Browse Month by May 2016
Health (Men health)

Peyronie’s Disease Treatment

Although medical research does not provide an exact estimation, certain studies indicate that about 3-9% of men, especially those over 40 are mostly affected by this condition of the male reproductive system known as Peyronie’s disease. It essentially causes an erect penis to bent more than usual, and pain in the area. And this may give rise to unpleasant situations during sexual intercourse, and stress and anxiety in the affected person, as well.

What Characterizes the Condition?

The disease is marked and identified by the development of scare tissue (plaque), which usually occurs in the length/shaft of the penis. This area that develops the plaque contains tissues that are responsible for the erection of the penis. This plaque usually begins as a localized swelling, and develops into a hardened scar or a thickened area. In some people, the plaque may not be visible, but the effect that it has on the penis sure is. So during an erection, this hard tissue causes the penis to bent or curve in a way that is not considered normal. A common symptom in most men, is the penis arcing upwards, and less commonly, sharply downward or to one side. Because the disease forces the penis to form such extreme curves, the affected person experiences pain during an erection. However, in most cases, the pain reduces with time. Flexibility of the penis is greatly reduced due to this disease, which can surface overnight or develop gradually.

What Causes the Condition?

Peyronie’s disease, at this point of time, remains an idiopathic condition. Meaning, doctors have not been able to determine the exact cause of the problem. However, assumptions are that a trauma inflicted to the penis during sexual activity or in other situations, could be a major contributor to the development of the scar tissue. The penis achieves an erection when the corpus cavernosa (tube-like chambers in the penis; responsible for erection) are filled with blood, stimulated by sexual arousal. And these very chambers have a sheath of elastic tissue that stretches and makes the penis erect. So it might happen that an injury may damage this very elastic tissue causing inflammation. If the injury heals properly, then there are essentially no problems whatsoever, but otherwise, a scar tissue may get formed in the sheath, thus making it less flexible. And this, eventually causes the penis to bend in an abnormal way. In addition, some consider the same disease to be genetically inherited in nature. And there are a few studies which purport that it may be a side effect of certain medications, although no clinical evidence supports this.

Treatment Options

Having a condition such as the Peyronie’s disease, can be intimidating for the sufferer. But the good news is, it is completely treatable. In fact, people who experience mild or no pain at all during sexual activity or any difficulty in their sexual function, can do well even without treatment. Also, the doctor is less likely to recommend any treatment in a case wherein the penis’s bent is not severe nor worsening. Often, in all such cases, the condition resolves on its own.

However, if the deformity of the penis is so severe that it is causing extreme pain to the person, or keeping him from indulging in sexual activity, then Peyronie’s disease treatment might include invasive procedures such as a surgery. However, before suggesting for a surgery, the doctor may evaluate the condition of the patient that has been in the last 6 months; whether any changes have occurred in the curvature of the penis, or has the problem remained pain-free all this time. Now, there are various treatment options for Peyronie’s disease, when it comes down to surgery. And these options depend on the severity of the scar tissue, and also the penis length of the patient.
For someone with a severe form of the problem or a shorter penis, the surgery is performed on the part that has developed the scar tissue. The surgeon makes several incisions in the plaque so as to help the elastic tissue to stretch out thus, helping the penis achieve a straight erection. After the incisions have been made, the operated site is replaced by a tissue patch.
In a case, wherein the person has an adequate penis length, and a deformity not so severe, Peyronie’s disease is treated by operating the side of the penis opposite to the one that has the scar tissue. The surgeon removes a part of the unaffected side, and this cancels out the bend, resulting in a relatively straight erection.
Another option that some patients may be recommended to undergo is a penile implant. The implant is a replacement of the corpus cavernosa, which can be manipulated at will. The person may choose to bend it down, and up as required. This option, however, is reserved for people who not only have the Peyronie’s disease, but also the problem of erectile dysfunction.
If we go by theoretical findings, then experts are with the opinion that consuming vitamin E may help in reducing the scar tissue or inhibit it from forming. However, as I said, these findings are only limited to theoretical grounds, and are still debated when it comes to practical application.

