14 Tips On How To Improve Your Prostate Health

Prostate health is one of the most important things a man should pay attention to in his life. There are many different disorders that can threaten your prostate, such as prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostatitis, and they can make your life a big mess. To protect yourself from prostate problems and boost your prostate health, you should be ready to change your lifestyle, and make healthy choices moving forward.

Below are some tips on how you can keep your prostate health in good condition for a long and fruitful life:

1. Introduce more fruits and vegetables to your diet

Fruits and vegetables contain an abundance of essential vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that have the ability to protect your prostate against cancer and other diseases. The more fiber, antioxidants, and polyphenols you have in your body, the lower your risk of developing prostate disorders. Every meal, make sure to have at least a serving of fresh and natural fruits and veggies for better prostate and overall health.

2. Eat foods rich in healthy fats

Certain studies have found that men that live in countries that consume healthy fats are less likely to develop prostate cancer than those that live in countries that are known for their high-fat consumption, such as the United States. To protect your prostate, you can add healthy, high-fat foods like avocado, cheese, dark chocolate, nuts, and eggs to your diet.

3. Consume more plant protein

animal protein vs plant protein

According to the World Health Organization, protein diets made up entirely of red meat, animal fat, and dairy products can increase your odds of developing prostate cancer. Therefore, you should try to rely on plants more for your body’s protein needs. Good examples of plants with high protein content are buckwheat, quinoa, almonds, lentils, beans, peas, chia seeds, kale, and zucchini.

4. Go for whole and natural food options

Whole and natural foods are rich in fiber, which is essential in managing your testosterone levels and prostate health. For this reason, you should try to eat brown rice instead of white rice, fresh potatoes instead of processed chips, raw nuts instead of a packaged nut bar, and lean meat instead of canned sausages.

5. Add foods loaded with omega-3 to your meals

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their combative abilities against inflammation. They are found in some types of fish, such as salmon and tuna, as well as in soybean, walnut, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. By eating more omega-3 rich foods, you can enhance your immune functions and make your body more able in fighting off diseases.

6. Stay away from processed foods

Processed foods contain several ingredients that can be harmful to your prostate and the rest of your bodily organs. They are high in unhealthy fats, artificial compounds, and toxic chemicals that can increase your risk of prostate disorders and other health problems. For the sake of your health, you should completely remove them from your diet.

7. Choose foods that have cancer-killing abilities

Some foods are made up of compounds that can prevent the development of cancer in your body. Good examples include broccoli, carrots, berries, beans, turmeric, olive oil, nuts, apples, garlic, grapes, tomatoes, and whole grains, which are loaded with vitamin D, folic acid, lycopene, and others.

8. Drink lots of water

Your body needs water to be able to carry out all of its functions throughout the day. Ideally, you should drink eight glasses of water per day to keep you going. But, if you are more physically active, you may need to consume more to keep you hydrated.

9. Get into a regular exercise routine

There are many benefits to regularly exercising. It is a great way to burn more calories to lose weight, to build stronger bones and muscles, to lower your risk of injuries, to improve your endurance and stamina, and to establish a stronger immune system. With it, you can also avoid the dangers of prostate cancer and other prostate problems, and enjoy a healthy and long life.

10. Quit smoking

Smoking exposes your body to hundreds of toxic chemicals that can increase your risk of various diseases that affect the lungs, heart, brain, and other organs, including the prostate. If you do not want that to happen, you should put that cigarette down now, and begin your journey as a healthy and non-smoking man today.

11. Get enough sleep

waking from a good sleep

Your body needs to recharge everyday to be able to perform at its best every time. Therefore, you should get at least 7 hours of sleep every night to give yourself time to rest and reboot after a long, busy day. If you are well-rested, your bodily organs and systems can repair and rebuild themselves fast and efficiently, reducing your risk of injuries, infections, diseases, and other health problems.

12. Be better at managing your stress levels

If you are always stressed, you are in danger of weakening your different bodily systems, including your immune system. With a poorly functioning immune system, you will not be able to avoid diseases, and will have greater risk of disorders that affect your prostate. To deal with your stress, you should find activities that can relax your mind and body, such as running, yoga, and meditation, and see a doctor.

13. Have a healthy sex life

You can keep your prostate healthy if you have an active and healthy sex life. Every time you engage in any kind of sexual activity, just make sure to observe the proper precautions, such as wearing a condom, to not expose yourself to the dangers of sexually transmitted infections that can put your sexual health at bigger risk.

14. Consult your doctor

Regular visits to your doctor are important to monitor how your prostate is doing. You should not be scared to get your prostate checked and examined because it is a reliable way to determine if there is anything wrong with it. The sooner a prostate problem is detected, the earlier you can get treatment and recover.

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Gonorrhea Facts And Myths Everyone Should Know

In the United States, gonorrhea is one of the three most widespread sexually-transmitted diseases, along with syphilis and Chlamydia. Every year, 124 people per 100,000 population get infected with it, with about half of the reported cases involving young people between the ages of 15 years old and 24 years old. It can cause serious harm and damage to the body if not detected and treated as soon as possible, so proper protection and precaution when having sex is necessary to avoid it.

What causes gonorrhea?

The sexually transmitted disease known as gonorrhea is caused by bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Once it gets inside your body, it can bring about problems to your reproductive system, as well as your throat, mouth, rectum, and eyes.

Who can get infected with gonorrhea?

Everyone can be infected with gonorrhea. Whether you are a man, woman, adult, teen, or baby, you can contract the disease if you get exposed to the bacteria that cause it. However, some people’s risks are greater than others. If you belong to any of the following categories, you are more likely to get struck by gonorrhea:

casual sex
  • If you engage in unprotected sexual practices, such as not using condoms when doing oral, anal, or vaginal sex
  • If you have multiple sex partners
  • If your sex partner has multiple sex partners
  • If you have previously been afflicted with gonorrhea
  • If you have a history of other types of sexually transmitted infections

What are the typical symptoms that come with the gonorrhea infection?

