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If you don’t know what your prostate is, where it is or how it affects your health don’t worry you’re not alone.
Your prostate affects your sex life. It is the male reproductive (sex) gland that produces fluid for semen. It is roughly the size of a walnut and sits at the base of your bladder and in front of your rectum (back passage).
The older you get, the more common it is for your prostate gland to grow bigger. As the size of the gland increases it may press on the urethra (the tube that drains the bladder) and sometimes this can cause problems passing urine. This is often referred to as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
Benign Prosthetic Hyperplastia
BPH – or benign prostatic hyperplasia – happens when the prostate gland increases in size.
BPH is common in middle aged and elderly men – half of all men between the ages of 50 and 60 will develop it, and by the age of 80 about 90% of men will have BPH.
BPH is not cancerous but it may cause lower urinary tract symptoms. The symptoms of BPH are uncomfortable and may affect your quality of life. Symptoms may include frequent urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder, a weak urine stream, or difficulty starting to urinate. The treatment for BPH depends on the the symptoms causing you trouble and whether there is any obstruction (blockage) caused by the increased size of your prostate gland.
Prostatitis affects almost 50% of men at least once during their lifetime and is the most common prostate problem for men under the age of 50.
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate – an increase in size due to swelling. This is different to BPH as it may be caused by an infection and can usually be treated by antibiotics.
Prostatitis is not cancerous and its symptoms can be similar to BPH.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer (after skin cancer) diagnosed among Irish men.
It happens when the normal cells in the prostate gland change and grow to form a mass of cells called a tumour. In most cases, prostate cancer can be cured or kept under control.
Prostate cancer most often occurs in men in their fifties and onwards. On rare occasions, it can occur in men in their late forties. The risk of developing prostate cancer rises with age.
Just as women need to be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel so do men about their testicles.
Like women’s breasts, most men’s testicles should be similar in size, though it is quite common for one to be slightly bigger or hang lower than the other.
Your testicles (also known as testes/balls) are part of your reproductive system. They are two small egg-shaped organs found below your penis in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. The testicles lie outside your body because they need to be at a lower temperature than your body so they can make sperm.
Your testicles also make the hormone, testosterone. This hormone is responsible for male qualities including a deep voice, facial hair and strong muscles. It also gives you a sex drive and the ability to have an erection.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is a common condition estimated to affect roughly 50% of all men aged between 40 and 70. ED is when a man cannot get or keep an erection long enough to have satisfactory sex. It can also refer to a lack of sexual desire (libido).
Now and again you may have trouble getting an erection if you are tired, stressed or have drunk too much alcohol.
ED is only a problem when it continues to happen on a regular basis.
Erectile dysfunction may be caused by both psychological and physical factors.
ED can be caused by physical factors where the narrowing of the blood vessels leading to the penis reduces blood flow to your penis.
This may be due to an underlying health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
Mens Mental Health & Wellbeing
Everyone feels sad, angry or stressed sometimes, or has trouble sleeping now and again.
Normally, these issues pass in a couple of days. However, if you are experiencing such issues for weeks on end it’s time to talk with your GP.
Many men do not know, admit or seek help for their mental health. You simply may not want to talk about how you are feeling.
But your mental health is a real and treatable health issue like heart disease or asthma.
With the right treatment, most men with mental health problems can take control of their issues, feel better and get their life back. Just like any other health issue, the sooner the problem is treated the sooner you will begin to feel better.
Five Ways to Get Started
These five ways to better wellbeing are used worldwide by young and old to help people to take action to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
With the people, around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
At home, work, school or in your local community.
Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.
Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
- Go for a walk or run.
- Step outside.
- Play a game.
- Exercising makes you feel good.
Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness
- Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual.
- Notice the changing seasons.
- Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends.
- Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling.
Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
- Try something new.
- Rediscover an old interest.
- Sign up for that course.
- Take on a different responsibility at work.
- Fix a bike.
- Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food.
Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun
- Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger.
- Thank someone.
- Volunteer your time.
- Join a community group.
- Look out, as well as in.
Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you
More Supports for You
The ongoing pandemic has seen an increase in our community in common mental health challenges and distress. You are note alone. If you need support to deal with these challenges, please follow the link below:
Book a Well Man Health Check
Well Man health checks are a fantastic and convenient way of assessing your overall health and wellbeing, and can help identify early signs of disease.
Early detection of medical issues allows us to work together and be proactive about your health. Together we will explore your current health concerns, previous medical problems, family health issues and current lifestyle.
Plan your Visit
Developing an ongoing relationship with a general practitioner (GP) who you trust and are comfortable with is an effective way of managing health and wellbeing.
A basic plan can help you make the most of your appointment whether you it is your first visit or continuing with the doctor you’ve seen for years.
Don’t put off the things that are really on your mind until the end of your appointment — bring them up right away!