3 Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems

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3
Management of
Men’s Reproductive
Health Problems
Men’s Reproductive Health Curriculum
3
Management of
Men’s Reproductive
Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth. All rights reserved.
440 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001 U.S.A.
Telephone: 212-561-8000
Fax: 212-561-8067
e-mail: [email protected]
www.engenderhealth.org
This publication was made possible, in part, through support provided by the Office
of Population, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), under the
terms of cooperative agreement HRN-A-00-98-00042-00. The opinions expressed
herein are those of the publisher and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID.
Cover design: Virginia Taddoni
ISBN 1-885063-45-8
Printed in the United States of America. Printed on recycled paper.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Men’s reproductive health curriculum : management of men’s reproductive health problems.
p. ; cm.
Companion v. to: Introduction to men’s reproductive health services, and: Counseling and
communicating with men.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 1-885063-45-8
1. Andrology. 2. Human reproduction. 3. Generative organs,
Male--Diseases--Treatment. I. EngenderHealth (Firm) II. Counseling and communicating
with men. III. Title: Introduction to men’s reproductive health services.
[DNLM: 1. Genital Diseases, Male. 2. Physical Examination--methods. 3. Reproductive
Health Services. WJ 700 M5483 2003]
QP253.M465 2003
616.6’5--dc22
2003063056
Contents
Acknowledgments
v
Introduction
vii
1 Disorders of the Male Reproductive System
The Male Reproductive System
The Sexual Response Cycle in Men
Common Sexual and Reproductive Health Disorders in Men
Male Sexual Dysfunction
Male Infertility
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.5
1.41
1.48
1.61
2 Sexual and Reproductive Health Assessment
Importance of Taking a Sexual and Reproductive Health History
An Effective Step-by-Step Approach
Major Components of Sexual and Reproductive Health History Taking
Global Screening Recommendations
Sexual and Reproductive Health History Taking Case Studies
2.1
2.1
2.2
2.4
2.9
2.10
3 Performing a Genital Examination
Before the Genital Examination
During the Genital Examination
The Genital Examination, Step by Step
After the Genital Examination
Interpreting Laboratory Test Results
3.1
3.1
3.3
3.6
3.16
3.17
Appendixes
Appendix A: The Male Reproductive System
Appendix B: Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs
Appendix C: Testicular Cancer Facts
Appendix D: Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
Appendix E: Sexual and Reproductive Health History Questions
Appendix F: Teaching the Client How to Perform a Genital Self-Examination
Appendix G: Checklist for Performing a Genital Examination
Appendix H: Photographs
Appendix I: Glossary
Appendix J: Recommended References
A.1
B.1
C.1
D.1
E.1
F.1
G.1
H.1
I.1
J.1
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
iii
Acknowledgments
A number of individuals contributed to the creation of this manual. EngenderHealth staff
members Dr. Martha Jacob, Manisha Mehta, Dr. Joseph Ruminjo, and Dr. Isaiah Ndong
and consultants Dr. Meghal Mehta and Dr. Randy Pritchett wrote the participant’s handbook. Consultants Dr. Katherine A. Forrest and Sharon Myoji Schnare, R.N., F.N.P.,
C.N.M., M.S.N., contributed to the original manuscript of the participant’s handbook.
Consultants B. J. Bacon and Sandy Rice of the Center for Health Training developed the
trainer’s manual. Consultant Siri Bliesner designed the evaluation instruments.
EngenderHealth would also like to acknowledge EngenderHealth staff member Mary Nell
Wegner, who initially spearheaded the efforts to develop this curriculum. In addition, we
appreciate the feedback given by EngenderHealth staff Andrew Levack and consultant Dr.
Pio Ivan Gomez, who reviewed the manual, and Dr. Francis Floresca, who field-tested the
manual in the Philippines. We thank EngenderHealth staff Lissette C. Bernal Verbel for
her contribution to this project, and we thank Liz Harvey, Anna Kurica, Karen Landovitz,
Margaret Scanlon, and Virginia Taddoni for their efforts in the editing, design, and production of the manual.
We gratefully acknowledge the materials that the following resources provided:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002 Guidelines for Treatment of Sexually
Transmitted Diseases)
Hejase, M. J., et al. (Genital Fournier’s Gangrene: Experience with 38 Patients)
Krieger, J. N. (Urethritis in Men: Etiology, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications)
Lundquist, S. T. (Diseases of the Foreskin, Penis, and Urethra)
Marcozzi, D. (The Nontraumatic, Acute Scrotum)
Swartz, D., and Harwood-Nuss, A. L. (Common Miscellaneous Conditions of the Male
and Female Genital Tract)
Wagner, G., and Saenz de Tejada, I. (Update on Male Erectile Dysfunction)
Walsh, P. (Common Conditions of the Male Genital Tract)
Weirman, M. (Erectile Dysfunction)
For more information, contact:
Manisha Mehta
Program Manager, Men As Partners
EngenderHealth
440 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001 U.S.A.
212-561-8394
e-mail: [email protected]
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
v
Introduction
Around the world, women carry a disproportionate amount of responsibility for reproductive health. Although women receive the bulk of reproductive health services, gender
dynamics can render women powerless. Men often have decision-making power over such
matters as sexual relations, family size, and seeking health care. So it is crucial to support
equitable partnerships between men and women while also offering men services that
enable them to share the responsibility for reproductive health. One way to reach men is
through the provision of clinical reproductive health services—including a sexual and
reproductive health assessment and a genital examination—which often are not specifically provided to men in many service-delivery settings.
This text builds on the companion volumes Introduction to Men’s Reproductive Health
Services and Counseling and Communicating with Men. The first volume, Introduction to
Men’s Reproductive Health Services, contains information to help sites and health care
workers address organizational and attitudinal barriers that may exist when initiating,
providing, or expanding a men’s reproductive health services program. Counseling and
Communicating with Men is designed to provide health care workers with the skills and
sensitivity needed to interact with, communicate with, and counsel men with or without
their partners.
This text is designed to provide health care workers with the knowledge, skills, and sensitivity needed to manage men’s sexual and reproductive health disorders. The text begins
by providing an overview of the sexual and reproductive health problems that a male client
may face and how they can be managed, including recommendations for referral if necessary. The next chapter describes how to obtain sexual and reproductive health information
from a male client that will be used in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual and reproductive health disorders. The final chapter provides information necessary to correctly
perform a genital examination of a male client.
Throughout this text, the term service providers will be used to refer to the staff at a health
care facility who manage male sexual and reproductive health disorders. Service providers
may include doctors, medical officers, nurses, nurses’ aides, midwives, medical or surgical assistants, and counselors. Also, terms that are defined in Appendix I, Glossary, are in
boldface type the first time they appear in the text.
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viii
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
1
Disorders of the Male Reproductive System
This chapter provides information necessary to recognize, diagnose, and manage common
physical conditions that adversely affect the male reproductive system and to effectively interpret clients’ signs and symptoms and physical examination findings. Specifically, the
chapter describes the male reproductive system, the sexual response cycle in men, common
men’s sexual and reproductive health disorders, sexual dysfunction in men, male fertility
and infertility, and common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The Male Reproductive System
Men have questions and concerns about their body, how it
works, and the normalcy of their
body throughout life’s various
stages, as well as about their
sexuality. Therefore, service
providers can play an important
role as resources for helping
men understand the structure of
the male reproductive system
and how it works. For an overview of the male reproductive
system, see Figures 1-1 and 1-2.
For a detailed review of the
male reproductive system, see
Appendix A.
Figure 1-1. External Male Genitals
Figure 1-2. Internal Male Genitals
The Sexual Response
Cycle in Men
The human body’s physiological response to sexual stimulation begins with sexual arousal
and may continue just after orgasm. The pattern of response to
sexual stimulation is the sexual
response cycle. This cycle consists of five main phases: desire
(also called libido), excitement
(also called arousal ), plateau,
orgasm, and resolution. Each
EngenderHealth
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1.1
time an individual has a sexual experience, some or all of the phases may be reached. However, it is not necessary to complete the cycle for sexual fulfillment. The chart below provides a brief description of each phase in the sexual response cycle in men.
The Sexual Response Cycle in Men
Phase
Desire
Brief Description
• Men’s minds and bodies can respond
Body Changes
• No change
sexually to a variety of stimuli—including
sight, sound, smell, touch, taste,
movement, fantasy, and memory. These
stimuli can create sexual desire.
• Desire is scientifically difficult to describe
because it occurs in the mind rather than
the body and is subject to conditions
within the brain (e.g., hormone levels).
Hormonal (and chemical) imbalances can
lead to sexual dysfunction.
• The desire phase may last anywhere from
a moment to many years.
Excitement
• Excitement is the body’s physical response • The penis becomes erect; the
to desire. (A man who manifests the
physical indications of excitement is
termed to be “aroused” or “excited.”) The
progression from desire to excitement
depends on a wide variety of factors—it
may be brought on by sensory stimulation,
thoughts, fantasy, or even the suggestion
that desire may be reciprocated.
Excitement may lead to intimacy and
sexual activity, but this is not inevitable:
Initial physical excitement may be lost and
regained many times without progression
to the next phase.
• It is important to note that it is not
scrotum thickens; the testes rise
closer to the body; breathing,
heart rate, and blood pressure
increase; sexual flush (reddening
of the skin) occurs; the nipples
become erect; the genital and
pelvic blood vessels become
engorged; involuntary and
voluntary muscles contract; and
a sense of restlessness occurs.
• Erection of the penis is the key
indicator of sexual excitement
(see “Overview: Erection” on
page 1.4).
necessary for a man to be sexually
intimate in this phase.
• The excitement phase may last anywhere
from a few minutes to several hours.
Plateau
• If physical or mental stimulation (especially • The ridge of the glans penis
stroking and rubbing of an erogenous
zone or sexual intercourse) continues
during full arousal, the plateau phase may
be achieved.
• The plateau phase may last anywhere
from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
becomes more prominent; the
Cowper’s glands secrete preejaculatory fluid; the testes rise
closer to the body; breathing,
heart rate, and blood pressure
further increase; sexual flush
deepens; and muscle tension
increases.
• There is a sense of impending
orgasm.
(continued)
1.2
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The Sexual Response Cycle in Men (continued)
Phase
Orgasm
Brief Description
Body Changes
• Orgasm occurs at the peak of the plateau • Ejaculation occurs; the urephase. At the moment of orgasm, the sexual tension that has been building
throughout the body is released, and the
body releases chemicals called endorphins, which cause a sense of well-being.
Orgasm can be achieved through mental
stimulation and fantasy alone, but more
commonly is a result of direct physical
stimulation or sexual intercourse.
thra, anus, and muscles of the
pelvic floor contract three to
six times at 0.8-second intervals; breathing, heart rate, and
blood pressure reach their
highest peak; sexual flush
spreads over the body; and
spasms occur.
• Men must pass through the resolution
phase before another orgasm can be
achieved.
• The orgasm phase may last less than
1 minute.
Resolution
• Resolution is the period following orgasm, • Nipples lose their erection; the
during which muscles relax and the body
begins to return to its pre-excitement
state. Immediately following orgasm, men
experience a refractory period, during
which erection cannot be achieved.
• The resolution phase varies greatly in
duration.
penis becomes softer and
smaller; the scrotum relaxes;
the testes drop farther away
from the body; heart rate and
blood pressure dip below
normal, returning to normal
soon afterward; the whole
body, including the palms of
the hands and the soles of the
feet, sweats; and there is a
loss of muscle tension,
increased relaxation, and
drowsiness.
• Depending on a number of
factors, the refractory period
in men may last anywhere
from five minutes to 24 hours
or more.
Source: Adapted from Monlia & Knowles, 1997.
Notes:
• Penetration is not necessary for sexual gratification to occur. Sexual stimulation and orgasm can take
place without penetration.
• Completing the five phases of the sexual response cycle is not necessary for sexual fulfillment.
• Orgasm may vary in intensity from one man to another and from one sexual encounter to another. For
some men, it may involve intense spasm and loss of awareness; for others, it may be signaled by as little
as a sigh or subtle relaxation.
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Overview: Erection
Erection is the process by which the penis fills with blood and becomes firm and erect.
It occurs through a complex interaction of mental and/or physical stimulation. Sexual
thoughts or feelings may trigger erections, as may either direct stimulation on or near
the penis or other types of physical touch on the body. Erection can also occur for reasons other than sexual arousal. Erection occurs naturally during sleep and has even been
observed on male fetuses in utero.
Male Sexual Response and Aging
Men have the capacity for sexual desire and sexual activity throughout their lives—there is
no reason why they cannot express their sexuality well beyond the “reproductive years”
(the ages during which men are fertile). In fact, men who have been sexually active
throughout their adult lives seem to be more sexually responsive in old age than those who
have not. The key to maintaining sexual function in later years is to continue a pattern of
regular sexual activity over a lifetime.
Many cultures have strong biases against sexual activity among middle-aged and elderly
men, and expressions of sexual attraction among elderly men are sometimes treated with
disdain. In much of the world, “sexy” is synonymous with “young”—media images of
young, sexually vibrant men abound, while images of healthy sexuality among those middle aged and beyond are nearly nonexistent.
These attitudes can keep middle-aged and elderly men from receiving adequate health care.
For example, health care providers often neglect to address issues related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when they are treating older clients because they mistakenly
assume that older clients are not engaging in risk-taking sexual behaviors. Similarly, providers who do not consider the effects of chronic medical conditions and medications on
sexual response when dealing with older clients may not anticipate these clients’ dissatisfaction with services and discontinuation of treatment if side effects occur.
Normal Changes in Response with Age
Although sexual activity can continue well into a man’s 90s and beyond, the aging process
does have an effect on male sexual response and function. Generally, the sexual response
cycle in men slows down: The phase of response take longer to achieve, the intensity of sensation may be reduced, and the genital organs become somewhat less sensitive. Sexual excitement and orgasm are diminished, yet pleasurable. Erectile dysfunction is more common
with aging due to changes in penile blood flow. The incidence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer increases with age. The presence and/or treatment of
these disorders can result directly or indirectly in urinary, erectile, or libido problems.
The chart on the next page shows the range of typical age-related changes in male sexual
response.
1.4
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Typical Age-Related Changes in Male Sexual Response
Phase
Body Changes
Desire
• Possible decrease in libido
Excitement
• Delayed and less-firm erection
• Delayed nipple erection, but nipple erection lasts longer after orgasm
• Longer excitement phase
• Decreased pre-ejaculatory emissions
• Longer interval from excitement to ejaculation
• More direct stimulation required to achieve and maintain erection
• Reduced muscle tension
• Diminished lifting of scrotum and testes with more rapid return to prearousal state
• Shorter phase of impending orgasm
Plateau
• No change
Orgasm
• Shorter ejaculation time
• Reduced volume of ejaculate
• Fewer ejaculatory contractions
• Shortened phase of expulsion of semen
Resolution
• More rapid loss of erection
• Significantly longer refractory period, though with a more rapid return to
pre-excitement state
• Nipple erection lasts longer after orgasm
Common Sexual and Reproductive Health Disorders in Men
This section provides information on the signs and symptoms, physical examination findings, differential diagnosis, and management of the common men’s sexual and reproductive health disorders listed in the chart below. General comments are also provided.
Service providers and health care facilities are strongly encouraged to supplement this material with appropriate medical reference books that present information about these and
other conditions in greater depth. (See Appendix J for a list of recommended texts that contain information about men’s health topics.)
Common Sexual and Reproductive Health Disorders in Men
Disorders of the Anus, Rectum, and Colon
• Anal fissure (page 1.6)
• Colon cancer (page 1.7)
• Gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding
(page 1.7)
• Hemorrhoids (page 1.9)
• Rectal trauma or foreign body in the
rectum (page 1.9)
• Viral warts (page 1.10)
Disorders of the Breast
• Breast cancer (page 1.10)
Disorders of the Penis
• Balanitis or balanoposthitis (page 1.11)
• Paraphimosis (page 1.12)
• Penile cancer (page 1.13)
• Penile constriction by a foreign body, such as an
elastic band (page 1.14)
• Penile injury or penile trauma (page 1.14)
• Peyronie’s disease (page 1.15)
• Phimosis (page 1.15)
• Priapism (page 1.16)
Disorders of the Prostate Gland
• Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
(page 1.17)
• Hematospermia (page 1.18)
• Prostate cancer (page 1.18)
• Prostatitis (page 1.20)
(continued)
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1.5
Common Sexual and Reproductive Health Disorders in Men (continued)
Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin
• Fournier’s gangrene (page 1.31)
• Hematocele (page 1.21)
• Incarcerated hernia (page 1.31)
• Hydrocele (page 1.21)
• Orchitis (page 1.32)
• Inguinal hernia (page 1.22)
• Scrotal injury (page 1.33)
• Scrotal edema (page 1.23)
• Testicular cancer (page 1.33)
• Scrotal elephantiasis (page 1.23)
• Testicular torsion (page 1.34)
• Spermatocele (page 1.24)
Disorders of the Urethra
• Varicocele (page 1.24)
• Epispadias (page 1.35)
Disorders of the Skin of the Genitals
• Hypospadias (page 1.36)
• Genital dermatitis (page 1.25)
• Urethral carcinoma (page 1.36)
• Genital herpes (page 1.25)
• Urethral stricture (page 1.37)
• Psoriasis (page 1.26)
• Urethral trauma (page 1.38)
• Pubic lice (page 1.27)
• Urethritis (bacterial) (page 1.38)
• Scabies (page 1.27)
• Urethritis (chlamydial) (page 1.39)
• Tinea of the groin (jock itch) (page 1.28)
• Urethritis (gonococcal) (page 1.40)
Disorders of the Testes
• Cryptorchidism (page 1.28)
• Urethritis (nonchlamydial or nongonococcal
[nonspecific]) (NGU) (page 1.40)
• Epididymitis (page 1.29)
• Urinary extravasation (page 1.41)
Disorders of the Anus, Rectum, and Colon
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Anal pain
• Severe pain during defecation, with or without bleeding
Physical Examination Findings
During rectal examination, a visible crack or fissure (tear) in the anus
Differential Diagnosis
Anal fissure
Comments
• This condition is caused by constipation, straining during defecation, or anal probing.
• In some cases, the pain is so severe that the client is afraid to defecate and becomes constipated, which makes the stool harder and the condition even more painful.
• More than 90% of anal fissures are located in the posterior midline position. An anal
fissure located off the midline may indicate Crohn’s disease or an STI.
• Acute anal fissures usually heal spontaneously. Chronic anal fissures may require simple surgical treatment to reduce the pressure in the anal canal and allow the fissures to
heal.
• The long-term cure rate is greater than 95%.
Management
• Give the client stool softeners.
1.6
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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Disorders of the Anus, Rectum, and Colon (continued)
• Tell the client to take warm sitz baths.
• Apply a topical cream.
• Topical application of nitroglycerin and injections of botox are new and experimental
types of therapy.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Bleeding during defecation
• Black bowel movements
• Change in bowel movements (either constipation or diarrhea) or in the shape of the stool
Physical Examination Findings
• In clients with anemia, obvious or occult blood in the stool
• Vague pain in the abdomen or intestinal obstruction
Differential Diagnosis
Colon cancer
Comments
• Colon cancer is one of the most common malignancies in the world, occurring especially
•
•
•
•
in correlation with economic status, geographic location, and dietary exposure. For example, the consumption of refined carbohydrates and animal fats and proteins is much
higher in the United States and Europe than in Africa and Asia. Generally, colon cancer
is a disease of older individuals who have had little vegetable fiber in their diets or have
familial polyposis or chronic ulcerative colitis.
Most clients with colon cancer are asymptomatic.
Clients may confuse the bleeding during defecation with bleeding from hemorrhoids.
Clients at special risk (because they have either blood in the stool or polyps) can be followed up with rectosigmoidoscopy because early diagnosis increases their survival.
Tests for colon cancer include a barium enema, a rigid or flexible endoscopy with
biopsy, and CEA and CAT scans.
Management
• Refer the client to a surgeon.
• Treat the client with chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Bleeding during defecation
• Black, liquid, tarry, and smelly bowel movements
• Lightheadedness, dizziness, and syncope
Physical Examination Findings
With chronic bleeding, visible pallor, dyspnea, and exertional weakness (from irondeficiency anemia)
Differential Diagnosis
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding
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1.7
Disorders of the Anus, Rectum, and Colon (continued)
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. This condition can be life threatening. The
overall mortality for GI tract bleeding is high.
• GI tract bleeding is one of the most common reasons for admission to a hospital. Although the specific bleeding lesions may vary considerably, the initial therapeutic and
diagnostic approach to a client remains largely the same. The condition usually produces
dramatic clinical signs and symptoms that bring a client to a service provider’s urgent
attention.
• Hematemesis is vomiting of obvious (and usually extensive) blood or bloody material,
indicating bleeding from the upper GI tract. But blood entering the GI tract from some
high lesion, such as a lesion on the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum, and occasionally
even from the gingiva and pulmonary structures, may not be obvious. Hematemesis is
caused by peptic ulcer, gastritis, esophageal varices or lesions, stomach cancer, benign
tumors, traumatic postoperative bleeding, and swallowed blood from lesions in the nose,
mouth, or throat. Diagnosis of hematemesis is usually made from the client’s history and
the physical examination findings; an endoscopic or ear, nose, and throat examination
may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
• Meletemesis is closely related to hematemesis; it has the same causes and is diagnosed
the same way. Meletemesis is vomiting of material with gastric juice for at least two
hours, which changes the bright red blood present with hematemesis to a brownish color.
Clients who present with vomit that looks like “coffee grounds” are usually bleeding at
a slower rate than those who have obviously bloody emesis. But the same cause may
present as either type of bleeding.
