Andrew Siegel MD 5/9/15
Pay careful attention to your body, including your genitals. Erectile function (or lack) is a barometer of your overall health and a bellwether for disease as well as an indicator of cardiovascular health.
Observe your penis in both flaccid and erect states. Carefully watch and listen to your urinary stream. Keep an eye on your urine and semen. It sounds strange, but by doing so you will gain insight into your general and pelvic health. Don’t forget to examine your testicles periodically when showering, feeling for lumps, bumps or asymmetry.
Are there any rashes or skin lesions on the penis or scrotum? The genital skin—like the rest of our skin—can be subject to allergic responses, infections and cancers.
Power Tool No More?
Are you “limping” in the bedroom with less rigid and durable erections? This may be a sign of a problem with the cardiovascular system. The penile arteries are smaller than the coronary arteries of the heart and narrow before those of the heart have an opportunity to do so, so ED can be a predictor of a more generalized disease process involving other blood vessels.
Sex Drive Gone South?
Are you more interested in baseball than in sexual matters? If so, it may be time for a libido check and an evaluation of your testosterone level, as T is the “governor” of sex drive.
Erection Curved like a Banana?
Has your formerly straight erection gone “rogue”? Does it appear curved like a banana or is it angled like a periscope? Is there an area of narrowing that looks like a “waist” giving it an “hourglass” appearance? If so, you may have Peyronie’s disease, scarring of the sheath of the erectile cylinders of the penis causing a painful curvature.
Dribbling Instead of Shooting?
Did your previously powerful and intense ejaculation morph into a weak sputter of a small volume of semen with diminished intensity? If this is the case, you may have weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Is there a discharge from your urethra? If so, you might have a urethral infection/inflammation known as urethritis or other sexually transmitted infection. If you have not ejaculated in some time, it is possible that there will be a milky white discharge at the time of a bowel movement as the prostate is “milked” by the act of defecation.
Funky Colored Urine?
Urine color ranges from clear to amber, depending upon your state of hydration. When well hydrated, your urine will look clear or very pale yellow, like light American beer. When dehydrated, your urine becomes very concentrated, appearing dark amber, like a strong German beer.
Fresh bleeding in the urinary tract makes the urine appear bright red whereas old blood appears tea or cola-colored. In either case, blood in the urine is abnormal and should be investigated to ensure that the bleeding is not on the basis of a serious condition such as bladder or kidney cancer.
Excessive vitamin B intake can result in light orange urine. Overconsumption of beets, blackberries, and rhubarb can sometimes impart a red color to urine. Cloudy urine may be indicative of a urinary tract infection, but can also occur when one’s diet consists of foods high in phosphates.
When urine is occasionally foamy or sudsy, it is considered to be normal. When it occurs consistently, it can be a sign of protein in the urine, often indicative of kidney disease.
Funky Smelling Urine?
A sweet smell may indicate diabetes. A foul odor may be on the basis of a urinary infection or the intake of certain foods, e.g., asparagus. Vitamin intake can also cause the urine to have an unpleasant odor. Vitamins B and C are water soluble and therefore not stored in the body and any excess above what is necessary for the body’s use is excreted in the urine. Malodorous urine that has a fecal odor may indicate a bad urinary infection or possibly an abnormal connection between the colon and the bladder known as a fistula. This happens most commonly from diverticular disease of the colon and when it occurs, there is often air in the urine as well.
Does It Burn?
If urination is painful, it may indicate a urethral or urinary infection.
Can’t Put Out a Fire Anymore?
When you observe your flow, does it hesitate before it gets going? Is the stream weak and split into several streams or sprays like a spigot? Does it start and stop and seem to take forever to empty? When you have to go, do you have little warning and a tremendous desire to urinate? Are you leaking urine before you get to the toilet? Do you have an after-dribble? Does the sound of your urination that once was like the rapids of a powerful river now sound like a meek creek? If so, you may have plumbing issues on the basis of prostate enlargement, scar tissue in the urethra, or an overactive or underactive bladder.
Blood in the semen can literally scare the “daylights” out of you. However, the majority of men with “hematospermia” have a benign inflammation of the prostate that is not a serious problem, often as innocuous as a nosebleed.
Bottom Line: Scrutinize your genitals to discover much about your health.
Wishing you the best of health,
A new blog is posted every week. To receive the blogs in your email in box go to the following link and click on “email subscription”:
Author of Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health: available in e-book (Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo) and paperback:
Co-creator of Private Gym pelvic floor muscle training program for men:
The Private Gym is a comprehensive, interactive, follow-along exercise program that provides the resources to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that are vital to sexual and urinary health. The program builds upon the foundational work of Dr. Arnold Kegel, who popularized exercises for women to increase pelvic muscle strength and tone. This FDA registered program is effective, safe and easy-to-use. The “Basic Training” program strengthens the pelvic floor muscles with a series of progressive “Kegel” exercises and the “Complete Program” provides maximal opportunity for gains through its patented resistance equipment.
Tags: Andrew Siegel MD, cardiovascular health, discolored urine, erectile dysfunction, erections, genital mindfulness, hematospermia, hematuria, male pelvic fitness, penis, Peyronie's disease, Private Gym, prostate enlargement, urethral discharge, urinary infection