As men reach their 40s, it’s important for them to be aware of common urological health conditions that they may be prone to. Unfortunately, as many as 60% of men avoid going to the doctor, even when they have symptoms of a problem. They may have been raised with the expectation that men don’t talk about their health. Or they may feel embarrassed to discuss medical problems. However, it’s important to remember that overcoming this discomfort and seeing a urologist can help men live a better, healthier life. In some cases, it may even be life-saving. Here are some common reasons why men over 40 see a urologist:
1. Prostate cancer screening
Prostate cancer screening is one of the most important reasons men over 40 see a urologist. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and it can sometimes be dangerous. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test that measures the level of a protein produced by the prostate gland. When done regularly, it can help detect changes in the prostate that may indicate the presence of cancer.
Men should have their first PSA test in their 40s, and then should have it tested annually after the age of 50. Prostate cancer that is diagnosed early has the best prognosis for a full recovery.
2. Enlarged prostate (BPH)
As men age, it is not uncommon for them to experience an enlarged prostate. This condition, known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), results from the prostate gland continuing to grow throughout a man’s lifetime. As the prostate enlarges, it can put pressure on the urethra, making it difficult for urine to flow out of the bladder.
BPH can cause a variety of symptoms including the need to urinate frequently, difficulty starting urination, a weak urine stream, and difficulty completely emptying the bladder. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and may impact a man’s quality of life.
3. Fertility testing
If you and your partner are experiencing difficulties in getting pregnant, you may need to have fertility testing to check for underlying medical issues. A urologist can conduct a variety of tests, including measuring hormone levels, performing a scrotal ultrasound, analyzing urine samples, taking a biopsy of the testicles, and evaluating the function of sperm. These evaluations can help identify potential factors that may be causing infertility and guide the appropriate course of treatment.
4. Urinary changes or problems
As people age, changes in their urination frequently occur. These changes include blood in urine, incontinence, discomfort during urination, weak urine flow, frequent urination, or difficulty starting urination.
These symptoms may be a sign of an underlying health issue and should be taken seriously. If you notice blood in your urine, it is important to seek medical attention and schedule an appointment with a urologist as soon as possible.
5. Testicular or penile changes
As men age, changes to the testicles or penis become more common. Some changes, such as a slight shrinkage of the testicles or a drop in the position of the scrotum, are considered normal. However, any changes in the size or texture of the testicles or penis should be evaluated by a healthcare professional as they may indicate an underlying health condition.
6. Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can occasionally happen to men of all ages, however, it tends to become more frequent as men reach their late 40s. When ED becomes a persistent issue, it is often the result of an underlying health condition that becomes more common with age, such as heart disease or low testosterone. A urologist can help identify the cause and work with you to find an appropriate treatment plan.
7. Low Testosterone
Testosterone plays an important role in maintaining overall health, as well as sexual health. Low levels of testosterone can lead to a range of issues such as changes in body fat, lack of energy, reduced libido, mood swings, poor concentration, muscle weakness, and more. As men age, it is common for testosterone levels to decline, a condition known as Low Testosterone or Low T, which typically begins in men’s 40s. This condition can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy, which can help restore normal levels and improve overall well-being.
Vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure that provides permanent birth control. Many men elect to have a vasectomy when their family is the right size. Urologists perform the procedure, typically right in the office. They also provide the necessary follow-up care after the surgery to ensure the procedure was successful.
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These conditions are all treatable and there is no need to be embarrassed about seeking medical help. By seeing a urologist, men can address these issues and make sure that they are living the best possible quality of life.
Don’t let discomfort or embarrassment prevent you from taking care of your health. Remember that prevention is key and early detection can make all the difference.
Take the first step towards maintaining a healthy and fulfilling life – schedule an appointment today!