• Melena is darkening of the stool by blood pigments, and indicates proximal bleeding
from the GI tract, usually from the distal small bowel or slow bleeding from the proximal colon, or even bleeding from the upper GI tract. Unlike hematemesis, melena is not
characterized by obvious, extensive blood. However, melena is diagnosed the same way.
• Hematochezia is obvious loss of blood through the anus. Hematochezia indicates
bleeding from the lower GI tract, usually from the distal small bowel or a superficial lesion in the sigmoid colon or anorectal junction. Some clients with hemodynamically
significant hematochezia have active bleeding from the upper GI tract and have an
accelerated transit time. Hematochezia is caused by colon cancer or polyps, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, large hemorrhoids, anal tears, and Crohn’s disease. Diagnosis of hematochezia requires a digital rectal exam, proctoscopy, endoscopy, and barium
enema, or a CAT scan.
Management
• Management varies depending on the cause of bleeding and the amount and rate and
amount of blood loss. If the amount and rate of blood loss cause hemodynamic instability, resuscitative measures, including intravenous line and volume replacement, will be
required.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Bleeding during defecation, with or without pain
Physical Examination Findings
• Dilated veins at the anal verge
• Normal perineal and rectal examination
1.8
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Disorders of the Anus, Rectum, and Colon (continued)
Differential Diagnosis
Hemorrhoids
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY when a painful, bluish-colored mass is present
at the anal verge. Thrombosis of external hemorrhoids (see below) is usually seen in
young men and is often related to strenuous exercise. This type of exercise results in a
temporary increase in intra-abdominal pressure, as well as more pressure on the dilated
hemorrhoid veins, which makes them larger, with more stasis. As a result, more blood
is likely to clot or thrombose in them. If the pain does not subside within 48 hours, the
thrombosed hemorrhoid should be excised under local anesthesia.
• This condition is caused by constipation, straining during defecation, prolonged sitting,
cirrhosis, or anal probing.
• Hemorrhoids located deep in the anus, above the dentate line, are called internal hemorrhoids; hemorrhoids located below this line are called external hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids rarely cause symptoms by themselves, but they may eventually be associated with pain, itch, and bleeding. External hemorrhoids increase in size when
prolapsing internal hemorrhoids are present because of increased pressure from the internal hemorrhoids. In addition, the anal sphincter contracts and reduces blood flow
back into the general circulation, which confines it to the hemorrhoids.
• Hemorrhoids are usually painless unless they are accompanied by an anal fissure or anal
abscess.
• Acute prolapse and thrombosis of internal hemorrhoids are extremely painful and cause
edema and inflammation. The entire circumference of the anus appears to protrude.
Management
•
•
•
•
§
Give the client stool softeners.
Tell the client to take warm sitz baths.
Apply a topical cream.
If bleeding continues, refer the client to a surgeon.
Signs and Symptoms
Systemic symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and fever
Physical Examination Findings
• Bleeding during defecation
• Abdominal mass
• Pelvic abscess
• Frank peritonitis
Differential Diagnosis
Rectal trauma or foreign body in the rectum
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY when the rectal wall is perforated. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can lead to bleeding, pelvic abscess, peritonitis, and
death. Mortality rises dramatically if the injury is penetrative, especially above the levator ani, and causes infection.
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1.9
Disorders of the Anus, Rectum, and Colon (continued)
• This condition is caused by anal rape or foreign objects placed in the rectum for sexual
pleasure, such as an enema tip, a thermometer, condoms, and dildos.
Management
• Refer the client to a surgeon.
• Treatment usually requires surgery (a colostomy or exteriorization).
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Anal pruritis
• Bleeding
Physical Examination Findings
Small, discrete excrescences on the perianal skin or just inside the anal canal
Differential Diagnosis
Viral warts
Comments
• This condition is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
• Women who have anal sex and men who have sex with other men have a high incidence
of rectal infection and are at high risk for developing viral warts.
Management
• Apply 25% podophyllin solution in compound benzoin tincture, or
• Refer the client to a surgeon for fulguration with electrocautery or surgical excision.
Disorders of the Breast
§
Signs and Symptoms
Firm mass (either painless or painful) in the breast area
Physical Examination Findings
• Distortion of the shape of the breast and/or nipple
• Change in the appearance of the skin, which may make it look like the skin of an orange
Differential Diagnosis
Breast cancer
Comments
• This condition is rare in men, but it does exist.
• Breast cancer has a higher fatality rate in men than in women because:
- Breast cancer tends to be diagnosed at a later stage in men than in women
- The malignant cells travel a shorter distance in men than in women before reaching
the chest wall and lymphatics
• Breast cancer in men may be difficult to distinguish from gynecomastia (benign glandular enlargement of the breast, which is usually bilateral), lipoma, or a cyst.
Management
Refer the client to a surgeon for biopsy and possible removal of the mass.
1.10
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Disorders of the Penis
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Pain during urination
• Swollen, red, and painful glans (the head of the penis) and foreskin
Physical Examination Findings
• In severe cases, yellow pustules on the glans and foreskin that leave red, eroded areas
when they break
• Satellite pustules on the shaft of the penis
Differential Diagnosis
Balanitis or balanoposthitis
Comments
• Balanitis is a condition in which the glans is inflamed and infected (see Photograph 1
in Appendix H on page H.3); balanoposthitis is a condition in which the foreskin is
inflamed and infected.
• These conditions are more common in uncircumcised men with poor hygiene, but they
may also appear in uncircumcised young boys.
• In severe cases, the client may present with phimosis (see page 1.15) and urinary retention.
• These conditions are usually caused by infections, but they can also be due to noninfectious causes.
- Infections include:
Bacteria
Fungus
Herpes simplex
Protozoa
Syphilis
Viral warts
- Noninfectious causes include:
Diabetes
Latex allergy (see Photograph 2 in Appendix H on page H.3)
Lichen planus
Psoriasis
Trauma to the glans
Management
• Retracting the foreskin and cleaning the genital area are the most important parts of
treatment.
• In fungal infections, apply an antifungal cream, such as nystatin, miconazole, or clotrimazole, to the penis.
• Apply a low-potency hydrocortisone cream, such as hydrocortisone 1%, in addition to
specific antimicrobial therapy.
• In severe cases, wrap the glans in gauze and soak the penis in warm water for 10 to 15
minutes.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.11
Disorders of the Penis (continued)
• Inspect the urethral meatus for stricture.
• Retract the foreskin to ensure that narrowing of the foreskin does not occur as a result
of the infection.
• Recurrent balanoposthitis may require circumcision.
• When clients present with urinary retention, also consider rectal mass, incontinence,
neurogenic bladder, bladder neoplasm, bladder stone, use of sympathomimetic
drugs, use of anticholinergic drugs, bladder cancer, metastatic disease, cystitis, urethritis (see page 1.38), acute prostatitis (see page 1.20), and chronic prostatitis (see page
1.20).
§
Signs and Symptoms
Swollen, painful penis
Physical Examination Findings
• Foreskin that is trapped behind the glans
• Glans that is engorged and purple because of constriction by the foreskin, preventing
venous return
• Asymmetric swelling of the foreskin behind the glans that may look like penile skin
edema
Differential Diagnosis
Paraphimosis (see Photograph 3 in Appendix H on page H.3)
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can
lead to ischemia of the penis and then to gangrene or necrosis of the glans and foreskin.
• The rapid formation of edema within a few hours may prevent manual correction of this
condition.
• Paraphimosis is the entrapment of the glans by a phimotic foreskin, a band of the foreskin behind the glans. It usually occurs after cleansing of the glans (which requires prior
foreskin retraction, after which the foreskin fails to go back to its usual position and act
as a hood for the glans) or catheter insertion (which also requires prior foreskin retraction). After foreskin retraction, the constricting phimotic ring causes progressive
edema, impairs venous return, and threatens the viability of the glans.
• The client may have a history of foreskin retraction.
• A debilitated and uncircumcised client may not have a history of foreskin retraction.
• Service providers must remember to return the foreskin to its normal anatomic position
after retraction for catheter insertion.
Management
• After providing adequate local anesthesia to the penis, attempt manual reduction: Apply gentle, steady pressure on the glans with the thumbs, while placing the other fingers
of both hands behind the phimotic ring and foreskin. Push the glans down, back, and inside the ring of the constricting foreskin.
• Refer the client to a surgeon for circumcision (or an emergency dorsal-slit procedure)
if the foreskin cannot be returned to its normal position.
1.12
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Disorders of the Penis (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• One or more lesions on the penis
• Inguinal node enlargement
Physical Examination Findings
• Red, plaque-like lesions on the glans or the shaft of the penis
• Precancerous dermatological lesions on the penis
Differential Diagnosis
Penile cancer
Comments
• This condition, which is also known as squamous cell carcinoma of the penis (see Pho-
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
tograph 6 in Appendix H on page H.4), while rare, is seen mostly in older uncircumcised
men and is associated with poor hygiene.
Most penile cancers originate near the corona of the glans.
Penile cancer extends locally, is prevented from deep invasion by the fascia layers of the
penis, and is late to metastasize. Metastasis occurs through the penile lymphatic nodes
to the inguinal nodes.
Penile cancer has a low mortality rate if it is diagnosed quickly and has a high mortality
rate if it is not.
The appearance of penile cancer is quite variable. It often has a wart-like appearance.
Lesions that are persistent or resistant to treatment should be suspected to be cancerous,
particularly those that are ulcerated.
Carcinoma in situ (Bowen’s disease, erythroplasia of Queyrat) presents as a red,
plaque-like lesion on the glans or the shaft of the penis.
Precancerous dermatological lesions of the penis include leukoplakia, atrophy of the
glans and foreskin, and a lesion associated with HPV.
A correlation between HPV and the development of penile (or rectal) cancer may exist.
Management
• Biopsy any lesion that does not resolve in the expected period of time.
• Refer the client to a specialist for further management.
• Treatment may require surgery (a penectomy) and/or chemotherapy. Most components
of sexual function will be preserved if diagnosis is made early.
• Talk with the client about what to expect, inform the client’s partner(s) that the client will
likely be able to continue to function sexually, and discuss ways that they can achieve
sexual stimulation and pleasure.
• Ongoing follow-up medical care will be necessary.
• During follow-up visits, assess how the client and his partner(s) are adjusting after surgery. Assess the client for signs of depression.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Prolonged, painful erections, usually in the absence of sexual arousal
• Sustained, painful erections, even after ejaculation
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.13
Disorders of the Penis (continued)
Physical Examination Findings
• Congested blood in the corpora cavernosa (as in normal erections)
• Flaccid corpus spongiosum and glans (in contrast with normal erections)
Differential Diagnosis
Penile constriction by a foreign body, such as an elastic band
Comments
This condition is seen mostly in boys and adults with below-average intelligence.
Management
Remove the foreign body from the penis.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Swollen, painful penis
• Swelling and bruising of the penile area
• Blood in the urine
Physical Examination Findings
Black-and-blue, very swollen penis
Differential Diagnosis
Penile injury or penile trauma
Comments
• Penile injuries include penile amputation, penile fracture, blunt injuries, and crush injuries; penile trauma can result from various means, including a constricting rubber
band, vigorous sexual intercourse, and direct trauma.
• Penile fracture can result from sexual intercourse and involves the rupture of the tunica
albuginea.
• This condition may be caused by entrapment of the penis in a zipper, which most often
occurs in young boys.
Management
• Most clients require a retrograde urethragram to rule out urethral injury.
• Management of the condition depends on the specific type of injury or trauma.
• Refer the client to a surgeon if penile swelling is significant and seems to indicate extensive tissue damage.
• If the penis is entrapped in a zipper, the zipper can be unzipped after providing adequate
anesthesia to the penis.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Prolonged, painful, curved erections that make sexual intercourse difficult or impossible
• No pain when the penis is not erect
Physical Examination Findings
Palpable, dense, fibrous plaques on the lower part of the shaft of the penis
1.14
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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Disorders of the Penis (continued)
Differential Diagnosis
Peyronie’s disease
Comments
• This condition is a fibrous thickening of the tunica albuginea.
• It may occur in conjunction with other fibrosing disorders, including Dupuytren’s contracture of the flexor tendons of the hand (in the palm), aponeurotic plantar fibrosis (in
the foot), and knuckle pads on the extensor surface of finger joints.
• It is most common in white men of Celtic origin.
• Spontaneous remission of symptoms occurs in about 50% of cases. Usually the pain resolves, but the curvature persists.
Management
• If the client is asymptomatic, fibrous-tissue formation does not require treatment.
• Treatment may require surgery to remove the fibrous tissue and graft a patch onto the
affected area, but this may result in further scarring and worsen the condition.
• Refer the client to a urologist if necessary.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Inability to retract the foreskin
• Narrow or narrowing of the opening of the foreskin
• Penile discharge
• Urinary difficulties, including urine filling the foreskin during urination
Physical Examination Findings
• Difficulty retracting or inability to retract the foreskin to reveal the glans because of the
narrowed foreskin
• Urine trapped under the foreskin, resulting in swelling and inflammation of the foreskin
• Evidence of poor hygiene
Differential Diagnosis
Phimosis
Comments
• THIS CAN BE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY in some cases. If the condition needs to
be treated and is not managed promptly, it can lead to kidney damage, urinary tract obstruction, and death.
• This condition is a narrowing of the opening of the foreskin, which prevents the foreskin
from being retracted.
• Physiologic phimosis is present until normal adhesions between the foreskin and the
glans separate. As normal secretions accumulate and there is sloughing of the skin,
smegma (see Photograph 5 in Appendix H on page H.4) accumulates. This discharge
may be confused with infectious penile discharge.
• Pathologic phimosis occurs when the foreskin cannot be retracted after puberty or when
the foreskin could previously be retracted. In severe cases, the opening of the foreskin
may be completely closed, inhibiting urination and leading to urinary tract obstruction.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.15
Disorders of the Penis (continued)
(In Africa, this is sometimes also caused by a milky fluid from the leaves of certain
shrubs. School-age boys sprinkle some of this fluid under the foreskin to make their
penises bigger, which stay enlarged for a couple of days because of severe inflammation,
especially of the foreskin. This practice occasionally results in the boys’ acute inability
to pass urine and sometimes requires surgery for emergency urinary diversion.)
• In boys, the foreskin may not be completely retractable until late adolescence. There is
no need for concern if the foreskin is not completely retractable as long as the urethral
meatus is visible and nothing is preventing urination.
• Constriction of the opening of the foreskin may result from edema, inflammation, fibrosis,
or scarring.
• If there is evidence of infection (edema, erythema, or discharge), treat with a topical
broad-spectrum antibiotic and warm soaks until the infection resolves.
Management
• Phimosis needs to be treated if it is associated with recurrent inflammation or urinary
problems.
• If the client is unable to urinate, gently cleanse the opening or the tip of the foreskin; apply a topical anesthetic gel, such as viscous lidocaine 1–2%; and wait 10 minutes for the
anesthetizing effect. Gently dilate the opening of the foreskin with graduated sounds or
dilators until the foreskin is sufficiently open and the risk of blockage is resolved. If the
client continues to be unable to urinate, he may need to have a catheter inserted through
the urethral meatus into the bladder to relieve the obstruction.
• Instruct the client to gently retract the foreskin several times a day to ensure that strictures and narrowing do not occur.
• Instruct the client about the importance of good penile hygiene.
• In severe cases, recurrent inflammation or urinary difficulties require surgery. Refer the
client to a surgeon for circumcision (or a dorsal-slit procedure) if necessary.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Prolonged, painful erections, usually in the absence of sexual arousal
• Sustained, painful erections, even after ejaculation
Physical Examination Findings
• Congested blood in the corpora cavernosa (as in normal erections)
• Flaccid corpus spongiosum and glans (in contrast with normal erections)
Differential Diagnosis
Priapism (see Photograph 4 in Appendix H on page H.3)
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can
lead to necrosis of the tissue and then to permanent erectile dysfunction.
• Priapism is a persistent erection in the absence of sexual excitement or desire.
• It is usually caused by taking drugs that are used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is also
caused by such disorders as leukemia, pelvic tumors, pelvic infection, penile trauma,
sickle-cell anemia (the most common cause of priapism in boys), and spinal cord
trauma, and by the use of alcohol, antihypertension agents, and cocaine.
1.16
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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Disorders of the Penis (continued)
Management
• Refer the client to a urologist immediately.
• Oral terbutaline may be beneficial.
Disorders of the Prostate Gland
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Urinary retention or difficulty urinating
• Urinary hesitancy, with decreased force and size of the urinary stream
• Incontinence
• Posturination dribble
• Hematuria
• Nocturia
Physical Examination Findings
• During rectal examination, an enlarged, rubbery, nontender prostate gland
• Asymmetric enlargement of the prostate gland
• Distended bladder
• Client discomfort when pressure is applied suprapubically to the bladder
Differential Diagnosis
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
Comments
• This condition (also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy) is the enlargement of the
prostate gland, which causes urinary difficulties. It is usually seen in men over age 40.
• BPH causes varying degrees of bladder-outlet obstruction. Longstanding obstruction
can lead to decompensation of the bladder, with bladder diverticula, residual urine,
incontinence, urinary tract infection, hematuria, and, ultimately, renal failure.
• The condition is often accompanied by cystitis.
• BPH and prostate cancer often occur together.
• The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is moderately elevated in 30% to 50% of men with
BPH.
Management
• Catheterization will provide immediate relief.
• Explain to the client that medical and/or surgical management is possible, but that this
needs to be provided and supervised by a specialist.
• Treatment for BPH involves the use of antiandrogens, which can reduce sexual drive
and cause erectile dysfunction.
• Explain to the client that after surgery, his prognosis for maintaining sexual function is
excellent, but that retrograde ejaculation is common in a small proportion of men.
• Refer the client to a urologist for surgery.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.17
Disorders of the Prostate Gland (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Bloody semen at orgasm, without associated pain
• Red, dark blue, or brown ejaculate
Physical Examination Findings
• Minimal physical findings
• Abnormal ejaculate
Differential Diagnosis
Hematospermia
Comments
• This condition is thought to be caused by a ruptured blood vessel. It usually is not associated with a disease or illness, and is rarely, but sometimes, caused by prostate cancer.
Management
• Reassure the client that with isolated hematospermia, normal urinalysis, and a normal
digital rectal examination, the risk for prostate cancer is low.
• If the client has persistent hematospermia (hematuria or abnormal rectal findings), refer the client to a specialist for invasive procedures such as cystoscopy or transurethral
ultrasound.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Urinary retention or difficulty urinating
• Incontinence
• Hematuria
• Weight loss, fatigue, and generalized weakness
• Back, leg, and perineal pain
Physical Examination Findings
During rectal examination, a diffuse, hard texture of the prostate gland or hard nodule(s)
Differential Diagnosis
Prostate cancer
Comments
• This condition is an adenocarcinoma of the prostate gland.
• Its incidence rises steadily with age; prostate cancer is rare in men under age 40.
• The causes of prostate cancer are unknown, but they may include genetic predisposition,
hormonal influences, dietary and environmental factors, and infectious agents.
• Prostate cancer varies widely in biological behavior and metastatic potential; many
cancers are unrecognized during the client’s lifetime.
• Metastatic spread to the bony pelvis, ribs, and vertebrae may cause backache, bone pain,
pathologic fractures, neurological symptoms, or weakness.
• Most clients with prostate cancer are asymptomatic.
• Some clients may present with spinal-cord compression as the first indication of
prostate cancer.
1.18
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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Disorders of the Prostate Gland (continued)
• Prostatitis (especially with chronic inflammation), prostatic tuberculosis, calculi,
BPH, and prostatic cysts should also be considered.
• PSA is elevated in 95% of men with prostate cancer.
Management
• The diagnosis is made with the help of a needle biopsy of the prostate gland, a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), and an elevated serum PSA. PSA levels decline after successful treatment and rise again with recurrence.
• Management options are watchful waiting, radical surgical prostatectomy, radiation
therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy:
- For men over 70 with slow-growing tumors, other significant illnesses, or fear of the
side effects of recommended therapies, watchful waiting is the management option
of choice.
- Radical surgical prostatectomy involves removal of the prostate and some of the tissue around the gland, which can result in impotence and incontinence.
- With radiation therapy, impotence and urinary incontinence occur slightly less often
than with surgery; however, damage to the rectum is a potential complication.
Cryosurgery is less invasive.
- Hormone therapy slows or prevents the growth of cancer cells by reducing testosterone, which stimulates their growth; this can be achieved by administering female
hormones (estrogen) or removing the testes, both of which may involve the risk of impotence and loss of sexual desire.
- Most prostate cancers are hormone-dependent, and nearly 75% of men with metastatic prostate cancer respond to various forms of androgen deprivation. This may require the use of estrogens, LHRH agonists, ketoconazole, aminoglutethamide, glucocoticoids (e.g., predinisone), or antiandrogens, as well as orchiectomy.
- Men who are impotent have normal sensations, can have a normal sex drive, and can
achieve a normal orgasm.
• Sexual function may be assisted to return to normal, with newer technologies (where
available).
• Refer the client to a urologist if necessary.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Pain in the pelvic area
• Urinary retention or difficulty urinating
• Dysuria, frequent urination, or urgent urination
• Pain during defecation
• Pain during and after ejaculation
• Acute illness, with fever, chills, weakness, and malaise
• Pain in the lower back, rectal area, or perianal area
• “Sitting on a hot coal” sensation in the perineum
Physical Examination Findings
• During rectal examination, an inflamed, swollen, tender, warm, and firm prostate gland
• Many leukocytes found through urinalysis, especially after the rectal examination
• In chronic prostatitis, a normal, less tender, boggy, or focally indurate prostate gland
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.19
Disorders of the Prostate Gland (continued)
Differential Diagnosis
Prostatitis
Comments
• This condition is an inflammation of the prostate gland.
