It’s a punchline to an unfunny joke: men don’t take care of themselves or see the doctor. The truth is that no matter your age, you need to keep with your health. Besides seeing a doctor when you’re sick, it’s important to keep appointments for preventative care.
Your health is just as important as the health of your partner and children.
Each decade comes with its own health challenges and urologic concerns. Here are some of the most common urologic conditions and procedures you should know about based on how old you are.
Urologic Health in Your 20s
- Kidney Stones: Kidney stones are hard masses that build up in your kidneys. They range in size from a grain of salt to a golf ball. This condition is painful and common. People of any age can have kidney stones, though they are more common in men and those that are 20- to 60-years-old. Most kidney stones pass without medical intervention. Medications can be used to manage pain and to ease the passage. If surgery is needed, there are several procedures available.
- Adult Circumcision: There are many reasons that a man decides to undergo adult circumcision. These include personal, cultural, and medical reasons. Benefits of circumcision include increased ease of genital hygiene; reduced risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections; reduced risk of urinary tract infections (UTI); and reduced risk of penile cancer. Circumcision is a procedure performed in an outpatient surgery center.
Urologic Health in Your 30s
- Vasectomy: If your family is complete, it may be time for a vasectomy. A vasectomy is a quick, in-office procedure that results in birth control that’s almost 100% effective. The best part about a vasectomy (besides the benefits for your partner) is that it doesn’t affect your libido, erections, or ejaculations. In fact, many men who have had vasectomies say that not worrying about birth control improved their sex life!
- Vasectomy reversal: If you got a vasectomy but decided you want to add more children to your family, you may want a vasectomy reversal. This procedure is done in the office or at a hospital. After a vasectomy reversal, sperm is returned to the semen in 70 to 90 percent of men and pregnancy in 30 to 75 percent of female partners.
- Low Testosterone: Medically known as Hypogonadism, low testosterone (also known as Low T) is when the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone, the male sex hormone. Testosterone is essential for sexual development in men, and hypogonadism can lead to many symptoms. These include decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, bone loss, muscle loss or weakness, infertility, and diminished hair growth. Treatment for low testosterone usually includes testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
- Interstitial Cystitis: This is a pain disorder of the bladder. People who have interstitial cystitis (IC) feel a frequent, persistent, and urgent need to urinate. This condition often results in pain and discomfort.
Urologic Health in Your 40s
- Prostate Cancer Screenings: One of the biggest health changes in your 40s is the recommendation to start prostate cancer screening. Prostate cancer screening has two parts. The first part is a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. For this part of the test, blood is drawn from the arm and analyzed in a lab for levels of PSA. The second part of prostate cancer screening is a digital rectal exam (DRE). During a DRE, a urologist inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to check the prostate for irregularities or hard spots that may indicate cancer.
- Male Incontinence: Accidentally passing urine is urinary incontinence. It’s a symptom of another problem in the urinary system. The types of incontinence include stress, urge, overflow, and total.
Urological Health in Your 50s and Beyond
- Erectile Dysfunction: Those who are unable to achieve or maintain an erection to their satisfaction have erectile dysfunction (ED). It’s estimated that up to half of men between 40- and 70-years-old experience ED, and the risk of it increases with age.
- Enlarged Prostate: A common condition in older men, enlarged prostate is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate becomes enlarged and squeezes the urethra. This results in urinary tract symptoms that are called LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms). There are many different treatments for an enlarged prostate, including medications and minimally-invasive procedures like UroLift.
- Bladder Cancer: It’s the sixth most common cancer, it’s easy to see why. Risk factors for bladder cancer include smoking, age, and environmental factors. It’s also more common in older people. About 90 percent of people diagnosed with bladder cancer are older than 55. The most common indication of bladder cancer is blood in the urine (hematuria). Anytime you have hematuria, you should be seen by a urologist.
If you’re experiencing any of these conditions or want to improve your urologic health, Comprehensive Urologic Care can help. Schedule an appointment today.