Will my enlarged prostate affect my sex life?
Q I recently had a full medical check-up and was told that my prostate was slightly enlarged.
I am very concerned about this, doc! I have started thinking about my sex life and wondering whether I am going to lose my nature.
Last night, I noticed that my erection was not as hard as it should be, and I am not sure that I satisfied my wife very well.
So, what is the prostate? What does it do? And have I got cancer?
A I don't think you should worry. The prostate gland is located in the lowest part of the stomach, directly beneath your pubic hair. It is around the size of a lime.
What does it do? Its job is to make part of the 'man-fluid' whenever you have an orgasm. In fact, experts say that 80 per cent of a man's seminal fluid comes from the prostate.
Now, it is important to understand that this gland encircles the tube through which the urine leaves the bladder, so prostate problems generally produce urinary symptoms. Fortunately, they do not usually affect a man's sex life.
Men should understand that as they grow older, their prostate will become enlarged. I am afraid it is almost inevitable!
But fortunately, a lot of men have very mild prostate enlargement, which gives them very little trouble - except maybe a little increased need to urinate at nights.
Now, don't get confused about this question of enlargement. What I am talking about is benign enlargement of the prostate. That is quite different from prostate cancer, which is a much more serious condition.
From what you say, it seems like you just have a benign enlargement. That will not kill you! And if you are lucky, it will only cause some mild inconveniences as you get into your 60s and older.
The main symptoms of an enlarged prostate are:
• Difficulty in urinating.
• Poor stream.
• Frequent urination, especially at night.
• Sometimes dribbling.
What about sexual performance? Well, there are some websites which suggest that benign prostate enlargement is associated with erectile dysfunction. But the evidence for this is not very convincing, especially when you remember that both conditions are more common in older men.
I really don't think you need to worry about what your doctor has found, as it is a slight enlargement. It may give you some urinary symptoms in the future, but it may not. And there is no reason to think that your sex life is going to be impaired.
The fact that you didn't have a very firm erection is nothing to worry about - it happens sometimes. Just give it a few days rest - and then try again. Good luck!
What is an ovarian cyst?
Q Doc, I recently got a new boyfriend. He is a big guy and whenever he thrusts deeply, I get a sudden, sharp pain in the lower part of my belly. I do not like this at all. In fact, it made me cry.
I consulted a doctor, and she examined me. She thinks I have a cyst on the right ovary. She wants to do some further tests.
Is a cyst very bad, doc? What is it? After she has treated me, will I be able to continue having sex?
A Do not worry, I am sure everything will be OK. A cyst is just a collection of fluid - a little like a garden cherry, but full of clear juice.
Cysts in the ovary are extremely common, and a large number of women get them. Sometimes ovarian cysts disappear on their own, but other times they have to be surgically removed.
As it relates to sex, I have seen numerous cases in which the tip of the man's penis hits against a cyst during deep thrusting and caused the sharp pain you described.
But in all these cases, everything worked out OK, and the couple was eventually able to resume pain-free intercourse.
Now, the first thing you must do is to do the further tests your doctor suggested. I guess that these will include an ultrasound scan of your pelvis. This will confirm that a cyst is present and show precisely where it is.
Your doctor may then recommend that you do a minor surgery to remove the cyst or may wait a few months to see if it goes away.
If that's what she recommends, then I suggest that for the time being you and your partner experiment with various sexual positions in order to find ones in which he does not 'bang' against your ovary.
For example, if you lie on your side and he enters you from behind, there is a good chance that his tip will not strike the cyst. I wish you well.
I'm planning to cheat on my wife
Q Doctor, I must tell you in absolute confidence that I am planning to cheat on my wife next week. In your medical opinion, is there any way that she could detect that I have done this?
A I am definitely not here to assist cheating husbands in their infidelities!
From a medical point of view, there is really no way that I can assist you. But it does occur to me that you risk very serious matrimonial upheaval if you go home smelling of another woman.
If you do cheat, there is a chance that you will catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Therefore, I think that before you next have sexual relations with your wife, you should have tests for STIs.
Finally, I hope that you will not decide to cheat as it often leads to a breakdown of a marriage.
Do IUDs cause heavy periods?
Q My doctor wants me to have some sort of coil or IUD. I talked to one of my friends about it, and she told me that they give you very heavy periods. My period is already heavy!
A I guess that your doctor is not talking about the ordinary coil (or IUD). He probably means the IUS or Intra-Uterine System, which is a hormone-loaded device. Brand names include Mirena.
The great thing about this system is that after a few months, it usually reduces menstrual bleeding. So it has helped a lot of women by giving them light, manageable menses. It could do the same for you.