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Male Reproductive System Diseases

Hypospadias - literally “below the fleshy spike.” A condition in which the external urinary meatus (opening) opens anywhere below the tip of the penis rather than at the tip.

Hydrocele - a fluid filled sac partially surrounding the testis. Manifests itself as a swelling on the side of the scrotum. May cause discomfort. Can be surgically corrected. And, who would most likely be doing the surgery? A urologist!

Varicocele - dilated and twisted veins of the testis, sort of “hemorrhoids” of the scrotum! Manifests itself as a swelling on the side of the scrotum which may look and feel like a “bag of worms.” May be surgically corrected if causing discomfort. This condition may also cause reduced sperm count and male sterility due to sluggish blood flow elevating testicular temperature.

Cryptorchidism - literally “hidden testicle.” A condition of lack of descent of one or both testes into the scrotum. If not corrected, usually by surgery, before puberty, can lead to sterility and increased risk of testicular cancer.

Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) - swelling of the prostate gland which surrounds the base of the male bladder and urethra causing difficulty urinating, dribbling, and nocturia (remember that word? See urinary system). The bane of old men! BPH becomes more common as men age.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) - the surgical cure for BPH. An instrument inserted through the penile urethra is used to partially cut away the prostate to relieve obstruction of the urinary tract.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) – PSA is a marker protein for prostate cell secretions which can be detected with a lab test. A rising PSA may be an early sign of prostate cancer, although there may be other causes including false positive tests. How often should men get a PSA test? Check in with The Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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