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Stabroek News

Doctor's advice - Can his prostate affect sex life?
published: Saturday | October 6, 2007

  • Can his prostate affect sex life?

    Doc, what on earth is that 'prostate thing' that I hear so much about? And can it make a guy lose his nature? I am fretting a lot about this.

    I am 56 and male. I have always had a real great sex life. Women still find me attractive, and at the moment I have three girlfriends in various parts of the island. I have no trouble satisfying them.

    However, there have been a couple of occasions during the last year when I have had a little trouble getting an erection. Eventually, everything was OK, but I got a bit of a fright from these two experiences.

    So, I went to a doctor for a full check-up. He gave me a good examination and did some tests, including one for sugar. At the end of it all, he told me where everything was OK, except for the fact that he said: "You have a slightly enlarged prostate gland."

    Doc, what does this mean? What is that 'prostate gland?' I know it is something to do with sex. But will the enlargement make me lose my nature?

    A I am sorry to hear you have been fretting. A lot of guys worry about their prostate glands so, in a moment, I will explain this subject in detail.

    But first, let me say that you do NOT need to fret about the fact that you have had one or two very minor erection problems in the last year or so. Men in their 40s and 50s do sometimes find that there are nights when it is a little difficult to become 'stiff' - particularly if they have had any alcohol that evening.

    The important thing is that the doctor has given you a good check-up, and has found no evidence of any disease which might interfere with your potency - such as 'sugar.' It is quite possible that you will have NO further erection difficulties, particularly if you follow these three rules:

  • Keep yourself generally fit;

  • Do not smoke;

  • Avoid having too much alcohol.

    But what about your slightly enlarged prostate? Well, let me first explain what the prostate is.

    The prostate gland - which many people mistakenly call the 'prostRate' - is about the size of a small lime. It lies in the lowest part of your belly. Its job is to produce part of the sex fluid which a man ejaculates at the moment of climax.

    Most unfortunately, male human beings are designed so that the urine pipe goes straight through the prostate - just as if you drilled a small hole through the middle of a lime.

    During early manhood, this arrangement is fine.

    However, from about the age of 50 onwards, nearly all guys experience some enlargement of the prostate gland. Slight enlargement does not matter. But if the gland gets real big, it starts blocking that urinary pipe that goes through it. And that can cause all kinds of problems with passing 'water.'

    Now it doesn't sound as if you have any urinary symptoms. And the doc has described your prostate enlargement as merely 'slight.' So really, you have nothing to worry about.

    Even if your prostate got bigger when you reach your '60s or '70s, it would be possible for the docs to treat it - either with drugs or with surgery. I must reassure you that your slight prostatic enlargement will not affect your sex life. Happily, a large prostate is perfectly compatible with good sexual function. Contrary to what many guys fear, it does not cause 'loss of nature.'

    Today, I have NOT dealt with the much less common problem of cancer of the prostate. But I will discuss that subject in a future issue of The Gleaner.

    Finally, could I just say that I note that you have three girlfriends living in various places around the island? I do hope you will be careful not to acquire or spread sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). I trust that all these ladies are insisting that you use condoms. Please do NOT 'ride bareback.'

  • I am living in a residential area, but there is a garage near my house. So, every day ,I am bombarded by carbon monoxide and/or duco fumes. I have been feeling extra tired and sluggish, and when I am at home I find it very difficult to concentrate. How dangerous are these fumes? Can the constant inhalation of them cause cancer?

    A I do not know of any scientific evidence that they cause cancer, but that is quite possible. Certainly, the fumes are bad for the health. In particular, carbon monoxide can cause lack of concentration and tiredness (both of which you have), plus headaches and sometimes even death!

    Therefore, I think you should see a doc immediately and have him check you over for any evidence of toxicity. He will advise you as to what specific action you should take in order to get protection from these fumes. In particular, you must get yourself a little 'carbon monoxide detector' to hang up in your home. If there are dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the air, it gives you warning by changing colour.

  • Hi, doc. I'm a 17-year-old female virgin. I have had a lot of itching around my vagina. Could this be a sex infection?

    A If you really are a virgin, then it can't be a STD. Statistically, the most likely cause would be a minor fungus infection. These are real common. Please go to a pharmacy and buy yourself some anti-fungus cream to use three times for the day.

    If the cream doesn't cure you within a week, then you must get yourself examined by a doctor.

    Email the doctor: editor@gleanerjm.com or fax: 922-6223, Attention: Doctor's Advice.

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