The pressures and demands of modern life, both in the workplace and at home, can make keeping track of your health difficult.
But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your well-being.
Read on to learn how you can avoid common health issues plaguing men and glean insights about diagnostic and treatment options for these conditions from doctors at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals.
Male infertility is a problem for many men.
Infertility is a worldwide problem that affects 15 per cent of couples that have unprotected intercourse (i.e. an estimated of 48.5 million couples).
Dr Suresh Nair, fertility, obstetrics and gynaecology specialist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, says that tests to determine male infertility include semen analysis, hormone testing, genetic testing and testicular biopsy.
Treatments for this condition vary, from medications and surgery to sperm retrieval for assisted reproductive procedures such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), depending on each patient’s needs.
IVF is the medical process of extracting a woman’s eggs and inseminating them with sperm in a laboratory before transferring embryos back to the womb. ICSI refers to a technique where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg. The procedure is part of the IVF cycle, but requires less sperm to help achieve fertilisation.
In select conditions, surgery may be able to reverse a sperm blockage and restore fertility. In other cases, surgically repairing a varicocele may improve overall chances for pregnancy.
Lifestyle changes may help men with fertility problems too. Avoid saunas or hot tubs that raise the core body temperature and affect sperm production, and cut down on smoking and alcohol consumption. You can also discuss alternative forms of medication like antibiotics, antihypertensives and anabolic steroids with your doctor to boost sperm count.
If you have difficulty urinating, then the underlying issue may be prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.
The first possibility, which is an enlarged prostate, may severely obstruct urinary flow, and lead to problems such as bladder stones or even kidney failure.
Dr Png Keng Siang, urologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, says: “Most men with benign prostate enlargement can be treated effectively with medication. If their symptoms do not improve, then minimally invasive procedures may be carried out to restore normal urinary flow and relieve symptoms effectively.”
On the other hand, patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer may undergo robotic surgery, open surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or close observation, depending on their health status, disease severity and personal preferences.
Coronary artery disease occurs when cholesterol-containing deposits, known as plaque, build up in the walls of your arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart.
Risk factors for plaque formation include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, age, genetics and gender.
Coronary artery disease may lead to symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath and, in more severe cases, a heart attack.
It can be treated with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, also known as coronary angioplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to re-open the blocked artery and allow blood to flow again. Dr Stanley Chia, cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, says: “A small 2mm tube is inserted at the wrist or groin area and threaded along the artery to the heart. A small balloon is then slid over a tiny wire within the tube or catheter to the blocked area and inflated to open the blockage.
“Thereafter, a stent — a metal wire mesh or tube — is usually deployed at the site to keep the artery opened.”
Ageing is a leading cause of wear and tear on the joints.
If non-surgical treatment options such as lifestyle changes, medication, injections, physiotherapy and smaller surgical procedures do not help, then your orthopaedic surgeon may suggest a joint replacement.
Dr Gurpal Singh, orthopaedic surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, says: “Remember to ask your orthopaedic surgeon about specific options for joint replacement surgery. Newer technologies, used in methods like robotic surgery, are likely to help in complex situations or young and active patients.”
Respiratory health of smokers
More than one in five men in Singapore smoke daily.
According to Dr Steve Yang, respiratory specialist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, smoking is a preventable cause of many ailments we face today.
He says: “Smokers have a higher risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as early death. It also harms people in your vicinity — family members, elderly, children and colleagues. They, too, will experience more medical problems because of exposure to second-hand smoke.”
Dr Yang adds: “Use of E-cigarettes, which is banned in Singapore, has its own host of problems and can lead to other deadly illnesses. There are immediate and long-term benefits to cutting the habit earlier rather than later.”
For more information, visit www.mountelizabeth.com.sg or call 6250-0000 (Orchard) or 6898-6898 (Novena) to make an appointment with specialists from Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Call 6473-2222 for emergency and non-emergency medical transportation from the Mount Elizabeth ambulance service.
This article provides general information only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult medical or healthcare professionals for advice on health-related matters.