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Male Diseases FAQ

"Most common diseases associated with male sexual health"

The PenisIntroduction

What Disorders Affect the Penis?

The male reproductive organ or the penis is the most sensitive part of males. It can be said that their lives depend on it because if they have been inflicted with any penis disorders, they could actually be infertile and also lose their overall sexual functioning. We are all aware that most males consider being fertile as one of the main signs of being a man and if they lose this capacity to be fertile, it can break down their macho image.

In the male reproductive organ, many disorders affect the penis such as paraphimosis, phimosis, balanitis and the like but the two main disorders that can easily affect the penis are Priapism and Peyronie’s Disease. Priapism makes the penis erect for hours which is not primarily caused by any sexual activity while the Peyronie’s Disease produces an appearance of hard and solid lumps in the male reproductive organ.

STDsFacts

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Unlike several years ago when it was a taboo to speak about diseases that can be contracted through sexual contact, today many people have realized the importance of sharing this information. Awareness about STD causes and treatment is a prerequisite to preventing these diseases. On that note, we have found it wise to share some STD (in men) facts with you. Hopeful, by the end of this article you will be in a position to identify if you or your partner has contracted (or is at risk of contracting) a particular STD and consequently take the right measures.

STD Facts in Men

Fact 1: Sexually transmitted diseases can be transmitted by kissing, oral/genital contact, sharing sexual devices and sexual intercourse.

Fact 2: The six most common STDs in men are HIV aids, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes simplex virus-2, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and syphilis.

Fact 3: Symptoms of STDs in men

Spotting symptoms of STDs may not always be easy. In most cases, some diseases may not cause any noticeable symptoms for several years. This means that you can hardly pinpoint the time when you picked up an infection. However, there are some common symptoms that are prevalent across different cases of sexually transmitted diseases in men.

They include:

*Itching- This is normally localized around the penis and scrotum. It is hard to ignore because it normally results in general discomfort.

*Pimples & Blisters - These are also located around the area of sexual contact. If you're suffering from herpes, pimples and blisters may seem to disappear for some time and then reoccur due to other illnesses or tiredness.

*Rashes - Rashes are quite common in men suffering from sexually transmitted diseases. Just like with the other symptoms, these will often be found in the region of contact.

*Painful sex - This is yet another common STDs symptom. One may also feel pain due to the presence of rashes around their sexual organs.

*Puss and difficulties urinating - If you notice pus coming from your penis or experience difficulties while passing water, it is certainly worth consulting a qualified physician.

Fact 4: Abstinence is the best way to avoid contracting or spreading sexually transmitted diseases. However, if you must have sex, use latex barriers such as condoms.

Fact 5: HIV which causes AIDS can be spread through sexual secretions or infected blood. This sexually transmitted disease is normally associated with the development of other STDs.

Fact 6: Lymphogranuloma venereum, herpes simplex, and syphilis are known to cause oral and genital ulcers.

Fact 7: It is very hard to detect syphilis because in some cases it provides no symptoms at all. Some of the common symptoms associated with syphilis are fever, rash, strokes, genital/oral ulcers and neurological disorders such as forgetfulness.

Fact 8: Treatment

There are several sexually transmitted diseases treatment options. However, the best way to ensure that the problem has been properly addressed is by visiting a qualified doctor rather resorting to short cuts. It is also important that you seek proper medication together with your partner.

In conclusion, it is important for you to learn as many facts as possible so as to stay safe. However, if you've already contracted any of the diseases that we have discussed above, do not despair. There are many alternatives that you can take towards eliminating or containing it. Seek professional advice as soon as possible.

Penile CancerVery rare

What is Penile Cancer?

Penile cancer is generally an uncommon and a rare case of cancer that happens when there are irregular and underdeveloped cells that separate and grow unmanaged. This type of cancer is usually positioned on the penis’ skin or the tissues wherein it has grown malignantly.

Penile cancer, just like the other malignant cancers, has a high chance of spreading across the other body parts. It starts with a primary malignancy which is referred to as the first stage wherein cancer starts spreading across the body then it could develop into secondary malignancy in which cancer has already spread directly to the male reproductive organ and other parts of the body.

In this case, physicians would use metastasis to evaluate the specific stage the cancer is in. Through this, specific treatments, medications and as well as a prognosis can be made. Moreover, the prognosis may vary depending on the patient’s scale where they were originally staged. Of course, if an early diagnosis has been achieved, there can be a better prognosis.

What Causes Penile Cancer?

A disease that affects the penis is called penile cancer. This is a rare disease both in Europe and America. There is no exact cause for this type of cancer but there are known risk factors.

