Threats to Male Sexual Health

It’s not nice to think about, but the reality is that sexual health disorders are often underlined by serious issues that need medical attention. Some of the most common threats to male sexual health manifest themselves as penile and testicular disorders. These disorders that affect the male external reproductive organs can severely affect a man’s fertility as well as sexual functioning. Below are some of the most common threats to male sexual health:

Priapism

Priapism is often termed as the opposite of erectile dysfunction. In this case, a man experiences a painful erection which often lasts for four hours or even longer. Priapism occurs when blood flows into the penis but is not drained sufficiently. Since priapism is not an effect of sexual activity, it cannot be relieved by masturbation and orgasm.

Some of the most common causes of priapism are:

  • blood pressure medications and antidepressants
  • drug use and alcohol
  • anesthesia
  • blood diseases
  • penile injection therapy

Treatment for priapism usually comes in the form of medical emergencies. Blood is drained out of the penis by using a needle to relieve the erection and restore normal organ function. Medications for priapism are designed to shrink penile blood vessels to minimize blood flow. However, treatment of underlying conditions is preferred to prevent priapism or its recurrence.

Balanitis and Balanoposthitis

Balanitis refers to the inflammation of the glans or penis’s head. On the other hand, balanoposthitis is the inflammation of both the glans and the foreskin. Both disorders exhibit similar symptoms like rash, pain, swelling, foul discharge, and itching in the penile area. These disorders are common in men and boys who have poor personal hygiene and are uncircumcised.

Irritants the cause balantis and balanoposthitis include:

  • dead skin cells
  • tight foreskin
  • infection
  • dermatitis
  • diabetes

Circumcision and the practice of proper hygiene can prevent and alleviate both disorders. However, the best way to treat these disorders is by treatment of underlying conditions especially if the irritations are caused by infections, dermatitis, and diabetes.

Phimosis

Although it is not really a disease, phimosis is a condition that can cause one. Phimosis occurs when the foreskin is too tight that it cannot be retracted to reveal the head of the penis. This condition can cause extreme discomfort when it comes to sexual activity, urination, and personal hygiene.

Common cause of phimosis includes:

  • birth defect
  • scar tissue
  • infection
  • balanitis

Treatment for this condition usually includes gentle manual stretching of the foreskin to increase its elasticity. Circumcision and medication to loosen the skin are also popular options in treating phimosis. For a less traumatic treatment than circumcision, some opt for preputioplasty or separating the glans from the foreskin.

Penile Cancer

A rare form of cancer, penile cancer occurs when abnormal cell growth in the penis increase and grow. Non-cancerous or benign penile tumors can also develop into cancer over time. Symptoms of penile cancer often take the form of penile sores, bleeding, and abnormal discharge. The cause of penile cancer is not definite but there are certain risk factors that increase a man’s chances of developing this disease.

Some of these risks include:

  • uncirmcumcision (as a statistical average)
  • smoking
  • smegma
  • age
  • human papilloma virus
  • phimosis
  • psoriasis treatment

Surgical removal of the cancer is the most common way to treat penile cancer. The cancer is often taken out using any of the following procedures:

  • wide local excision
  • cryosurgery
  • microsurgery
  • curettage and electrodessication
  • laser surgery
  • penectomy

 

*Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment advice for any medical condition. It is information only, and if there is any concern you should consult a health care professional.

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