Men's Health: Frequently Asked Questions | Urology | Loyola Medicine

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Men's Health Frequently Asked Questions

Paying attention to your health and being proactive about regular checkups is important. However, compared to women, men are more likely to put off going to the doctor for medical care.

Below are common questions you may have about different men's health topics and conditions with answers from the specialists at Loyola's Men's Health Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Men's Health?

What does “Men’s Health” mean?

Men’s health represents the full spectrum of health issues affecting both men and their partners. At Loyola's Men’s Health Center, you are more than just a single diagnosis; we are focused on treating you as a whole person.

Prostate Health Issues/Care

What does BPH mean?

BPH stands for “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia,” more commonly referred to as an “enlarged prostate.” As a man ages, his prostate continues to grow.  For some, this growth may affect urination and the tube draining the bladder (the urethra) can pass through the core of the prostate. BPH has also been associated with worsened erectile function, among other health concerns.

So my prostate is big; what are my options?

Prostatic enlargement, or BPH, affects millions of men worldwide, but an enlarged prostate does not necessarily require treatment. The key is whether or not urination issues have developed among other symptoms. Some of the most commonly utilized medications are tamsulosin and finasteride. These work to improve urine flow through the prostate. Beyond medication, a multitude of surgical and minimally invasive options exist such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), Rezum water vapor therapy, GreenLight laser therapy, etc. Our doctors are available to discuss these and other options for your enlarged prostate.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer represents the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men. The prostate gland produces part of the ejaculate mixture. Oftentimes, prostate cancer can be silent. To combat this, your doctor may provide you with prostate cancer screening in the form of an annual PSA (prostate specific antigen blood test) and digital rectal exam.

What can I expect from prostate cancer screening?

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a simple blood test the provides surveillance of the prostate. While normal prostate tissue produces PSA, prostate cancer tends to be better at it. Because of this, an elevated PSA may clue you and your doctor in to taking a closer look. The second half of prostate cancer screening involves a digital rectal exam (DRE). The reason for this is that prostate cancer may feel different that neighboring normal prostate tissue. As the prostate lies next to the rectum, this is really the best way to examine it.

What is prostate cancer survivorship?

Thankfully there are far more men who count themselves survivors of prostate cancer than those whose lives were claimed by the disease. Our goal is to return you to a normal life after treating your prostate cancer.

Low Testosterone

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

Low testosterone affects each man differently. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include low sex drive (libido), fatigue, irritability/moodiness, depression, difficulty with mental focus, reduced lean muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, difficulty sleeping and hair loss. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned that you have low testosterone, our Men’s Health Center is here to help.

Is testosterone replacement therapy safe?

Testosterone can be safely replaced if you work with a well-trained medical provider (most commonly a urologist or endocrinologist). However, testosterone replacement therapy may not be safe for patients with breast cancer, untreated prostate cancer and polycythemia (which means that one’s blood is too concentrated)., Laboratory tests are watched periodically to monitor for safe usage when a patient is placed on testosterone therapy.

How is low testosterone treated?

Some of the most commonly used treatments for low testosterone include testosterone gel, testosterone patch, testosterone injections and insertion of testosterone pellets. Each form of testosterone has its own advantages and disadvantages – talk to your doctor to discuss what replacement therapy best fits your needs.

Sexual Dysfuction

What is sexual dysfunction and what causes it?

Sexual dysfunction refers to issues with intimacy including erections, ejaculation, sensation and relationships.

What are treatment options for erectile dysfunction?

There are many options for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Commonly utilized options include: erection enhancement medications, penile injection therapy (intracavernosal injections), urethral suppository therapy (MUSE), vacuum erection devices and implanted penile prosthesis.

What is a penile implant?

A penile implant, or “penile prosthesis,” is an implanted device to replace the natural mechanism of erections. The most commonly used prosthesis is called an inflatable penile prosthesis. This device is 100 percent internal and uses a self-contained fluid-filled system to replace the natural blood-filled system. From the outside the penis looks normal. The sensation of the penis and orgasm/ejaculation are unchanged. This represents the erectile dysfunction option with the highest patient and partner satisfaction; with many men crediting the return of spontaneity as its best attribute.

I think I am ejaculating too soon while having sex - who can I talk to about this?

Ejaculating too soon (also known as premature ejaculation) is a common issue for many men. Schedule an appointment with one of the specialists at Loyola's Men’s Health Center to discuss your issue and find a solution.

Urinary Incontinence

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder control. Many men experience “urge urinary incontinence” when the urge to urinate is so great that they cannot hold it back. “Stress urinary incontinence” is the loss of urine due to stress on the bladder (such as lifting a heavy box or running). Additionally, some men lose their urine without even realizing it.

How can I treat my male urinary incontinence?

The key to treating male urinary incontinence is figuring out why it is occurring in the first place. This is something your urologist can figure out with you. No matter the reason, most men will have options available to them.

What does it mean if I see blood in my urine?

Blood in your urine may present as a light coloration (think grapefruit juice) or heavier (think tomato juice). There are many things that may cause this, both not serious and serious. If you have seen blood in your urine, please make an appointment with a urologist today as soon as possible.

Other Men's Health Conditions/Treatments

How does a urologist treat high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea?

Loyola provides a wide range of services at the center, including treatment of urological disorders such as sexual dysfunctions, kidney stones, urination problems and low testosterone levels. While treating these problems, the center will also assess men's other health needs, such as cholesterol screening, sleep disorders, diabetes screening and colonoscopy screening. Such assessments can detect underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, sleep apnea and diabetes. When indicated, the center will refer patients for further specialty care.

What is pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) may help you with a wide range of medical issues. PFPT has been shown to be effective in men with chronic pelvic pain, chronic prostatitis, overactive bladder syndrome and many other issues.

What causes the penis to curve?

Peyronie’s Disease, which occurs when scar tissue (often referred to as a “Plaque”) forms within the penis causing the penis to curve. The plaque may form at any point along the penis and can cause slight to severe curvature; which may make sex difficult.

How can I straighten my penis?

While some men may respond to medication, oftentimes men will need more help.  Other treatments include injection therapy into the scar tissue to dissolve the plaque away or surgical options to correct the curvature.