To summarize, most people do not require to undergo all such treatment procedures to manage Peyronie’s disease, as the condition is self-limiting. Patients are usually advised by their doctor to follow a wait-and-watch procedure first. It is only in extreme cases that surgeries are suggested, given their high risk of causing side effects such as erectile dysfunction or shortening of the erect penis.

Health (Men health)

Peyronie’s Disease Symptoms

Peyronie’s disease is among the conditions that are associated with the sexual function of men. It refers to a condition which is marked by the formation of a thick scar tissue in the shaft of the penis; when explained on clinical terms, the corpus cavernosa. This term refers to two tube-like chambers contained in the penis. When a man is sexually aroused, blood flows into these chambers. Then there is what is known as the tunica albuginea. It is an elastic tissue that envelopes the corpus cavernosa as a protective medium (sheath). So when the blood flow increases in the penis, this elastic tissue stretches, and this is what makes the penis straightened and stiffened. But due to certain factors, which doctors are still perplexed with, this very sheath is damaged and a scar tissue, called plaque, forms along its length. And this reduces its flexibility, which eventually affects the erection of the penis during sexual activity.

Signs and Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease

The formation of the scar tissue or also known as plaque, is not visible to the naked eyes. However, the significant changes that the presence of this scar causes in the penis, are easily conspicuous. It is completely normal to have a penis that curves slightly towards the left, right, upward or downward. But when we speak of the Peyronie’s disease, the main classic sign is an abnormal bent of the penis. One symptom that has been observed in most patients is that the scar forces the penis to bend upwards. While in some cases, the curvature goes sharply downward, or to one side. Although the plaque may not be visible, one can still notice that the shaft of the penis has thickened, with a tight, narrow band around it. Most people express this as an ‘hourglass’ appearance. Because of this forceful bent of the penis, it is common to experience pain in the region, although, it reduces with time for most people. Also, all these symptoms become prominent only when the organ achieves an erection. Besides these physical symptoms, the affected person may also suffer from psychological problems such as low-self esteem, stress and anxiety. And a cumulative result of all these factors may greatly disrupt a person’s physical and emotional relationship. However, it is also important to know that in some people, despite the scar tissue forming on the penis, there is no significant pain or permanent bending which is severe enough to keep the person from indulging in sexual activity.

Peyronie’s Disease Treatment

Peyronie’s disease is known to be a self-limiting and self-resolving problem. Most men who do not have any bothersome symptoms such as the ones mentioned above, and are able to enjoy satisfactory sexual intercourse, and mutual enjoyment with their partner, are not considered as suitable candidates to receive any sort of ‘s treatment. However, if the curvature is severe enough to inhibit the sexual function of the patient, then surgery could be advised. The options include:
Operating on the scar tissue, by making incisions on it or by removing some part of it. This allows the elastic tissue to stretch out thus, making way for the penis to achieve a straighter erection.
Another option deals with shortening the tunica albuginea on the side opposite to the one with the scar tissue. This helps the penis to adjust to the bend, and erecting in a straight manner.
And one option is to go for penile implants. These are nothing but artificial replacement for the corpus cavernosa. Their make allows them to be bent up during sexual intercourse, and down as if flaccid. However, the most suitable candidate for this procedure is one who is suffering from both the Peyronie’s disease, and erectile dysfunction.
To conclude, as cited above, most men who suffer from mild symptoms of Peyronie’s disease continue to enjoy a normal sexual life with their partners. But if the symptoms are worsening with time, then timely treatment, and mutual understanding between the sufferer and his partner is important.

