Men's Health Archive


Emergencies and First Aid - Emergency Phone Numbers

Emergency Phone Numbers

Write down important telephone numbers and post them where you can refer to them easily, such as near your telephone or on your refrigerator. List the serious medical conditions (such as asthma or diabetes) of each family member on the back of the list. Teach your children how to call 911 and tell them to show the list to emergency medical personnel.

The list should include the phone numbers of the police, the nearest fire department, ambulance services, a poison control center, and your doctors and the contact numbers for work, other locations, and a nearby relative or friend. You may also wish to include the phone numbers of the gas and electric companies, your children’s schools, the local pharmacy, or home health aides.

Are erectile dysfunction pills safe for men with heart disease?

In men without cardiovascular disease, erectile dysfunction (ED) pills are safe. The three rivals -- Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Stendra-- have similar side effects, including headache, facial flushing, nasal congestion, diarrhea, backache, and, in a few Viagra or Levitra users, temporary impaired color vision (men with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye disease, should check with their ophthalmologists before using these medications).

Headaches and blue vision are one thing, cardiac abnormalities, quite another. Are ED pills safe for the heart?

Heart disease and erectile function

Men: Don't be surprised if a discussion with your doctor about erection problems veers into a talk about your heart, or vice versa. Problems getting or keeping an erection may be a red flag for heart trouble down the road, and many men with heart disease have sexual concerns they aren't talking about.

The connection between heart disease and erection problems (doctors call it erectile dysfunction) isn't far-fetched at all. Both follow the same age-related trajectory and become increasingly common from age 45 onward. They even share common causes.

Testosterone, prostate cancer, and balding: Is there a link?

We can thank the Greeks for the name doctors apply to male hormones. Androgen comes from the words meaning "man-maker," and it's a well-chosen term. Testosterone is the most potent androgen, and it does make the man. It's responsible for the deep voice, increased muscle mass, and strong bones that characterize the gender, and it also stimulates the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow.

In addition, testosterone has crucial, if incompletely understood, effects on male behavior. It contributes to aggression, and it's essential for the libido or sex drive, as well as for normal erections and sexual performance. Testosterone stimulates the growth of the genitals at puberty, and it is one of the factors required for sperm production throughout adult life.

When You Visit Your Doctor - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or Enlarged Prostate

Questions to Discuss With Your Doctor:

  • Over the past month, how often have you had a sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after you finished urinating?
  • Over the past month, how often have you had to urinate again less than two hours after you finished urinating?
  • Over the past month, how often have you found you stopped and started again several times when you urinated?
  • Over the past month, how often have you found it difficult to postpone urination?
  • Over the past month, how often have you had a weak urinary stream?
  • Over the past month, how often have you had to push or strain to begin urination?
  • Over the past month, how many times did you most typically get up to urinate from the time you went to bed at night until the time you got up in the morning?
  • If you were to spend the rest of your life with your urinary condition just the way it is now, how would you feel about that?
  • Have you had blood in your urine, or urinary tract infections?
  • Have you ever had surgery on your prostate, bladder, or kidneys?
  • Do you have gastrointestinal problems such as diverticulitis or constipation?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Does anyone in your family have diabetes?
  • Have you been unusually thirsty or had unintentional weight loss?
  • Have you ever had a stroke or nervous system disease?
  • Have you ever had a back injury or back surgery?
  • What medications are you taking (prescription and over-the-counter)?
  • What do you know about medical and surgical treatment options used in the treatment of benign prostatic enlargement?
  • Do you know the side effects that can occur with medications?
  • Do you know the complications associated with surgery?
  • Do you know how much benefit you can expect from each type of treatment?
  • Do you know the risks of waiting, and doing nothing at all?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Abdominal examination
  • Neurological examination
  • Digital rectal examination
  • Genital examination

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Test or Studies:

  • Urinalysis (for glucose, red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria)
  • Blood tests (for kidney function and prostate-specific antigen or PSA)
  • Cystoscopy
  • Ultrasound of the bladder after you urinate (post void residual)
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys
  • Pelvic CT scan

When You Visit Your Doctor - Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence

Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Do you smoke cigarettes?
  • Have you been screened for other medical problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes?
  • Do you exercise regularly? How much? How often?
  • Do you have a neurologic disease or sickle-cell disease?
  • Are you taking any medications (prescription or over-the-counter)?
  • Has your erectile dysfunction worsened since starting any new medications?
  • What effect is your erectile dysfunction having on your relationship? Your self-esteem?
  • How long have you had erectile problems?
  • Do you have erectile problems sometimes or all of the time?
  • Have you ever had any psychologically stressful sexual experiences?
  • Are you less interested in sex (diminished libido)?
  • Are you having difficulty achieving an erection or sustaining it?
  • Do you ever awaken with early morning or nocturnal erections?
  • Do you have pain with erections?
  • Penile bumps or lumps?
  • History of penile trauma?
  • History of pelvic surgery?
  • What are your goals in receiving treatment?
  • What therapies have you tried?
  • Do you know how much benefit you can expect from medical therapies?
  • Do you know the side effects and important drug interactions?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Genital examination
  • Rectal examination
  • Pulses in the groin and feet
  • Neurologic examination

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Blood tests (complete blood count or CBC, glucose, cholesterol panels, thyroid function tests, prolactin level)
  • Blood testosterone level (if libido is decreased)
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT)
  • Neurologic testing (nerve condition studies)
  • Your doctor may decide to do some vascular tests to establish whether the arteries that supply blood to the penis during erections are narrowed.

Air travel health tips

With summer's approach come plans for travel, including flying long distances. But the prospect of a long flight often raises health concerns. Especially in passengers who are older or have certain conditions, air travel and the related stress can have an impact on health. Here are a few trouble areas and some precautions you can take.

Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). Not all experts agree on an association between DVT (blood clots in the legs) and air travel. Symptoms may not occur for several days, so it's difficult to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. If there is one, it's likely due to prolonged inactivity. Limited airline space can discourage moving about. Dry cabin air may also increase the risk of DVT.

Emergencies and First Aid - Birth of the Placenta

Birth of the Placenta

The placenta, which has provided the fetus with nourishment, is attached to the umbilical cord and is delivered about 20 minutes after the baby. Do not pull on the cord; delivery of the placenta occurs on its own. You can help by gently massaging the woman’s lower abdomen. The uterus will feel like a hard round mass.

Massaging the abdomen helps the uterus contract, which also helps stop bleeding. After the placenta is delivered, place it in a plastic bag to take with the woman and baby to the hospital. It is normal for more bleeding to occur after delivery of the placenta. Continue gently massaging the woman’s lower abdomen.

Emergencies and First Aid - Butterfly Bandage

Butterfly Bandage


Standard bandages come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The butterfly bandage shown here is used to hold together the edges of a cut.

Emergencies and First Aid - Direct Pressure to Stop Bleeding

Direct Pressure to Stop Bleeding

A wound that is deep, bleeding heavily, or has blood spurting from it (caused by bleeding from an artery), may not clot and may not stop bleeding.

Immediate care
Call out for someone to get help, or call 911 yourself. Elevate the wound and apply direct pressure.

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