This blog provides information and videos on men's health and fitness,health information,men health problems,men health issues,mens health symptoms. Our mission is to use a digital platform to provide value to consumers, enrich the user experience and thus transform healthcare digitally.
Circumcision (surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis) is a controversial topic. Let us begin to understand the role of this procedure in men's life, beginning with an understanding of the anatomy of the foreskin.
Anatomy of the foreskin
The male foreskin (also called prepuce) is a double-layered skin fold and a layer of mucous membrane covering the glans penis (head of the penis) and the opening of the urethra (urine tube). At birth, this skin is mostly not retractable because of adhesions between the foreskin and the glans. Over the initial few years of childhood, the penis grows and a debris called smegma builds up under the foreskin, separating it from the glans. By the age of 3 years, about 90% of children will have a fully retractable foreskin. By the age of 17, less than 1% of men will have phimosis (inability to retract the foreskin).
The penile foreskin is thought to function in:
Protecting the penis in the uterus in fetal life
Keeping the glans moist
Enhancing sexual pleasure due to presence of many nerve receptors
Indications for male circumcision
The reasons for male circumcision fall into three categories
Ritual or cultural: Performed as a part of religious practice, as a rite of passage.
Prophylactic circumcision: Done to lower the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
Therapeutic circumcision: Is done as a medical treatment for many abnormal conditions affecting the foreskin.
Currently, most of the circumcisions are done during infancy or around puberty.
What are the needs for "a routine circumcision"?
It is a long-standing debate on this subject of the necessity of circumcision. Those in favour of routine circumcision, argue that it offers significant medical benefits such as better penis hygiene, lowers the risk of urinary and sexually transmitted infection and the risk of penis cancer.
Those who are against circumcision believe that simple hygiene and safe sex practices can provide these health benefits.
How does circumcision affect penis sensation and sexual performance?
Many believe that a circumcision is a form of genital mutilation. Due to this procedure, the glans (tip of the penis) will be exposed to the outside atmosphere. This chronic exposure of the glans induces its thickening, which will reduce the sensitivity of the penis and impair the sexual satisfaction. So, what does the scientific research have to say about circumcision and sexual pleasure?
One study (Bronselaer GA, 2013) recruited 1059 uncircumcised and 310 circumcised men in Belgium and asked them about 40 questions that rated (on a scale of 1 to 5) to test their sensitivity, pain and unusual sensations at different areas on their penis.
Circumcised men reported reduced sexual pleasure and lower intensity of orgasm compared to uncircumcised men.
They also stated that they needed more efforts to bring them to orgasm.
Also, they experienced unusual sensations (such as burning, itching, prickling, tingling and numbness) in the head of the penis (glans).
The circumcised men also reported higher rates of discomfort, pain, numbness and unusual sensations in the shaft of the penis.
When compared to men who underwent circumcision before puberty, those who were circumcised during adolescence or later indicated lesser sexual pleasure at glans penis and a higher proportion of them had discomfort, pain and unusual sensations in the shaft of the penis.
Another study (Cox G, 2015) analysed the microscopic structure (histology) of the penis to determine if circumcision affects any of the parameters related to the sensitivity of penis and sexual pleasure. The researchers studied free nerve endings, touch receptors, touch sensitivity, thermal sensitivity, vibration sensitivity.
They reported that based on the changes in microscopic structure, circumcision would appear to have no adverse impact on sexual pleasure.
A systematic review (Morris BJ, 2013), which is one of the highest formats of evidence review, analysed around 36 studies that included 40,473 men (19,542 uncircumcised and 20,931 circumcised)
It concluded that male circumcision has no adverse impact on the sensitivity of the penis, sexual arousal, erection, sexual sensation, orgasm, time to ejaculation, sexual pleasure and satisfaction.
In summary, while some research studies published previously had indicated adverse outcomes with circumcision, the reliability of their findings have been put into question by the latest research. The highest-quality studies and a larger evidence suggest that the medical male circumcision has no adverse effects on sexual sensation, function and satisfaction.
Shaving the face is an integral part of being a man. Shaving products are a huge business and every day we are inundated with advertisements for shaving cartridges, creams, and aftershave products that depict how a clean-shaven man is a massive draw with women.