Gonorrhea triggers different signs and symptoms in men and women.

In men, gonorrhea can cause the following:

  • Pain or soreness in one or both testicles
  • Pain when urinating
  • An odd discharge that resembles pus, which comes out of the tip of the penis

In women, gonorrhea warning signs can include:

  • Bleeding in the vagina after sexual intercourse or outside of the menstrual period
  • Pain when urinating
  • An increase in the amount of discharge released by the vagina
  • Pain in the pelvic or abdominal region
  • Pain when having vaginal sex

What will happen if gonorrhea is not diagnosed and treated right away?

Undiagnosed and untreated gonorrhea can be very dangerous. In addition to the symptoms enumerated above, you may experience more severe complications that include:

  • Infertility

The gonorrhea bacteria can cause infertility in both men and women if not eliminated as soon as possible. In men, it can lead to epididymitis, and in women, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.

  • Higher risk of HIV/AIDS

Gonorrhea can make your body more susceptible to the human immunodeficiency virus that can eventually become AIDS if not treated immediately.

What are the common myths about gonorrhea?

For the good of your sexual health, you should be able to differentiate facts from myths. When it comes to gonorrhea, there are several myths going around that you should be wary of. Below, we correct the most common myths about this infection:

Myth #1: Gonorrhea can only be spread via vaginal sex.

Fact: The majority of gonorrhea cases are spread via vaginal sex, but there are cases in which the infection is transmitted through oral sex and anal sex too. Do not ever think that you are safe from it if you do not make penis-to-vagina contact. Gonorrhea can also cause damage to your rectum, mouth, and throat. To protect yourself, you should use barriers, like condoms and dental dams, every time you have sex.

Myth #2: Gonorrhea cannot be spread if you are taking antibiotic medications.

Fact: Even when you are taking antibiotics, you are not 100% safe from gonorrhea. If, for instance, you have been diagnosed with gonorrhea and are receiving antibiotic treatment for it, you are not advised to engage in any kind of sexual activity for the meantime so as not to endanger your sexual partner. Also, if, for example, your partner has been diagnosed with it and are receiving antiobiotic treatment for it, you cannot just start taking antibiotics to protect yourself and then still have unprotected sex with them. It is crucial that you have a serious discussion with your doctor about it to understand how gonorrhea treatment actually works.

Myth #3: You can get gonorrhea from public toilets.

Fact: The bacteria that cause gonorrhea, as well as the other types of sexually transmitted infections, cannot survive outside of the human body, so there is no way they can stay alive on a toilet seat, just waiting for a chance to strike another victim. This idea that you can get STIs via the use of public toilets is a complete myth that everyone should stop believing in.

Myth #4: There is no known cure for gonorrhea.

antibiotic capsules

Fact: We are so fortunate that we live in a time when treatments for different kinds of diseases, including gonorrhea, exist. If gonorrhea is diagnosed early on, it can easily be cured using antibiotics. Usually, doctors prescribe gonorrhea patients with cefixime or cetrifiaxone, which are injectable medications, and azithromycin, which is a tablet, to be taken for a number of weeks until the infection is totally eradicated. However, if your gonorrhea is detected late, treating it might be more challenging, and undoing the damage it has done to your body might be impossible. The importance of early detection and diagnosis cannot be emphasized enough for the efficacy of the treatments available.

Myth #5: Only adults are in danger of contracting gonorrhea.

Fact: While a significant number of cases of gonorrhea involve adult men and women, there are times when the infection strikes babies too. If a woman who has gonorrhea gets pregnant or if a pregnant woman gets infected with gonorrhea, she can transmit the bacteria to her child during child birth. When this happens, the baby can suffer from eye infections that may eventually lead to blindness. This is why it is crucial that pregnant women undergo gonorrhea testing to find out whether they are infection-free or not, and lower the risk of passing the STI on to their babies.

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8 Foods You Should Be Eating For A Healthy Prostate

As men age, their prostate becomes at higher risk of different diseases that bring about pain and discomfort. If, for example, you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (or BPH), which is a non-cancerous condition in which the prostate is enlarged, you will experience the need to urinate more frequently than usual and feel some pain while urinating. These symptoms cannot be good, so you have to find ways to protect your prostate against these dangers.

Various studies have found that there is a link between your prostate health and the kinds of foods that you eat. According to them, eating a healthy diet can be beneficial to the prostate. So, if you eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats, you can reduce the chances of prostate problems and save yourself from these signs and symptoms.

Below are examples of healthy foods that you should try to incorporate into your day-to-day meals for the improvement of your prostate health:

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to boost prostate health. They are highly recommended whether fresh or processed. They are actually more potent when they are processed, as their lycopene content becomes more easily accessible once their cell walls break down.

For your daily meals, you can choose from a wide array of tomato-based foods, such as soup, juice, sauce, or paste, to add variety to your dishes. For every 50 grams of tomato paste you eat everyday for a span of 10 weeks, you can lower your risk of prostate problems by as much as 10%.

2. Pumpkin seeds

pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of several essential nutrients. They are rich in zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and carotenoids, which can help stop your body’s hormones from overstimulating the prostate cells and lead to an enlargement of the prostate gland.

Men who consume pumpkin seeds are able to replenish their zinc levels, which decrease every time semen is emitted, faster and more efficiently. If you make sure to take about 100 milligrams of zinc everyday, you can stop the swelling or inflammation of your prostate. Or, if you are already suffering from an enlarged prostate, consistent intake of zinc can help shrink the gland and eliminate the symptoms.

3. Garlic

Garlic is a popular medicinal plant that can treat a long list of medical problems, including a weak immune system and high blood pressure. Recently, it has been found to have the ability to lower the risk of prostate problems, and get rid of the symptoms and complications that come with these.