According to several studies, there is a connection between penile cancer and HPV, a common infection that is transmitted via sexual contact. These studies indicate that five out of ten males with penile cancer have HPV.

Usually, males above 40 years old get penile cancer, especially those over 60. Those who smoke will possibly acquire this kind of cancer because of the chemicals in cigarettes that cause cancer. These chemicals harm the penis’ DNA cells thus increasing the risk of acquiring the penile disease. Men who also have a weak immune system are also prone to having this serious medical condition.

The most effective treatments for penile cancer are laser surgery, microsurgery, circumcision, wide local incisions, and partial and total penectomy.

What Are the Symptoms of Penile Cancer?

Penile cancer or cancer of the penis affects around a thousand miles every year. If it is detected early and with proper diagnosis, it can be cured. Here are symptoms of penile cancer which will make one aware if he has it.

The color, texture, and shape of the penis are discolored if one has penile cancer. There are also painless rashes or raised bumps sprouting on the head of this male reproductive organ. If one sees these on his penis, he should also examine the shaft for such symptoms as well.

Bleeding and painful ulcers or sores on the penis and discharges are also symptoms of penile cancer. A sufferer must immediately contact his physician if he sees these symptoms because this can go to the lymph nodes and blood thus causing further harm and becoming harder to cure. It is advisable for patients to also be more open about their medical history to their doctors to delete other possible diseases.

What Treatments Are Given for Penile Cancer?

When cancer strikes the penis, this is known as penile cancer. This male reproductive organ has a couple of tissues and they are prone to acquire cancer. The good news is this disease can be cured with available treatments.

Penile cancer can be treated with surgery. In this procedure, the tumor is removed using a laser and if needed, the entire penis is taken off. This shall depend on the cancer stage the patient is in.

Radiation therapy is another therapy that kills cancer cells through high-energy radiation. This can be given via an IV or through wires. Another option is chemotherapy which is utilized along with surgery. With this treatment, medications to stop the cancer cells are given.

Another treatment for penile cancer is cryosurgery or cryotherapy that freezes and kills abnormal cells. Doctors may also recommend radiosensitizers which are drugs making cancer cells receptive to radiation therapy thus destroying them easily.

BalanitisCommon

What is Balanitis?

Balanitis is a swelling or an infection in the glans or head area of the penis. In men who did not undergo circumcision, this part of the penis is usually covered with a fold of skin which is also called the prepuce or the foreskin. Moreover, Balanitis is a kind of penis disorder that does not only occur in men who are not circumcised but it can also occur in men who have been circumcised already.

Many men can develop this penis disorder but this illness most likely occurs in men whose prepuce or foreskin is too tight that it is hard to pull the fold back or even those who simply have bad hygiene. Furthermore, diabetes can also contribute to a man to have Balanitis specifically if the blood sugar level is not properly managed. People who have uncontrolled diabetes are the common ones to have a more difficult time staying away from infections.

What Causes Balanitis?

Balanitis is a penis disorder that can start from simple skin irritation or skin inflammation. Some of these skin conditions that are said to be the most common causes of Balanitis are Psoriasis which is a dry skin disorder that is mostly hereditary, Dermatitis which is the swelling of the skin that is generally due to a direct contact with a person who is infected with it or a simple allergic reaction, Eczema which is considered to be a chronic skin disorder wherein the skin turns dry, cracked, reddish and scratchy, and Lichen Planus which is also a skin disorder that forms tiny and itchy spots that are either pink or purple in color usually found on the legs and arms.

Moreover, the inflammation of the penis can also be caused by shower gels or bath soaps that people normally use, fabric conditioners especially if not washed off completely, soap detergents also if not properly washed off and as well as condoms and lubricants that contain some chemicals.

How is Balanitis Treated?

Generally, the treatments for Balanitis would vary and it depends on the root cause and severity of the skin inflammation. In some cases, the physicians would normally let patients know of the things to avoid and would advise the patient with details on proper hygiene as poor hygiene can be one of the causes of the development of Balanitis. If the skin irritation is basically due to an allergic reaction, a simple treatment as a steroid cream can easily do the healing.

Asteroid cream can alleviate the swelling and inflammation of the glans of the penis. On the other hand, if it is caused by a yeast infection or what is called candida, there are anti-fungal creams available as well. Moreover, if the patient is sexually active, his sex partner should also receive treatment. During the whole treatment process, the patient should also withdraw from any sexual activity.

ParaphimosisCommon

What is Paraphimosis?