We spend a reasonable amount of time for our shaving routine and a fair share of money on shaving products. Shaving is not only about removing your facial hair, but also helps us maintain healthy-looking skin.
Most of the advertisements that we see on TV are for multi-blade razors, and most of us own these razors. But do they provide better shave than the old-fashioned single blade razor? Let's explore.
Single blade razors
Single blade razor (also known as Safety razor) is a shaving implement which uses only one razor blade. It has a protective guard that lies between the edge of the blade and the skin and serves to prevent sharp jabs on the skin while shaving.
The device is usually made out of stainless steel or other metals, and nowadays, even plastic safety razors are also available. Safety razors are available in many types based on their structure such as open, slant, butterfly, 2-piece or 3-piece. A single blade is used in these razors, and it can be easily inserted and removed by detaching the head of the razor and the handle.
Multiple blade razors
Multi-blade razor systems have many blades, ranging from two to five in number with small spacing between each cutting edge. These cartridges have to be replaced after use and are expensive than the safety razor blades.
Multi-blade razors are hugely advertised with the claim that they are made with superior technology and because of multi-blade cutting provide a better shave.
Shaving with single blade razor versus multiple blade razors
The initial investment on the single blade razor may be higher than multi-blade razors due to their stainless steel build, but the recurring cost of double-edged blades used in safety razors is lower than the price of the cartridges used for multi-blade razors.
With single blade razors, you will need multiple passes to get a closer shave, while multiple-blade safety razor will give you a closer shave with fewer passes.
Because of the closer shave, you are less likely to have the “five o’clock shadow,” with multiple blade razor, than with single blade razors.
Multiple blades stretch the skin and lift the hair out from the skin, then cut it (lift and cut). When the razor passes away, the skin returns from the stretched position and the hair recedes under the skin. Effectively, the multi-blade cartridge is cutting the hairs below the level of the skin surface, and the hair will have difficulty growing its way out of the skin. Multiple-blade razors are more likely to cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs. The safety razor, on the other hand, has only one cutting edge and cuts the hair without much drag and pull on the skin and shaves above the skin surface. So there are lesser chances of razor bumps and ingrown hair with the single-blade one.
Because of the many blades passing the skin, you are more likely to have skin irritation with multi-blade razors. With the single blade type, you are less likely to get skin irritation, unless you follow improper technique and do multiple passes to get a closer shave.
Those who are already using multiple-blade cartridges may find it challenging to restart shaving with safety razors. The safety razor has to be used with lesser pressure, held at a good angle from the skin, and the strokes needed are much smaller than the newer cartridges. If proper technique is not followed, it is easy to nick the skin with the safety razor.
However, single blade safety razor gives an efficient shave with minor skin irritation with lower chances of razor bumps and lower cost are incentives to shift from multi-blade ones to single blade types.
The key to a healthy life with diabetes is to keep your blood sugar level in check. Being the primary source of energy, sugar (glucose) plays a significant role in keeping your body in good working condition. In either type of diabetes, you should be aware of symptoms that may mean your sugar is not in balance.
You need to watch out for the below-mentioned warning signs that something is amiss- and be prompt to respond to it.
1. Feeling shaky, lightheaded or dizzy
It is a classic sign of hypoglycaemia. It occurs when blood sugar level drops below the normal limits. Hypoglycaemia can lead to seizures, unconsciousness and rarely even death.
What to do?
You should quickly take 15 to 20 g of simple carbs like a half cup of juice/soft drink, one tablespoon of sugar, honey, hard candy or glucose tablets. It is critical to inform others around you about the symptoms of low blood sugar so that they can help you. Sometimes you may feel too dizzy to help yourself. In such a situation, your family or co-worker should help you. If you have had frequent episodes of severe hypoglycaemia, the doctor might ask you to carry glucagon injection. You need to explain to the people around you how to administer it in the case of an emergency.
2. Blurry vision
Changes in vision can mean your blood sugar is high. High blood sugar levels draw more fluid into the lens of the eye, making the vision less sharp. Temporary blurriness can also happen when you start on insulin.
What to do?
The first thing you should do is to check your blood sugar more frequently and try to bring it to normal. If the problem persists even after controlling blood sugar level, consult your doctor. Typically, eye problems may occur due to conditions like dry eyes or computer strain. But it can also occur due to more severe problems like diabetic retinopathy.