If you eat garlic everyday, you can reduce your risk of an enlarged prostate by 28%. And, if you consume at least 10 grams of it each day, your likelihood of developing prostate cancer is half that of someone who does not eat or eats only a little amount of garlic on a daily basis.

4. Peppers

There are many different kinds of peppers, and they each possess important and varied nutritional values. For example, bell peppers contain the most amount of vitamin C among them, while jalapeno peppers have higher capsaicin levels than most.

If you want to prevent prostate cancer tumors, the vitamin C present in bell peppers can help with that. If you want to annihilate cancer cells that threaten your body, the capsaicin in jalapeno peppers can force these invaders to commit suicide. For best results, you should try to eat as many as eight peppers a week.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is a kind of cruciferous vegetable that is an excellent source of phytonutrients that can fight off cancer. It has sulforaphane, which is a phytochemical compound that can improve the performance of the detoxification enzymes in your body, and help purge faster the elements that can cause cancer. It also has indole-3-carbinol, which is a nutrient that suppresses the growth and development of cancer cells in your prostate.

According to studies, if you eat broccoli at least once a week, you can lower your odds of developing prostate cancer by 45%. So, whether sautéed or steamed, you should not forget to add a serving of broccoli to at least a couple of your meals per week.

6. Green tea

Green tea is a versatile beverage that offers a ton of health benefits. It has an abundance of catechins, which is a type of antioxidant that can ward off viruses and bacteria that attack your immune system. In addition, it can fight prostate cancer and other types of cancer, and help boost your overall health.

With a daily dose of green tea, you can significantly reduce your risk of prostate cancer, and also prevent urinary tract symptoms and complications. So, everyday, be ready to prepare at least three cups of hot green tea with your meals or snacks to take advantage of its cancer-fighting properties.

7. Mushrooms

cutting up mushrooms

Mushrooms are healthy foods that possess great medicinal abilities. One variety, the shiitake mushroom, has long been used for its medicinal powers, and has proven in various studies its anti-cancer capabilities. Moreover, it contains L-ergothioneine, which contains a very potent antioxidant that can promote the growth and development of healthy cells throughout the body.

For better prostate health, include mushrooms into your daily meal plans. You can add them to your pasta dishes, stews, and soups. You can also stir-fry them, and enjoy with other vegetables. The more mushrooms you consume, the better you can protect your prostate.

8. Salmon

Salmon is a delicious and healthy fish that can promote prostate health. It has high omega-3 fatty acid content, making it very capable of slowing down the growth and progression of prostate tumors. Furthermore, it has anti-angiogenic effects, which allow it to successfully stop the blood vessels that nurture hazardous elements that found their way in your body.

At least once a week, you should prepare a salmon dish for good health. You can steam, bake, or pan-fry it, and enjoy alongside a serving of rice, salad, or steamed vegetables.

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Are You At Risk Of Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the number 1 cancer that afflicts men. Every year, there are around 11,500 men who die of it every year in the United Kingdom, and there are approximately 29,500 deaths documented every year in the United States.

During its early stages, prostate cancer may not trigger visible signs and symptoms. It is a type of cancer that grows and moves slowly. It first strikes the prostate gland, which is a small gland that is shaped like a walnut and is in-charge of producing semen that feeds and transports the sperm cells, and then spreads to the nearby areas to cause more harm and damage if not diagnosed and treated right away.

What are the common warning signs of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer does not really bring about noticeable symptoms early on. However, once you reach that stage where your prostate has become enlarged, you may experience the following:

man clutching painful junk
  • The need to urinate more frequently
  • Some pain or discomfort while urinating
  • Reduced force in your stream of urine
  • Traces of blood in your semen
  • Discomfort in your pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Difficulty getting and/or keeping an erection
  • Lower sex drive or libido

These warning signs should be taken seriously, so you must see a doctor right away to find out whether you really have prostate cancer or some other disease that has similar signs and symptoms.

What causes prostate cancer?

Up to now, medical professionals do not have a clear answer to this question. They know that the disease starts when certain cells found in your prostate begin exhibiting abnormalities. The mutations in the DNA of these abnormal cells make them develop, grow, and divide at a much faster rate than the normal cells. These abnormal cells accumulate over time and form a tumor that can invade the healthy cells and tissues nearby. In some cases, they can even escape and find their way to your other body parts and spread the cancer even more.

What factors increase your risk of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer can strike any man, but there are some that have higher odds of having the disease than others. Below are the common risk factors associated with prostate cancer:

Old age

As you grow older, your risk of getting prostate cancer also increases. According to data, the majority of prostate cancer cases occur in men who are aged 50 years or older. Therefore, it is crucial that you get your prostate checked regularly as you age to detect unusual changes and others that may signify problems in your prostate.

Race

According to studies, black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than others, while Asian men have the lowest risk. The reasons for these are not yet known.

Obesity

If you are obese and you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer that is advanced and more challenging to treat. So, it is necessary that you take good care of your health. You should lose weight, start eating healthy, and get into a regular exercise routine.

Family history

If your brother, father, uncle, grandfather, or other male relative has had prostate cancer, your risk of having the disease is higher than someone whose male relatives are cancer-free. Moreover, if your family also has a history of breast cancer, your odds of developing prostate cancer may increase, as well.

Is there anything you can do to prevent or at least lower your risk of prostate cancer?

Yes, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of prostate cancer. The following are some good examples of lifestyle changes that you should seriously consider doing starting now to protect yourself:

Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Your diet should contain a variety of healthy options that can give you the essential nutrients that you need for your body to be able to carry out its functions. Every meal, you have to make sure to include a serving or two of foods that are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Avoid junk foods and fast foods. Stay away from foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar. Cut down your alcohol consumption. Drink more water to hydrate your cells, tissues, muscles, and organs.

