NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 11, 2014) - Is your doctor's office the first place you go for great sex? Turns out your annual physical could be the most important part of your sex life. World-renowned robotic surgeon and prostate cancer expert David B. Samadi, MD, reminds men that a healthy body is the key to a healthy sex life. Stay ahead of your prostate health by adding these five simple checkpoints.
A quick skim of the list below leaves most men thinking, "No thanks." But that's exactly the point, says Dr. Samadi, Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. "Annual physicals are the perfect time for men to discuss these issues before they become their issues," he explains. "Simple tests and straightforward conversations go a long way in preventing and quickly addressing health concerns that start in the prostate."
Most men can cross these screenings off their list in just one visit a year. After age 40, your healthcare provider will recommend the best follow-up and prevention plans, given your personal status and family medical history.
1. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test
The simple PSA blood test monitors PSA levels in men. Commitment is key; your annual results are used to identify unusual spikes that could indicate prostate changes. Consistently elevated PSA levels can indicate an enlarged prostate (BPH) or the early stages of prostate cancer.
2. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Non-cancerous BPH is a condition of overgrown prostate cells that can affect ejaculation, orgasm, and urination. BPH is the most common cause of urinary issues in men over age 60, but younger men can also develop an enlarged prostate, so speak up if you notice changes. Medication is a successful treatment for most; others may require minimally invasive Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP).
3. Low Testosterone (Low T)
Low T causes a variety of changes, such as depression, loss of energy, and reduced sex drive. The condition can be difficult to diagnose since testosterone levels vary significantly by age and even time of day. Men with truly Low T may be prescribed testosterone therapy in the form of gels, patches, or injections. Consider treatment carefully as it may impact your long-term, natural testosterone production.
4. Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
The inability to achieve or maintain an erection is something no man wants to face. Be sure to mention changes to your doctor, along with all medications or supplements you're taking. A moment of embarrassment in front of your doctor is far better than long-term worry about ED. A frank conversation will lead to the best treatment and can also uncover underlying medical conditions.
5. Prostate Cancer
Start with #1 and you'll be ahead of the game. Annual PSA testing and a discussion about family history and other prostate cancer risk factors are critical. Most men are diagnosed over age 65, but younger men can also be at risk -- particularly African American or obese men. With early detection, prostate cancer is highly treatable through methods such as robotic surgery.
"You see how intertwined this list is. All men want to avoid numbers 4 and 5, so start talking to your doctor about how to prevent them," stresses Dr. Samadi. Show your prostate some love by making time for these annual health screenings. They're the first step in a long healthy sex life. The rest is up to you.