refers to a male’s inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile female. If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is low or if the sperm quality is poor, it will be difficult, and sometimes impossible, for him to
For about one in five infertile couples, the problem solely lies in the male partner. In most cases, there are no obvious symptoms of infertility. Medical tests are needed to find out if a man is sterile.
Infertility can be caused by a hypothalamic, pituitary, or gonad disorder, or certain unknown factors.
Men who have regular or recurring sexual problems that interfere with his and/or his partner’s enjoyment of sexual activity should speak to their healthcare provider. A primary care physician can provide an initial assessment and treatment for some urological problems.
As you can see, it’s important for men to maintain good urological health, especially as they age. Women can be great support systems to the men in their lives by encouraging them to eat healthy, stay active, and be aware of any potential problems.
|↑1||Braun, Moritz, Gernot Wassmer, Theodor Klotz, Barbara Reifenrath, M. Mathers, and Udo Engelmann. “Epidemiology of erectile dysfunction: results of the ‘Cologne Male Survey’.” International journal of impotence research 12, no. 6 (2000): 305-311.|
|↑2||What Is Erectile Dysfunction?, Urology Care
|↑3||Enlarged Prostate, NIH, U.S. National Library Of Medicine.|
|↑4||Naslund, Michael J., and Martin Miner. “A review of the clinical efficacy and safety of 5α-reductase inhibitors for the enlarged prostate.” Clinical therapeutics 29, no. 1 (2007): 17-25.|
|↑5||Prostate Cancer, American Cancer Society.|
|↑6||Prostate Cancer Risk Factors, American Cancer Society.|
|↑7||Australia, Andrology. “Male infertility.” (2011).|