• It is caused by an ascending infection from the urethra, by cystitis, or by hematogenous
spread. Prostatitis is usually caused by coliform bacteria, but can also be caused by
gonococci, enterococci, and trichomonas.
• Micro-abscesses may form early; gross abscesses are a late complication.
• Bacterial prostatitis may be acute or chronic. Acute bacterial prostatitis is usually accompanied by acute bacterial cystitis. Acute bacterial prostatitis is more common in
young men, and chronic bacterial prostatitis is more common in older men.
Pyelonephritis or epididymitis may also develop.
• Nonbacterial prostatitis tends to be chronic. Increased numbers of leukocytes are present in prostatic secretions, but no etiologic organisms can be isolated. Symptoms from
this type of prostatitis are usually mild.
• Urethral stricture predisposes clients to recurrent prostatitis.
• Clients who present with acute urinary retention, infection, and obstruction are at high
risk for sepsis.
• Diagnosis is made by careful examination of the abdomen, by bladder palpation, and by
gentle rectal examination to check for tender prostate.
• Examination of a divided sample of urine and urethral discharge can help distinguish
between urethritis, cystitis, and prostatitis.
• During diagnosis, it is important to rule out perirectal or bladder pathology, such as
acute recto-sigmoid diverticulitis, interstitial cystitis, carcinoma in situ of the bladder, anal fissure, thrombosed hemorrhoid, or prostatic abscess.
• The rectal examination may be painful for the client because of the inflamed prostate
gland.
• Prostate massage is contraindicated because it may spread bacteria and cause bacteremia.
Management
• Tell the client to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and take hot sitz baths.
• Give the client an analgesic or an anti-inflammatory agent for pain and a stool softener.
• Prescribe an organism-specific antibiotic, which is the primary component of treatment.
• If the client has a prostatic abscess, surgical drainage and antibiotics are required.
- Explain to the client that he needs to have surgery.
- Explain to the client that he will have to return in two weeks for a follow-up evaluation, and again in four to six weeks after he completes the course of antibiotics for a
repeat prostate examination and urinalysis.
- Refer the client to a urologist for surgery.
• If the client shows systemic signs of sepsis, he should be admitted to a hospital.
• If possible, refer clients who are over age 50 with acute prostatitis to a urologist because
acute prostatitis is often associated with BPH and has a high recurrence rate.
• If possible, refer clients with chronic prostatitis to a urologist.
1.20
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Painful scrotal swelling
• Scrotal trauma
Physical Examination Findings
• Mass, similar to a hydrocele (see below), that does not transilluminate (see page 3.11)
• Discolored scrotal skin
Differential Diagnosis
Hematocele
Comments
• This condition is blood or a blood clot within the potential space between the two layers
of the tunica vaginalis.
• It is usually caused by scrotal trauma and may be caused by a scrotal tumor.
• A hematocele can accompany a testicular rupture.
• The transillumination test assesses for the presence of fluid in the scrotal sac by transilluminating the scrotum with a penlight. The fluid should be pink, not dark or red. Dark
or red fluid suggests either a scrotal mass, a testicular mass, or blood in the scrotum.
Transillumination is less successful for men with dark pigmentation.
Management
Refer the client to a surgeon if he has no recent history of scrotal trauma.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Gradual, painless scrotal swelling
• Sensation of scrotal heaviness that radiates to the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
• Round, cystic mass located around the testes and epididymis
• Definitive palpation of the testes is obscured
• During transillumination, a visible, translucent mass
Differential Diagnosis
Hydrocele (see Photograph 7 in Appendix H on page H.4)
Comments
• This condition is an accumulation of sterile fluid in the tunica vaginalis. It is the most
common cause of nonacute intrascrotal swelling.
• A hydrocele can be congenital. It also can be caused by an overproduction of fluid related to the inflammation of the testes or appendages or to testicular cancer (see page
1.33).
• The condition can develop rapidly in response to a scrotal injury, radiation treatment,
acute nonspecific or tuberculous epididymitis, or orchitis (see page 1.32).
• A chronic hydrocele can develop gradually in middle-aged and older men.
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.21
Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin (continued)
• In a hydrocele in a young boy, congenital failure of the tunica vaginalis to obliterate
after birth allows communication between the tunica vaginalis and the peritoneum. This
is a “communicating hydrocele.” Parents usually say that the scrotal swelling disappears
when the boy sleeps. A pediatric hydrocele is “communicating” and decompressing
when the client is supine (i.e., a communicating hernia).
• A hydrocele may result from epididymitis, trauma, tumor, or prior surgery.
Management
• If the hydrocele is not excessively large and bothersome, surgery is not necessary.
• Refer the client to a surgeon if a testicular tumor is the underlying etiology.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Scrotal swelling
• More prominent scrotal swelling when the client coughs, lifts objects, or increases intraabdominal pressure
Physical Examination Findings
• Enlarged scrotum, usually unilaterally
• With a bowel that is not strangulated, a visible, warm mass, with audible peristaltic
sounds or palpable vibrations
• Reduction of the bowel through the inguinal defect
Differential Diagnosis
Inguinal hernia (see Photograph 8 in Appendix H on page H.5)
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY when the inguinal hernia is strangulated or incarcerated (see page 1.TK). If the condition is not treated promptly, it can lead to bowel
necrosis resulting from impaired circulation, with bowel perforation, peritonitis, and
death.
• The condition is a protrusion of the contents of the abdomen, often the bowel, through
the inguinal canal into the scrotal sac.
• Developing an incarcerated hernia is most common during the first year of life.
• With a hernia, the spermatic cord cannot be palpated above the mass, but with a hydrocele or a hematocele, the spermatic cord can be palpated above the mass.
Management
• Refer the client to a surgeon immediately if the hernia appears to be strangulated or incarcerated.
• If no signs of strangulation are apparent (the bowel is warm and peristalsis is present),
reduce the hernia manually by gently pulling up on its contents while the client is supine.
• Refer the client to a surgeon for a herniorrhaphy.
• Explain to the client that routine postoperative follow-up is indicated.
1.22
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
Symmetrical scrotal swelling
Physical Examination Findings
Edema of the scrotal tissue and penis
Differential Diagnosis
Scrotal edema
Comments
• This condition is an accumulation of fluid within the scrotal sac.
• It is caused by abdominal lymphatic or venous compression, an intra-abdominal tumor, congestive heart failure, cirrhosis with ascites, nephrotic syndrome, filariasis,
or idiopathic lymphedema.
• Scrotal edema in children may be caused by an allergic reaction to an article of clothing,
a powder, a lotion, or a chemical, or by angio-neurotic edema.
Management
• Elevate the scrotum.
• Refer the client to a surgeon for treatment of the underlying cause.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Scrotal swelling
Physical Examination Findings
• Enlarged, painless scrotum
• During palpation, a solid firmness of the scrotal skin
• Enlargement of the legs, arms, or breast
Differential Diagnosis
Scrotal elephantiasis (see Photograph 9 in Appendix H on page H.5)
Comments
• This condition is an enlarged, painless scrotum.
• It is caused by filaria worms that infest the lymphatic system, resulting in inflammation
and scarring, which eventually obstruct the normal flow of the lymph. The larvae of the
filaria worm are transmitted by mosquito bites.
• Scrotal elephantiasis presents initially as a slowly developing enlargement of the scrotum with soft and pitting edema, with or without pain. Later, the scrotal skin thickens,
the edema becomes nonpitting, and a solid firmness of the skin develops, along with a
significantly enlarged scrotum.
• The enlargement of the scrotum can reach incapacitating sizes.
• The condition is found mostly in tropical and subtropical areas.
Management
• Prescribe antifilaria drugs (diethylcarbamazine, ivermectin) to kill the worm.
• Explain to the client that surgery to excise the redundant scrotal tissue is necessary.
• Reduce the dependency (hanging) of the scrotum by supporting it with firm bandaging.
• Refer the client to a surgeon.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.23
Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
Small, painless scrotal swelling
Physical Examination Findings
• Small, cystic mass based in the epididymis
• During transillumination, a soft, freely mobile, lucent mass
• In the chronic state, a firm mass
Differential Diagnosis
Spermatocele (see Photograph 10 in Appendix H on page H.5)
Comments
• This condition is a benign, circular, nontender mass that occurs next to the epididymis
in the upper pole of the testes and often contains sperm.
• Most spermatoceles are small, less than 1 cm in size, but some can be as large as 10 cm.
• A large spermatocele may be difficult to differentiate from a hydrocele and may feel like
a third testicle.
Management
• If a spermatocele causes pain or discomfort, a spermatocelectomy is required.
• Refer the client to a surgeon.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Scrotal swelling, usually chronic and on the left side
Physical Examination Findings
• Scrotum that feels like a “bag of worms” because of its prominent, slippery vessels
• Small “bag of worms” felt just above the testicle, along the spermatic cord
Differential Diagnosis
Varicocele
Comments
• This condition is a collection of varicose veins in the scrotal sac.
• A varicocele more commonly occurs on the left side because the left testicular vein
drains into the left renal vein, whereas the right testicular vein drains into the inferior
vena cava.
• Nearly 20% of men have a left varicocele of some degree. An acute appearance of a
varicocele, especially on the right side, should prompt further evaluation for the presence of renal cancer, renal vein thrombosis, or vena cava obstruction.
• The condition is associated with infertility.
• A client who presents with a varicocele of recent or rapid onset, especially on the right
side, should be evaluated for kidney cancer, which might be occluding the renal vein.
• A varicocele is usually visible when the client is in an upright position.
Management
• Refer clients with suspected testicular cancer (see page 1.33) to a urologist.
• Varicocele ligation surgery involves tying of the veins.
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Disorders of the Skin of the Genitals
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Burning or warm sensation in the genital area
• Itching and red rash in the genital area
• Swelling of the genital area
• Stinging sensation in the genital area
• Vesicles in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
• Redness in the genital area
• Possible thickening of the skin in the genital area
• Possible open ulcers or moist areas of the genital skin
Differential Diagnosis
Genital dermatitis
Comments
• This condition is caused by inflammation of the skin in the genital area from an allergen. Allergic reactions commonly occur after contact with soaps, spermicides, latex,
perfumed lubricants, detergents, fabric softeners, nylon undergarments, and topical
medications.
• Symptoms usually begin one to two days after exposure to the allergen.
• A client with dark pigmentation may have hyperpigmentation rather than redness.
• Physical examination findings may be due in part to the client’s scratching of the affected area.
Management
• Remove the allergen.
• Apply cold compresses and/or topical steroids to the affected area.
• Prescribe oral medication (steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication).
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Blisters or ulcers on the mouth, lips, genitals, anus, or surrounding areas
• Burning or pain during urination
• Itching or tingling in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
Inguinal lymphadenopathy that may present two to three weeks after the onset of
symptoms
Differential Diagnosis
Genital herpes (see Photograph 11 in Appendix H on page H.6)
Comments
• Complications of this condition include aseptic meningitis and encephalitis.
• Initial lesions are painful vesicles with surrounding erythema that can cause shallow
ulcers.
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Disorders of the Skin of the Genitals (continued)
• There is a recurrence in 90% of clients with genital herpes during the first year of
infection.
• Even though clients can be asymptomatic, they can still infect others, even when they
“shed the virus” (some viruses can fall off or leave the body).
Management
• This condition is incurable, but the lesions can be suppressed with antiviral medications.
• Instruct the client to follow general supportive measures:
♦ Sitting in a bathtub or basin filled with warm water and some baking soda two times
a day.
♦ Keeping the sores and the areas around them clean and dry.
♦ Using pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or aspirin.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits,
partner management, and the use of condoms.
For more information about the management, treatment, and prevention of genital herpes,
see Appendix B on page B.4.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Burning in the genital area
• Itching and red rash in the genital area
• Swelling in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
• Red, scaly papules that coalesce to form round-to-oval plaques
• Scales are adherent and silvery white, and reveal bleeding points when removed
(Auspitz’s sign)
Differential Diagnosis
Psoriasis
Comments
• This condition is an excess of skin cells that can cause red, scaly patches that can affect
various parts of the body, including the genitals.
• Its cause is unknown.
• Psoriasis usually develops in such areas as the elbows, knees, scalp, gluteal cleft, fingernails, and toenails.
• Typical psoriatic plaques with white scale can appear on a circumcised penis but do not
form on an uncircumcised penis (this penis is covered by a foreskin).
• The client may also complain of arthritis.
Management
• Prescribe a topical cream that contains steroids.
• The client may need systemic treatment and light therapy for extensive involvement.
• Refer the client to a dermatologist if necessary (if the condition worsens or does not respond to treatment).
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Disorders of the Skin of the Genitals (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Lesions in the genital area
• Severe itching in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
Erythematous papules that may be hemorrhagic
Differential Diagnosis
Pubic lice
Comments
• This condition is caused by a parasite that may migrate to other hairy areas of the body,
such as the eyebrows and eyelids.
• The client may indicate that family members also have severe itching.
• Severe itching can lead to excoriations, which predispose the client to bacterial infections.
Management
• The condition is curable with a special shampoo.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits, and
partner management.
For more information about the management, treatment, and prevention of pubic lice, see
Appendix B on page B.7.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Lesions in the genital area
• Penile discharge
• Severe itching in the genital area
• Areas of excoriation on the penis, scrotum, axilla, buttocks, elbows, and interdigital
web spaces
Physical Examination Findings
Vesicular, pustular, or papular skin lesions
Differential Diagnosis
Scabies
Comments
• This condition is difficult to differentiate from pubic lice.
• It is associated with overcrowding.
• The client may indicate that family members also have severe itching.
Management
The condition is curable.
Prescribe a topical cream.
Advise the client to practice good hygiene.
Treat all family members.
•
•
•
•
For more information about the management, treatment, and prevention of scabies, see
Appendix B on page B.7.
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Disorders of the Skin of the Genitals (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Burning in the genital area
• Itching and red rash in the genital area
• Swelling in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
• Lesions, which are usually bilateral, in the crural fold
• Half-moon–shaped plaques, scaling, and sometimes a vesicular border that advances
out of the crural fold onto the thigh
Differential Diagnosis
Tinea of the groin (jock itch)
Comments
• This condition is a form of ringworm, which is a type of fungal infection of the outer
layers of the skin, hair, and nails.
• It usually occurs in the summer months, after the client has been sweating or wearing
wet clothing for long periods of time.
• A warm, moist environment predisposes clients to this condition.
Management
Apply an antifungal cream or a combination antifungal/steroid cream for several days.
Disorders of the Testes
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Undescended testes
• Infertility
Physical Examination Findings
• Testes that are not palpable in the scrotum
• Undescended testes that may be palpable as a mass in the inguinal canal
• Testes that may be retractile
Differential Diagnosis
Cryptorchidism (see Photograph 12 in Appendix H on page H.6)
Comments
• This condition is the incomplete or abnormal descent of one testicle or both testes into
the scrotum.
• In an infant, a retractile or hypermobile testicle that pulls up into the inguinal canal can
often be moved down into the scrotum with gentle pressure. But a true undescended testicle cannot be brought down in this way.
• An absent testicle is very rare.
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Disorders of the Testes (continued)
• Ectopic testicle is associated with cryptorchidism. Once in a while, when the inner
thigh is stroked longitudinally, a retractile testicle can be brought back up into the inguinal canal by a hyperactive cremaster reflex (see below).
• Cryptorchidism of both testes leads to infertility; undescended testes lose the ability to
produce sperm if they are not brought back up into the scrotum (see page 1.54). Cryptorchidism also leads to a high risk of developing testicular cancer (see page 1.33) later
in life.
• If only one testicle is undescended and diagnosed after puberty, surgery is usually performed.
• Retractile or hypermobile testes do not require treatment.
Note: The cremaster reflex is a superficial skin reflex that is elicited by stroking the skin
of the inner aspect of the thigh in an upward motion. This action causes the cremaster
muscle to contract and the testicle to elevate at least 0.5 cm. The cremaster reflex is best
demonstrated when the client is supine or in a lithotomy position.
Management
• Refer the client to a urologist if surgery is necessary.
• Performing orchidopexy, preferably before age 2, may be considered. If surgery is delayed until after age 5, impaired spermatogenesis may result, especially if both testes
are undescended.
• Even after treatment, the client may still be at higher risk for testicular cancer (see page
1.33). Advise the client (or his parents) of the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer
and explain how to perform a genital self-examination.
• Explain to the client (or his parents) that he needs to have yearly follow-up examinations.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Gradual onset of scrotal pain and swelling that peaks over a period of three to 24 hours
• Scrotal swelling that radiates to the abdomen or genital area
• Scrotal swelling that develops after heavy lifting or exercise
• Dysuria, frequent urination, and urgent urination
• Nausea and low-grade fever
• Increased incidence of epididymitis after vasectomy
Physical Examination Findings
• Localized, tender, swollen epididymis when the epididymis is palpated inferior and posterior and separately from a less painful testicle
• Testicular discomfort that can be relieved through scrotal elevation
• Scrotal skin that is reddened or, when an abscess is present, dry, flaky, and thin
• Urethral discharge
• Thickened spermatic cord
Differential Diagnosis
Epididymitis
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
1.29
Disorders of the Testes (continued)
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY in severe cases. This condition is an infection
or inflammation of the epididymis. If the infection is left untreated, it can enter the
bloodstream, which is life-threatening.
• It is usually caused by gonorrhea, chlamydia, or gram-negative enteric bacteria. Organisms generally reach the epididymis through the lumen of the vas deferens from a
previous infection of the bladder or posterior urethra.
• The condition is most often associated with sexual activity and STIs. It is also caused
by tuberculosis. In young clients, epididymitis is most commonly caused by STIs, so
taking a thorough sexual history is important (see page 1.61).
• Commonly, epididymitis is caused by direct scrotal trauma. It may present as chemical
epididymitis following heavy lifting or straining that causes urine to reflux from the
bladder down the vas deferens. As the condition progresses, swelling of the scrotum
(epididymis and testicle) becomes apparent. The accompanying pain is difficult to distinguish from the pain associated with orchitis (see page 1.32).
• Recurrent attacks can lead to chronic epididymitis with fibrosis and scarring. In
chronic epididymitis, the epididymis is thickened and enlarged; it may or may not be
tender. Chronic prostatitis (see page 1.20) may also be present.
• Tuberculous epididymitis findings are similar to those of chronic epididymitis. The client
may have bead-like thickenings of the vas deferens, a thickening of the seminal vesicle
on the same side, a nodular prostate, and other evidence of urinary tract tuberculosis.
• If the condition is bilateral, sterility may result. Because sperm production and transport
are disrupted, the client may not be able to fertilize the eggs of his female partner.
• There is an increased incidence of epididymitis after vasectomy. There are two possible
reasons for this increase: An infection at the site of the surgery may ascend backward
toward the epididymis, and the chronic or permanent obstruction in the vas deferens may
play a role.
• Epididymitis is primarily a disorder that affects adults; the condition is rarely found in
preadolescent boys.
• A history of urinary tract infection, painful voiding, urethral discharge, or catheterization suggests epididymitis. A history of lifting and straining or events that increase
intrapelvic pressure also suggests this diagnosis.
• The condition may be obscured by a hydrocele (see page 1.21).
• The client may also have prostatitis. If so, do not massage the prostate gland, because
this may cause the epididymitis to worsen.
Management
• General measures are complete bed rest and scrotal elevation with ice applied for 10
minutes three times a day.
• Prescribe an organism-specific antibiotic, analgesics, and stool softeners.
• In severe cases, such as sepsis and testicular abscess, the client must be hospitalized and
treated with antibiotics intravenously.
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Disorders of the Testes (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Generalized scrotal swelling and pain
• Fever
• Urethral stricture
• Scrotal-skin furuncle
Physical Examination Findings
• Initial findings that are very subtle
• Edematous, red, tense, warm, crepitant, black, foul-smelling scrotum
• No localized area of infection
Differential Diagnosis
Fournier’s gangrene
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated within 24 hours,
it can lead to necrosis of the scrotal wall.
• The condition is a rapidly spreading skin infection that presents with scrotal swelling.
• The average client with Fournier’s gangrene is age 55.
• The client may have a history of perirectal disease.
• Immunocompromised clients, such as those infected with HIV, have a higher risk for infection. Clients who have diabetes, use steroids, or abuse alcohol are also at higher risk
for Fournier’s gangrene.
Management
• Refer the client to a surgeon immediately; a delay in treatment can significantly increase
mortality.
• Tell the client to drink plenty of fluids.
• Prescribe an organism-specific antibiotic.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Scrotal pain
• Peritoneal irritation, including nausea and vomiting
Physical Examination Findings
Tender, firm mass that can be palpated in the superior scrotal and inguinal region
Differential Diagnosis
Incarcerated hernia
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can
lead to necrosis of the bowel.
• An incarcerated hernia may cause an intestinal obstruction.
• This condition is difficult to distinguish from a strangulated hernia.
• An incarcerated hernia of short duration can be carefully reduced by palpating and applying pressure to the swelling.
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Disorders of the Testes (continued)
Management
Refer the client to a surgeon.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Scrotal pain
• Gradual onset of testicular pain that radiates to the genital area
• Nausea, vomiting, and high fever
Physical Examination Findings
• Enlarged, tense, tender testicle
• Normal epididymis
• Recognizable scrotal abscesses, which are rare
• Acute hydrocele
• In mumps parotitis, salivary gland swelling and pain that develop three to four days before orchitis (the viruses attack both the parotid glands, causing swelling [mumps], and
the testes)
• In tuberculous orchitis, a tuberculous infection of the lung or epididymis
Differential Diagnosis
Orchitis
Comments
• This condition is a rare infection or inflammation of the testicle.