Try to be a lot more physically active.

fit man exercising

Physical activity is good for the body. If you have a regular exercise routine, you can more easily maintain your weight and overall health. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. In addition, exercising can make your heart, lungs, brain, and other vital organs develop better strength, stamina, and endurance. It can promote better blood and oxygen flow, allowing you to perform better at tasks in school or at work, and also boost your mood.

Do your best to stay within your ideal weight range.

If you are currently within your ideal weight range, you should continue working hard to maintain it. You can successfully do that by eating healthily and regularly exercising. But, if you are overweight, you will need to exert a bit more effort to shed off the extra pounds. Try counting your calories to keep track of how much you eat. Prepare a meal plan consists of only healthy foods that your body really needs. You can consult a health professional to help you come up with a diet that suits you.

Visit your doctor.

You should go see your doctor to talk about your risk of prostate cancer. If they determine that you are high risk, they may prescribe you medications or some treatment solutions that can reduce your risk. They can also provide answers to questions that you may have in your mind, and they can clarify anything that confuses you about the disease. In addition, they can conduct prostate exams, such as the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA test), to detect the cancer in your body before it starts doing serious damage.

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Why Does Your Penis Itch And How Do You Treat It?

Having an itchy penis can be annoying and embarrassing. The urge to scratch can be so strong that it can be very difficult to go a whole minute without doing it. Sometimes, you might even forget that you are in a public place and that there are people around you who can see what you are doing.

What causes penis itching?

There are several possible causes of penis itching. The most common ones are:

1. Genital herpes

Caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus, or HSV, genital herpes is an infection that brings about pain and itchiness in the general genital region. It can also cause an outbreak of small cluster of blisters that are filled with fluids. Once the virus gets to your body, it can lie dormant for many years and not trigger noticeable signs and symptoms. For this reason, a lot of people that are infected do not know that they have it.

2. Candidiasis

man with itchy crotch

A condition that is also called male thrush, candidiasis is a type of yeast infection in males that occurs on the head of the penis. If you have it, you will experience itchiness under the tip of your penis and your foreskin. In addition, you will notice a rash and redness on the area, as well as experience a burning sensation and have an unusual discharge under your foreskin.

3. Psoriasis

If your skin cells are developing too fast, they will accumulate and form red, itchy, and scaly patches of skin. This condition is known as psoriasis, and it is a chronic disease that can affect your penis and other parts of your body.

4. Genital warts

A sexually transmitted disease, genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. They are small, flesh-colored bumps that look like cauliflower. If you engage in sexual intercourse, these small bumps may itch and start to bleed, and infect your sex partner.

5. Contact dermatitis

Triggered by an allergen, contact dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by dryness, a red rash, and tiny bumps. If your penis is exposed to an allergen found in soaps, perfumes, fabric conditioners, cloth, and others, it may develop this disease and start getting itchy.

6. Lichen planus

An inflammatory condition that affects the mucous membranes, nails, hair, and skin, including around the genital area, lichen planus triggers small bumps that are flat-topped and purple in color. If you have it on your penis, it can cause pain, ulcers, and discoloration, and lead to sexual dysfunction.

7. Scabies

A skin problem that can also affect the male genital area, scabies occurs when there are tiny mites that burrow under your skin. If they find a place around your genital area, they can trigger intense itchiness and leave burrow tracks.

8. Balanitis

Characterized by the inflammation of the penis glands, balanitis is a disease that can strike your penis and cause various symptoms such as itchiness, swelling, redness, and soreness. In many cases, it can also lead to pain when urinating.

9. Pubic lice

If parasitic insects known as pubic lice find their way into your pubic region, they can attach to your pubic hair and cause intense itchiness. Commonly called crabs, they are a pain to deal with because they can easily be passed on to your sex partner and stick to your underwear, clothes, linen, and other things.

How do you get rid of the itchiness?

Scratching an itchy penis may provide temporary relief, but if done too much, it can put you at risk of infections and injuries. At home, you can whip up the following simple do-it-yourself home remedies to soothe your itchy penis:

Cold compress

Take a clean cloth and wrap it around an ice pack. Apply it on to your penis for about 5 minutes to create a cooling effect that can relieve the itchiness and soreness. If you have been afflicted with balanitis, contact dermatitis, or scabies, this treatment method can be a good quick reliever.

Apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar

If you have psoriasis on your penis, you can use apple cider vinegar to deal with the itching. Prepare a clean, empty bowl, and pour in one cup of apple cider vinegar and one cup of water. Mix. Take a clean towel and soak it into the mixture. Dab the wet towel onto your penis to stop the irritation. Leave the mixture to dry on your penis. Rinse with clean water.

Baking soda

If you have a yeast infection or thrush, you can use baking soda to get the itchiness to subside. In a bowl, pour in one cup of baking soda and some lukewarm water to make a paste. Take a small amount of the paste and apply it onto the affected area of your penis. Rinse the mixture off after a few minutes.

Epsom salt

Another relief provider for penis itching is Epsom salt. You can add it to your warm bath water, and allow your body to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

What should you do if the itchiness persists?

If, after trying various home remedies, your penis is still experiencing itchiness, you should visit your doctor right away. Your illness may require a stronger treatment plan that those readily available household products cannot help get rid of.

Your doctor will take a look at your penis to find out what the real cause of your penile itching is. They will ask you questions too, so be honest with your answers. Once they have a diagnosis, they will prescribe you medications that may include:

  • Steroid creams

To relieve the itchiness, inflammation, and redness

  • Hydrocortisone

To cure the itching and inflammation

  • Antibiotic

If the problem is caused by bacteria, an antibiotic can treat it.

  • Antihistamine

If the problem is caused by an allergen, an antihistamine medication can provide relief.

  • Antifungal medication

if you have a fungal infection, such as a yeast infection, an antifungal medication can kill off the fungus that caused the problem.

