Men’s Health is a serious matter.
Men die because they are too embarrassed to seek help in a timely fashion about some of their most private issues.
With over 300 blogs written, it is somewhat embarrassing that I have only posted a handful of Men’s Health blogs. I have decided to rectify this today by at least bringing all the Men’s Health blogs that I have ever posted, together, into one blog (to make them easier to find) and I am also including some information about other significant Men’s Health conditions – some of which can be acutely embarrassing for teenagers and men when they occur. One in particular can have devastating consequences for men with pain and serious consequences for sexual intimacy.
These days we are better at talking about Women’s Health – incontinence, prolapse, vaginas, vulvas….these are all subjects which were never spoken about in the public domain even just 10 years ago, but thanks to the internet and the fact that we are more robust as a society, we can discuss these health issues much more readily. But with Men’s Health there is sniggering if the word penis is mentioned or immediately sexist jokes abound, or inuendo. It’s time to be more mature and realise the implications of not being open when discussing men’s health problems.
As you read through the rest of the blog there are many links within it so click on the links to go to the other resources.
The first link here is a great fact sheet produced by the excellent Men’s Health organisation called Andrology Australia on a subject which is rarely discussed – Foreskin Hygeine. But I particularly wanted to highlight a condition called Phimosis. Phimosis is when the foreskin of the penis is too tight, or the tip of the foreskin narrows and is unable to be pulled back to expose the head of the penis. Severe phimosis can cause pain when urinating, urinary retention (when the bladder is not completely emptied on urination), urinary tract infections and skin infection of the penis.
Older men with severe phimosis have a higher risk of developing cancer of the penis. Phimosis can cause severe pain with erections and sexual intercourse, causing injury to the foreskin with minor bleeding and infection. There is more detailed information in the link to the Andrology Newsletter. As you can imagine it is devastating for this condition to emerge as a young teen is starting to mature and perhaps pain and deformity can appear, of course worsened with erections. It is crucial to break the silence around this condition as it can be conservatively treated successfully in many cases, particularly if it is disclosed early to a health professional. Steroid cream application and teaching the patient tissue stretching techniques can sometimes cure the problem, but also sometimes circumcision may be necessary.
I was actually inspired to write about this due to a tragic story from BBC News about a mother who received an email from her son after he had tragically taken his own life due to this condition of Phimosis. The comprehensive story is graphic and take care as it may be triggering for some people who may have experienced the loss of a loved one through suicide. She was devastated as she knew nothing of the terrible health issues this problem created for him – he was too embarrassed to let his family know what he was going through.
Imagine that – because of the shame and embarrassment of a medical issue with his penis, he was unable to talk about it and this was the only way he could see to solve his problem. He sent the email detailing the shocking trauma he had been through (he was living in another country to his family) so she received it after his passing. In the email he begged his mother to publicise this issue – to bring awareness to the general public – to bring this condition out into the open.
If you are struggling with symptoms like this or other conditions regarding sexual activity, penile pain, testicular pain or other issues- it is important to seek help. We have two Pelvic Health Physios (Alex and Megan) who will be able to assess, educate about and treat these unpleasant symptoms.
The next link is in fact a link to some of the Men’s Health conditions we treat at Sue Croft Physiotherapy .
The first blog I wrote about Male Urinary Incontinence following Prostate Surgery was way back in 2013 called The Elephant in the Room – mostly because my lack of male blogs was the elephant in the room – I had written 73 blogs before I wrote the first blog for men.
Dr Joanne Milios (Physiotherapist and PHD Men’s Health)
A Men’s Health Physio, Joanne Milios, who has just received her PHD for her work looking at maximising recovery following prostate surgery was a guest blogger for my second men’s health article – it is longer than usual but well worth the read. I may be able to entice her to write a second blog for me now she is Dr Milios?!
The next link is an article which physio Amanda Quinn wrote for a Men’s Health Magazine. (Amanda worked with me at my practice for a couple of years-she has since moved back to Melbourne to work and be with family). It is a great article summarising many of the strategies including those for pelvic pain.
The final blog is one that I posted after attending a Stuart Baptist workshop on Men’s Health at the Continence Foundation of Australia‘s National conference in Sydney a couple of years ago. Stuart is a well-regarded Men’s Health Physio in Sydney and ran a comprehensive 3 hour workshop. Again it is quite a long blog so take your time.
I would also like to point out two great Men’s Health Books by Craig Allingham another Men’s Health physio and author. One is the Prostate Recovery Map and the other the Prostate Playbook. I am hoping Craig will write me a blog about the two books and how helpful they will be in helping you if you have a diagnosis of prostate cancer or if you are embarking on the ‘watchful waiting’ journey.
If you are a man struggling with a pelvic floor pain condition, urinary urgency or incontinence, bowel issues or are facing prostate surgery it can be so daunting, but we have wonderful physios at our practice to help you with these conditions. There is no need to suffer in silence –ring the rooms (Ph: 07 38489601 or 0407659357 for an appointment or contact your nearest pelvic health physiotherapist who treats men if you are in a different city.
Spread the word!