• It is caused by the spread of infection from epididymitis (see page 1.29) or by hematogenous spread. It is also caused by the mumps virus in postadolescent males, by
tuberculosis, and by syphilis (see page 1.66).
• Granulomatous orchitis, which is probably an autoimmune response to sperm, can occur in middle-aged and older men. This condition is hard to distinguish from testicular
tumors, and it can be diagnosed only after orchiectomy.
• Testicle atrophy may occur after the acute phase of orchitis, with impaired sperm production but normal hormonal function. Spermatogenesis is irreversibly damaged in
about 30% of testes after mumps orchitis. After bilateral orchitis, clients may become
sterile.
• In early orchitis, it may be possible to distinguish between epididymitis and orchitis, but
in later orchitis, inflammation and swelling affect both testes.
• Urinary symptoms are absent in orchitis unless epididymitis is also present.
• Orchitis can mask a testicular tumor.
• Live, attenuated mumps vaccine is highly effective in preventing mumps parotitis and
orchitis.
• Orchitis is most often seen as a secondary infection during a systemic illness.
Management
• Tell the client to get plenty of rest.
• Elevate the scrotum.
• Prescribe analgesics.
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Disorders of the Testes (continued)
• Perform a urinalysis to check for leukocytes in the urine and a Gram stain for gramnegative bacteria.
• Explain to the client that follow-up treatment is necessary until the testicle and epididymis can be easily examined and are determined to be normal. This may take as long
as four weeks.
• Testicular atrophy with infertility later in life occurs in many cases, regardless of the
treatment.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Scrotal pain
• Swelling and discoloration of the scrotal skin
Physical Examination Findings
• Pain during palpation of the scrotum
• Visible laceration on the scrotum
Differential Diagnosis
Scrotal injury
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY if the testicle ruptures upon severe, blunt scrotal injury. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can lead to the permanent loss of reproductive function.
• Scrotal injury can be caused by various events, such as when scrotal skin gets caught in
zippers or machinery. The testes may escape injury.
• Trauma to the scrotum sometimes involves profuse bleeding, which must be controlled.
• Scrotal injury can be blunt or penetrating. Blunt trauma can be accompanied by scrotal
swelling, and severe blunt trauma can involve rupture of the testicle.
• The client may have a history of scrotal injury.
Management
Refer clients with suspected testicular trauma to a surgeon immediately.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Hard, irregular, and usually painless scrotal swelling
Physical Examination Findings
Testicle or testes that may be enlarged and feel firmer than normal
Differential Diagnosis
Testicular cancer (see Photograph 13 in Appendix H on page H.6)
Comments
• This condition is a malignant tumor of the testicle.
• At least 50% of testicular masses are malignancies; about 90% to 95% are germ cell
tumors. Most scrotal masses are not testicular cancer. A painless mass in the testicle
should be presumed to be cancer until proven otherwise.
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1.33
Disorders of the Testes (continued)
• Testicular cancer is rare, but it is one of the most common cancers in men under age 30.
• The incidence of testicular cancer varies widely among countries and races.
• Men with a history of cryptorchidism (see page 1.28) are at much higher risk for testicular cancer.
• Signs of tumor spread—such as abdominal mass, edema, back pain, or weight loss—can
also be present.
•
•
•
•
About 1% to 2% of primary testicular cancers are bilateral.
Testicular cancer is most commonly misdiagnosed as epididymitis.
The condition may be accompanied by a hydrocele that conceals the underlying tumor.
Pain is not generally a major complaint, but it can be a symptom if the tumor invades
other structures, causing a hematocele (see page 1.21).
Management
Refer clients with suspected testicular cancer to a urologist immediately for surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy, depending on the stage of the disease.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Sudden onset of moderate to severe scrotal pain that radiates to the abdomen or genital
area
• Onset of pain during sleep
• Abdominal pain only
• Intermittent episodes of severe pain
• Nausea, vomiting, and low-grade fever
Physical Examination Findings
• Tender testicle that is retracted upward and lies with its longest diameter parallel to the
floor (instead of perpendicular to it) when the client stands
• Scrotal swelling
• Thickened spermatic cord
• Discomfort that is not relieved by elevating the testicle
• Swelling of the hemiscrotum that prevents palpation of the testicle
• Cremaster reflex often absent
Differential Diagnosis
Testicular torsion (see Photograph 14 in Appendix H on page H.7)
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can
lead to ischemia and necrosis of the testicle.
• This condition is the twisting of the testicle on the spermatic cord.
• Testicular torsion is caused by a congenital anomaly of the spermatic cord. The condition is also caused by cold weather, sexual arousal, and scrotal trauma.
• After the first six to 12 hours, the testicle may atrophy or develop into a scrotal abscess.
Testicular torsion should be highly suspected and treated promptly because of the serious consequences.
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Disorders of the Testes (continued)
• The client may not present in the typical manner. Referred pain to the abdomen, diagnosed as a stomach virus, is a common misdiagnosis.
• Testicular torsion can occur at any age, but it is most common in boys between ages 12
and 18.
• Previous episodes of testicular pain suggest testicular torsion.
Management
• Testicular torsion should be the primary consideration for any scrotal complaint in
young boys and adolescent males.
• Refer the client to a surgeon immediately.
• The primary treatment for testicular torsion is surgical exploration. Generally, surgery
within six to 12 hours of occurrence is necessary to prevent necrosis of the testicle and
to salvage it.
• Manual detorsion (reduction) can be attempted while definitive treatment is sought. To
perform the maneuver, stand on the client’s right side and help him assume a lithotomy
position. Proceed with manual detorsion from medial to lateral—this action is similar
to opening a book—because most testes twist in a lateral-to-medial position. The
client’s right testicle is detorsed in a counterclockwise direction.
Disorders of the Urethra
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Painful, curved erection that makes sexual intercourse difficult or impossible
• Deviation of the urinary stream
• Urethra that does not open at the glans of the penis
Physical Examination Findings
• Urethral opening on the dorsal surface of the penis, between the pubis and glans
• Groove that extends on the shaft of the penis from the actual urethral opening to the tip
of the glans
• Hooded foreskin
• Dorsal scar tissue on the shaft of the penis that may be palpable
• In severe cases, a visible, malformed scrotum
Differential Diagnosis
Epispadias
Comments
• This condition is a congenital displacement of the location of the urethral opening on the
dorsal surface of the penis.
• The condition is usually diagnosed at birth. If it is neglected, fully grown men may present with epispadias.
• Epispadias is much rarer than hypospadias (see page 1.36).
Management
• Explain to the parents or client that surgery corrects epispadias and that some follow-up
is necessary to ensure the expected outcome of the surgery.
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Disorders of the Urethra (continued)
• Inform the parents that they should not circumcise the baby because the foreskin tissue
is needed for the corrective surgery.
• If the baby or client has already been circumcised, explain that corrective surgery will
be done but that it is less likely to correct epispadias.
• Refer the parents or client to a urologist for surgery.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Painful, curved erection that makes sexual intercourse difficult or impossible
• Deviation of the urinary stream
• Urethra that does not open at the glans of the penis
Physical Examination Findings
• Urethral opening on the ventral surface of the penis, between the scrotum and glans
• Groove that extends on the shaft of the penis from the actual urethral opening to the tip
of the glans
• Hooded foreskin
• Ventral scar tissue on the shaft of the penis that may be palpable
• In severe cases, a visible, malformed scrotum
Differential Diagnosis
Hypospadias (see Photograph 15 in Appendix H on page H.7)
Comments
• This condition is a congenital displacement of the location of the urethral opening on the
ventral surface of the penis.
• The condition is usually diagnosed at birth. If it is neglected, fully grown men may present with epispadias.
• Hypospadias is much more common than epispadias (see page 1.35).
Management
• Explain to the parents or client that surgery corrects hypospadias and that no follow-up
is necessary.
• Inform the parents that they should not circumcise the baby because the foreskin tissue
is needed for the corrective surgery.
• If the baby or client has already been circumcised, explain that corrective surgery will
be done but that it is less likely to correct hypospadias.
• Refer the parents or client to a urologist for surgery.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Urinary retention or difficulty urinating
• Bloody, urethral discharge
Physical Examination Findings
Palpable urethral mass
Differential Diagnosis
Urethral carcinoma
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Disorders of the Urethra (continued)
Comments
• This condition is a rare complication of chronic urethral stricture (see below).
• It usually occurs after a long period of urethritis (see page 1.38) and subsequent urethral
stricture.
• Usually, this very serious lesion has spread outside the confines of the urethra to the rest
of the shaft of the penis at the time of diagnosis. The cancer grows very quickly, and the
client typically comes in after it has spread.
• The condition is generally rare in men over age 50.
Management
Refer the client to a urologist if necessary.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Urinary retention or difficulty urinating
• Narrowed urethral opening
Physical Examination Findings
• Palpable induration in the area of the stricture
• Tender, enlarged masses along the urethra, suggesting periurethral abscesses
• Multiple streams of urine during urination
Differential Diagnosis
Urethral stricture
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can
lead to kidney failure and backflow of urine.
• This condition is a urethral narrowing.
• It is usually caused by trauma or by scarring or adhesions from an infection.
• Urethral stricture may be congenital when seen in children.
• Urinary extravasation into surrounding tissues may result from urethral strictures.
• The condition is usually painless unless the stricture causes urinary retention. Urethral
stricture can be a result of gonococcal urethritis or its treatment (see page 1.40).
• If the client has prostatitis, he may present with mild dysuria, urinary frequency, or
chronic urethral discharge.
• Urethral polyps, congenital urethral valves, urethral genital warts, phimosis, and a
benign or malignant obstruction of the urethra should also be considered.
Management
• Explain to the client that he needs a simple dilation procedure, which is done by a
urologist.
• Tell the client that he will feel pain during urination after the procedure.
• Explain to the client that he will require follow-up care for at least 12 months after the
procedure because urethral stricture may reoccur.
• Refer the client to a urologist.
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Disorders of the Urethra (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Blunt trauma of the bladder and urethra
• Blood at the urethral opening
• Lower abdominal pain
• Urinary retention
• Pelvic or perineal pain and hematoma
• Shock (fast, weak pulse; sweating; cold, clammy skin; low blood pressure; loss of consciousness)
Physical Examination Findings
Lacerations or contusions at the site of the trauma
Differential Diagnosis
Urethral trauma
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can
lead to urethral stricture, erectile dysfunction, and urinary incontinence.
• The condition is an intraurethral trauma from a foreign object, a crush injury, or a straddle injury.
• Blood at the urethral opening is the most important sign of urethral injury.
• Anterior urethral injuries (penile and bulbous urethra below the urogenital diaphragm) are associated with self-instrumentation, falls, and straddle injuries. Posterior urethral injuries (between the bladder and the prostate gland) are usually associated with pelvic fractures.
Management
• Treat the client for shock and hemorrhage, if present (see “Overview: Emergency
Management of Shock” on page 1.39).
• Do not allow the client to urinate, and do not attempt to insert a urethral catheter until
assessment of the urethra is complete to eliminate any risk for extravasation.
• Refer the client to a urologist immediately for assessment and management.
• Explain to the client that after initial treatment, he will require follow-up care because
posttraumatic urethral stricture may develop.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Dysuria and frequent urination
Physical Examination Findings
Tender, inflamed urethra
Differential Diagnosis
Urethritis (bacterial)
Comments
This condition is usually caused by an E. coli urinary tract infection.
Management
Prescribe an organism-specific antibiotic.
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Overview: Emergency Management of Shock
The primary purposes of the physical examination are to rapidly assess the client and
diagnose life-threatening injuries.
Airway and Breathing
• Give the client oxygen.
• If the client cannot adequately oxygenate, give him ventilatory support.
Circulation
Control bleeding from a visible injury with direct pressure.
Disability
Perform a brief neurological examination to determine level of consciousness.
Exposure
• Perform a head-to-toe examination to determine the client’s injuries.
• If the client presents with pelvic trauma, check for associated disabilities, such as
rupture of the urethra or bladder, intestinal perforation, nerve damage, and largeblood-vessel damage.
Access
• Catheterize the client intravenously with two large-caliber catheters placed for fluid
resuscitation.
• Stabilize the client, and arrange to transport him to a facility with the resources
required for his treatment.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Dysuria
• Insignificant discharge from the urethra
Physical Examination Findings
Minimal physical findings (insignificant discharge)
Differential Diagnosis
Urethritis (chlamydial)
Comments
• The client usually presents with less severe symptoms than a client with gonococcal urethritis (see page 1.40).
• The incubation period can be as long as 45 days.
Management
Prescribe an organism-specific antibiotic.
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Disorders of the Urethra (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Dysuria
• Purulent urethral discharge (see Photograph 16 in Appendix H on page H.8) that develops a few days after a sexual encounter
• Itching
Physical Examination Findings
Urethral discharge
Differential Diagnosis
Urethritis (gonococcal)
Comments
• Although rare, the client can develop a hematogenous spread of the organism to the
joints, heart, and skin.
• The condition is commonly associated with chlamydia.
• The condition can lead to urethral stricture.
Management
• A Gram stain of the discharge examined under a microscope helps to diagnose the condition.
• Prescribe an organism-specific antibiotic.
• Explain to the client that follow-up care is necessary to ensure adequate treatment.
• Refer the client to an STI clinic.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Dysuria
• Discharge from the penis
• Itching of the penis
Physical Examination Findings
With a chronic infection of the periurethral glands, induration and tender micro-abscesses
that may be palpable along the urethra
Differential Diagnosis
Urethritis (nonchlamydial or nongonococcal [nonspecific]) (NGU)
Comments
• This condition is an inflammation of the urethra, which may be classified as nonchlamydial or nongonococcal.
• Nonchlamydial urethritis is most often caused by chlamydia, and nongonococcal urethritis is most often caused by gonorrhea.
• The condition is less commonly caused by candida, herpes simplex, trichomonas
infection, or ureaplasma.
• It is infrequently caused by meningitis, gram-negative rods, or Haemophilus.
• Recurrent urethritis can be caused by inadequate treatment of either gonorrhea or
chlamydia, reinfection by the partner, or an organism like herpes.
Management
Prescribe an organism-specific antibiotic.
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Disorders of the Urethra (continued)
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Blunt trauma of the bladder and urethra
• Local swelling that extends to the scrotum, along the shaft of the penis, and up to the
abdominal wall
• Pain at the site of the trauma, fever, and shock
Physical Examination Findings
Swelling and discoloration of affected tissues of the scrotum, shaft of the penis, and abdominal wall
Differential Diagnosis
Urinary extravasation
Comments
• THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If the condition is not treated promptly, it can
lead to infection, sepsis, morbidity, and death.
• This condition is the leakage of urine into the tissues of the perineum, scrotum, and
penis.
• Urinary extravasation is caused acutely by trauma to the urethra and bladder, or results
from a urethral stricture.
Management
• Treat the client for shock and hemorrhage, if present (see “Overview: Emergency Management of Shock” on page 1.39).
• Do not allow the client to urinate, and do not attempt to insert a urethral catheter until
assessment of the urethra is complete to eliminate any risk for extravasation.
• Refer the client immediately to a urologist for assessment and management.
Male Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction is the inability to react emotionally or physically to sexual simulation
in a way expected of the average healthy individual or according to one’s own standards of
acceptable sexual response.
Common Causes of Male Sexual Dysfunction
Any of the following factors can contribute to male sexual dysfunction:
• Psychological/emotional factors, including stress, negative body image, performance
anxiety, expectation of failure, fear of making a partner pregnant, memory of negative
sexual experiences, and fear of acquiring or transmitting an STI.
• Biological/physiological factors, including changes related to aging, certain medical
conditions (arthritis, reproductive cancers, diabetes, cardiac disease, hypertension),
physical injury (such as spinal cord injuries), and substance abuse. Alcohol and anxiolytics can be “disinhibiting,” removing usual psychological inhibitions against sexual
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activity. Many men have occasional experiences of not being able to attain an erection
when they are tired, are physically cold, or have ingested too much alcohol.
• Medications—including antihypertension medications (especially diuretics, sympatholytics, and beta blockers), central nervous system drugs, hormones, and chemotherapeutic drugs—are also likely to have adverse sexual effects. Antidepressants may decrease desire due to the action of the drug, or increase desire due to alleviation of the
depression. (This increased desire could have an adverse sexual effect in a very few
cases. It could get out of control and lead to distress or, at the extreme, to unsafe sexual
behavior or even illegal sexual behavior such as rape.)
One of the first questions that should be asked of any man who complains of sexual dysfunction is whether he is taking any medications and, if so, whether his problem appeared or worsened when he started the medication. It is often possible to switch to another medication that will have similar therapeutic benefits, but less negative impact on
sexual functioning.
• Interpersonal/social factors, including peer pressure, poor communication with his
partner, sexual abuse, religion, attitudes toward his sexual orientation, uncertainty of
how to behave, and conflicts with his partner.
• Environmental factors, including cultural influences, gender dynamics, the availability of partners (partner ratio), and physical setting (lack of privacy).
Common Male Sexual Dysfunctions
Male sexual dysfunction can manifest in a variety of ways. Therefore, taking a good history is critical to ensuring a proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment. The following discussion describes common male sexual dysfunctions and their corresponding causes, signs
and symptoms, and management.
Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, occurs when a man is unable to attain or maintain a
hard, erect penis satisfactory for sexual intercourse. Men with erection problems often retain other sexual functions. They may, for example, still have sexual desire, as well as the
ability to have orgasms and ejaculate semen.
Causes. Erectile dysfunction can occur for a variety of reasons and often may have more
than one cause. It can occur for psychological or physical reasons or for a combination
of both.
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction include stress and anxiety due to marital, financial, or any other external problem. For example, a man who is having problems in his
marriage may find himself unable to have an erection because of the stress and anxiety he
is experiencing in his relationship. Performance anxiety is also a common cause of erectile dysfunction. Because of anxiety about his ability to “perform,” a man finds he cannot
perform—which causes more anxiety, thus completing a vicious cycle. Psychiatric illnesses, such as depression, can also cause erectile dysfunction.
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Although there are a variety of physical causes of erectile dysfunction, the most frequent
ones are vascular diseases. Vascular diseases may cause problems involving blood flow into
the penis to make it erect. They can also cause problems of holding the blood in the penis
to maintain the erection. Thus, hardening of the arteries and other diseases that affect the
vascular system are risk factors for erectile dysfunction.
Diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis and alcoholism, can also
cause erectile dysfunction. Some diseases associated with erectile dysfunction, such as diabetes, can affect both the vascular and the nervous systems.
Erectile dysfunction can also result from pelvic fractures or crush injuries experienced in an
automobile, motorcycle, or other accident. The accident victim may be left with injured nerves
and/or penile arteries that cannot supply enough extra blood to the penis for an erection. Spinal
cord injuries that destroy nerve fibers are another cause of erectile dysfunction. Some types of
surgery and radiation therapy, such as for treating prostate, bladder, or rectal cancer, carry a
risk for erectile dysfunction. In addition, certain medications might contribute to erectile dysfunction (National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse Web Site).
If erectile dysfunction occurs only occasionally, the problem is probably due to psychological causes, such as stress and fatigue. If the problem is chronic, however, it is important for the client to see a urologist or a physician who can determine the causes through a
complete physical examination and a medical history review.
The biological/physiological processes associated with the various causes of erectile dysfunction are presented below.
Cause: Diabetes __________________________________________________________
Comments
• About 60% of men with diabetes are impotent. They become impotent within six years
of the onset of diabetes.
• The high levels of blood sugar associated with diabetes can damage blood vessels and
nerves.
Management
• Diabetes is potentially treatable.
• Inject a variety of vasoactive substances into the corpora cavernosa to produce an
erection.
• Treatment may require surgery to reestablish circulation.
• Fit the client with a penile prosthesis.
• Refer the client to a specialist as necessary.
Cause: Heavy smoking ____________________________________________________
Comments
• Smoking causes blood vessels throughout the body to vasoconstrict, which reduces the
amount of blood that flows to the penis.
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Biological/Physiological Processes Associated with Erectile Dysfunction (continued)
• Erectile dysfunction is more than twice as common among heavy smokers than nonsmokers.
Management
Advise the client to stop smoking, and provide or refer for counseling and nicotine patches,
as requested.
Cause: Hormonal abnormalities ____________________________________________
Comments
• When erectile dysfunction results from decreased testosterone, it is usually accompanied by decreased libido or interest in sex.
• Other signs and symptoms of decreased testosterone are a loss of facial and body hair,
a decrease in lean muscle mass, fatigue, and lethargy.
• In about 5% of men with erectile dysfunction, the condition is caused by abnormal levels of sex hormones, such as low levels of testosterone and high levels of prolactin and
estrogen.
• Hypogonadism is a condition in which the testes do not produce enough testosterone
(see “Male Infertility” on page 1.48).
Management
• Hormonal abnormalities are potentially treatable.
• Refer the client as necessary.
Cause: Medication side effects ______________________________________________
Comments
• Medications and other drugs are involved in an estimated 25% of erectile dysfunction
cases, especially in older men, who tend to take more medications than younger men.
• The drugs that most commonly cause erectile dysfunction include hypertension medication, antidepressants, sedatives, cimetidine, and lithium.
• Erectile dysfunction can be made more severe by medications that are used to treat many
of the disorders that cause it, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Management
• Medication side effects are potentially treatable.
• Refer the client as necessary.
• Consult with the client’s service provider about changing the timing or dosage of his
medication.
Cause: Nerve damage _____________________________________________________
Comments
• Obtain a thorough history of medications and prior surgeries, such as hernia repair.