Health (Men health)

How to Handle Male Menopause

It’s not just the women who go through menopause. Men do too. However, there is a catch here. The male menopause or andropause has not been ‘well-defined’ by doctors. But, patients have shown symptoms as well as response to treatments. Well, ever heard of the midlife crisis that most men go through in their late thirties to their forties? They deal with the male menopause soon after. Ever since we are born till we die, the hormonal composition in our body keeps changing. In old age, the sex hormones understandably deplete. These hormones control the physical and sexual changes in your body as you pass through stages of puberty, adulthood and old age. These are estrogen and progesterone in females and testosterone in males.

Menopause marks the decline in their levels in human body. In women, menopause occurs with noticeable changes that end their menstrual cycle. However, in men, these changes are perceived as signs of old age. This is, however, true because sex hormones are the highest during youth and naturally decline towards old age, thus, affecting sexual health. Did you know? At 60 to 70 years of age, the testosterone levels in your body are about half of what you had when you were 25 years old.

Dealing with Male Menopause
Man-opause or andropause is the mechanism of the fall in the levels of testosterone, also known as androgen, in a man on the horizon of old age. The body produces lesser and lesser quantities of this hormone, which mainly helps provide the masculine pitch to the voice during puberty, extra growth of hair on face and body as well as the development of the male reproductive system. The symptoms of male menopause are the same as exhibited during old age. Hence, it is not recognized by all doctors as menopause since women cannot reproduce post-menopause but a man as old as 100 years can father a child. As legend has it, Thomas Parr, born in 1483 and the oldest man documented to have lived, fathered a child even after he crossed the 130 years age mark. In fact, in the year 2010, a 94-year old Indian laborer had a boy with his wife. The decline in the production of testosterone in men occurs at a much slower pace as compared to the female menopause. These changes are felt by men in late forties and early fifties. They become prominent by the age of 70.

Symptoms of Andropause
The symptoms are very similar to those experienced by women going through menopause. But, these symptoms reportedly disappeared once testosterone was artificially administered to the male, which does support the existence of the male sexual disorder. The drop in the level of testosterone in the male body leads to the following changes:

• Muscle weakness

• Loss of bone weight

• Memory loss

• Poor concentration power

• Frequent mood swings

• Osteoporosis

• Exhaustion

• Loss of stamina

• Depression

• Loss of libido

• Increase in fat percentage of the body

• Erectile dysfunction

• Testicular dysfunction

• Low sperm count

• Premature ejaculation

• Decreased frequency of morning erection

Treatment Options
If a man is suffering from andropause, he is examined by a doctor to rule out any diseases, because type 2 diabetes and hardening of arteries also trigger the andropause symptoms. A series of blood tests are required to be carried out to ascertain the testosterone level in the body. If the levels are low, a man does not have to worry as there is treatment available. A lot of men have favorably responded to hormonal replacement therapies that were administered to them to increase their testosterone levels. Since 1999, there has been about a 400% rise in the demand for testosterone therapy. But, you must note that these treatments may have some potential side effects on the body. If you are a prostate cancer patient, have undergone treatment for it, or have a tendency of prostate cancer in your family history, it is advised that you do not take such testosterone-increasing therapies as they may instigate or worsen the cancer. Other side effects include prostate enlargement, acne, thinning or loss of hair, sleep apnea and infertility. Other treatments include, making healthy lifestyle changes, adopting a nourishing diet to increase energy levels and a good exercise regime that is appropriate for the man’s age. You may also take psychiatric treatment to cure mood swings or depression. However, it is best to stay away from medications that may further disrupt the chemical changes in the body.

You must also take sufficient sleep as the amount of sleep has been linked to the level of testosterone in the body. Did you know? If you have abdominal fat around your belly, you will suffer from andropause sooner than your slimmer friends or colleagues. This is because fat converts testosterone to estrogen, so you are at the risk of depleted testosterone levels sooner. Just like menopause hits some women at a late stage, you may also delay the onset of menopause in your body by adopting a wholesome lifestyle for a robust body.

