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Most male health issues are adequately addressed through regular primary care visits. You may need to see a specialist for specific conditions, like infertility or incontinence. However, your primary care physician should be able to manage any common conditions and conduct regular screenings to preserve your good health.
Primary Care Needs
Males should have primary care physicians to handle basic medical examination needs. According to Dr. Nena Stanley, an internist at the Wheaton Franciscan Medial Group in Wisconsin, a primary care physician provides necessary immunizations and health screenings. The primary care physician also provides guidance for healthy lifestyle choices and treats common medical issues. Males should be especially vigilant about seeing a primary care physician if you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes or elevated cholesterol. A regularly seen primary care physician is best equipped at monitoring your well-being over a course of continuous doctor's appointments. One of the most important screenings for a male is a prostate exam. Doctors recommend that males older than 40 have annual prostate exams to screen for possible prostate cancer. There are two types of prostate screenings, the digital rectal examination and a blood test. Both procedures can be completed by a primary care physician.
Male Infertility Specialist
A reproductive endocrinologist is a physician who specializes in male infertility. Your first visit to the endocrinologist will consist of a basic physical examination, followed by a semen analysis. The doctor will conduct assessments of your sample to identify any problems with your male reproductive organs. Once the cause of your infertility has been determined, the doctor will develop a course of treatment. As various treatment options may need to be tried, the endocrinologist will work continuously with you to monitor your progress and make adjustments as necessary.
Male Incontinence Specialist
Neurourologists assist male patients who suffer from various types of incontinence or erectile dysfunctions. Stress incontinence occurs when a male is unable to urinate or suffers from significant leakage of urine. Though your primary care physician can assist to diagnose the condition, a neurourologist is necessary for most types of treatment. Prescription medications, penile implants and other surgical procedures may be utilized by your neurourologist to treat your condition.
Male Health Needs
There is a growing debate about the need for male heath professionals, similar to the current role of gynecologists and other female health specialists. Dr. Sharon Orrange, a primary care physician in California, argues that men's health needs already are being met under general medical practices. She asserts that the major health issues of males are prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction, which are currently diagnosed and treated through primary care physicians and respective specialists. The Wall Street Journal article, "The Man Problem" takes the alternative perspective that the focus on women's health issues has left a void in the study of male health issues. According to the article, increased funding for breast and ovarian cancer studies has not been matched by funding to heart disease and prostate cancer research. This funding gap results in higher numbers of avoidable deaths among men.
- Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare: Why You Need a Primary Care Physician
- Fertility Authority: Getting Started - The Male Fertility Workup
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Male Stress Incontinence
- Daily Strength: There is a Woman's Health Specialty, Should There be a Men's Health Specialty?
- Wall Street Journal: The Man Problem
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.
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