You may pay attention to your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight, but if you're like most men, you probably aren't as diligent about scheduling your annual physical as you could be.
The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that 55% of men do not get a yearly physical. And that's a shocking number when you consider that up to 50% of American men have at least one chronic condition.
It's even more astonishing when you understand that up to 90% of men over 75 years old have at least five chronic conditions. Nearly 20% of men over 55 years old say they have never had a colon cancer screening.
With that said, it's probably time for you to have your annual physical. And while you're at it, make sure you include a sexual health check-up when you next see your doctor. Beyond pinpointing any physical conditions that need your attention now, an annual physical may help you with specific issues keeping you from enjoying a satisfying sex life.
A sexual health physical includes examining everything from prostate function to erectile dysfunction. At your check-up, your doctor will order certain screenings and should ask: "How's your sex life?"
Your physician will perform a physical exam on your penis and testicles, with an interest in finding specific issues in the areas involved in sexual ability. This part of the exam should include checking the nerves in the penis and genitalia.
If you have trouble reaching an erection, ask your doctor to measure the arterial supply to your legs and feet. This is an easy test to conduct that, if abnormal, this test will give you a good indication that the blood supply to your penis could be limited.
All men over 50 years old should have a digital examination of their prostates. Your doctor uses a gloved finger into the rectum to determine if there is any enlargement. An enlarged prostate indicates either benign prostatic hyperplasia or possibly cancer.
A PSA test (prostate-specific antigen) is a blood test that helps determine if you have prostate cancer. The value of the PSA test is somewhat controversial. Some doctors believe it should be done routinely on older men; some don't think it's necessary. During your annual exam, ask your doctor if he recommends a PSA test for you.
You might find this surprising, but sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in older adults. If you are sexually active with multiple partners, you're at risk for diseases like gonorrhea, genital herpes, chlamydia, and HIV. Ask to get tested for these diseases during your annual physical exam.
In addition to getting an annual sexual health exam, you should do your best to maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise. Men who exercise regularly are 25 times more likely to report a satisfying sex life than overweight men.
7 Keys to a Sexual Health Check-Up - qualityhealth.com
Male Health Check-Up: Things Men Should Have Checked in Medical Exam | Disabled World - disabled-world.com
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Older Adults - benrose.org
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