Health (Men health)

Preconception Planning Guide for Men

Every couple is excited to bring their little one to this world. Once they make up their mind, they start trying for a baby. It is important for both the would-be parents to frame a preconception plan, before they actually start trying. Preconception planning helps in preparing both men and women to reach to optimum physical, emotional and financial well-being. Healthy and happy couples, and in turn healthy would-be moms have more chances of conceiving than stressed-out moms. One may think that preconception planning is only essential for women. However, this is not true. It is equally essential for men, and it is important that men too take care of their overall health when they have decided to become a father. Preconception tips offered by family and friends can be followed. Preconception care for both the would-be parents should start three months before planning for pregnancy. Let’s concentrate on preconception planning for men.

Preconception Health for Men
Men who are ready to bring that bundle of joy in their life should be aware of the additional responsibilities they need to fulfill when the baby arrives. Additional responsibilities mean extra work pressure. It is therefore important for would-be fathers to be in a proper state of health to put in that extra effort. Overweight and obese men should try to get back to normal weight because those extra pounds may affect their libido and fertility. One may take up some stress management techniques to get relieved of stress. Getting involved in activities that make you happy, and a good night’s sleep, for at least 8 hours everyday will help in remaining active. Stress reduces sexual drive and sexual performance. A peaceful state of mind improves the chances of conception.

Preconception Checkup
Like women, men should also go through a checkup by a doctor, before planning for conception. This will ensure proper health and identify any underlying problem, if any. The doctor should be informed about previous medical history. Illness during childhood, specially mumps can affect sperm producing testicles, resulting in poor sperm quality or even sterility, at times. Certain medications also alter sperm production in the body. It is better to inform the doctor, if you are on medication for certain condition. Following laboratory tests are recommended for men to avoid any potential hereditary risk to the baby.
Test for HIV, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted infections are requested by the doctor for men with increased risk of such diseases.
Test for hypertension and diabetes.
A lipid profile test is requested for men aged 35 years or older.
Test for varicocele.
Men are screened for testicular cancer as well.
Doctors prescribe preconception vitamins for men to provide necessary nutritional supplements to the body. Optimum level of zinc and selenium is required in the body, as they are associated with sperm production. Other vitamins which are not available to the body via food, can be supplemented in the form of multi-vitamins.

Preconception Diet
A healthy, well-balanced diet provides all the essential nutrients to the body. Preconception diet for men should include a proper breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner with proper quantities of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. The diet should include;
Fruits and vegetables
Dairy products with low-fat content like milk, yogurt, processed cheese etc.
Food rich in carbohydrates like bread, rice, and cereals
Protein-rich food like pulses, beans, eggs, and meat
Apart from following a proper diet pattern, one should drink enough fluids to wash out toxins from the body. It is also important to monitor alcohol consumption. Men consuming excessive alcohol may have problems. It is better to avoid alcohol as much as you can, or drink occasionally.

Points to Note
Here are a few points to note prior to conception;
Check for hazardous chemicals in and around your surroundings. Certain chemicals, like pesticides, affect the quality and quantity of the sperms. Long exposure to such chemicals may lead to conceiving problems.
Keep away from long hot showers and sauna baths because sperms need a cool environment for production. High temperatures will affect the sperm production in the testicles.
Avoid long biking and cycling sessions as it may adversely affect the sperm count.
Quit smoking as it is injurious to health and reduces the chances of fathering a baby.
Exercise daily to keep fit and healthy.
Cut down unnecessary caffeine intake.
Manage your finances and get financially sound for the upcoming expenses.
I hope this guide to preconception planning has helped you in clearing some of your doubts related to the topic. What is most important for a couple is to love and respect each other and be in a state of good health. Many couples face problems in conceiving because they do not pay attention to their overall health before actually conceiving a baby. It is therefore essential for a couple to prepare themselves, before bringing their little angel in this world.