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Biological/Physiological Processes Associated with Erectile Dysfunction (continued)
• Erectile dysfunction can be caused by penile nerve damage, which results from diabetes,
direct injury to the penis, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or stroke.
• Surgery in the spinal, pelvic, or penile area can also cause nerve damage.
Management
• Nerve damage is difficult to treat.
• Refer the client as necessary.
Cause: Nutritional deficiencies______________________________________________
Comments
• Erectile dysfunction can be caused by nutritional deficiencies in a variety of ways, including neurologic dysfunction.
• Zinc deficiency has been identified as a cause of erectile dysfunction.
Management
• Nutritional deficiencies are potentially treatable.
• Refer the client as necessary.
Cause: Systemic disorders __________________________________________________
Comments
• These systemic disorders include alcoholism, cancer, cirrhosis, hemachromatosis, renal failure, scleroderma, and syphilis.
• These disorders can impair circulation, nerve function, and/or hormonal function, which
can prevent erections.
Management
• Systemic disorders are potentially treatable.
• Refer the client as necessary.
Cause: Trauma___________________________________________________________
Comments
• Erectile dysfunction can be caused by trauma to the pelvic blood vessels and nerves.
• The client will provide a history of trauma.
• Bicycle riding for long periods of time has been identified as a contributing etiologic
factor. It causes vascular and nerve injury.
Management
• Trauma is potentially treatable.
• Refer the client as necessary.
Cause: Vascular disease____________________________________________________
Comments
• Risk factors include diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
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Biological/Physiological Processes Associated with Erectile Dysfunction (continued)
• The decrease of blood flow to the penis can affect the ability to achieve an erection.
• Arteriosclerosis is associated with age and accounts for 50% to 60% of impotence in
men over age 60.
• Prior pelvic or penile surgery can decrease penile blood flow.
Management
• Vascular disease is potentially treatable.
• Refer the client as necessary.
Inhibited Sexual Desire
Sexual desire changes over the course of our lives, and occasional loss of desire is not uncommon. In inhibited sexual desire (ISD), however, a persistent loss of desire disrupts an
individual’s sexual relationship(s). It is characterized by diminished sexual attraction, decreased sexual activity, few or no sexual dreams or fantasies, and diminished attention to
erotic material.
Causes. Similar to erectile dysfunction, the causes of ISD in men can be psychological
and/or physical. Psychological causes can include stress, relationship problems, sexual
trauma, and major life changes.
Physical causes can include testosterone deficiency, whose signs and symptoms are a loss
of facial and body hair; a decrease in lean muscle mass; fatigue; lethargy, or a loss of energy; erectile dysfunction; depression; alcoholism; liver or kidney disease; chronic illness;
and the side effects of drugs, such as antidepressants, recreational drugs (such as alcohol,
cocaine, and marijuana), and tobacco.
Comments. Although ISD is less commonly reported in men than in women, men can be
affected by this sexual dysfunction.
Management. ISD can be difficult to treat. Replacement therapy is indicated if testosterone deficiency is the cause of ISD. Determine which factors (relationship, situational, or
physical or psychological) may be contributing to the loss of desire, and treat or refer the
client to a sex therapist, urologist, or other specialist if possible and as appropriate. (If the
cause is psychological, most studies indicate that response to psychological interventions
for ISD is very poor.)
Usually, decreased desire passes with time, especially if there is open communication between partners. Simple exercises in which partners touch each other without the goal of sex
in mind may help to boost libido and reduce stress. If sexual desire does not improve within
three months, it may be useful to visit a provider specializing in sex therapy.
Premature Ejaculation
Premature ejaculation is a condition in men characterized by persistent or recurrent ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before, on, or shortly after penetration and before
the person wishes it. It occurs when a man is unable to exert reasonable voluntary control
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of his ejaculatory response and is unaware of erotic sensations leading to the point of inevitability and ejaculation. Premature ejaculation is most common among younger men
and men with limited sexual experience. The condition is often associated with performance anxiety.
Causes. The causes of premature ejaculation are rarely physical. Some infections of the
urethra and the prostate gland, untreated gonorrhea, and an overly tight foreskin have been
considered as possible physical causes. More commonly, the affected man has not learned
to recognize the sensory feedback that indicates ejaculation is imminent. This is common
among men who have taught themselves to ignore this sensory feedback and “think of other
things” as a means of avoiding ejaculation before they are satisfied or before their partner
is satisfied.
Comments. Premature ejaculation is most common among younger men and men with
limited sexual experience. The condition does not have an organic cause. It is often associated with performance anxiety, unreasonable expectations about performance, and emotional disorders.
Management. The following may help men who have concerns about premature ejaculation (Inlander & The People’s Medical Society, 1999):
• Wear a condom. This will reduce sensitivity and help to protect against unintended
pregnancy and transmission of STIs.
• Masturbate before sexual intercourse. Masturbate to orgasm before engaging in sexual intercourse because a second erection lasts longer than a first.
• Change positions. Have your partner move to a position that you find less stimulating
in order to delay ejaculation.
• Talk to each other. Sometimes you need to slow down or stop movement altogether to
decrease stimulation. Your partner may not know this fact, so tell him or her.
• Use the “stop/start” technique. At the brink of orgasm, stop and relax until the ejaculatory feeling subsides. Repeat this exercise several times. This will help you recognize
the sensation of ejaculation, thereby allowing more self-control.
• Use the “squeeze” technique. At the time of orgasm, gently squeeze (or ask your partner to squeeze) the tip of your penis (or the base of the penis) and hold for several seconds. Repeat the process several times.
Retarded Ejaculation
Retarded ejaculation is a condition in which the man has unusually delayed ejaculation.
He may be able to ejaculate only with great effort and after a prolonged length of time despite sufficient arousal and stimulation.
Causes. This condition may have neurological, psychological, and medication-induced
causes.
Comments. This condition may cause client anxiety, but it often does not have an organic
cause.
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Management. Treatment primarily consists of psychological exploration and counseling;
refer the client to a specialist if he responds inadequately to reassurance and counseling.
Retrograde Ejaculation
Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which the man ejaculates into his bladder instead
of out the urethra.
Causes. Retrograde ejaculation usually results from dysfunction of the internal urethral
sphincter or an open bladder neck during ejaculation. It is also caused by disorders such as
multiple sclerosis; medications; bladder neck, colon, or rectal surgery; or spinal cord injury. The condition may occur after prostatectomy, in clients who are taking alpha-blocker
medications, and in clients with diabetes, due to autonomic neuropathy.
Comments. Androgen deficiency may result in a lack of emission by decreasing the
amount of prostatic and seminal vesicle secretions. A postmasturbation urine specimen
will show many sperm.
Management. Clients who present with oligospermia and retrograde ejaculation may
benefit from alpha-adrenergic agonists, such as pseudo-ephedrine, or imipramine. Medical failures may require the collection of postmasturbation urine for intrauterine insemination if a client complains of infertility or for electro-ejaculation if a client presents
with absent emission.
Male Orgasmic Disorder
Male orgasmic disorder is persistent or recurrent involuntary delay in orgasm and ejaculation or the inability of the man to have an orgasm.
Causes. The cause is rarely physical and, rather, is associated with a traumatic sexual experience, strict religious upbringing, hostility, overcontrol, or lack of trust.
Comments. The condition is sometimes confused with retrograde ejaculation, which is
common in homosexual men and may be related to fears of infection believed to be brought
on by “safer sex” campaigns.
Management. Treatment includes psychological exploration and counseling.
Male Infertility
For men to be fertile, they must have the following:
• Normal spermatogenesis
• A functional epididymis for sperm maturation
• A patent ductal system to ensure that there are sperm in the ejaculate
• Motility of the sperm
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• Normal biological structure and functioning of the sperm
• Ability to deposit the sperm in the woman’s vagina (this requires an adequate sex drive
and the ability to achieve and maintain an erection, have normal ejaculation, and place
the ejaculate in the vaginal vault).
A couple or individual is considered infertile if the man and/or the woman have been unable to achieve a pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse. Scientific data indicate that in approximately 30% of cases, infertility is a result of a problem in the man’s reproductive system, while in another 20% of cases, infertility can be due to the functioning
of both the man’s and the woman’s reproductive system.
Infertility is often an anxiety-provoking situation; it can result in despair, shame, grief, depression, and even divorce. When service providers assess an infertile couple, it is best to
obtain histories from each member of the couple separately and in strict confidence. Either
client may have concealed information from the other that is relevant to assessing and dealing with their situation, such as a previous pregnancy, medical condition, or even previous
sterilization. It is important to assess that both the male client and his partner want to have
a(nother) child. Men and women can be coerced by their partners to have a(nother) child
even if they are ambivalent about, or even opposed to, the idea of having a child. This
should be assessed with each person separately and carefully. Providers should never take
part in a coercive situation that forces either partner to try to conceive if the other partner
seems reluctant.
Approach the male client with positive encouragement, and always avoid any language that
suggests blame. Be aware of cultural issues related to infertility. In some cultures, marriages may be annulled if the couple is unable to conceive. They may consider childbearing as their primary role in their society, and the inability to conceive may be considered a
significant failure. In addition, for men, the inability to have an offspring may have serious
consequences related to loss of continuation of the family name, his concept of manhood,
disposal of property, and social power.
Where infertility assessment is possible, it is a lengthy process and requires a team approach to treatments. Failure to treat the condition can result in frustration and grieving;
support from a service provider is essential to help clients through this emotionally stressful process. Clients may need to have intercourse on a rigid schedule timed to the peak fertile days in the woman’s menstrual cycle. Scheduling sex can decrease the spontaneity of
lovemaking and increase the clients’ anxiety. An infertility evaluation can require tests that
male clients may find embarrassing. For example, semen analysis requires ejaculation by
masturbation, and the postcoital test involves a prescribed time for intercourse followed by
a scheduled visit within a few hours to the health care facility for semen analysis (see
“Overview: Laboratory and Specialized Tests for Male Infertility” on page 1.50).
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Overview: Laboratory and Specialized Tests
for Male Infertility
The primary test for male infertility is semen analysis. Postcoital testing of the female
partner assesses both male and female factors that may contribute to a couple’s infertility. Routine hormonal testing (testosterone, LH, FSH, prolactin, estradiol) is indicated only if a man has very low sperm density or if endocrinopathy is suspected. Other
studies, such as chromosomal analysis, immunologic studies to identify anti-sperm antibodies, testicular biopsy, sperm function tests, and testing for syphilis and other STIs
may be performed selectively by infertility experts.
Causes of Male Infertility
Most male infertility is caused by a low sperm count or motility of the sperm, which is the
sperm’s ability to swim into a woman’s fallopian tube and fertilize an egg. The following
factors can affect sperm count and motility:
• Illnesses, such as the flu or mumps, can decrease the production of sperm
• STIs, which can affect the testes or the spermatic ducts
• Environmental toxins
• Smoking and alcohol and drug use can decrease sperm production
• Varicoceles, which are damaged or enlarged veins near the spermatic cord that can decrease sperm counts by increasing heat in the testes
• Congenital problems
• Chromosomal defects
• Hormonal insufficiency
Diagnosing Male Infertility
A service provider may refer a man to a urologist to determine the possible causes of infertility. The urologist may perform several tests, including:
• Semen analysis to test the semen volume, consistency, number of sperm, motility, and
sperm shape
• Postcoital test to check the compatibility of the man’s sperm with a woman’s cervical
mucus
• Blood tests to check for hormone imbalances
• X-rays to look for damage and blockage of the vasa deferentia
Preventing Male Infertility
There are some things a man can do to improve his fertility, including the following
(Inlander & The People’s Medical Society, 1999):
• Avoiding stress
• Not using alcohol or drugs
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Not smoking
Checking medications that may affect fertility
Taking antioxidants
Getting enough zinc
Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Avoiding environmental toxins
Wearing loose-fitting undergarments
Pretesticular Causes of Infertility
Pretesticular causes of infertility include congenital or acquired diseases of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, or peripheral organs that result in an alteration of the hypothalamicpituitary axis. These causes account for 1% to 2% of infertility cases, and are described
below.
Cause: Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (Kallman’s syndrome) _________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Midline facial defects
• Color blindness
• Hearing difficulties
• Cryptorchidism (see page 1.28)
Comments
• This condition is caused by a defect in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion.
• Azoospermia, when no sperm are found in the ejaculate, or severe oligospermia, when
a small number of sperm are found in the ejaculate, is present.
• The absence of low levels of testosterone and of gonadal stimulating pituitary hormones
(follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH] and luteinizing hormone [LH]) results in absent
or decreased gonadal function.
• The client may have other endocrine (thyroid, adrenal) abnormalities.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Estrogen excess ____________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
Gynecomastia
Comments
High estrogen levels may result from testicular tumors, liver failure, or massive obesity.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
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Pretesticular Causes of Infertility (continued)
Cause: Hemochromatosis __________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Enlarged liver
• Eye-color changes
Comments
This condition is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to metabolize iron. The
client has an overload of iron deposits in the liver, pituitary gland, or, less commonly, testes.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Hyperprolactinemia ________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Infertility
• Gynecomastia
• Galactorrhea
• Headaches
• Changes in vision
Comments
• This condition is a disorder that affects the level of prolactin in the blood.
• Elevated prolactin levels disrupt erectile function and adversely affect semen parameters.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Steroid excess _____________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• “Cushing’s syndrome” body habitus with moon face (facial adiposity), increased
adipose tissue in the neck and trunk
• Central weight gain, muscle wasting, thin skin, easy bruising, poor wound healing, susceptibility to infection, hirsutism, purple striae, thin extremities, osteoporosis, “buffalo
hump,” bone necrosis, hypertension, headache, backache, general weakness, acne,
hyperglycemia, and glycosuria (all signs of excess steroids)
Comments
High cortisol levels caused by steroid therapy for ulcerative colitis, asthma, arthritis, or organ transplant can lead to inhibition of GnRH release.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
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Primary Testicular Causes of Infertility
Primary infertility affects 15% to 30% of married couples; the percentage varies widely
with geographic location. About 33% of primary infertility cases are due to male factors,
33% are due to female factors, and 33% are due to combined factors. Endocrinologic profiles and detailed semen analysis are the cornerstones of laboratory investigations performed after history taking and physical examination findings. Because spermatogenesis
takes approximately 74 days, it is important to review events from the past three months.
Primary Gonadal Deficiency. Primary gonadal deficiency is an important cause of infertility, involving 30% to 40% of cases of male infertility. When taking the client’s history,
ask about previous testicular disorders (torsion, cryptorchidism, trauma), infections
(mumps orchitis, urethritis, epididymitis), heat-related issues (e.g., testicular proximity to
a hot engine [which truck drivers present with], routinely taking hot baths, wearing tight
underwear, riding a bicycle), medications that may affect spermatogenesis (spironolactone,
nitrofurantoin, cimetidine), radical pelvic surgery, or hernia repair that may damage testicular blood supply.
When performing the physical examination, pay particular attention to features of hypogonadism. Male hypogonadism is caused by deficient testosterone secretion by the testes.
It may be classified according to whether it is due to insufficient gonadotropin secretion by
the pituitary (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism) or to pathology in the testes themselves
(hypergonadotropic hypogonadism). Signs and symptoms may include diminished libido
and erections, as well as decreased body hair growth. In addition, the testes may be small
and/or fibrotic, or they may be normal. Serum gonadotropins (luteinizing hormone [LH]
and follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH]) are decreased in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, but increased in testicular failure (from mumps, irradiation, cancer therapy,
autoimmune disease, uremia, gonadal dysgenesis, or Klinefelter’s syndrome).
Conditions causing infertility due to primary testicular causes are presented below.
Cause: Age ______________________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
Usually no physical findings
Comments
A client who is age 64 or older can experience a decline in semen quality. The number of
sperm decrease, and the mobility of the sperm slows.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable with hormones.
Cause: Bilateral anorchia __________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
Absent testes (a congenital disorder)
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Primary Testicular Causes of Infertility (continued)
Comments
This condition is rare.
Management
The condition is untreatable.
Cause: Chemotherapy _____________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
History of treatment for testicular cancer or other cancers
Comments
• Chemotherapy drugs are often most toxic to actively dividing cells, spermatogonia,
and spermatocytes.
• The most toxic chemotherapy drugs are alkylating agents, such as cyclophosphamide.
Management
The client may become more fertile one year after treatment ends.
Cause: Chromosomal abnormalities (Klinefelter’s syndrome) _____________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Gynecomastia
• Small testes
• Eunuch-like body proportions caused by delayed puberty
Comments
• This condition is associated with an extra X chromosome.
• Klinefelter’s syndrome occurs in one out of 500 to 1,000 male births.
• The client is infertile because of primary testicular failure.
• The client is usually azoospermic.
Management
The condition is untreatable.
Cause: Cryptorchidism ____________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Possible history of surgery during childhood to correct cryptorchidism
• Testes that are not palpable in the scrotum
• Undescended testes that may be palpable as a mass in the inguinal canal
• Testes that may be retractile
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Primary Testicular Causes of Infertility (continued)
Comments
• This condition is the incomplete or abnormal descent of one testicle or both testes into
the scrotum.
• In an infant, a retractile or hypermobile testicle that pulls up into the inguinal canal can
often be moved down into the scrotum with gentle pressure. But a true undescended testicle cannot be brought down in this way.
• An absent testicle is very rare.
• Ectopic testicle is associated with cryptorchidism. Once in a while, when the inner thigh
is stroked longitudinally, a retractile testicle can be brought back up into the inguinal
canal by a hyperactive cremaster reflex (see page 1.29).
• Cryptorchidism leads to infertility; undescended testes lose the ability to produce sperm
if they are not brought back up into the scrotum. Cryptorchidism also leads to a high risk
of developing testicular cancer later in life.
• If only one testicle is undescended and diagnosed after puberty, surgery is usually performed.
• Retractile or hypermobile testes do not require treatment.
Management
The condition is treatable if diagnosed early.
Cause: Environmental toxins _______________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
The client may provide helpful information during the history taking.
Comments
• Cigarettes and marijuana lead to a decrease in sperm density, motility, and morphology.
• Alcohol produces both an acute and a chronic decrease in testosterone secretion.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Granulomatous disease______________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
The client has manifestations of the disease, including skin changes and lung problems.
Comments
Leprosy and sarcoidosis may infiltrate the testicle and lead to testicular failure.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
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Primary Testicular Causes of Infertility (continued)
Cause: Medications _______________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
History of medication use
Comments
Many drugs can cause a decrease in sperm production, including ketoconazole, cimetidine,
spironolactone, tetracycline, colchicine, methadone, methotrexate, phenytoin, thioridazine, and calcium channel blockers.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable with cessation of use of medication.
Cause: Myotonic dystrophy _________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Weakness
• Cardiac abnormalities
• Cataracts
Comments
This condition is an inherited disorder characterized by delayed onset of impaired motor
function, cataracts, premature balding, mild mental retardation, and infertility.
Management
The condition is untreatable.
Cause: Occupational exposure ______________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
History of occupational exposures to toxins
Comments
• The client may have worked in a factory, on a farm, in a mine, or in industry.
• Sperm production is impaired because of direct inhibition of testosterone synthesis
and pituitary gonadotropin secretion, or because of blocking of peripheral androgen
action.
• Many pesticides have estrogen-like effects.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
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Primary Testicular Causes of Infertility (continued)
Cause: Orchitis __________________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Scrotal pain
• Gradual onset of testicular pain that radiates to the genital area
• Nausea, vomiting, and high fever
• Enlarged, tense, tender testicle
• Normal epididymis
• Recognizable scrotal abscesses, which are rare
• Acute hydrocele
• In mumps parotitis, salivary gland swelling and pain that develop three to four days before orchitis (the viruses attack both the parotid glands, causing swelling [mumps], and
the testes)
• In tuberculous orchitis, a tuberculous infection of the lung or epididymis
Comments
• This condition is a rare infection or inflammation of the testicle.
• It is caused by the spread of infection from epididymitis (see page 1.29) or by hematogenous spread. It is also caused by the mumps virus in postadolescent males, by tuberculosis, and by syphilis (see page 1.66).
• Granulomatous orchitis, which is probably an autoimmune response to sperm, can occur in middle-aged and older men. This condition is hard to distinguish from testicular
tumors, and it can be diagnosed only after orchiectomy.
• Testicle atrophy may occur after the acute phase of orchitis, with impaired sperm production but normal hormonal function. Spermatogenesis is irreversibly damaged in
about 30% of testes after mumps orchitis. After bilateral orchitis, clients may become
sterile.
• In early orchitis, it may be possible to distinguish between epididymitis and orchitis, but
in later orchitis, inflammation and swelling affect both testes and epididymides.
• Urinary symptoms are absent in orchitis unless epididymitis is also present.
• Orchitis can mask a testicular tumor.
• Live, attenuated mumps vaccine is highly effective in preventing mumps parotitis and
orchitis.
• Orchitis is most often seen as a secondary infection during a systemic illness.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable (see page 1.32).
Cause: Radiation _________________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
History of treatment for cancer or occupational exposure to radiation
Comments
Radiation can impair sperm production.
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Primary Testicular Causes of Infertility (continued)
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Sertoli-cell-only syndrome (germinal cell aplasia) ________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Small or normal-sized testes
• Azoospermia (see page 1.51)
Comments
The client has a congenital defect of the testes.
Management
The condition is untreatable.
Cause: Systemic illness ____________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
The client has a history of chronic renal disease, cirrhosis, sickle-cell anemia, proteincalorie malnutrition, advanced Hodgkin’s disease, cancer (prior to chemotherapy),
amyloidosis, myocardial infarction, severe burns, celiac disease, or HIV infection.