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A Guide To HPV Infection In Men

HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted disease. It is characterized by the appearance of warts that are usually harmless and disappear on their own, and it can affect both men and women.

There are over 100 types of HPV, and they can trigger the growth of warts on various parts of the body. For instance, certain varieties of HPV can bring about warts that pop up on the neck or face, and others can cause warts on the feet, which are called plantar warts.

While the majority of HPV cases are not dangerous, some can lead to cancer. In women, they can cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, or vagina, and in men, they can cause cancer of the penis or anus.

How can you get infected with HPV?

If HPV finds a way to get inside your body through a tear, abrasion, cut, or wound in your skin, you get an HPV infection.  So, if you have an open wound and engage in skin-to-skin contact with someone who carries the virus, you are very likely to contract the disease.

undressing woman in bed

Moreover, having sexual intercourse with someone who has it also puts you at risk of getting infected. Whether anal, vaginal, or oral, the virus can enter your body via genital-to-genital contact or through upper respiratory or oral lesions, and start their invasion.

Warts are extremely contagious, so it is crucial to avoid getting into contact with them, most especially if there is even a small lesion in your skin where the virus can get through.

What can put you at risk of HPV?

No one is safe from the HPV infection. However, some have higher odds of contracting it than others. Below are the common risk factors for the HPV infection:

Age

Genital warts caused by HPV most often occur in teenagers and young adults, when sexual activity is at their peak.

Sex lifestyle

People with multiple sex partners are more likely to contract the HPV infection than those who are in a mutually monogamous sexual relationship. In addition, if your current sex partner has a history of having multiple sex partners, your risk is also greater.

Skin damages and problems

Skin with cuts, lesions, tears, and other openings have a higher chance of developing HPV warts.

Weakened immune system

If your immune system is weak, your ability to fight off HPV is reduced. This is very true for those who have weakened immune systems due to HIV or AIDS, or those who are taking drugs that have immune system suppressing effects.

Use of shared spaces

Public facilities, such as toilets, showers, and swimming pools, that may have been exposed to HPV can spread the infection. It is important to wear or use protection when using them.

What are the common symptoms of HPV in men?

Your body has the ability to fight off HPV before it triggers the development of warts. However, sometimes, the virus can slip through and cause warts. The infection can lead to different kinds of warts, such as:

Common warts

These warts typically appear on the elbows, hands, or fingers, and they are like raised bumps that have a rough texture. They are prone to bleeding and injury, and can produce a lot of pain.

Flat warts

These warts look like dark lesions on the skin. In men, they usually appear on the face, around the beard area, and in women, they are common on the legs.

Genital warts

These warts resemble a small cauliflower, with bumps or protrusions that look like tiny stems. In men, they occur on the penis, scrotum, or anus, and in women, they grow in the vagina or cervix.

How is HPV diagnosed in men?

If you notice the common HPV signs and symptoms on you, you should visit a doctor right away. You will undergo tests that can accurately diagnose your condition.

  • Eye test

Usually, HPV can be diagnosed just by looking at your warts. Genital warts caused by HPV can easily be seen and identified. Your doctor will check for any abnormalities, such as blisters, ulcers, sores, or white patches on your penis, anus, or scrotum.

  • Acetic acid or vinegar solution test

This testing method involves applying a vinegar solution onto the genital region infected with HPV. If you are indeed infected, the area where the solution was applied should turn white. This is often used if the lesions caused by the virus are too small and flat.

How is HPV in men treated?

HPV does not exactly have a cure. Once it strikes you, it can disappear on its own and come back as many times as it wants, and trigger warts in the same areas or different parts of your body. Oftentimes, HPV warts disappear without needing any treatment. But, if your doctor does prescribe you medications, they may recommend the following:

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid on wart

This is an over-the-counter medication that can remove the layers of your warts slowly, one at a time. It is typically applied onto genital warts or other types of warts that appear in other parts of the body, except for the face, as it can trigger skin irritation.

Trichloroacetic acid

This medication is a potent chemical that can burn off the warts that appear on the soles of your feet, your palms, or your genitals. Be careful when using it, as it can sometimes bring about irritation around the treated area.

Podofilox

This is a topical prescription that can obliterate the tissues that make up your genital warts. When used, it can cause some itchiness and even a bit of pain.

Imiquimod

This is a prescription medication that can offer many benefits to your immune system. It helps boost your body’s ability to ward off HPV, so that you are protected and less likely to contract the infection again in the future. When applied, it can cause some swelling and redness around the afflicted area.

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7 Testicular Diseases Every Man Should Watch Out For

The testicles play an important role in a man’s reproductive system. Also called testes, they are a pair of egg-shaped organs in-charge of producing testosterone and sperm.  They are found inside the scrotum, behind the penis. Because they are not really protected by muscles or bones, they can easily be injured, especially when engaging in sports and other physical contact activities.

For the good health and wellbeing of your testicles, you should go see your doctor regularly for a testicle exam. It is important that yours are checked for any lumps, pain, redness, inflammations, or other changes that may signify something that requires medical attention.

Below are examples of common testicular diseases that can strike men:

1. Testicular Cancer

If you have testicular cancer, it means that there are abnormal cells in your testicles, and they are growing and dividing uncontrollably. You will develop a variety of symptoms, such as a lump, inflammation of one or both of your testicles, aching in the lower abdomen or groin, pain in the scrotum or one or both of your testicles, and a heavy, pulling sensation in the scrotum.

There are many risk factors associated with testicular cancer. If you have any of the following, your odds of getting the disease are higher:

  • Undescended testicle

Undescended testicle, or cryptorchidism, is a condition characterized by the testicles not descending from a male’s abdomen to the scrotum before his birth.

  • Family history of the disease

If you have a father, grandfather, an uncle, or someone in your family tree that has/had testicular cancer, you have a greater risk of having the disease than someone who does not.