Paraphimosis is the incapacity to diminish an inflamed and a positioned prepuce proximally along with the head of the penis. This type of penis disorder usually occurs in males as early as they are toddlers, specifically at ages three to four years old. This normally happens if the caregiver of the child would pull back the prepuce of the child’s penis for purposes of bathing or cleaning.

A person who has Paraphimosis develops penis glans that are swollen, painful and reddish which can be connected to an edematous. The pulled back prepuce produces a tight circumferential band in which the head of the penis that is close to the tight circumferential band appears soft.

Moreover, the pulled back prepuce blocks the drainage of the lymph nodes from the penis. As a result, it would eventually result in additional edema of the pulled back prepuce. If the retracted prepuce is left and the development of edema remains, an arterial flow may occur in a few hours lasting to days.

What Causes Paraphimosis?

Many factors can cause the occurrence of Paraphimosis. One common cause is direct contact with the prepuce or foreskin area. Direct contact such as accidental hitting of the foreskin of the penis can give trauma to the area, leading to the development of Paraphimosis. Another cause is the simple form of cleaning the glans of the penis. Why is that so? This is because some caregivers, especially in nursing homes or hospitals, may tend to forget to put back the prepuce of the penis to its original location after cleaning it up.

This type of penis disorder usually occurs in babies, toddlers, and elders. In general cases, the elders in nursing homes would be needing assistance for such a simple activity as urinating. The caregiver’s failure to put back the prepuce of the penis to its natural location can eventually lead to Paraphimosis. Moreover, a person’s hygiene is also one factor because bad hygiene can also be a cause for the development of this disorder.

How is Paraphimosis Treated?

The occurrence of Paraphimosis can cause agonizing pain to the male reproductive organ which results in discomfort and injury as well. Although the pain is not always constant, it is still advisable and recommended for a male individual suffering from this penis disorder to get checked immediately as it can lead to infection to the penis. In common cases, if the foreskin of the penis is pushed back, it can still be retracted back by the individual’s effort. However, if ever the foreskin of the penis cannot be pulled back anymore to its original location, it is best to seek professional help from a doctor.

The initial treatment a doctor would do is to alleviate the inflammation of the penis by simply pressing the penis with one hand or by covering the penis in a constricted binding. Once the inflammation has subsided, the doctor can try retracting the foreskin to its proper location. Nevertheless, if this treatment still does not work, the doctor may have to make a tiny incision through the folded prepuce to release it.

PhimosisCommon

What is Phimosis?

Phimosis is a penis disorder wherein the foreskin or the prepuce of the penis is hard to pull back causing it to be a very painful condition a man can experience. Males, of any age, who have not been circumcised yet or those who did not undergo the process of circumcision are usually the targets of having Phimosis. The injury to the penis usually occurs if the prepuce is retracted with so much force.

Moreover, as it mostly occurs in males who did not undergo circumcision, this penis disorder is also common in male babies who are just newly-born as the tip of a newborn baby’s penis is naturally tight. Nevertheless, it should be noted that it is completely normal for newborn males and even toddlers to initially experience a hard time trying to pull back the prepuce of their penis. The good news is that this penis disorder can eventually improve as male ages.

What Causes Phimosis?

The main cause of the development of Phimosis in the male reproductive organ is still unknown. Nevertheless, one can still be mindful to know if ever he has developed Phimosis. The easiest basis for someone to know if he is a possible candidate to obtain Phimosis is if he is uncircumcised or simply because of a young age. Because of the lack of information about the real cause behind this penis disorder, males need to be aware of the possible symptoms of Phimosis.

The most common ones are the inflammation of the head or glans of the penis, if there is a pain in the penis, the incapacity to retract the prepuce or foreskin of the penis, struggle to release urine and as well as bloating of the prepuce. Furthermore, as information regarding Phimosis is very limited, men should be fully mindful to have a check-up if these symptoms happen to appear.

How is Phimosis Treated?

If a male individual has a difficult time urinating especially if he has not been circumcised, it is best to go to a medical professional immediately as this can be a suspected circumstance of Phimosis. Immediate treatment and medication are necessary to alleviate the pain and damage to the penis. In most cases, a topical steroid medication is given to patients to apply to the prepuce of the penis to relax it.

However, in some cases, some doctors would suggest that the patient undergo circumcision to correct the injury and for the patient to prevent further damage to his penis. Circumcision is usually recommended especially if the penis disorder and his condition have been preventing him to urinate. Treatment for this kind of disorder should be immediate because if things like these are ignored, it can lead to more illnesses stemming from the person’s inability to urinate.

Peyronie’s DiseaseCommon

What is Peyronie’s Disease?