Comments
The client has an acquired defect of varying severity.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Testicular trauma __________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
History of testicular trauma, including testicular torsion
Comments
• Testicular trauma is the second most common acquired cause of infertility.
• The testes are at risk for both thermal trauma and physical trauma because of their
exposed position.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable (see page 1.33).
Cause: Varicocele_________________________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Scrotal swelling, usually chronic and on the left side
• Scrotum that feels like a “bag of worms” because of its prominent, slippery vessels
• Small “bag of worms” felt just above the testicle, along the spermatic cord
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Primary Testicular Causes of Infertility (continued)
Comments
• This condition is a collection of varicose veins in the scrotal sac.
• A varicocele more commonly occurs on the left side because the left testicular vein
drains into the left renal vein, whereas the right testicular vein drains into the inferior
vena cava.
• Nearly 20% of men have a left varicocele of some degree. An acute appearance of a
varicocele, especially on the right side, should prompt further evaluation for the presence of renal cancer, renal vein thrombosis, or vena cava obstruction.
• The condition is associated with infertility.
• A client who presents with a varicocele of recent or rapid onset, especially on the right
side, should be evaluated for kidney cancer, which might be occluding the renal vein.
• A varicocele is usually visible when the client is in an upright position.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable (see page 1.24).
Disorders of the Sperm Transport System. The epididymis is an important site for sperm
maturation and an essential part of the sperm transport system. The vasa deferentia transport sperm from the epididymides to the urethra (see page A.5). Abnormalities at any of
these sites can cause infertility. Disorders of the sperm transport system account for 10%
to 20% of male infertility, and are described below.
Cause: Absence of the vasa deferentia ________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Absent vasa deferentia during palpation
• History of cystic fibrosis associated with respiratory and gastrointestinal problems
(which cause poor sperm motility)
Comments
• The client may have a congenital absence of a vas deferens.
• The client may have cystic fibrosis.
Management
The condition is untreatable.
Cause: Blockage of a vas deferens ___________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Thickened, nodular vas deferens observed in tuberculosis from infection and granuloma
formation
• STIs
• Vasectomy
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Disorders of the Sperm Transport System (continued)
Comments
• Genital ducts may become obstructed resulting from such infections as chlamydia,
gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and smallpox.
• Trauma or previous inguinal surgery can also cause blockage.
• Some men have sperm granulomas (an immune response) that form after a vasectomy.
• If the client has had a vasectomy, check for the presence of a nodular sperm granuloma
at the proximal vasal end.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Immotile cilia syndrome _____________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Respiratory tract trouble
• Frequent infections
Comments
This condition is caused by a defect in the functioning of cilia.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable.
Cause: Retrograde ejaculation ______________________________________________
History/Physical Examination Findings
• Surgeries
• Medications
Comments
• This condition is caused by dysfunction of the internal urethral sphincter or an open
bladder neck during ejaculation.
• It is also caused by such disorders as multiple sclerosis; medications; bladder neck,
colon, prostate, or rectal surgery; or spinal cord injury.
• The condition may occur after prostatectomy, in clients who are taking alpha-blocker
medications, and in clients with diabetes, due to autonomic neuropathy.
Management
The condition is potentially treatable (see page 1.48).
Other Causes of Infertility
Other causes of infertility include:
• Psychological/emotional factors. These include depression, marital disharmony or
emotional conflict about intimacy, and sexual relations or parental roles, which can directly affect endocrine (hormonal/glandular) function and such physiological processes
as normal libido, erection, and ejaculation (and, in women, ovulation). There is no evi-
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dence, however, for any simple causal relationship between stress and infertility. Furthermore, fertility is affected by psychic factors such as frequency, duration, and timing
of sexual intercourse, phobic avoidance of intercourse, and painful intercourse. The conditions are treatable.
• Idiopathic infertility. This term describes cases of infertility whose causes are unknown. The condition is untreatable.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that can be passed from one person to
another person by sexual contact, although in some cases some STIs can be transmitted by
other means as well. STIs can be transmitted between any two people—regardless of their
sex or age—by penile-vaginal, anal, and oral sex and by skin-to-skin contact during sex. In
many places in the world, STIs are referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
STIs are part of a broader group of infections known as reproductive tract infections
(RTIs). In addition to STIs, RTIs include other infections of the reproductive system that
are not caused by sexual contact. Some of these infections result from an imbalance of the
microorganisms normally found in the reproductive tract; still other RTIs are incurred during medical procedures.
The symptoms associated with STIs and other RTIs vary from none to severe. You cannot
always tell if a person has an STI, and people without symptoms often transmit the infection to others unknowingly.
Common STIs
STIs can be divided into two broad categories:
• Curable STIs: These can be treated and cured with antimicrobial drugs. However, if
they are not diagnosed and treated in time, some of these diseases can cause irreversible
damage, such as infertility, inflammation of the testes, pneumonia and other infections
in infants, and, in extreme cases, death.
• Incurable STIs: These are caused by viruses. Although these infections cannot
be cured, in some settings they can be managed by relieving or reducing their symptoms.
Symptoms of STIs and RTIs in Men
The most common symptoms of STIs in men are:
• Anal or oral lesions
• Arthralgia
• Blisters or ulcers (sores) on the mouth, lips, genitals, anus, or surrounding areas
• Burning or pain during urination
• Diarrhea and straining
• Itching or tingling in the genital area
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• Jaundice and/or fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dark urine (Note: All of
these are symptoms of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which are STIs.)
•
•
•
•
•
•
Penile discharge, with or without pain
Skin lesions
Swollen and/or painful testes
Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
Urethral discharge
Urethral itching
Less common symptoms of STIs and RTIs include:
•
•
•
•
Flu-like syndromes (fever, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches)
Joint pain
Mild liver inflammation
Red nodules or bumps under the skin on the mouth, genitals, or anus that ulcerate, become tender, and often bleed easily
• Small, dimpled bumps or lesions on the skin that usually do not hurt or itch and are flesh
colored, but can vary from white to yellow to pink
• Small, red bumps or ulcers in the genital or anal area; lymph node swelling in the genital area; chronic ulcers on the genitals or anus
Common STIs in Men
This section provides information on the signs and symptoms, physical examination findings, differential diagnosis, and management of common STIs in men. General comments
are also provided. (For more information about the management, treatment, and prevention
of STIs, see Appendix B.)
§
Signs and Symptoms
Blisters or ulcers (sores) on the mouth, lips, genitals, anus, or surrounding areas
Physical Examination Findings
• Anal, oral, and skin lesions with irregular, nonindurated borders
• Fluctuant lymph nodes with red, overlying skin
Differential Diagnosis
Chancroid
Comments
This condition is:
• Caused by the bacteria Haemophilus ducreyi
• Difficult to distinguish from herpes, lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) (see page
1.65), or syphilis
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Common STIs in Men (continued)
Management
• The condition is curable with organism-specific antibiotics.
• Use syndromic or etiologic management to determine the diagnosis and appropriate
treatment.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits,
partner management, and the use of condoms.
Note: Partner management involves treating the partners of STI clients in order to prevent reinfection of the clients and to prevent further spread of the infection to others. If
possible, all partners of an infected client should be notified about their exposure to the
infection and should be encouraged to seek treatment. Notification of partners can be
done by the client, staff, or public health authorities.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Urethral discharge
• Swollen and/or painful testes
• Burning or pain during urination
Physical Examination Findings
Minimal physical findings
Differential Diagnosis
Chlamydia
Comments
This condition is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and is often asymptomatic in men.
Management
• The condition is curable with organism-specific antibiotics.
• Use syndromic or etiologic management to determine the diagnosis and appropriate
treatment.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits,
partner management, and the use of condoms.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Blisters or ulcers (sores) on the mouth, lips, genitals, anus, or surrounding areas
• Burning or pain during urination
• Itching or tingling in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
• Initial lesions with surrounding erythema that can cause shallow ulcers
• Inguinal lymphadenopathy that may present two to three weeks after the onset of symptoms
Differential Diagnosis
Genital herpes
Comments
• Complications of this condition include aseptic meningitis and encephalitis.
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Common STIs in Men (continued)
• Initial lesions are painful vesicles with surrounding erythema that can cause shallow
ulcers.
• There is a recurrence in 90% of clients during the first year of infection.
• Even though clients can be asymptomatic, they can still infect others, even when they
“shed the virus” (some viruses can fall off or leave the body).
Management
• This condition is incurable, but the lesions can be suppressed with antiviral medications.
• Instruct the client to follow general supportive measures:
- Sitting in a bathtub or basin filled with warm water and some baking soda two times
a day.
- Keeping the sores and the areas around them clean and dry.
- Using pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or aspirin.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits,
partner management, and the use of condoms.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Warts or bumps on the genitals, anus, or surrounding areas
Physical Examination Findings
Raised or flat wart-like papules
Differential Diagnosis
Genital warts
Comments
This condition is:
• Caused by HPV
• Often asymptomatic
• Linked to the development of penile and anal cancer
• Frequently seen with other STIs
Management
• The condition is incurable, but the warts can be removed by cryotherapy or surgical
excision.
• Apply podophyllin topically to external skin lesions.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Urethral discharge
• Swollen and/or painful testes
• Burning or pain during urination
Physical Examination Findings
Tender testes
Differential Diagnosis
Gonorrhea
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Common STIs in Men (continued)
Comments
This condition is commonly seen with chlamydia.
Management
• The condition is curable with organism-specific antibiotics.
• Use syndromic or etiologic management to determine the diagnosis and appropriate
treatment.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits,
partner management, and the use of condoms.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
• Tender inguinal lymphadenopathy without an ulcer
• Draining sinus tract in the inguinal area
Differential Diagnosis
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
(see Photograph 17 in Appendix H on page H.8)
Comments
This condition is:
• Marked by the prevention of drainage of the lymph nodes in the genital area
• Caused by chlamydia invading the lymph channels and lymph nodes of the genital area
Management
• The condition is curable with organism-specific antibiotics.
• Use syndromic or etiologic management to determine the diagnosis and appropriate
treatment.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits,
partner management, and the use of condoms.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Lesions in the genital area
• Penile discharge
• Severe itching in the genital area
Physical Examination Findings
Erythematous papules that may be hemorrhagic
Differential Diagnosis
Pubic lice
Comments
• This condition is caused by a parasite that may migrate to other hairy areas of the body,
such as the eyebrows and eyelashes.
• The client may indicate that family members also have severe itching.
• Severe itching can lead to excoriations, which predispose the client to bacterial infections.
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Common STIs in Men (continued)
Management
• The condition is curable with use of a special shampoo.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits, and
partner management.
§
Signs and Symptoms
• Lesions in the genital area
• Penile discharge
• Severe itching in the genital area
• Areas of excoriation on the penis, scrotum, axilla, buttocks, elbows, and interdigital web
spaces
Physical Examination Findings
Vesicular, pustular, or papular skin lesions
Differential Diagnosis
Scabies
Comments
• This condition is difficult to differentiate from pubic lice.
• It is associated with overcrowding.
• The client may indicate that family members also have severe itching.
Management
• The condition is curable.
• Apply a topical cream.
• Practice good hygiene.
• Treat all family members.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Blisters or ulcers (sores) on the mouth, lips, genitals, anus, or surrounding areas
Physical Examination Findings
• Painless ulcers indurated with a smooth base and raised, firm borders
• Primary syphilis: Initially causes sores that will heal on their own, but the infection will
still be present and can progress to secondary or tertiary syphilis.
• Secondary syphilis: Rash, sore throat, muscle aches, tiredness, and swollen lymph nodes
• Tertiary syphilis: No symptoms for many years; eventually can affect every part of the
body; at this stage, can damage the heart and nervous system and can cause death
Differential Diagnosis
Syphilis
Comments
• Approximately 90% of relapses from latent syphilis occur in the first year after infection.
• Many clients have more than one late manifestation.
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Common STIs in Men (continued)
• Cardiovascular syphilis is seen only in those who develop syphilis after age 15.
• Asymptomatic neurosyphilis has been reported in 8% to 40% of clients.
Management
• The condition is curable with organism-specific antibiotics.
• Use syndromic or etiologic management to determine the diagnosis and appropriate
treatment.
• Counsel the client on the importance of compliance with treatment, follow-up visits,
partner management, and the use of condoms.
Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS
Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS deserve special mention because of their variable presentations.
Service providers should suspect these conditions when treating clients, especially those
who engage in high-risk behavior.
Hepatitis (Hepatitis A, B, or C)
§
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the symptoms that men with viral hepatitis may have include:
• Fatigue, malaise
• Loss of appetite
• Upper abdominal pain
• Jaundice
• Dark urine
Physical Examination Findings
Tenderness in the upper abdomen
Comments
The client may present with such systemic signs as fever and general weakness.
Management
The condition is incurable.
HIV/AIDS
It can take 10 or more years between the time an individual becomes infected with HIV and
the development of AIDS.
Many men who are infected with HIV have no symptoms. The signs and symptoms of
HIV/AIDS are often nonspecific and common to other illnesses; only a laboratory test can
confirm the presence of HIV infection.
§
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of HIV-related illnesses and AIDS in men include:
• Unexplained weight loss lasting at least one month
• Diarrhea lasting for several weeks
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• A white coating on the tongue (thrush/oral candidiasis)
• Enlarged or sore lymph nodes (glands) in the neck, armpits, and/or genital area, as well
as generalized swollen glands
• A cough that persists for more than one month
• Persistent fever and/or night sweats
Physical Examination Findings
• Thinness from weight loss
• White tongue
• Swollen glands
• Fever
Comments
Because the condition is incurable, HIV prevention is critical.
Management
The condition is incurable; however, opportunistic infections in HIV-positive clients can be
managed. Counseling such clients is directed at changing risky sexual behaviors, maintaining/improving personal hygiene, offering nutritional advice, and encouraging positive
living.
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From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
2
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Assessment
A health assessment is an essential part of men’s reproductive health care. It consists of
obtaining the client’s sexual and reproductive health history, which includes prior
illnesses, surgeries, and inherited traits, and performing a routine genital examination. The
information obtained during the assessment is the foundation for providing effective, efficient reproductive health care. This information, along with the findings from the physical examination, will enable you to determine how to help the client. Because men visit
health care facilities infrequently, service providers often take the opportunity to screen for
men’s sexual and reproductive health conditions when they come in with other concerns.
This chapter discusses sexual and reproductive health history taking; performing a genital
examination is discussed in Chapter 3.
Importance of Taking a Sexual and Reproductive Health History
Taking a sexual and reproductive health history is a critical component of providing sexual
and reproductive health care for men. Inaccurate or incomplete histories can result in inadequate screening or in the inadequate treatment of potentially life-threatening conditions.
As a service provider, you must be prepared to hear a wide range of sexual and reproductive health concerns. A kind and straightforward assessment is not only essential and
professional, but also compassionate.
Goals, Timing, and Scope
The objectives of taking a sexual and reproductive health history are:
• To identify symptoms of genital, sexual, and reproductive disorders
• To obtain information about sexual abuse, traumas, and injuries
• To identify risk factors for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
• To elicit psychological concerns relating to the genitals, body image, sexuality, sexual
orientation, and sexual dysfunction
• To determine whether the client needs additional information or education about sexual
and reproductive health matters, such as contraceptive options
The timing and scope of taking a sexual and reproductive health history may be determined by a specific situation or may be part of a routine medical history. When a client
does not have any specific sexual or reproductive health concerns, the questions you ask
can be open-ended questions to screen for possible problems, and then narrowed for indepth questioning whenever the client’s answer raises additional issues. On the other hand,
when a client has a specific, acute problem, a narrowly focused history may be required.
Giving a client an opportunity to discuss sexual and reproductive health does not mean
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that the client’s entire history and the whole subject have to be discussed during the initial
visit to the facility. A subsequent visit (or referral) can be scheduled in order to explore a
subject in more depth once it has been raised.
An Effective Step-by-Step Approach
It is essential to provide an atmosphere of acceptance for the client so that he feels
comfortable discussing his history, fears, concerns, current symptoms, and future expectations. In an environment in which a useful sexual and reproductive health history is
obtained, respect the client’s right to his own values, attitudes, and behavior, even if you
do not agree with them. Also explain to the client that the information he provides is
strictly confidential and that only critical details are recorded on his chart. Only other
service providers who treat the client will have access to his chart.
Being patient while taking a client’s sexual and reproductive health history is also essential. Because of the sensitive and personal nature of the information, the question-andanswer pace of the discussion may be slow. Be prepared to wait longer than the usual
amount of time for the client to decide what to say and how to answer each of your questions. If you hurry on to the next question too quickly, you will most likely fail to obtain
important information.
It is also essential that you observe the client’s nonverbal cues (e.g., facial expressions,
appearing nervous or worried, looking downward, or crying). These cues may indicate that
the client is experiencing strong emotions or failing to disclose significant information. If
you notice any nonverbal cues, be sure to ask the client more questions in an attempt to
find out what he is feeling or thinking.
Remember that because sexual and reproductive health information is private, personal,
and even secret, the client may not initially articulate his primary concern. Sexual concerns may be the reason why the client is vague or unclear when describing his symptoms
or when you suspect a functional overlay (e.g., headache, anxiety, or fatigue); this is
particularly true in primary health care settings. Careful and compassionate listening can
make all the difference.
To effectively obtain a sexual and reproductive health history, follow these four steps:
1. Make the client feel comfortable.
2. Ask direct questions about the client’s sexual and reproductive health.
3. Address the client’s questions and concerns.
4. Ask follow-up questions specifically related to the client’s questions and concerns.
Make the Client Feel Comfortable
• Provide a quiet, private room that is free of interruptions.
• Have the client remain fully dressed and seated at eye level.
• Greet the client, and introduce yourself; wear a name tag so that he knows who you are.
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• If an interpreter is necessary, use one who has experience in interpreting sexual and
reproductive health concerns and understands the importance of confidentiality. If
possible, assess the appropriateness of using interpreters of the opposite sex from the
client. This depends on the client, the culture, and the individual circumstances. Avoid
having the client’s family members or friends interpret unless an emergency exists.
Sometimes, family members or friends make assumptions, provide only medical information and not mention other related issues, or provide all the information and not let
the client respond.
Ask Direct Questions about the Client’s Sexual and Reproductive Health
• Explain to the client that you will be asking him several questions about sensitive health
concerns.
• If the client has been accompanied by family members or friends, offer him the chance
to reassess whether he wants them to remain in the room with him during the sexual and
reproductive health history taking.
• Ask clear, direct, and unambiguous questions regardless of your own discomfort or fear
of embarrassing the client. He has a right to be heard in a nonjudgmental way, even if
your values differ from his.
• Ask open-ended questions to identify any areas of concern.
Address the Client’s Questions and Concerns
• Reassure the client that other men ask similar questions and have similar concerns.
• Do not become anxious about periods of silence. They enable the client to be more
frank about his concerns. The client may need time to sort out how much he wants to
reveal.
• Encourage the client to discuss his concerns in his own words.
• Listen attentively as he presents his reason(s) for seeing a service provider.
Ask Follow-Up Questions Specifically Related to the Client’s Questions
and Concerns
• Narrow your follow-up questions about the client’s questions and concerns to elicit
additional information when necessary. Begin an organized approach to your follow-up
questions so that you can understand the condition’s onset, location, duration, character, and extent, as well as any associated factors and prior diagnoses and treatments.
• Give the client an opportunity at the end of the history taking to raise issues he did not
mention earlier.
• Pay close attention to the client’s last question or concern as the history taking is about
to end or as he leaves the room. Because men are often uncomfortable discussing sexual
and reproductive health issues openly, a client may disguise his real concern by making
a joke or a seemingly casual remark. He might say, “Well, I guess that will satisfy my
wife.” Frequently, this is the first indication that the client has a sexual concern. Take
such jokes and remarks seriously, and follow up, at least briefly, on them with appro-
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priate questions. Respond to these comments as if the client really wants information
or an opportunity to talk—he probably does. But you also need to recognize that
because of time and/or schedule constraints, you may have to ask the client to return for
another visit to discuss any significant issues that were identified toward the end of the
initial visit.
Major Components of Sexual and Reproductive Health
History Taking
There are seven major components of taking a sexual and reproductive health history. For
each component, the reasons for needing the information are provided, along with some
sample questions that will enable you to explore the subject if the client’s initial answers
indicate that you will need additional information before making a diagnosis or risk
assessment.
1. Number and Type of Sexual Partners
Why This Information Is Needed
• To determine the client’s level of risk for contracting an STI
• To obtain information without using terms that can be interpreted inaccurately or as
value-laden (e.g., homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual)
Sample Questions
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Do you have sex with women, men, or both women and men?
How many partners have you had in the last year?
Have you had any new partners in the past few months?
Have you ever had any casual or one-time partners?
Have you ever had any partners you would consider risky in terms of HIV/AIDS or
other infections? What makes these partners risky?
• Have you ever been infected by any partners? [If the client answers yes, ask:] How were
you and your partners treated? How are you and your partners now?
2. Sexual Activities
Why This Information Is Needed
• To determine the client’s level of risk for contracting an STI
• To determine the focus of the genital examination and the need for throat, rectal, and
urethral (in the client’s partner) cultures to test for STIs
Sample Questions
• What kind of sexual activities do you engage in? (Modify these questions according to
the client’s prior answers to the questions about the number and type of partners he has
had and other information he has provided.)
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– Penis in vagina (penile-vaginal sex)?
– Penis in mouth (fellatio)?
– Mouth on vulva (cunnilingus)?
– Your penis in your partner’s anus (anal sex)?
– Your partner’s penis in your anus?
– Any other sexual activities? [This question is particularly important when the
client’s prior answers or other information he has provided indicate, possible trauma
or infection transmission through such activities as oral-anal contact or the use or
sharing of sexual devices.]