3. Extreme tiredness
Do you feel exhausted even after sleeping for 7 to 8 hours at night? It may mean that your blood sugar is high. Blood glucose is the main source of energy, but if it is very high, your body may not be able to use it properly.
What to do?
Inform your doctor about your tiredness. He may make changes in your diet or change the dosage of your medication/insulin.
4. Foot Sores
Diabetes can lead to poor blood circulation and nerve damage. These conditions are not good for your feet. You may get small blisters, sores, etc., on your feet, which you may not notice. It can cause the spread of infection leading to bigger wounds or ulcers.
What to do?
If you have diabetes, you should do a daily foot check. It will help you in spotting any skin problem or sores in early stages. If you see an ulcer or sore on your feet which is not healing, you need to contact your doctor for a prompt treatment.
5. Sudden weight loss
Sudden unexplained weight loss that is significant (4.5 kg or more or more than 5% of body weight) may signal that your blood sugar is not under control. In people with diabetes, if insulin is insufficient, body cells do not get enough glucose for energy. Therefore, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy causing a sudden reduction in body weight.
What to do?
If you have lost more than 5% of your body weight, or more than 4.5 kg (10 lbs) in 6-12 months or less, you should inform your doctor, who is the best person to address the problem.
These were some of the most common symptoms due to low and high blood sugar levels in diabetes. The key is to stay alert of your body conditions and be prepared to deal with it.
Nose is the entry point of the respiratory tract and the nasal hair serve an important role in protecting it by filtering out the dust and airborne organisms. The need for nose hair removal is mainly cosmetic when some of the hairs begin to extend outside the nostrils and stick out. The only solution then is to remove them.
Trimming nose hair
Experts suggest using a small blunt-end grooming scissors having a round, smooth tip at the cutting end to trim the nose hair. It is not wise to use a hair-cutting scissor to trim nasal hair. Any error can result in nicking the skin of your nostril, leading to bleeding and scarring.
Take care while inserting the scissors into the nostril and do it gently. Even with a blunt-end scissor, you may end up injuring the nostril if you do it rashly.
Use a magnifying mirror if available. Some of these mirrors enlarge the image up to 3-5 times, and you will have a clear view of the nostrils.
Push the tip of your nose up or smile, as this will enhance the view and help you see any hidden hairs.
Trim the longer hairs that stick out first. These are the ones that affect your appearance most and will be causing discomfort.
Trim the hairs enough to prevent them from sticking out. Do not dig the scissor too deep.
Examine the scissors frequently as continuous use can make them blunt. Using a worn out scissor can cause you pain as they will tend to pull the hair rather than cut them.
Shaving nose hair
There are special nasal trimmers and electric razors with small attachments specifically shaped for the nose. These will have narrow shears and safety attachments. These trimmers may be especially useful if your hair grows back quickly or thickly.
Do not force the trimmer or razor too deep and use your judgment to decide a comfortable depth to trim. Never use the regular shaving razors inside your nose as they will injure the delicate skin and cartilage in the nose.
Laser hair removal
If your nose hair grows very fast and thick, you may want to engage a professional (dermatologist) for laser hair removal or electrolysis. This is an effective method, but very costly.
Any infection following injuries and bleeding from the nose and the surrounding area have the potential to spread to the central nervous system, as they have a common blood supply. Therefore any accidental wounds in this area of the face have to be brought to the notice of a doctor immediately.
Dr. Vaishak Vidyadhar, Physician with The Bangalore Hospital, Bangalore, India, advises on the symptoms that differentiate a heart attack, pancreatitis, cancer and acidity.
Acidity or heartburn is a common digestive disorder experienced by most of us once in a while. It happens when the digestive acids rise in the food pipe, accompanied by a burning sensation and abdominal ache. People often get relief by taking over the counter antacids.
“We should not generalize the pain that is experienced in the upper part of the abdomen as acidity. It could be something more serious as a heart attack, pancreatitis or cancer.”
One should not take acidity as the only cause of abdominal pain especially if there are other symptoms involved. Sometimes playing down these upper abdominal pain as acidity could prove to be fatal.
Here is the checklist to ensure that the pain is acidity and not something more serious.