  • Aged between 15 and 40

Although testicular cancer can affect men at any age, those who are between the ages of 15 years old and 40 years old are more prone to it.

  • Caucasian

According to studies, Caucasian men are five times more likely than African-American men, and two times more likely than Asian-American men to develop testicular cancer.

2. Epididymitis

Epididymitis

Frequently caused by Chlamydia, a very common sexually transmitted disease brought about by bacteria, epididymitis is a condition that affects the testicles. If you have it, you will experience a variety of signs and symptoms, such as inflammation of the testicles, pain in the scrotum, fever, and pus.

To treat it, you will be prescribed by your doctor antibiotics that can get rid of the bacteria that started the infection, and anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, to help ease the swelling and pain.

If not treated as soon as possible, epididymitis can lead to scar tissue, which can obstruct the pathway of sperm, blocking it from leaving your testicles. It can also cause infertility.

3. Testicular Torsion

Your testicles are kept in place inside your scrotum by a cord-like structure known as the spermatic cord. If this spermatic cord gets twisted, it is bad news. This can disrupt the blood flow to your testicles, and cause sudden and extreme pain, swelling, and tenderness.

Most common in men between 12 years old and 18 years old, testicular torsion is a disorder that can be caused by strenuous activities, injuries to the testicles, and, sometimes, even for no apparent reason. It requires emergency medical attention, and can be treated by correcting the torsion or twisting through surgery.

If diagnosed and attended to right away, you will not encounter any serious problems in your testicular functions. However, if not corrected as soon as possible, your testicles may suffer from permanent damage due to not receiving sufficient blood for an extended period of time. You may have to undergo surgery for the removal of your damaged testicles.

4. Testicular Trauma

If you are an athlete, you know how easy it is for your testicles to get hit, crushed, struck, or kicked. Oftentimes, because of the spongy structure of the testicles, the intensity of the shock or pressure they receive is minimized, so there is no resulting serious injury or damage.

However, in some cases, there can be bruising, swelling, or severe pain, especially if they receive a direct blow or squeezed too hard. This can then lead to blood leakage into the scrotum, which necessitates a surgical procedure. If done immediately, the rupture can be repaired, and your testicles saved.

5. Hypogonadism

The insufficient production of testosterone in a man’s body is a medical condition known as hypogonadism. It is typically caused by an abnormality or a problem in the testicles or pituitary gland. It can strike males at any age, from the fetal development stage to adulthood.

If you have it, you will experience different complications in your fertility and reproductive functions. The following are examples of such problems:

  • Lower libido or sex drive
  • Inability to get an erection or maintain an erection, also known as erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in body hair (chest hair, pubic hair, beard, etc.)
  • Muscle loss
  • Weight gain
  • Enlarged male breast tissue
  • Firmness or shrinking of your testicles

6. Varicocele

Varicocele

If the veins in your scrotum are enlarged, you have a disorder known as varicocele. It is comparable to the varicose veins that occur in the legs, and is not really very dangerous.

However, in rare cases, it can trigger mild to moderate aches and pains, lower your sperm quality and production, and affect your other sexual and reproductive functions.

7. Hydrocele

If there is swelling in your scrotum, you may have a disorder known as hydrocele. It is common in newborn babies, and occurs when there is fluid accumulating in the thin sheaths around the testicles, and then disappears even without treatment when they reach the age of 1.

In adult men, it can happen if there is injury or inflammation within the scrotum, or exposure to a sexually transmitted disease or other infections.

Even though hydrocele is not usually dangerous or life-threatening, it can be a sign that you may have an underlying condition that can progress to something a lot more serious, such as inguinal hernia or a tumor.

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The Importance Of Promoting Penis Health

The penis is an important part of a man’s body. It should be taken good care of to avoid problems and complications. A healthy penis is not only one that looks blemish-free or is able to get aroused in the right moments, it also has no difficulty ejaculating or releasing quality sperm for reproduction.

If your penis health is suffering, your physical, mental, and emotional states will be in jeopardy. Your self-esteem will be affected, and your relationships will be tested. There will be so much stress and negative vibes that can harm your mind and focus. In addition, it may be a sign of some underlying medical condition that requires attention and treatment right away.

To protect your penis, it is a must to be familiar with the common risk factors, complications, and problems that it may face. It is also crucial that you know what to do if you find yourself in such a terrible situation in the future.

What are the things that can endanger your penis health?

There are many things that can put your penis’ health and wellbeing at risk. Some are avoidable, while others are not. The following are some good examples:

unprotected sex carrot and grapefruit

Engaging in unprotected sex

If you do not use condoms or practice safe sex, you can get infected with a sexually transmitted disease very easily.

Smoking

There are compounds present in tobacco and cigarettes that can impair your erectile function, making it very difficult to get and/or keep an erection.

Being afflicted with diabetes

If your body’s glucose levels are higher than the norm, you may develop erectile dysfunction too.

Suffering from heart disease

An unhealthy heart cannot properly pump and send blood to the different parts of your body. So, if you have heart disease, your penis will likely not receive enough blood to perform satisfactorily during intimate moments.

Changes in hormone levels

In men, the testosterone hormone plays a big role in ensuring that all male functions are performed adequately. However, due to hormone imbalances brought by diabetes, obesity, or other diseases, your body’s testosterone levels may be decreased, and lead to problems in erection and fertility.

Undergoing surgery or taking certain medications or treatments

Some medical procedures, medicines, and treatment methods can impact your penile functions. For example, if you went through radical prostatectomy, which is the process of surgically removing the prostate gland and the tissues surrounding it to treat prostate cancer, you may experience difficulty getting an erection or urinating,

Dealing with psychological issues

Depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems can lower sexual desire or libido, and make getting aroused or keeping an erection very hard.