Peyronie’s Disease is a form of penis disorder that forms solid lumps and plaques in the male reproductive organ. This develops in the upper area of the penis which is the most common part where it appears. Nonetheless, it can also develop on the lower area of the penis specifically in the folds that comprise of the erectile tissues. The development of the plaque usually starts as a form of inflammation or irritation which can eventually grow into a solid scar. This hardened scarring then decreases the penis’ elasticity in the affected area.

This penis disorder usually occurs in a mild manner which can heal in a span of six to eighteen months even without treatment. In cases like this, the development does not advance and just stays in the swelling phase. However, in more serious cases, the disorder can be a permanent one which results in arcing or bending of the penis during an erection.

What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?

The main cause of Peyronie’s Disease is still unclear. In most common cases wherein the disorder advances quickly, the usual basis is the trauma that the penis experiences when it is hit or bent which then results in bleeding in the inner area of the penis. Nevertheless, some people experience a slower development of the disease. In this case, it could develop into a severe case requiring the need for an operation.

On the other hand, there are more cases of Peyronie’s Disease. One of the known causes is vasculitis which is the irritation of the blood and vessels in the lymph nodes. The irritation would then result in the development of scar tissue. Another cause is an occurrence of a connective tissue disorder which causes the connective tissue such as the skin, cartilage, and bone to harden or thicken. Peyronie’s Disease can also be caused by the simplest reason as one’s genes.

How is Peyronie’s Disease Treated?

There are two common ways of how Peyronie's Disease is usually treated. It can either be through a surgery or a non-surgical treatment. Generally, the plaque or the hard lumps on the penis would normally diminish in size or vanish even without any treatment done. So some doctors recommend for a person who has Peyronie’s Disease to wait for as long as two years or even longer before surgery can be performed to correct the disease.

The good part is that most surgeries result in positive outcomes. However, some complications can always occur such as shortening of the penis which cannot be operated on to be corrected. Some doctors also prefer operating on men who have severe cases such as an inability to engage in sexual intercourse. Another treatment is through a penile implant which is usually done to men who do not have the ability anymore to achieve a penis erection.

PriapismRare

What is Priapism?

Many disorders affect the male reproductive organ or the penis but one of the primary disorders that can affect the penis is Priapism. Priapism is a continuous and agonizing erection of the penis that may last for over four hours. The erection of the penis for this disorder is not connected with any sexual engagement.

However, unlike the natural erection caused by a normal sexual encounter, the erection that is caused by Priapism cannot be released or dismissed by reaching orgasm, making it harder for any male. Priapism transpires because there is inadequacy in draining the blood that flows into the male reproductive organ.

There are two kinds of Priapism. The first one is the low-flow kind which occurs when the blood is not flowing properly from the organ to the body while the second one is the high-flow kind in which it includes the vascular systems short-circuit incompletely through the organ.

What Causes Priapism?

Many factors can cause Priapism. For one, blood-related conditions can eventually lead to the occurrence of Priapism. It is particularly caused by Ischemic Priapism which involves a continuous erection of the penis because of the inadequate flow of blood from the male reproductive organ. One known cause of Priapism in boys is the sickle cell anemia in which irregularly formed cells are blocking the blood flow of the penis to the body.

Aside from this, medications can also contribute to Priapism. These medications include drugs that correct any dysfunction in the male reproductive organ’s erection like Viagra and papaverine which is a type of drug directly injected into the penis. Other oral medications such as those for the regulation of high blood pressure and as well as anti-depressant drugs are also included. Moreover, illegal drugs such as cocaine and marijuana are also big contributors for a person to have Priapism.

How is Priapism Treated?

As Priapism can be very painful, immediate treatment should be made especially for cases such as Ischemic Priapism. The treatment for this generally starts with the purpose of wearing the blood from the penis and as well as a few medications. The first treatment one can do is to use a tiny needle and a syringe to continue wearing the excess blood from the penis after it has been numbed with the use of local anesthesia.

For this specific procedure, a saline solution can be used to flush the veins of the penis as it can lessen the pain and can also remove the oxygen-poor blood tissues. As a result, it will eventually stop the erection. The intake of certain drugs can also be a form of treatment such as the alpha-adrenergic sympathomimetic medication which is a form of an injective drug. This form of drug narrows the blood vessels where the blood transports through the penis. Thus, managing the blood that flows in.

UrethritisCommon

Diseases Associated With Urethritis

Urethritis is a condition that causes swelling and inflammation of the urethra; the tube that transports urine out of the body. Both men and women can get urethritis and it's a relatively common complaint that is often successfully treated with a course of antibiotics. However, in some cases, urethritis can increase the risk of a number of diseases affecting the bladder, prostate and other areas within the pelvic region.