Mostly experienced after a meal, especially if you are lying down
Late dinners, heavy and spicy meals can cause symptoms of acidity
Antacid and other over the counter medications are found to be helpful
Upper abdominal pain along with a burning sensation is the typical symptoms of acidity
Regurgitation of digested food into the throat is commonly experienced
Individual may find relief by belching
When can abdominal pain or indigestion be a symptom of a heart attack?
Symptoms of heart attack need not be very distinct. Women are more likely to experience subtle signs of heart attack than men.
Some of the heart attack symptoms are:
Discomfort or chest pain, squeezing or tightening that may spread to the arms, neck, jaws and back
Nausea, indigestion, acidity
Pain in the upper abdominal region
Difficulty in breathing
Seek medical consultation immediately, if the symptoms are pointing towards health complications other than acidity.
"Anabolic steroids" is the name given for many synthetically manufactured drugs similar to the male sex hormone (testosterone) that promotes the growth of skeletal muscles (anabolic effect) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects).
There are several chemicals of the anabolic steroid class.
They are prescription-only medicines and are used by doctors to help people with certain conditions such as:
Assisting in weight gain, after a severe illness, injury or infection and other unexplained medical reasons
Certain types of anaemia
How do anabolic steroids work?
Male hormones, mainly testosterone, plays a vital role in the tremendous developmental changes that happen during puberty and adolescence. Male hormones have androgenic effects (masculinising effect) by which they influence the primary and secondary sexual features such as the growth of penis and testes, changes in voice, etc. It also has anabolic effects (tissue-building effect).
Anabolic steroids are synthetically manufactured to mimic the anabolic effects of male hormones. Their chemical structure is such that they have enhanced anabolic properties and lesser androgenic properties than the naturally available androgens. However, none of the anabolic steroids is free from the androgenic effects.
How are Anabolic steroids used?
Some of the steroid medicines are available as pills to be taken by mouth. Some are manufactured as injectable steroids to be injected into the muscles.
Abusers are known to take more and more of the drug repeatedly. Steroid abusers have been known to take doses that are 10-100 times more than the amount prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons. Many steroid users practice what is called stacking, where they consume more than one type of steroids at once get bulkier at a faster rate. Some users start with low doses and slowly increase to higher doses in 6-12 week cycles. These methods are not shown to be proven effective and will increase the risk of side effects.
What are the reasons for which anabolic steroids are misused?
Anabolic steroids are misused for many reasons like:
Increasing muscle mass and decrease fat
Enhancing performance by athletes
To build their bodies and improve physical appearance by weightlifters and bodybuilders
Some people, especially adolescent boys who suffer from body dysmorphia where they have anxiety that their body does not match with their expectations.
Adverse effects of anabolic steroids
Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
Reduced sperm count
Growth of breast
Increased risk of developing prostate cancer
Loss of hair (scalp hair)
The growth of facial and body hair
Reduction of breasts
Hoarse and deep (male-like) voice
Stunted growth – because of restricted growth and premature ageing of bones.
General health effects (can happen both in men and women)
Heart attack or stroke
Problems of liver or kidney
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Formation of blood clots
Fluid retention and swelling of the body
Increase in cholesterol levels
Those who misuse anabolic steroids can exhibit some psychological or emotional effects such as:
Increased anger/aggressive behaviour
Anabolic steroids can cause dependence and tolerance (more dose is required to get the same effect). There can be craving when the drug is not taken and withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking them such as headaches, anxiety, depression, apathy, difficulty concentrating, sleep difficulty, loss of appetite, reduced sex drive, muscle and joint pains.
If needles are shared while injecting, there can be complications such as injury to the veins (causing ulcer or gangrene) and spread of infections (hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV).
When to get medical help?
If you are addicted to anabolic steroids, you should see your doctor. Treatment of anabolic steroid addiction is similar to the treatment of other addictions. Your doctor or a specialised counsellor will guide you on how to quit taking steroids and handle any issues you may face when you stop taking them.
When the foreskin of penis can’t be pulled back over its head (glans), the condition is known as phimosis. Phimosis is usually seen in babies and toddlers. It can arise due to scarring of skin in older children. Subsequently, phimosis can occur at any age.
Phimosis typically is reported in uncircumcised males, but it can happen after circumcision if the surrounding skin becomes sclerotic. Phimosis is not a matter of concern unless it results in symptoms like difficulties in urination, redness, soreness and swelling.