Aging

As you grow older, encountering sexual health problems become more likely. Your testosterone levels will also start to decline over time.

Having neurological conditions

Dementia, multiple sclerosis, and stroke can be extremely harmful to the male reproductive system. They can impair the delivery of the nerve impulses that the brain sends to the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction. Injuries to the back and the spinal cord can also make sexual activities painful or uncomfortable.

What are examples of penis problems that affect a lot of men today?

There are several medical conditions that can impact your penis health and cause problems to your physical, mental, and emotional dispositions. Below are common penis problems that you should be wary of:

Low libido

A decrease in sexual desire or libido can be brought about by various conditions. In many cases, it is a result of imbalances in your body’s hormone levels. If it strikes you, you will not get aroused as fast as before, or will even totally lose interest in sex.

Erectile dysfunction

A lot of men experience erectile dysfunction, which is a male sexual health problem that is characterized by the inability to get and/or maintain an erection. This can hurt not only your sex life, but also your self-esteem and self-worth.

Anorgasmia

Anorgasmia is a penis health problem where a man is unable to reach orgasm during sexual activity. It is also sometimes called Coughlan’s syndrome or orgasmic dysfunction. It is not as common in men as in women, and it usually more likely to strike older men than younger ones.

Sexually transmitted diseases

STD blood tests

If you partake in unsafe sex practices, such as not using condoms when having sex, you are putting yourself in arm’s reach of harmful sexually transmitted viruses and bacteria, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, genital herpes, and genital warts. Once you are infected, you may manifest a number of signs and symptoms that include pain when urinating, strange discharge from the penis, or sores and rash on the penis or genital region.

Phimosis

If you are uncircumcised, and your foreskin cannot be retracted from your penis head, you have a condition called phimosis. Anyone who has it will experience painful urination, painful erections, and infections.

What can you do to keep your penis in tip-top shape?

To protect your penis’ health, you should do the following:

Safe sex

Even though condoms do not guarantee 100% protection against sexually transmitted infections, they can significantly lower your risk of contracting them.

Good personal hygiene

Cleaning your genital parts is essential in the prevention of fungal and bacterial growth. Everyday, wash them to keep them looking good and smelling fresh.

Mental health support

Your mental health can contribute to how you perform in bed. If you are riddled with stress, anxiety, depression, or other issues, it will be very challenging to find pleasure in sex, as well as in other activities.

Physical activity

Being physically active is not only helpful to those who want to lose weight, it is also good for men who want to be at their sexual peak for a very long time. If you are a couch potato, you should seriously consider getting up now and move around to work your muscles and organs, boost your testosterone levels, and promote better blood flow to your penis.

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Ways To Boost Your Sperm Health

If you and your partner want to get pregnant, you should ensure that your sperm is in good condition. Not all men are blessed with healthy sperm, and many actually battle with fertility issues that negatively impact their sex lives and make reproduction difficult. To help you achieve your goal of starting a family, you should be familiar with the different things that can influence your sperm health and fertility.

What are the factors that determine a man’s sperm health?

There are a number of factors that determine the quality of your sperm. They are the:

Quantity of sperm

The ideal amount of sperm per ejaculation is at least 15 million per milliliter. If your semen contains less than that, you will have a tough time getting your partner pregnant. Not enough sperm means there is a lower chance of having healthy swimmers that can fertilize the egg.

Structure or morphology of sperm

A normal sperm should have an oval-shaped head and a long tail to be able to propel itself from the male reproductive system and travel to the egg. If it is malformed, it might not be able to move to the right direction and begin fertilization. The more sperm with normal morphology you have, the more fertile you are.

Movement or motility of sperm

A healthy sperm should move a lot. It should be wriggling non-stop to be able to swim through your partner’s reproductive parts to start fertilization. According to medical professionals, at least 2 out of every 5 of your sperm cells should be moving excellently to have a high chance of pregnancy.

sperm cells swimming to egg

What should you do to help your body produce good quality sperm?

You can boost your odds of healthy sperm production by:

Eating a healthy diet

Foods that are loaded with antioxidants are great for improving your sperm health. Consume more fruits, like grapes, oranges, blueberries, mangoes, cherries, and plums; and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, beets, onions, broccoli, and red bell peppers.

Being physically active

Even with moderate physical activity on a daily basis, you can raise your body’s levels of helpful antioxidant enzymes that can provide protection for your sperm. You can try walking or running even for just 30 minutes a day to work your vital organs and systems.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Some medical studies have found that there is an inverse relationship between your sperm health and your body mass index or BMI. The higher your BMI, the lower your sperm quality. Thus, it is essential that you stay within your ideal weight range to not endanger your sperm count, structure, and movement.

Avoiding sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases can bring about severe complications that can impact your sperm health. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, for instance, can lead to infertility, if not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. To protect yourself against these infections, you should always practice safe sex — use condoms every time you engage in sexual activities, limit the number of your sexual partners, avoid alcohol and drugs, and undergo STD screening every time you start a new sexual relationship.

Managing your stress levels

If you are always tired, anxious, nervous, or depressed, getting an erection or performing other sexual functions can be very trying. You have to find ways to lower your stress levels to not harm your sperm health. Get into meditation, do yoga, or other activities to clear and relax your mind.

What are the common causes of fertility problems in men?

Fertility problems in men can be attributed to various medical issues. You are at risk if:

  • You have something wrong going on in your pituitary gland or hypothalamus, which are important parts of the brain that facilitate the production of sperm and testosterone hormones in your testicles.
  • You have testicular disease, such as testicular torsion, which is the twisting of your testicle, and testicular cancer, which characterized by the occurrence of mutations in your testicular cells.
  • You have sperm transport disorders caused by congenital disorders and functional obstruction.
  • You are older than 50 years old, as sperm health naturally declines as you age.

What should you avoid to not endanger your sperm health?

