6 ways to achieve superior sperm health

6 ways to achieve superior sperm health

When a healthy adult male has sex, he can release between 40 million to 1.2 billion sperm cells in a single ejaculation. That is a lot of sperm to have to keep healthy in order to be successful in regards to reproduction.  But if a man experiences reproductive issues then it may cause him to pause and consider the fact that maybe his sperm is not quite up to par. 

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Testosterone and Your Impulses

Testosterone and Your Impulses

It's a time-worn trope of TV and film: the macho, impulsive Man of Action who shoots first, asks questions later and lets the chips fall where they may. It turns out that there may be some science to go along with all that shooting-from-the-hip in the movies.

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Reasons for breast enlargement in men

Reasons for breast enlargement in men

There can be several conditions blocking the effect of testosterone or increasing the level of estrogen.  Here are situations that can result in upsetting the hormonal balance causing gynecomastia in men:

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Healthy foods that make healthy men

Healthy foods that make healthy men

There is one thing all men can do to make tremendous health strides – choose really nutritious foods. All men love to eat but there are certain foods that stand out specifically in helping men see major health improvements – reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure levels, improvements in memory, prostate health and even their love life, just to name a few.

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The continued rise of suicide among men

The continued rise of suicide among men

The dark topic of suicide is never an easy one to discuss.  Yet, it is a topic that should be broached as the stigma of suicide leads to individuals who are unnecessarily taking their lives when they could be helped.  When we look the other way or ignore the fact there are people every day who make the decision to end their life, we are essentially making our own decision to not get involved instead of trying to reach out to them in their time of despair and hopelessness.

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Is saw palmetto nature’s cure for an enlarged prostate?

Is saw palmetto nature’s cure for an enlarged prostate?

An enlarged prostate also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), has been treated in various ways with one of them being the use of the dietary supplement saw palmetto.  Saw palmetto is one of the most commonly used supplements by men with prostate cancer and BPH.  In 2011, over $18 million of saw palmetto was sold in the United States, ranking it third among herbal dietary supplements.

Saw palmetto is a palm-like plant that grows like a tree or shrub in warm climates and can reach heights of up to 10 feet with clusters of leaves spreading out to 2 feet or more.  Once a staple food of Native Americans living along coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, saw palmetto has been used as early as the 1900s by men to treat urinary tract issues and to increase sperm production and sex drive.

Whether saw palmetto is truly an effective use for treating BPH or not is still up for debate.  More long-term studies are needed to say for sure if this alternative supplement is a viable option for BPH. 

All men with an enlarged prostate should thoroughly discuss with their doctor first before using saw palmetto to treat BPH.  It is generally thought of as safe when used under the guidance of a physician and may be a suitable alternative method of treatment for BPH.

Composition of saw palmetto

Saw palmetto has white flowers that produce yellow berries that turn brownish black when ripe and then are dried for medicinal use.

The active ingredients that make up the composition of saw palmetto are fatty acids, plant sterols, and flavonoids.  There is also a saw palmetto extract which is an extract of the berry that is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols. 

How does saw palmetto possibly help BPH?

Saw palmetto like many herbs, contains plant-chemicals that may be effective for BPH.  What is not known is how saw palmetto works to do this.  Research suggests that saw palmetto has an effect on the level of testosterone in the body and may possibly reduce the amount of an enzyme that promotes the growth of prostate cells. 

It also appears saw palmetto has anti-inflammatory properties having a positive influence on the prostate gland.  One study has showed that combining saw palmetto with the phytochemical lycopene and the mineral selenium produces an even greater anti-inflammatory effect.

Studies using animals have shown that saw palmetto inhibits the growth of tumor cells.  This may demonstrate its possible usefulness in treating prostate cancer.  Studies have also shown saw palmetto’s ability to improve urinary tract symptoms related to BPH but more research is necessary to definitively confirm this.

Here are some of the possible ways studies have shown on how saw palmetto may be effective for BPH:

·      May reduce urinary frequency particularly during the night

·      May reduce a man having trouble starting or maintaining urination

·      May reduce the loss of libido

·      May shrink the size of the prostate gland

The studies showing these results were short-term lasting no more than 3 months making it more difficult to say for certain if saw palmetto actually is effective for preventing BPH complications.

In what form does saw palmetto come in?

The supplement comes in a variety of forms and can be bought as dried berries, powdered capsules, tablets, liquid tinctures, and as an extract.  Make sure the product label states that the contents contain 85-95% fatty acids and sterols.  Purchase saw palmetto only from reputable companies.

Precautions

 ·      Saw palmetto should not be given to children

·      It may take up to 8 weeks to see any effects

·      Saw palmetto is generally seen as safe but pay attention to any side effects it may produce – headache, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness

·      A man should always seek his doctor’s advice first on appropriate treatment methods before self-treating with saw palmetto

·      Pregnant or nursing women should not use saw palmetto as it may have similar effects to some hormones

·      It may interfere with the absorption of iron

·      It may have interactions with certain medications – always inform your doctor if using saw palmetto.  Medications it may interfere with are Proscar, Warfarin, Plavix, Aspirin, oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prostate cancer screening recommendations: What does it mean?

Prostate cancer screening recommendations: What does it mean?

Recently, the USPSTF published a draft of suggested updates on the prostate cancer screening guideline. “In the new guideline, PSA screening is considered as grade C in men between 55 and 69. This change in grading from grade D to grade C means that men in this age group should be consulted about the PSA test, benefits and harms and decide if they like to perform the test” said urologic oncologist, Dr. Samadi.

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Could I have spermatocele?

Could I have spermatocele?

A spermatocele mass is not cancerous and do not increase the risk of testicular cancer.  Fortunately, with appropriate urological care, a spermatocele can be managed effectively for most men. 

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What are undescended testicles

What are undescended testicles

Undescended testicles also known as cryptorchidism, is when a testicle fails to drop into the normal place in the scrotum.  As a baby boy develops inside his mother’s womb, the testicles begin forming in the lower abdomen.  About eight weeks before birth, the testicles will move down into the scrotum or the sac that hangs below the penis.

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All about penile cancer

All about penile cancer

It is likely few of us know of any man who has been diagnosed with penile cancer. Penile cancer is considered a rare cancer for men in the North America and Europe as less than 1 man in 100,000 each year is diagnosed accounting for less than 1% of cancers of men in the United States. For the year 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates 2,120 new cases of penile cancer will be diagnosed with about 360 deaths from it.  Early detection and understanding how to spot the symptoms of it is critical to overcoming this cancer.

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Varicoceles in boys and men

Varicoceles in boys and men

Varicoceles are veins that become enlarged inside the scrotum of men – comparable to developing a varicose vein in a leg.  The scrotum is a sac that holds the testicles and is part of the male reproductive system that makes, stores, and moves sperm.  The testicles make sperm and the hormone testosterone.  Sperm that are in the process of maturing will move through the epididymis, a coiled tube behind each testicle.

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Epididymitis – a cause for concern for men

Epididymitis – a cause for concern for men

There is a long, narrow tube tightly coiled at the back of the testicles called the epididymis.  This little known curved structure is where sperm can mature and be stored in. If the epididymis becomes inflamed it is then known as epididymitis.   Epididymitis is not a commonly known condition but once a man has it, he probably won’t forget it.  Each year more than 60,000 men in the United States will visit an emergency room due to this problem. 

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