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All Posts Tagged: testicles

What Is Andrology? Male Reproductive

Andrology is the study of male diseases and male health, particularly relating to male reproductive problems and urological problems that are unique to men. Andrology addresses issues of infertility in males, erectile dysfunction, impotence, andropause, also know as male menopause, and male contraception. Although not as well known, Andrology is the male version of gynecology, which deals with medical issues of the female reproductive system.

An Andrologist, is a medical doctor who specializes in male reproductive issues and male sexual dysfunction. When treating patients with infertility issues, an Andrologist will devise a treatment plan that is best suited for the patient. Drugs, such as steroids or antibiotics, may be the preferred treatment plan to improve the quality of a patient’s semen. When blockages, that are affecting sperm production is the primary issue causing male infertility, surgery is the preferred method of treatment.

Many factors can have an influence on male infertility with most cases of infertility due to testicular damage and the inability to produce sperm. Additional issues include a low sperm count as well as the quality of the sperm produced, which is commonly referred to as sperm motility. When diagnosing male fertility, nearly 70% of the conditions causing the male patient to be infertile can be diagnosed by examining their medical history, through physical examination, testicular volume estimation, and hormonal and semen analysis.

People often mistakenly associate impotence, known as Erectile Dysfunction, with male infertility; these two conditions are not related. Impotence is the inability to get and maintain an erection, which prevents a male from having satisfactory sexual intercourse. The condition is quite common and it affects a large majority of men who are over the age of 40. Although unable to have an erection, a man who is impotent is still fertile and it is still possible for him to impregnate his female partner through insemination. Male infertility allows a man to have an erection and satisfactory sexual intercourse however, he cannot impregnate his female partner and produce children.
Andrologists treat male patients who are suffering from impotence. They can prescribe patient drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis that can help the patient solve his erectile dysfunction issues. Another option is Hormone Replacement Therapy that will increase the testosterone in a male who has low testosterone levels. This may increase their sexual desire and their sexual libido. Andrologists also treat male menopause with testosterone replacement therapy. This treatment raises testosterone levels and restores hormone balance within the body of the male patients much as it does when used in patients who are afflicted with impotency.
Andrology is also used to assist men in family planning. Vasectomies are a form of male contraception that many men utilize when they do not want to have children and is the most effective form of male contraception. A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that blocks the path sperm take from the testicles to the penis. This is intended to be a permanent form of birth control. It can be reversed with a procedure called a vasovasostomy however, it is not always successful in restoring sperm flow.

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Varicoceles

Varicoceles

What is Varicocele?

Varicoceles or varicose veins are a widening of the veins along the cord that holds up a man’s testicles.  It is a common condition that affects 15% of the male population and 40% to 50% of the infertile male population.

 

Symptoms

Varicocele usually does not have any symptoms and there is usually no need for treatment. A physician frequently discovers varicocele during a routine examination or a fertility check. When symptoms are present, they can include the following:

  • Pain ranging from dull to sharp and a feeling of heaviness and discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Infertility

 

Treatment

Varicocelectomy surgery is the primary treatment for Varicocele.  Anesthesia is used to numb the area.  The urologist will make a cut in the lower abdomen and tie off the abnormal veins allowing blood the area into the normal veins. The surgery is usually quick and efficient and the patient can leave the hospital the same day as surgery.  After the procedure, the patient is advised to leave an ice pack on the area for 24 hours.

Varicocele Embolization is an alternative surgery and does not require an overnight stay in the hospital.  This is an image-guided procedure where the cut is much smaller than a surgical cut allowing the patient to heal faster. A catheter is placed into a vein in the groin or neck area and using the patients x-rays as a guide, the doctor moves the catheter into the varicocele.  A tiny coil passes through the catheter into the varicocele allowing the coil to block blood flow to the bad vein and sends it to the normal veins.  After the procedure, the patient will need to place ice on the area and wear scrotal support for a short period.

Urologist Silicon Valley

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