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Men's Health Week, 10-16 June 2019

 

We're proud to be supporting Men's Health Week and are encouraging men to look after their sexual health and wellbeing.

Men don't always like talking about their health and wellbeing. Talking about sexual health can be even trickier and we appreciate this can be a sensitive topic. Staying sexually healthy is about having a positive approach to your sexual health and wellbeing and speaking up if something is bothering you. 

Did you know...

  • men aged 20-40 are half as likely to go to their doctor with a problem compared to women in the same age bracket
  • our service has a male doctor in clinics 
  • instead of speaking to someone over the telephone about what's bothering you, you can book an appointment online for a range of services we offer

Take a look at our tips and advice below to staying sexually healthy. You can also visit Men's Health Forum for more information about men's health and wellbeing.

  • Your prostate gland produces a fluid which is part of your semen (the liquid which appears when you ejaculate).
  • Your seminal vesicles are at the back of your prostate gland - they produce the thick milky fluid of your semen.
  • Your vas deferens is the tube that carries sperm from your testicles to your urethra.
  • Your scrotum is the sac that holds your testicles.
  • Your urethra is the tube that carries urine from your bladder, and semen (including sperm) through your penis.
  • Your penis is made up of spongy tissue that fills with blood when you have an erection.
  • Your foreskin covers your glans and can be pulled back for cleaning; this is removed if you are circumcised.
  • Your glans is the helmet-shaped head of your penis.
  • Your epididymis is the area where sperm are stored in your testicles.
  • Your testicles produce sperm and your sex hormone testosterone.
  • Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the head of the penis (glans). For more information about phimosis visit NHS Choices

Testicular cancer is this most common cancer for men under the age of 35. If found early, it can usually be treated successfully by surgery, radiotherapy and or chemotherapy.

Carry out the following examination regularly, so that you can spot any slight changes. It’s best to do this after a bath or shower, when the scrotum is soft:

  • Hold your scrotum in the palm of your hand, and look for changes in the heaviness, shape or size of your testicles. It’s normal for one testicle to hang lower than the other.
  • Examine each of your testicles, using your hands to roll them between your thumbs and fingers. They should feel smooth.
  • Look for any lumps, swellings or hard areas. One lump should be there - the epididymis. It's at the top and back of each of your testicles. You should still look for other lumps.
  • Compare each of your testicles with the other. If you find something unusual, you are not likely to find it in both of your testicles, so check if there are any differences between the two.
  • Other signs you can watch for are, a dull ache in your abdomen or groin, heaviness in your scrotum or a pain in your testicle.

If you’re young, prostate problems are rare. However, if you are over 50, the problem becomes more common.

The gland grows around the base of your bladder, and can cause problems when you urinate. In many cases this is caused by Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Sometimes the swelling can be a sign of prostate cancer. If you are worried, please ask your doctor or nurse for advice.

Watch out for problems when you pass urine

  • wanting to urinate more often
  • blood in your urine
  • pain when you pass urine

If you notice anything, get it checked out straight away

Check out our safer sex MANual

  • Always use a condom when you're having vaginal or anal sex. You should also consider using one for oral sex.
  • Get used to putting on a condom. Please read the instructions on the packet carefully and check the packet for the expiry date and the British Standard Kitemark. Watch our condom demonstration video here.
  • If you are having anal sex, use plenty of water-based lubricant.
  • Make sure you use a new condom each time you have sex.
  • Don’t use the same condom for vaginal sex after you have used it in the anal area - you could pass on bacteria that could cause an infection.

Anyone can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) if they have unprotected sex with someone who is infected - often they won't they are infected! 

These infections happen frequently in men and women. You can have uncomfortable and painful symptoms which may include:

  • Discharge from your penis.
  • Pain or a burning feeling when you urinate.
  • Feeling that you need to urinate more often than usual.
  • Sore testicles, itching, rashes, lumps, blisters or pain in your genital area.

Sometimes, you will experience no symptoms at all - that's why it's best to get tested! 

If you think you’ve been at risk, or you have symptoms of an infection, get yourself checked out. 