In women, urethritis can increase the risk of cystitis, although the two are often quite difficult to distinguish. Cystitis is an inflammation and swelling of the bladder which can cause frequent urination, a burning sensation when passing urine and may also be a reason for the presence of blood in the flow. If the cause of the urethritis is an infection, it is possible that the bacteria infecting the urethra could also infect the bladder. Men with urethritis may also be more susceptible to cystitis, although it's much more common among women.

Women suffering from urethritis may also be vulnerable to cervicitis; an inflammation of the cervix. If the urethritis is caused by a sexually transmitted disease, there is an increased risk of cervicitis which is most commonly caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea. Symptoms can sometimes be difficult to notice, although abnormal vaginal bleeding is a common sign so it's important not to disregard bleeding between periods or unusually heavy flow.

In men, diseases affecting the penis, testicles, and prostate are associated with urethritis. With regard to the penis, epididymitis can be a by-product of urethritis and is common if the urethritis is caused by bacterial infection as well as sexually transmitted disease, particularly chlamydia and gonorrhea, that could also affect the epididymis; a tube within the penis.

Epididymitis can be quite painful, causing tender testicles, pain during urination or ejaculation and general discomfort around the groin and pelvic region as well as high fever and blood in the semen or urine. Usually, a course of antibiotics will be necessary, although pain can be eased by elevating the testicles slightly and applying ice packs to the area.

If the urethritis is related to a sexually transmitted disease, there is an increased risk of orchitis; swelling of the testicles. This can be a rather scary condition for men as it can cause lumps in the testicles which many sufferers may fear could be cancer. Fortunately, these lumps are only temporary and should go away with some anti-inflammatory medications.

As with urethritis and cystitis, urethritis and prostate infection can be difficult to distinguish as the symptoms are very similar. In men, if urethritis is not treated promptly, the bacteria have been shown to travel to the prostate and cause swelling. A swollen prostate can cause the need for frequent urination, difficulty urinating and also pain when ejaculating and is surprisingly common in men over the age of 50.

If urethritis is detected and treated promptly, the risk of these conditions is slim, so it's important to know the signs, seek treatment and also try to prevent anything that may cause urethritis such as frequent unprotected sex and good personal hygiene.

Reactive arthritis

Reactive arthritis is inflammation of the joints. If it is accompanied by the inflammation of urethra as well as eyes, then it is called Reiter's syndrome. The symptoms of reactive arthritis occur usually from 2-3 weeks after the infection of the urethra. The three man parts of the body affected by reactive arthritis are joints and muscles, urinary system and eyes. The symptoms include mild fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, and skin rashes. It is recommended to visit your physician if you have the characteristic pattern of reactive arthritis and urethritis.

Prostatitis

Urethritis is closely related to prostatitis. A severe urinal-tract infection or urethritis should be treated vigorously and early. Untreated urethritis can lead to complicated and severe infection to the prostate and ultimately cause prostatitis. Frequent urge to urinate, chills and fever, pain during urination, difficulty in urinating are some of the symptoms of prostatitis. Prostatitis should be treated as early as possible since it is recurrent, stubborn and very difficult to treat.

Infertility

Nonspecific urethritis (NSU) from men can spread to female partners and can lead to infertility in both women and men. Some of the symptoms of infertility caused by urethritis are swelling in the testicular area, white and sticky discharge from the penis, burning sensation during urination. NSU can cause damage to sperm production capability in men. It also affects the speed (mobility) of the sperms released. Anti-biotic medications can be helpful in treating NSU. Symptoms may recur but it'll eventually disappear with proper treatment.

Testicular pain

Mistreated urethritis may also cause swelling or pain in the testicles. Painful testicles cane be extremely worrying and should be treated with proper care. It is more common in sexually active men. Redness or tenderness of the testicles and scrotum, vomiting, penile discharge, mild fever, pain during urination are some of the symptoms of testicular pain. If you develop pain in testicles, it is very essential to call your health care provider.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Nonspecific urethritis (NSU) in women can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This may lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility and blocked fallopian tubes. It can also cause ectopic pregnancy, a condition where the pregnancy develops outside of the womb. Women can also suffer from miscarriage if they have chronic symptoms of NSU.

Urethritis and other types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases are preventable. People need to wear condoms during sexual activity. A person can also reduce the risk of getting STDs by restricting the number of sex partners. Besides, there are many medical treatments available to treat urethritis.