Frequent visits to the toilet
Q: My husband keeps getting up at night to go to the toilet. Could it be his prostate gland?
A: Yes, it could be a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), where with age the prostate gland enlarges. In some men this affects urine flow causing increased frequency and an urgent need to pass water, having to get up more often at night to go to the toilet, and having to go again soon after going. Avoiding caffeine in drinks, not drinking late into the evening, and cutting down alcohol intake can help. Encourage your husband to see his doctor.
Q: Whats causing my partners impotence? Am I to blame?
A: Impotence, medically called erectile dysfunction, is very common and easily overcome. When recurrent its usually down to a physical cause such as diabetes or high blood pressure damaging the blood vessels resulting in a shortage of blood to the penis. Impotence can be a symptom of underlying anxiety or depression. Worrying about it makes matters worse so partners should talk with each other about the problem. Not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, losing weight, and managing stress all help. His doctor will identify underlying causes that need treatment, and may suggest specific erectile dysfunction treatment.
Q: My boyfriend has an itchy red rash in his groin thats spreading onto his thighs. He swears he hasnt been with anyone else so how did he get it?
A: It sounds like a fungal infection called tinea cruris, or jock itch. He should ask his doctor to take a look to be sure. Like most fungal infections it’s incredibly common in men, especially those who play sports. Its also more likely to occur in the warm weather when we sweat because the fungus likes a warm and moist environment and the groins provide this. Many people think that the infection is caused by poor hygiene or that it is sexually transmitted. Its not.
Treatment is with an antifungal cream that should be continued for a week or two after the rash has disappeared to ensure that the fungus has been eliminated.
Q: My man is 34 and his hair is starting to fall out. Is there anything I can do to help him, or his he just on the way to baldsville?
A: Most male hair-loss is hereditary, being lost at the temples and the crown. However, hair-loss may be caused by iron deficiency anaemia, an over or under-active thyroid, fungal scalp infection, some prescribed medicines, and stress, which is why its worth him consulting his doctor for advice since treating these conditions can bring the hair back again. In the meantime, keeping the hair clean helps to achieve the appearance of a fuller head of hair, as does having an appropriate hairstyle. Zinc, and vitamins C and E are necessary for strong hair. It is possible to halt the process of hairloss, and for some men stimulate new hair growth, with oral tablets, lotion or foam.
Q: Im worried my husband might be depressed. But when I mention it to him he says only women get depressed and anyway, he tells me he can pull himself together.
A: Men also suffer depression but they often find it hard to accept this and to seek help. Common symptoms of depression include feeling down, not getting pleasure from, or being interested in, things that are usually enjoyable, mood swings such as angry outbursts or tearfulness, poor concentration and poor energy levels.
Encourage him to seek help, explaining that depression is not a sign of weakness and that being depressed doesnt mean hes any less of a man.
Q: My husband and I are thinking about him having a vasectomy. Whats actually involved?
A: Vasectomy is considered a permanent form or contraception and takes between 10 20 minutes to do. Under local anaesthetic a small cut is made in the scrotum. This allows the tubes (called the vas deferens) that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis to be cut. Even though sperm are still produced after the operation they are unable to get out.
Afterwards theres usually some bruising and mild discomfort around the scrotum for a short time. Most men are able to go back to work after a few days rest. Feelings, sex drive, erections, and climax are the same after vasectomy as they were before.