You can be tested for STIs at any one of our sexual health clinics

Book an appointment online at one of our clinics or book a telephone consultation - 0300 123 5474.

If you are found to have an STI it's important that any sexual partners are also treated or you risk becoming re-infected after you have received treatment.

Don’t wait for symptoms to clear up.

Some symptoms do go away without treatment, but this doesn’t mean your infection has gone away. If your infection isn’t treated, serious damage can happen, but if you get help early on, most infections can be treated simply.

These infections happen frequently in men and women and often you can’t see the infection. You and your partner could have an infection without knowing it. If you see anything or think you’ve been at risk, please get checked out straight away. You won’t be wasting anybody’s time.

Book an appointment online at one of our clinics or book a telephone consultation - 0300 123 5474.

A survey of gay and bisexual men by Stonewall revealed that one in three men have never had an HIV test and one in four never been tested for an STI. 

 

We offer HIV testing via a free postal test kit. Order yours today! 

 

Read more about HIV below.

HIV is the most serious sexually transmitted infection (STI). It damages the body’s defence system so that it cannot fight off some infections. Most people who have HIV look and feel healthy for a long time, sometimes for 10 years or more, but they can pass it on to other people through semen, blood and vaginal fluids.

HIV can be passed on if you have vaginal or anal sex without a condom with someone who has HIV. Unprotected oral sex also carries some risk or by injecting drugs using needles, syringes or other equipment that is infected with HIV.

If you think you have been at risk get tested!

You can book to have a confidential HIV test at any of our clinics or if you live in Wirral and are aged 16+ you can request a FREE NHS postal test kit that will include a self-screening test for HIV. The kit will require you to take a spot test of blood from your finger, however clear instructions are provided in the kit with a freepost envelope for you to return your sample to the laboratory for testing. Request your test today.

To protect against pregnancy, use a reliable method of contraception every time you have sex.

Remember, contraception is a dual responsibility.

If you're not using contraception, check that your partner is.

Free condoms are available from all of our appointment and walk-in and wait clinics. If you would like to see a healthcare assistant about using condoms you can book an appointment at any one of our clinics.

Did you know it's estimated that one in ten men have a problem related to having sex, such as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.

You may find that sex sometimes becomes difficult. Either you can't get an erection or you ejaculate too quickly. You may lose interest in sex. This can be upsetting for you and your partner, but it’s not unusual and often won't last.

If you both talk about it, check for possible causes and change your lifestyle slightly, this may help.

If the problem continues speak to your doctor. 

For more information visit NHS Choices.

Other cancers that can affect men, such as cancer of the anus, penis, head and neck are linked to infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18.

In addition, HPV types 6 and 11 are responsible for the majority of genital wart infections.

The HPV vaccine is now available from our clinics for MSM (men who have sex with men) who are up to and including 45 years of age.

The vaccine will help to prevent HPV infection which can cause genital warts and HPV-associated cancers. It's especially important for those who are living with HIV, and those who have multiple sexual partners. For more information download the HPV vaccination for men leaflet

If you or your partner drink alcohol, this can make sex seem better. You become less shy and you feel more relaxed. However, it can also affect the decisions you make about what is safe. You could do something you regret later.

Sexual assault and rape can and does happen. If you experience sexual assault or rape it’s important that you access help and support in confidence. Help and support is available from Survivors Manchester.

The same goes for drugs such as ecstasy or amphetamines. If you drink heavily and regularly, your ability to have sex could be damaged. Some prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers, can also cause you problems, as can some body-building steroids.

Problems may inclcude:

  • getting or maintaining an erection
  • ejaculating too quickly or not at all
  • having no interest in sex
  • shrinking of your testicles (caused by using steroids)

Male rape and sexual assault is happening. In 2017 alone there were 138,000 reports of sexual assaults against men and this figure is likely to be an underestimation due to men not coming forward and reporting assaults.

If you experience sexual assault or rape it’s important that you access help and support in confidence. Help and support is available from Survivors Manchester.

 

Last updated: 25/02/2020