There are several risk factors that contribute to poor sperm health. To keep your fertility in good condition, you should:

smoking is detrimental to male sexual health

Stop smoking

There are compounds contained in cigarettes that can not only damage your lungs and the rest of your respiratory system, but also hurt your fertility and lower your sperm count.

Minimize your alcohol consumption

If you are a heavy drinker, you are putting yourself at risk of lower testosterone levels, reduced sperm production, and impotence. 

Stay away from toxins

If your job involves exposure to lead, pesticides, or some other toxins, make sure to wear protective equipment and gear to protect your skin from getting into contact with hazardous chemicals.

Do not wear tight-fitting underwear

Your scrotum should be kept cool and comfortable to allow the production of good and healthy sperm. You should go for loose-fitting underwear to not trigger an increase in scrotal temperature and to not restrict blood flow.

Avoid certain medications

There are medicines that can cause fertility issues. If you are taking anti-androgens, tricyclic antidepressant, anabolic steroids, or calcium channel blockers, you are in danger of developing fertility issues. You should talk to your doctor about looking into using other options that will not affect your sperm health.

Who can help you with your fertility problems?

You should immediately see a fertility specialist the moment you encounter problems with your sperm and fertility. Do not hesitate to share your concerns, and be honest about what kinds of problems in the bedroom you are having. If you plan to start a family soon, they can give you sound advice on how to increase your odds of conceiving. In addition, they can find out what the root cause of the problem is, and recommend treatment solutions to take you and your partner to the right path towards parenthood.

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Getting Familiar With HIV

Caused by a virus, HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus is one of the most notorious sexually transmitted diseases around. It brings great harm to the immune system by reducing the amount of T cells or CD4 cells in the body, leaving a person unable to ward off dangerous infections and diseases. If not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, it can annihilate so many of these important cells, and turn your body into a big mess.

A Look At The Different Stages Of HIV

If you get infected by the virus and fail to receive the appropriate treatment, you will go through the three different stages of the infection.

First stage

The first stage of HIV is known as acute HIV infection. It kicks in as soon as the virus gets into your body. During this period, you will manifest a number of signs and symptoms that may seem mild and not very hazardous.

About 2 to 4 weeks into the infection, you may feel like you have the flu. There may be nausea, fever, appetite loss, vomiting, and other common flu symptoms that may persist for some weeks. These are triggered by your body’s natural instinct against foreign invaders. And, once they are gone, you will feel like your old, healthy self again, like nothing ever happened.

In addition, at this point, the virus has found its way in your bloodstream, making you contagious. So, if you engage in sexual intercourse with others, you are likely to pass on the disease to them.

Second stage

The second stage of HIV is called chronic HIV infection or asymptomatic HIV infection. It starts shortly after the first stage ends, when all the initial signs and symptoms have disappeared.

safe sex for HIV

If you are not properly diagnosed nor receiving any treatment, this phase can last for ten years or more. It is also still a highly contagious time, so partaking in unprotected sex can transmit the virus to others. And, towards the end of this stage, your CD4 cells continue to decrease as your viral load goes up.

On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed with HIV by your doctor and are receiving treatment for it, you may remain at this phase for a long time, probably several decades. And, because you are being treated, your virus level is at a low. However, you are still contagious and can transmit the virus to others if you have sex with them, though less likely than if you are not getting any treatment.

Third stage

The third stage of HIV is the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. It is the final phase of the disease, and is the most severe. If you do not get treatment for your HIV infection right away, you are at risk of reaching this point. You will have a horribly damaged immune system, which has now become completely helpless against opportunistic diseases and illnesses.

If you have AIDS and continue to neglect treatment, you can survive for about 3 more years. You will experience a variety of signs and symptoms, such as weight loss, weakness, inflamed lymph glands, chills sweats, and fever.

Because your CD4 cell count is now below 200 cells per millimeter, your chances of contracting opportunistic illnesses are extremely high. Your viral load is also at a high level, and you are very contagious. Having sex will also put your sex partner at risk of the infection.

How To Know If You Have The HIV Infection

The best and most precise way of determining if you have the HIV infection is by getting an HIV test. Even though HIV does sometimes trigger noticeable signs and symptoms, you should not wait for those to appear before you start doing something.

Relying on HIV’s common flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat, fatigue, fever, rash, chills, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, night sweats, and muscle aches to appear to determine if you have HIV is not advised, as many people who get infected do not display these warning signs at all. In addition, these symptoms may not be that of HIV but of some other illness that is completely different and caused by another pathogen or microorganism.

For the sake of you overall health and wellbeing, you have to go see a medical professional and undergo a proper HIV testing procedure. The earlier the infection is detected, the sooner you can receive treatment.

Healthy Practices To Help You Live With HIV

In the United States alone, about 1.1 million people are living with HIV. And, thanks to ease of accessibility and availability of treatments, those with the infection can still enjoy a long, normal, and happy life.

If you have been diagnosed with HIV, you should be ready to start making smarter choices regarding your day-to-day routine.

PrEP pill for HIV AIDS
  • Take your medications
    • It is important that you strictly follow doctor’s orders when it comes to taking your medications. You should make sure to do what the treatment schedule indicates to effectively manage your viral load. With proper HIV treatment, you can minimize the negative impact of the virus to your immune system, and be able to handle your daily responsibilities as usual.
  • Be honest to your sex partner(s)
    • Telling your sex partner(s) about your HIV status is necessary for their safety. Even if you are getting treatment for your HIV, you should still be honest to them so that they can decide for themselves how to proceed with your relationship.
  • Talk to your doctor
    • You should not hesitate to communicate with your doctor. Inform them about any changes that you feel in your body. A good line of communication makes it easier for them to help you and take action if the need arises.
  • Find a strong support system
    • Living with HIV can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Thus, you should be open to support not only provided by your family and friends, but also by social service and health care providers or your local HIV community support group.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.