3. Risk for Contracting STIs
Why This Information Is Needed
• To identify whether the client needs information about risks and/or protective measures
for STIs, including gonorrhea, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, and other STIs that you
are likely to see in your clients
• To encourage the client to evaluate his own risks and sexual behaviors so that he can
determine whether he is adequately protecting himself
Sample Questions
• In what ways, if any, are you protecting yourself from HIV/AIDS and other STIs?
• Are you:
– Having sex with someone who has sex with others?
– Having sex with someone who is HIV-positive?
– Having sex with someone who uses intravenous (IV) drugs, injection drugs, or vitamins?
– Having sex with someone whose sexual history and HIV status you do not know? [If
the client answers yes, ask:] How do you know this person is not HIV-positive?
– Having unsafe sex?
• Do you protect yourself with all of your partners or only some of your partners?
• Do you protect yourself consistently (every time) you have sex, or do you sometimes
have unsafe sex?
• Do you drink alcohol or use drugs? [If the client answers yes, ask:] Does this affect
whether you protect yourself when you have sex?
• Have you taken an HIV test? [If the client answers yes, ask:] When did you take the HIV
test? [If the client answers no, ask:] Are you willing to consider taking an HIV test? [If the
client answers yes, suggest that he make another appointment. If the client answers no,
explain the importance of taking an HIV test. If the test reveals that he is HIV-positive, he
can be treated for the infection and receive follow-up care. If the test reveals he is HIVnegative, he can receive counseling to prevent him from becoming infected with HIV.]
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4. Symptoms of Infections, Injuries, and Disorders
Why This Information Is Needed
• To determine if the client has an STI or an injury to or a disorder of his sexual and
reproductive organs, such as an infection or enlargement of the prostate gland
• To inform the client of signs and symptoms that require medical care when they appear
Sample Questions
• Do you have any problems with your genitals, such as burning or pain during urination,
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discharge from your penis, bumps or sores on your genitals, or pain or lumps in your
genital area? (Follow up on any specific signs and symptoms that the client mentions.)
[If the client answers yes, ask:] What color is the discharge? Is the sore painful? When
did you notice the discharge [or sore]? Did you notice a change in the discharge? Did
the sore become more painful?
Do you have any pain, lumps, or heaviness in your testes?
Do you have any other problems with urination, such as having difficulty emptying your
bladder, urinating frequently, having to get up during the night to urinate, or dribbling?
Do you have any lower abdominal pain?
Do you have dark urine or any yellowing of your skin or eyes?
Have you ever had any history of genital injuries or surgery?
Do you want to be checked for STIs today?
Do you routinely examine your testes and other genitals?
Do you have any questions about STIs or other men’s sexual and reproductive health
problems?
5. Sexual Satisfaction
Why This Information Is Needed
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To assess the client’s sexual concerns
To evaluate the client’s possible sexual dysfunction
To educate the client about sexual satisfaction issues
To reassure the client that his sexual concerns will be addressed, that his concerns are
normal, and that other clients have sexual concerns also
Sample Questions
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How satisfied are you with your sex life at this time?
Do you have any doubts, problems, or concerns about how you function sexually?
Do you have any problems achieving or maintaining an erection or reaching orgasm?
Have you had any change in how often you have sex or how interested you are in sex?
Have you noticed any change in your sexual functioning? (This question is particularly
important if the client has any chronic diseases [e.g., heart disease], has a history of
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relevant diseases or surgeries [e.g., coronary bypass surgery], or takes medications that
may affect his sexual functioning [e.g., antidepressants or antihypertensives].)
Have you had any change in your alcohol, drug, or tobacco use? (Ask this question only
if the client’s prior answers or other information he has provided indicate alcohol, drug,
or tobacco use, which may be related to sexual dysfunction. [If the client answers yes,
ask:] Has this change affected your sexual functioning?
Have you ever been forced to have sex or had abusive sexual contact?
Do you have any sexual problems with your current partner?
Have you or your partner had any problems or illnesses that have affected your sex life?
Do you have any problems with controlling your anger or feeling depressed (lethargic,
unable to sleep)?
Has anything affected the way you feel about yourself as a man (e.g., unemployment,
mental health problems)?
Do you have any sexual problems or concerns that you want to talk about today?
Overview: Using Sexual Slang
When you take a client’s sexual and reproductive history, the client may use common,
slang, or colloquial terms to describe his body, sexual behaviors, and sexual function.
It is important for you to understand the medical and common or slang terms used in
your local area and to be comfortable hearing (and perhaps using) common or slang
terms in order to communicate effectively with the client.
You have several ways to help the client learn and use the medical terms. For example,
you might say to a client, “You have a sore on your dick? Oh, another word for dick is
penis. I will probably call it a penis more often, but it means the same thing.” In this
way, the client learns the correct term without feeling criticized or unknowledgeable
for having used the slang term.
Medical terms that may be used when providing men’s sexual and reproductive health
services include:
• Body parts: penis, scrotum, testes/testicles/male gonads, clitoris, vagina, vulva,
breasts, anus
• Sexual behaviors and related terms: erection, masturbation, sexual intercourse,
penile-vaginal sex, coitus interruptus, oral sex ( fellatio when performed on a man;
cunnilingus when performed on a woman), anal probing, anal receptive intercourse,
anal sex, withdrawal, ejaculation, orgasm, condom, impregnate, erection, erectile
dysfunction, gonorrhea, syphilis, infertility, pre-ejaculate, semen, vasectomy
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6. Contraception
Why This Information Is Needed
• To assess whether the client and his partner need contraception
• To determine whether the contraceptive method that the client and his partner are using
is satisfactory for both partners, and whether they are using it correctly
• To encourage the client to evaluate his role in preventing pregnancy in their relationship
Sample Questions
• How important is it to you and your partner to prevent pregnancy at this time? [If the client
answers that preventing pregnancy is not important to him and his partner, continue with
the next component. If the client answers that preventing pregnancy is important to him
and his partner, continue with the rest of the questions in this component.]
• Do you and your partner agree on whether you want to prevent pregnancy now?
• Which contraceptive method(s) are you and your partner using to prevent pregnancy?
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[If the client and his partner use a female-directed method, ask him:] Are there ways in
which you help your partner use this contraceptive method?
How satisfied are you and your partner with your current contraceptive method(s)?
What would you or your partner change about your current contraceptive method(s)?
Have you or your partner had any illnesses or problems that interfere with your current
contraceptive method(s)?
Do you understand how emergency contraception works?
Can you talk with your partner about contraception and sexuality?
Do you have any questions about preventing pregnancy?
7. Infertility and Pregnancy
Why This Information Is Needed
• To elicit the client’s reproductive health history
• To assess the client’s desire and/or ability to have (more) children
Sample Questions
• Have you ever made a woman pregnant?
• Do you have any children? [If the client answers yes, ask:] How many children do you
have? How old are they/is he or she?
• Do you want any (more) children? [If the client answers yes, ask:] When? How many?
With your current partner?
• Do you have any concerns about your ability to make someone pregnant? [If the client
answers yes, follow up with additional appropriate questions or refer the client to the
appropriate specialist.]
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• Are you and your partner trying to conceive? [If the client answers yes, ask:] How long
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have you been trying to conceive?
Has your partner had any children?
Have you or your partner seen a service provider, been tested, or been treated previously
for infertility? [If the client answers yes, ask:] Can you give me details about these tests
and treatments?
Have you had a semen analysis?
Does your partner have irregular menstrual cycles? (If the client’s partner has irregular
menstrual cycles, this could indicate anovulation, which is a lack of ovulation.)
Does your partner have pain while she is menstruating (has her period), especially
progressive pain while she is menstruating? (If the client’s partner has pain [not just
menstrual cramps] while she is menstruating, this could indicate endometriosis, which
can cause infertility.)
Has your partner ever had, or has she had any signs and symptoms that indicate, uterine leiomyomata, menometrorrhagia, pain while she is menstruating, deep pelvic pain
with sexual intercourse, or pelvic pressure?
Global Screening Recommendations
Several national and international medical organizations have made official recommendations regarding when and which types of physical and laboratory screening tests should be
performed on men. The following are global screening recommendations for various
sexual and reproductive health conditions.
Note: It is likely that you will not be able to perform all of the screening tests described
below at your health care facility. So it is important to begin to develop a list of local laboratories and other organizations to which you can refer clients when such screening tests
are necessary. Do not screen for any condition that you cannot treat or for any condition
for which the client will not have access to treatment (if the screening test is positive).
Review the screening tests that follow, and identify the ones that you can perform at your
facility and the ones for which you will need to refer clients to other facilities.
HIV (Voluntary Screening)
Assess the client’s risk for HIV by carefully taking his sexual and reproductive health
history and inquiring about injection drug use. Periodic screening is recommended for any
client at increased risk for HIV (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 1996). Testing for
HIV is suggested in facilities in the developing world in which such testing is available.
Prostate Cancer
Two screening tests are used to detect prostate cancer: the digital rectal examination (DRE)
and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The DRE has been used for many years as a
screening test, but its ability to detect prostate cancer is limited, as some tumors form in areas
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of the prostate gland that the DRE cannot reach. These areas are in the center of the prostate
gland, where the DRE cannot feel the tumor, and directly on top of the prostate gland, where
the DRE cannot reach the tumor because it is too high. Sometimes, service providers also
have difficulty distinguishing between benign abnormalities and prostate cancer.
The PSA test measures an enzyme in the blood that can rise naturally as men age and when
men have prostate gland abnormalities. However, it cannot distinguish between prostate
cancer and benign growths or other conditions, such as prostatitis. The PSA test also fails
to detect some prostate cancers.
There is some controversy over the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.
Although screening detects some prostate cancers early in their growth, it is not yet known
whether screening saves lives or whether treatment reduces disability and death from
disease. For some men, screening and treatment may be more harmful than helpful
because current screening tests do not indicate which prostate cancers will grow slowly.
Slow-growing prostate cancers may not require surgery or radiation, which can cause
impotence and incontinence. Therefore, the harm associated with prostate cancer treatment can outweigh the benefits. Additionally, it is not clear how well treatment works for
fast-growing prostate cancers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend prostate
cancer screening, but it does recommend that clients be provided with up-to-date information about screening, including its potential harm and benefits (CDC Web Site).
Testicular Cancer
Most testicular cancers are first detected by the client, either unintentionally or through
genital self-examination; some are discovered during routine genital self-examinations.
However, no studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of genital selfexamination or genital examination performed by service providers in reducing the
mortality rate from testicular cancer.
The early detection of testicular cancer may have little to no effect on mortality, since it is
so high. However, it may have a practical effect on therapy. The more advanced is the
testicular cancer, the higher are both the number of courses of chemotherapy and the
extent of surgery required for treatment. Clients diagnosed with localized testicular cancer
require less treatment and have lower morbidity than those with more advanced disease.
Sexual and Reproductive Health History Taking Case Studies
The following case studies illustrate the common men’s sexual and reproductive health
signs, symptoms, and concerns that service providers must consider when taking a sexual
and reproductive health history. By asking the suggested questions and performing a genital examination, you will obtain enough information to make a differential diagnosis and
plan a course of treatment.
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Case Study 1: Testicular Torsion
Signs, Symptoms, and Concerns
You are Mohammed, a 24-year-old Egyptian graduate student. You come to the health care
facility with scrotal pain and swelling. The problem started about two hours ago, and you
thought it would get better on its own because it did when it happened before. You would
prefer to talk to a male service provider, but you will talk to a female provider if necessary because you are very worried that you may have cancer. The pain is getting worse,
and you have nausea and low-grade fever and are vomiting. You worry that if you have
cancer, the treatment will involve castration, you will never have children, you will not
carry on your family name, and you will cease to be “a man.”
Suggested Questions
• How often has this happened? (A client with a history of testicular torsion may mention
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prior episodes of acute pain that resolved themselves.)
What were you doing when this happened? (Was the client straining? Was he lifting?
Was he having sex?)
Do you have a fever?
Does it hurt to urinate?
Does your urine have blood in it?
Have you ever been diagnosed with an STI?
Physical Examination Findings
The client’s testicle is high in the scrotal sac and has a horizontal orientation.
Differential Diagnosis
A client with sudden-onset scrotal pain and swelling should be considered to have testicular torsion until proven otherwise. The condition is a medical emergency and requires
prompt treatment and referral. Misdiagnosing the condition can lead to testicular loss
and infertility.
Other possible causes for the client’s condition are:
• Epididymitis and orchitis. The client may have a more gradual onset of pain, urethral
discharge, a history of urinary tract infection, and a work or exercise history consistent
with lifting and straining. Epididymitis and orchitis are the disorders most commonly
misdiagnosed as testicular torsion. These conditions are rare before adolescence.
• Hydrocele. The client may have painless scrotal swelling. During transillumination, the
scrotal contents are visible.
• Idiopathic scrotal edema. The client may have thickened, edematous, and often inflamed
scrotal skin, but the testicle is nontender and is normal size.
• Incarcerated scrotal hernia. The client may have signs and symptoms that are similar
to those of testicular torsion, but he may also have abdominal pain and pain in the geni-
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tal area. You may be able to diagnose the condition by carefully examining the inguinal
canal.
• Testicular torsion or torsion of epididymal appendage. The client usually has localized
tenderness in the upper pole of the testicle. Occasionally, light-skinned boys may have a
blue dot sign. Systemic symptoms are rare. The condition usually occurs in young boys.
• Testicular tumor. The client may have a more gradual onset of pain, although pain is not
generally a primary symptom. Infarction of the tumor can complicate the diagnosis.
Management
Depending on the resources available at your health care facility, the outcome of the condition can be very different. Performing an ultrasound (if it is available at your health care
facility) may help you diagnose the condition. With a prompt diagnosis (within six hours
of onset) you can attempt manual detorsion, which may be successful. If manual detorsion
is not successful, refer the client to a surgeon for testicular rescue.
Case Study 2: STI
Signs, Symptoms, and Concerns
You are Effesone, an 18-year-old man who lives in a rural village 22 miles from Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia. Two days ago, you noticed a blister on your penis, and the blister has
gotten larger. You were not too worried originally because it was not that painful, but now
you are worried because you have pain and swelling in the genital area. You also have a
low-grade fever. This is the first time you have had something like this. You are also
uncomfortable talking about sexual activity.
Suggested Questions
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How many blisters did you notice initially?
Do you have any discharge from your penis?
Are you sexually active?
Do you have sex with other men?
Do you practice safer sex?
Physical Examination Findings
The client has a sharply circumscribed ulcer with some yellow exudate, as well as inguinal
lymph node enlargement.
Differential Diagnosis
Genital ulcers are most likely caused in young men by an STI. Although genital ulcers are
also most frequently caused by an STI in older men, genital ulcers in older men have other
causes, such as malignancies and systemic diseases. Infectious causes of the condition
include chancroid, HIV infection, herpes simplex, lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV),
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and syphilis. Noninfectious causes of the condition include cancer, reactions to medications, and trauma.
Possible causes of the client’s condition are:
• Chancroid. The client has a painful ulcer that may be sharply marked (has a clearly
defined margin or edge) and is associated with inguinal lymph node swelling. The
lymph nodes can rupture. The condition is caused by Haemophilus ducreyi.
• Herpes simplex. The client has multiple vesicles in clusters that can open, forming a
shallow, painful ulcer. The condition is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
• HIV infection. The client has different types of lesions depending on the particular
opportunistic infections he has. These lesions include the white plaques of Candida
infection and the painful dermatomes of herpes zoster.
• Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV). The client has a small, painless ulcer that may not
be observed because it heals quickly. He may also have large, painful inguinal lymph
nodes. The condition is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
• Syphilis. The client has a painless, swollen ulcer with smooth, firm borders. It is usually
singular and can heal spontaneously. The condition is caused by Treponema pallidum.
Management
Accurate diagnosis is particularly important with STIs. If adequate screening tests are not
available at your facility, treat the client presumptively with appropriate medications. The
client’s partner(s) should also be treated. This is an opportunity to educate the client about
sexual behaviors that can put him at risk for HIV infection and other STIs. Several studies indicate that the presence of genital ulcers is an important risk factor for the sexual
transmission of HIV infection.
Case Study 3: Erectile Dysfunction
Signs, Symptoms, and Concerns
John is a 65-year-old man who lives in the Ukraine and comes to your health care facility
with “sexual problems.” He is slightly embarrassed and has difficulty responding to questions. Upon further questioning, he admits that he has had trouble maintaining an erection.
The problem has been gradually getting worse for the past four years, and he now has trouble achieving an erection. John says that he never told his regular service provider about
this problem because he was embarrassed. However, he is not satisfied with his sex life
and wants help. He thinks that this problem is affecting his marriage. John also says that
he has had hypertension for 10 years, and that recently his service provider told him that
his cholesterol level is high. He has a family history of coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.
John tells you that he takes two hypertension medications. He had smoked one pack of
cigarettes a day for 30 years, but he quit smoking two years ago. He also drinks three beers
each night.
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He describes his work situation and home life as stressful. He is worried about losing his
job, and his son has been arrested.
Suggested Questions
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What aspects of your sex life are you unsatisfied with at this time?
Can you maintain an erection until your partner reaches orgasm?
Do you ejaculate?
Have you had any prior surgeries? (Note: Some surgeries interfere with blood or nerve
supply, or require follow-up medication(s) that interfere with erection.)
• What other medications do you take, including any nonprescription and natural medications?
• How much caffeine do you drink each day?
• What is it about your home life and your work that makes you feel stressed?
• Do you have any problems with your moods, such as feeling angry and not being able
to control your anger, or feeling depressed (lethargic, unable to sleep)?
• Have you ever had this sexual problem before?
Physical Examination Findings
The client has a blood pressure reading of 160/90 mm Hg. Otherwise, his findings are
normal.
Differential Diagnosis
Erectile dysfunction usually has many causes: organic, physiologic, endocrine, and
psychogenic. Generally, erectile dysfunction is divided into organic and psychogenic
impotence, but most men with organic causes usually have a psychological component.
Almost any disease may affect erectile function by altering the nervous, vascular, or
hormonal systems. Various diseases may produce changes in the smooth muscle tissue of
the corpora cavernosa or influence the client’s mood and behavior.
Possible causes for the client’s condition are:
• Coronary artery disease. The client has coronary artery disease. This is a risk factor for
erectile dysfunction, and recent studies indicate that merely having a history of hypercholesterolemia points to an underlying vascular cause.
• Excessive alcohol intake. The client has a problem with excessive alcohol intake, which
is directly toxic to the testes and can result in decreased testosterone production.
Excessive alcohol intake is also directly toxic to the liver. The resulting liver dysfunction can cause an imbalance in testosterone and estradiol metabolism, which is often
associated with gynecomastia.
• Hypertension. The client has long-standing hypertension. His elevated blood pressure
indicates that the hypertension is not well controlled.
• Medication side effects. The client has been taking two medications that have been associated with erectile dysfunction.
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• Smoking. The client had a long-standing smoking habit. Smoking increases the risk for
vascular disease.
• Stress. The client has many sources of stress, which can also contribute to erectile
dysfunction.
Management
In the absence of an organic cause, or together with treatment for erectile dysfunction,
psychological support and reassurance are important to the management of this disorder.
Case Study 4: Paraphimosis
Signs, Symptoms, and Concerns
Usha, who lives in India, brings her 5-year-old son, Dinesh, to your health care facility.
She says that he has been complaining of pain in his genital area since that morning. He
has been cranky and crying intermittently. He told her that he could not urinate. Usha also
says that Dinesh has no health problems.
Suggested Questions
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Has this ever happened before?
Does Dinesh have a fever?
Did Dinesh have any trauma in the genital area?
Does Dinesh clean the genital area daily?
Is Dinesh circumcised?
Physical Examination Findings
The client has penile skin edema. The genital area is painful to touch. The foreskin is
retracted and cannot be returned to its normal anatomic position. Another possible finding is that the client appears to have been circumcised and the skin behind the foreskin
may look asymmetrically red and swollen (this is the constricting retracted foreskin).
Differential Diagnosis
The foreskin usually provides a cover for the glans, and retracting the foreskin is usually
easy. However, in some young boys, retracting the foreskin is difficult, which may lead to
infection, inflammation, edema, fibrosis, and scarring. Obstruction to urination also may
occur, and urinary infection can result. Additionally, such chronic inflammation may lead
to penile cancer.
Note: This condition is usually discovered in newborn infants.
Possible causes for the client’s condition are:
• Balanoposthitis. The client has an inflammation of the superficial area of the foreskin,
involving the distal foreskin. The condition can look like paraphimosis because of the
red, swollen glans. Balanoposthitis can occur in boys, people with diabetes, and men
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with poor hygiene. The condition can be caused by an irritation resulting from contact
with external products or by infections, such as Candida.
• Paraphimosis. The client has a retracted foreskin that cannot be returned to its normal
anatomic position. Paraphimosis is the most serious diagnosis for the client. This condition is a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment and referral. Paraphimosis leads to a tight ring of skin around the glans. Eventually, edema develops and leads
to decreased blood flow to the penis and then to necrosis. Boys, and even men, can get
penile constriction from other objects that can wrap around the penis, such as hair.
Three types of clients can develop paraphimosis:
• Young boys who have a retracted foreskin and swelling
• Men with chronic penile infections who develop contracture of the foreskin
• Men with catheters who do not have their foreskin returned to its normal anatomic
position after catheter insertion
• Phimosis. The client has stenosis of the foreskin, which prevents foreskin retraction.
The condition is not usually an emergency. Phimosis often occurs in young boys, and
by adolescence, almost all boys can retract their foreskin. The only reason to address
this condition is urinary retention.
