Although we know that our doctors are here to help us, sometimes, we may feel a little shy to ask about certain health conditions – especially if it’s something that we’re embarrassed about. However, early intervention and seeking help is important if we do notice something wrong or different about our bodies.
Not to fear! Dr Mohamed Izham bin Mohamed Iqbal, a lead doctor at Doctor Anywhere with more than a decade of clinical experience, answers 5 questions about common men health conditions you may be too shy to ask your doctor.
#1 : What can I do to treat erectile dysfunction?
“Erectile dysfunction is a common problem that can occur from time to time,” says Dr Izham. Erectile dysfunction can have a variety of causes, such as the existence of other chronic conditions, an unhealthy lifestyle, or even stress at work.
“If you’re worried, talk to your doctor for appropriate treatment,” advises Dr Izham. “Most times, treating an underlying condition is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction.”
#2: What can I do about hair loss?
The most common type of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia. Those with close relatives with male pattern baldness may also find themselves at a higher risk of experiencing male pattern baldness.
“You can take medication to slow down the hair loss,” says Dr Izham. For example, doctors may be able to prescribe topical medication, such as Minoxidil, that is applied to the scalp to stimulate hair growth; or oral medication, such as Finasteride, that slows hair loss in some men.
#3: What is male menopause?
Although it’s not as commonly discussed, men may also experience a form of menopause, also known as andropause. This occurs due to a drop in testosterone production in men, as they reach the age of 50.
“Male menopause is a little different from female menopause,” says Dr Izham. “For one, not all men experience it. Secondly, your reproductive organs continue to function, although some sexual complications may arise due to the changes in hormone levels.”
Men may also experience other symptoms such as moodiness, lower energy levels, insomnia, and a reduced libido. Most of these symptoms can be treated with making healthier lifestyle choices and caring well for your body.
“However, if your symptoms are causing you hardship, do speak to your doctor.”
#4: What should I do if I notice changes in my testicular area?
“A good practice to adopt is to do regular self-examination of your testicles,” advises Dr Izham. You can feel for any lumps, swelling, hardness or any other changes.
“What you can look out for is a lump or enlargement in either testicle, heaviness in your scrotum, or general discomfort,” lists Dr Izham. Should these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should make an appointment with a doctor to be checked for testicular cancer.
#5: Should I be worried if my pee smells funny?
Changes in your urine may be a sign of prostate enlargement. This is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, in which your prostrate grows larger, especially in older men. When this occurs, it may affect urine and semen production.
“About 90% of men will experience this,” says Dr Izham. Common symptoms include: slowness in your urine stream, needing to urinate frequently and urgently, pain while urinating, and urine looking and smelling different from usual.
“Most patients who have mild symptoms do not require treatment,” says Dr Izham, especially if the symptoms are not affecting your quality of life. “However, if symptoms persist, it’s good to see a doctor to see if further treatment and medication is required.”
You should feel comfortable asking anything during your session.
“Most men in Malaysia like to keep their worries to themselves and brush off any physical issues they have, “observed Dr Izham, from his years of practice. This can be detrimental to one’s health in the long-term, especially if underlying health conditions go unnoticed and untreated. Instead, Dr Izham is a firm advocate for speaking up.
“Do not be shy,” he emphasises. “Please ask any and all questions pertaining to your health and body.”
In addition to this, he suggests:
Men above 35 should do regular blood tests to be aware of their own health conditions
For all men to do self-examination of their testicular area and alert their doctors if they notice anything amiss
For men above the age of 60, or those who suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms, to get their prostrates examined
If you have any questions or concerns about your health, speak to our doctors discretely over the DA app. Reach out to a doctor within 5 minutes or less, with medication delivered to your doorstep.