Five Symptoms that Men Should Not Ignore
Those organs between your legs work for the most part, right? Maybe there’s some day-to-day variation in how things perform, like having a slower urinary stream in the morning or some trouble keeping things up now and again, but overall things work just fine. And that is how it should be. But there are certain symptoms down there that you should not assume are normal when they happen.
Five That Matter
1. Painful Sex
When painful for either partner, it’s called dyspareunia. Depending on frequency and intensity of the pain in men, it could be as simple as penile curvature from Peyronie’s disease, tearing of the uncircumcised skin (frenular tethering) or even a penile “fracture” if the penis buckles during sex. Discomfort can also occur if the penis rubs against an IUD (intrauterine device) contraceptive at the cervix. All worth getting checked out, certainly before sex becomes unpleasurable.
2. Lumps & Bumps
The Feds recommend that men not routinely exam their genitalia, yet many of my patients find lumps or bumps in the scrotum and are concerned. The most life-threatening lump is a painless one in the testicle that could be testicular cancer. Other less dangerous but still important ones include hernias, hydroceles, spermatoceles, varicoceles and warts. I am a full-on fan of testicular self-exams!
3. Red Urine
Blood in the urine is shocking when it happens. It can mean absolutely nothing (e.g., hematuria or “runner’s bladder,” benign familial hematuria) or it can suggest the presence of tumors, stones or infection. You’ll need a urologist to sort this one out, however.
4. Poor Erections
If you absolutely cannot maintain an erection in any circumstance, then that needs medical attention. Not only to get your sex life back, but because erections are a “biomarker” of heart health. Poor erections are as good a predictor of future heart disease as is having a smoking history or a family history of heart disease. Yes, it’s true, listening to your penis can save your life. Get that evaluated!
5. Ball Pain
Pain in the testicles is more than a pain in the neck, for there is really no other pain in the body quite like it. Chronic hip and back issues can “refer” pain to the testicles and make them ache. More immediately, varicoceles, infections or twisting (torsion) of the testicles can cause the jewels to ache. Realize that you should never feel silly seeing a doctor for testicular pain.
So, pay attention to what this part of your body might be telling you. You really can’t go wrong seeking medical care for things that aren’t right down there.