An andrologist is a qualified urologist dealing exclusively with male infertility and men’s sexual health
When it comes to sexual health problems for men, many feel apprehensive about booking an appointment with their doctor. But doctors insist they take their sexual health seriously, for it is ultimately linked to mental and physical health.
Unfortunately, in India and many parts of the world, sexual health is stigmatised, which leads to major delays or absence of timely and appropriate treatment. “This is a shame, because a lot of male sexual health issues can be treated and cured only if detected timely,” says Dr Pramod Krishnappa, consultant uro-andrologist, NU Hospitals and NU Fertility, Bengaluru.
The doctor explains that an andrologist “is a qualified urologist dealing exclusively with male infertility and men’s sexual health, in both medical and surgical management of andrological problems”.
He suggests men seek an andrologist’s help if they notice these four common sexual health issues:
1. Premature ejaculation: If after the sexual activity you have a tendency to ejaculate early, you could be experiencing premature ejaculation. While it’s best known as a nuisance to younger men who are just beginning to explore a sexual relationship, it can happen to men of all age groups. In fact, it can serve as a warning sign for erectile dysfunction among older men, or underlying anxiety disorder.
2. Reduced libido (reduced sexual desire): Low libido means your desire in intercourse has diminished. The condition is usually linked with low levels of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone maintains sex drive, sperm production, muscle, hair and bone. Low testosterone can affect your body and mood. Reduced sexual desire may also be caused by depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain medications like antidepressants may also contribute to it.
3. Male infertility: Male factor contributes nearly 45-50 per cent of infertility. Inability to conceive due to a male factor can be because of many reasons like obstruction, abnormal hormones, varicocele, sexual dysfunction and so on. It’s ideal to seek early fertility care.
4. Erectile dysfunction: If you have difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection that is firm enough to have sex, you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED). It occurs when there’s not enough blood flow to the penis. In many cases, it can be linked to a physical condition, vascular disease, thyroid imbalances, diabetes, and hypertension. It can also be caused by psychological conditions, such as anxiety, stress, and depression.