One in twenty men in Australia is infertile. Male infertility can have many causes but problems with the number or quality of sperm are the most common. Often doctors can't find a reason why sperm aren't being made properly, which can make coping with male infertility difficult. Some fertility problems can be treated by specialists in assisted reproductive technologies (IVF) and should be talked over with a doctor before thinking about donor sperm, adoption or foster parenting.
Most common in older men, about 1 in 7 Australian men over 40 years of age will suffer from problems with their prostate. The most common prostate disease is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP). Although not usually life- threatening, BHP can make going to the toilet (urination) difficult and life uncomfortable. Both surgery and drugs can be given by a doctor to make the symptoms of prostate disease better. However, not all urination problems are caused by the prostate, so it's important to see your doctor.
About 18,500 Australian men every year are told they have prostate cancer. Prostate cancer often happens with no symptoms, so men should think about talking to their doctor about testing by digital rectal examination and Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA).
Sexual problems in men are more common than you might imagine. About one in 5 Australian men over the age of 40 have problems getting or keeping an erection. In some cases, it is a sign of another serious disease such as diabetes or heart problems. There are many treatments for erectile dysfunction - including drugs. Talk to your doctor and your partner because even if the cause of erectile dysfunction is a physical one, getting some counselling or emotional support is an important part of treatment.
Lower energy levels, mood swings, bad temper (irritability), poor concentration, reduced muscle strength or a lack of interest in sex may be a sign of low testosterone levels (testosterone deficiency). One in 200 men in Australia suffers from low testosterone levels. Testosterone deficiency affects men of all ages and can be caused by a genetic of medical problem, by damage to the testicles, or simply be a part of ageing. In some older men, testosterone levels may fall to a point where treatment is needed. Testosterone deficiency can only be diagnosed by a doctor, who can give treatment in the form of injections, implants, capsules, patches or gels.
Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in men aged from 18 to 39. It is easy to treat and, when found early, more than 95 percent of men are cured. A hard, painless lump in the testicle is the most common sign but the testicle may also feel painful and tender. In a few men, constant backache, coughing or breathlessness and enlarged or sore breasts may mean the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Surgical removal of the cancerous testicle is the first treatment for all testicular cancer. This surgery does not affect sexual performance or the ability to get an erection.