Management
The client most likely has paraphimosis. Manual reduction can be attempted. Refer the
client to a surgeon immediately if the foreskin cannot be returned to its normal anatomic
position. Elective circumcision should be performed as soon as the foreskin is healthy.
Case Study 5: Urinary Retention
Signs, Symptoms, and Concerns
Louis is a 66-year-old man who lives in Tunis. He comes to your health care facility in the
late afternoon, accompanied by his son. Louis’s main complaint is that he has not been
able to urinate since yesterday, and now his abdomen feels full and painful. He says that
he has been healthy all of his life and has never been to a service provider. Louis admits
that for the past few months, he has had trouble emptying his bladder. He has difficulty
initiating a urinary stream. When the urine does come out, the stream is less forceful than
usual. Louis also says that he feels like his bladder does not empty completely. He is
uncomfortable.
Suggested Questions
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Have you had any weight loss?
Do you have back pain?
Do you have a fever or chills?
Have you had any urinary tract (or bladder or penile) infections?
Have you had any traumas?
Has anyone in your family had cancer?
Do you have diabetes?
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• Do you use any medication(s)? [If the client answers yes, ask:] What medication(s) do
you use?
• Do you have difficulty walking?
• Does your urine have blood in it?
Physical Examination Findings
The client has pain during palpation in the suprapubic region. A full bladder can be
palpated. The client’s genitals are normal. During a rectal examination, the findings indicate that the client has a smooth, symmetric, enlarged prostate gland. His neurological
examination findings are normal.
Differential Diagnosis
Urinary retention refers to the function or structural changes in the urinary tract that
impede the normal flow of urine in a variety of settings and is a fairly common cause of
obstructive uropathy. It is relatively common in all age groups—e.g., urethral valves in
infants, urinary tract stones in young adults, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in
elderly men. The obstruction can occur at any level of the urinary tract, from as high as
the renal tubules to as low as the urethral meatus. The clinical manifestation depends on
the location and degree of the obstruction, and whether it is acute or chronic.
The client may be in pain and may present with a renal change in urine output or frequency,
hematuria, palpable masses, hypertension, and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Possible causes for the client’s condition are:
• Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The client usually has a nonnodular, symmetric
enlargement of the prostate gland. He may also have progressive symptoms, including
urinary hesitation, urinary frequency, decreased force of urinary stream, and straining
during urination. BPH is the most common cause of urinary retention.
• Bladder neoplasm. The client has painless hematuria. The tumor can bleed and cause a
clot to form, which leads to obstruction of urine flow from the bladder through the
urethra.
• Medication side effects. The client takes medications that can lead to urinary retention.
The list of possible medications is extensive and includes anticholinergics, antidepressants, hypertension medications, hormones, and spinal anesthesia.
• Metastatic disease. The client has metastatic disease, which is a primary malignancy of
the bladder, prostate gland, or gastrointestinal tract. The condition may cause urinary
retention, usually by pressure effects. Metastatic disease may also cause neurological
impairment of spinal cord function. The condition should be considered in any client
with no obvious obstructive etiology.
• Multiple sclerosis. The client has multiple sclerosis. Symptoms usually occur between
ages 20 and 50 and occur more frequently in women than in men. The condition produces
many varied neurological signs and symptoms, depending on which body parts are
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involved. The client may have some combination of progressive spastic leg weakness,
instability, and impairment of bladder function. Bladder dysfunction includes urinary
urgency with incontinence or hesitancy and incomplete emptying of the bladder. However,
multiple sclerosis does not usually cause urinary retention. The signs and symptoms of
multiple sclerosis lessen over time, but as the condition progresses, new signs and symptoms often appear, old signs and symptoms recur, and residual symptoms increase.
Paraphimosis. The client has a retracted foreskin for a prolonged period of time, which
leads to swelling and constriction. This condition is a medical emergency and requires
prompt treatment and referral (see page 1.12).
Phimosis. The client has a narrowing of the opening of the foreskin that prevents the
foreskin from being retracted. The opening may be dilated with a hemostat to relieve
the obstruction.
Prostate cancer. The client may have symptoms of a malignancy, such as weight loss,
fatigue, and pain. During a rectal examination, the findings indicate that the client has
a nodular or hard prostate. Prostate cancer does not often cause a voiding obstruction,
but it should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis.
Prostatitis. The client may have a fever, pain during urination, and low back pain. The
client’s urine is cloudy. During a rectal examination, the findings indicate a warm,
tender prostate gland. Prostatitis is an infection of the prostate gland. The condition can
be diagnosed by carefully taking the client’s history, performing a rectal examination,
and urinalysis. Prostate massage should be avoided to prevent further spread of the
bacteria.
Spinal cord trauma. The client has additional motor symptoms and a history of severe
trauma to the back or backbone. Spinal cord tumors do not usually cause urinary retention.
Urethral strictures. The client has scar tissue that can surround the urethra. Urethral
strictures are usually caused by trauma, such as catheter placement, radiation therapy,
or prior infections.
Management
Performing a urinalysis will help you diagnose the condition. Carefully inserting a catheter
relieves the obstruction. If the client has a urethral stricture, a special catheter may be
required. Refer the client to a specialist for further testing. If the client has a history that
is consistent with BPH, doing a PSA test may be helpful when a differential diagnosis of
prostate cancer is being considered.
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From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
3
Performing a Genital Examination
This chapter provides the information that service providers need to correctly perform a
genital examination on a male client. It explores what providers must do before performing a genital examination, including setting up the examination area and preparing the
client psychologically and physically. The chapter also identifies and describes the parts
of a genital examination, with step-by-step directions; discusses gentle, respectful verbal
and physical techniques for performing a testicular and prostate examination; and explains
the techniques for obtaining urine and rectal specimens and prostate secretions. A strategy
for incorporating client education during a genital examination is also discussed.
Before the Genital Examination
Before the genital examination can begin, the service provider must take several steps to
ensure that the examination area and the client are fully prepared. This section discusses
the preparation of the examination area that a provider must do beforehand, as well as the
psychological and the physical preparation that a client must undergo before a genital
examination.
Preparing the Examination Area
The first step is to gather and arrange all the supplies that you will need to perform the
genital examination, including any tests, cultures, and client-education materials.
You will need a chair and examination table, pens to write the examination findings on the
client’s chart, and a bright light source. A good light source is essential; without one, you
will not be able to accurately observe during the examination. You will also need a drape,
examination cover, or gown to offer the client to ensure his comfort and to protect his
modesty; during the examination, you will uncover only the area being examined at the
time. Have extra charts, referral forms, and referral sources available. Be sure that all the
required supplies are conveniently located in the examination area.
The following is a checklist of supplies needed for the genital examination:
• Drapes, examination covers, or gowns
• Latex or vinyl gloves
• A light source and magnifying glass for assessing skin lesions
• Vinegar (dilute acetic acid solution) for assessing possible genital warts
• Urethral swabs for collecting cultures
• Glass slides for specimens
• Specimen cups for collecting urine
• Test kits and reagent for collecting stool for occult blood testing
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• Supplies for drawing blood (tourniquet, blood tubes, labels, needles, syringes, small
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bandages, and sharps container [disposal container for used needles])
Lubricant for performing rectal examinations
Viscous lidocaine for topical application and/or injectable local anesthetic
Items for client comfort (table paper, a pillow, tissues, cloth covers for foot stirrups if
the lithotomy position will be used)
Free condoms
Client-education materials that are culturally and age-appropriate and are written out at
the appropriate literacy level, such as a diagram of the male anatomy, an anatomicaldevelopment chart, information about condoms and sexually transmitted infections
(STIs), and other community resources for services
Extra charts, referral forms, and referral sources
At referral sites, having the following supplies available will be helpful for higher-level
assessment:
• For diagnostics: anoscopes, orchidometer, and a Wood’s light (Note: An anoscope is
inserted into a client’s anus, so it is important to have several anoscopes available to
prevent transferring microorganisms from one client to another.)
• For diagnostics, depending on the arrangements with a local laboratory (some laboratories perform only certain tests, so depending on which tests your facility performs
routinely, you will need specific items): cover slips, Gram stain supplies, a microscope,
paper reagent strips (“dipsticks”), saline solution, specimen collection tubes for special
tests
Other supplies will be needed depending on the level of care and the specific procedures
to be performed during the genital examination. The decision to provide advanced care
depends on other community resources, budget, adequate staff training, and a local laboratory to provide a histologic examination of biopsy specimens.
Preparing the Client
It is helpful to view the genital examination as a process you do with the client, not to the
client. Generally, men are somewhat anxious and ambivalent when they go to health care
facilities. They may be afraid that they have a serious physical problem, or that the examination or procedures will be painful or embarrassing. They also may be afraid that they
will have to share detailed information about their private life or their sexual behaviors.
Therefore, before the examination begins, make every effort to prepare the client both
psychologically and physically and to ensure that he is as comfortable as possible. This
includes:
• Establishing a rapport with the client
• Explaining to the client what the examination consists of
• Preparing the client for any painful or potentially embarrassing procedures
• Educating the client about his genital health
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Making the client feel comfortable requires treating him in a nonjudgmental and unbiased
manner. Never assume that because a client is older, he is not concerned about sexual
function, or that because he is not married or does not have a female partner, he is not
sexually active. Finally, do not assume that the client’s partner is female.
Preparing the client for a genital examination includes providing him with adequate information, preparation, and instructions. Always explain to the client what you plan to do
during the examination (the sequence of steps and the steps themselves) or for treatment,
and why you are doing it. The client has the right to know about all of the parts of the
examination and treatment, as well as the right to refuse them. The client also has the right
to make an informed choice, which is a voluntary, thoughtfully considered decision based
on a clear understanding of the information and options presented to him.
If the client tells you before the genital examination that he thinks that he will not be able
to tolerate it because of discomfort or pain, consider using an analgesic or anesthesia
before beginning. For example, a client with an infected testicle expresses concern about
being in pain during the examination. Since the examination can cause pain, nausea,
vomiting, and syncope, reassure the client that adequate anesthesia will be used, and that
if he feels discomfort or pain, more anesthesia will be delivered.
Another way to prepare the client for the genital examination is to explain to him beforehand that he can “assist.” Often, this minimizes the client’s anxiety. For example, asking
the client to help insert a urethral swab can lessen his fear because he can maintain control
(see “Overview: Pain and Anxiety” on page 3.4).
Preparing the client also means informing him about the possible effect of medication
(oral medication or anesthetic gel) used during the examination on his sexual function
(erection, ejaculation, and orgasmic sensations) and reproductive ability. Understandably,
the client may be anxious about the impact of the genital examination on his penile sensation, libido, sexual function, and fertility. Do not wait for the client to ask about these
effects; raise these concerns in a straightforward manner. Explain to the client that he is in
charge and has the right to tell you to stop the examination or any treatment that takes
place during the examination at any time, as well as the right to seek care elsewhere.
Always remind the client that he has the right to make an informed choice. If the client has
an opportunity to go to another facility and get a second opinion, encourage him to do so.
During the Genital Examination
When you perform a genital examination, it is important to keep in mind the following
steps and strategies in order to make the client feel comfortable:
Supporting the Client Verbally
Wearing examination gloves during the genital examination will protect you from possible STI infection. Gloves also establish a sense of propriety and formality that may help
to reduce the client’s anxiety about having his genitals touched.
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Overview: Pain and Anxiety
Two issues are essential to pay attention to when providing services to men with genital disorders: pain and anxiety.
Men from various cultural backgrounds may respond differently to illness, concerns
about their genitals, and pain. In many cultures, men are expected to be stoic; coping
with anxiety and pain may be viewed as a sign of male strength. These cultural expectations of bearing fear and pain in silence can lead to a delay in the diagnosis and
treatment of serious illnesses or injuries. Men may wait until an illness becomes very
severe before seeking health care. As a service provider, you must understand the
cultural traditions that shape the behaviors of your male clients and provide care
accordingly.
In some religious traditions, for example, men may perceive an illness or injury to be
an atonement for negative behaviors in previous lives, and they may not express their
pain or accept medication to relieve their suffering. For this reason, when listening to
a client, remember that a seemingly minor complaint may indicate a significant
problem.
In other settings, men may be expected to be in control of themselves and their situation at all times. A lack of control is implicit in exposing one’s body for examination,
in asking for information, and in expressing doubt, uncertainty, or vulnerability. Being
unwilling to seem, to be, or to feel out of control prevents men from seeking health
care promptly and makes them reluctant to ask for information. The experience of the
actual genital examination, which involves a passive yielding of control and body
penetration during the digital rectal part of the examination, may also cause anxiety.
As you go through each step of the examination, briefly explain to the client what you are
about to do and why. Always tell the client to inform you immediately if he feels pain or
excessive pressure; let the client know that you will stop if he finds any part of the examination to be painful, and will consider further measures to assist him in dealing with the
pain. Let the client know immediately when a painful procedure is over. Never proceed
with an examination if the client asks you to stop.
As you confirm normal examination findings, comment on them. This is particularly
important for adolescents and young men. Many adult men seldom, if ever, have physical
and/or genital examinations, yet they may have questions about whether they are “normal.”
Clients find it reassuring when the service provider who is performing a close inspection
says that their body is normal. For example, you might say, “I’m checking your genital
area now, feeling for any lumps or swellings that shouldn’t be here. Everything feels fine
so far. Your penis is a normal size and shape, and I don’t see anything abnormal here….”
The following statements are examples of what you might say during the genital examination to support the client:
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• Explain to the client what the genital examination involves and why you will be examining him. You might say, “The examination will include checking your penis, scrotum,
testes, and anus. I’ll explain each step of the examination as we go along. If you have
any questions during the examination, please ask me.”
• Reassure the client that you will make the examination as comfortable and painless as
possible. This is especially important if he has been sexually traumatized or is young
because he may be very apprehensive, as well as very sensitive to even minor discomforts and a lack of consideration. You might say, “I don’t want the examination to be
painful for you” or “I’ll do everything I can to make you as comfortable as possible
during the examination.” Another option is to say, “I’ll tell you everything I’m going to
do. You must tell me immediately if at any time you feel pain or feel anxious. I’ll stop
and help you become more comfortable.” If the client has been sexually traumatized or
is young, you might say, “I understand that this examination may be uncomfortable for
you and may cause you some concern. I’m going to be as gentle as I can and will try
not to hurt you. Please tell me immediately if at any time you feel any pain or discomfort, or feel anxious. I’ll stop and help you become more comfortable.” Avoid directions
like “Don’t move” and “Hold still.” Offer the client a choice of positions (e.g., standing
up or lying on his side), and provide him with a drape, examination cover, or gown for
when he is undressed.
• Explain to the client why you will check his rectum during the genital examination. You
might say, “A rectal examination may be necessary depending on what I find (or “given
the history of the symptoms you’ve shared with me”). The rectal examination will
involve feeling pressure and will feel somewhat like a bowel movement. I’ll use a lubricant to make the examination easier. I’ll slowly insert my finger in your anus to check
for tumors, enlargement, or infection of your prostate gland. You must tell me immediately if at any time you feel pain or feel anxious. I’ll stop and help you become more
comfortable.”
• Explain to the client that he may feel like he has to urinate during the genital examination. You might say, “You might feel like you have to urinate or defecate during the
examination. Usually this urge passes quickly, but if the urge is strong, I’ll stop.”
• If the client is anxious during the genital examination, ask him to guide you. You might
say, “Let me know when it’s all right to check your right testicle” or “May I go ahead
and check your left testicle now?” By having the client guide the examination, you put
him in a position of control.
• Relaxation techniques (e.g., focusing on something pleasant, rhythmic breathing) can
be very useful with an anxious client. You might say, “Two ways to relax is to imagine
a place or situation in which you are relaxed and happy or to breathe deeply.”
• Explain to the client that he may develop an erection during the examination. It is
important to remember that erections can result not only from sexual arousal, but from
anxiety and temperature changes and as a reflex response to touch. If you are learning
the skills needed to perform a male genital examination, you should consider the most
sensitive and culturally appropriate manner in which to respond to a client who has an
erection during the examination. Most experts feel that a service provider should tell the
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client that having an erection is a very normal reaction to being examined and that he
should not be concerned about his erection. You might say, “It’s normal to have an erection during this examination. You don’t need to be concerned or worried about it.”
• Often, the client realizes that the genital examination was easier than he had imagined
it would be. Reviewing the experience with the client can help him revise his expectations about future examinations. You might say, “You were very anxious when you first
came to see me today, but you were able to calm yourself for the genital examination
and you learned a great deal about your body. I hope you’ll feel more comfortable the
next time you come to see me.”
Note: You may also feel some discomfort or embarrassment when performing a genital
examination, especially if you are a woman. The best approach to avoiding personal discomfort or embarrassment is to be straightforward and kind to the client. A very helpful
strategy is to explain, step by step, to the client exactly what you are checking for during
the examination and to teach the client about his body as the examination progresses. By
continually explaining the steps of the examination, you have little time to focus on your
discomfort or embarrassment—and the client receives an excellent education at the same
time.
Positions for the Genital Examination
Any of the following three positions may be used during the genital examination:
• The client stands, and the service provider sits facing him.
• The client sits on a stool or on the end of the examination table, and the provider stands
facing him.
• The client lies on his back in the supine position on the examination table or in the lithtomy position.
Before performing the genital examination, ask the client which position he will find most
comfortable. Balance the client’s preference with your view of which position will be the
most effective for the genital examination. Additionally, explain the various steps of the
genital examination to the client (see below) and reassure him that if he feels uncomfortable at any time, he should tell you.
The Genital Examination, Step by Step
A general physical assessment is often part of a genital examination, and an examination
of both the breasts and the lower abdomen is usually performed at the beginning of the
genital examination.
General Physical Assessment
The first part of the genital examination is a general physical assessment. This preliminary
assessment should include an examination of the client from head to toe, to identify conditions that may be relevant to sexual and reproductive functioning, as well as to identify
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possible endocrine, neurological, vascular, or other health problems. It involves checking
the client’s height, weight, blood pressure, and appropriate vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate, and temperature). For this part of the genital examination, the client
may be sitting or lying on the examination table or standing up. He may need or want to
vary his position.
During the general physical assessment, pay particular attention to the following:
• Body habitus and proportions (obesity/thinness, muscle development, female or male
body proportions), to check for deformities, developmental anomalies, and gynecomastia
• Eye sclerae, to check for jaundice (which may indicate liver disease)
• Skin, to check for temperature, color, moistness, rash, and lesions (a generalized rash
may indicate secondary syphilis or early HIV infection; lesions around the mouth and
lips may indicate STIs; purplish lesions may indicate Kaposi’s sarcoma; and dry skin
may indicate hypothyroidism)
• Hair pattern and amount (a beard, chest hair, other body hair, and male-pattern baldness all indicate the presence of androgens; cool skin and the absence of hair on the legs
in an older man may indicate impaired circulation to the lower limbs; and the absence
of the outer third of the eyebrows may indicate hypothyroidism)
• Voice pitch (a high voice may indicate primary low levels of androgens that prevent a
male type of larynx and vocal cords to develop sufficiently, so even if androgen levels
drop after reaching normal levels, the voice will not become much higher)
• Posture, expression, and mannerisms, to check for evidence of depression, mania, alcohol or substance abuse, and psychological inappropriateness
• Femoral and pedal pulses, to check for evidence of blood flow to the legs in a man with
erectile dysfunction (check the femoral pulse by palpating the femoral artery, which is
located at the upper third of the inner thigh; check the pedal pulse by palpating the
dorsalis pedis artery, which is located on the top of the foot, in front of the ankle)
Lower Abdomen Examination
The client should stand during this part of the genital examination. The lower abdomen
examination should include an examination of the lower abdomen for masses or tenderness and for direct or umbilical hernias (see page 3.8). It should also include an examination of the groin area for inguinal swelling or enlarged lymph nodes.
Lymph nodes can be soft or firm, tender or nontender, and movable or fixed. Lymph
nodes associated with penile infections tend to be slightly tender and enlarged. They may
return to their normal size if an STI is the cause of the penile infection, and is associated
with an ulcer and the ulcer has healed. Enlarged inguinal lymph nodes may also be caused
by disorders of the legs and feet (e.g., infection, injury, and malignancy) and systemic
lymphadenopathy (e.g., lymphoma, HIV infection). If the client has erectile dysfunction,
also check the femoral pulses; an interference in the blood flow in the pelvic area can
result in erectile dysfunction.
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Next, check for direct hernias (see Photograph 18 in Appendix H on page H.9). Ask the
client to bear down as if he was lifting a heavy object. This is the Valsalva maneuver. As
the client bears down, look for lower abdominal bulging from a direct hernia. While the
client continues to bear down, place the palm of your hand against the client’s lower
abdomen just lateral to (to the side of) the bladder area and palpate for any bulging. If
there is no bulging between the abdominal muscles, the client does not have a direct
hernia. An umbilical hernia may also be checked through inspection and palpation. When
the client bears down, part of the intestine protrudes through the umbilicus.
Basic Components of the Genital Examination
Remember, the client can be in any of the following three positions during the genital
examination:
• Standing, with the service provider sitting facing him
• Sitting on a stool or on the end of the examination table, with the provider standing
facing him
• Lying on his back in the supine position on the examination table or in the lithotomy
position
The basic components of the genital examination are:
1. Checking the cremaster reflex
2. Inspecting the pubis
3. Inspecting the penis
4. Inspecting the scrotum
5. Palpating the scrotal contents
6. Palpating for an inguinal hernia
7. Inspecting the perineum and anal orifice
8. Examining the prostate gland
Checking the Cremaster Reflex
The cremaster muscles in the scrotum act to pull the testes closer to the body. An intact
cremaster reflex indicates the integrity (wholeness) of the sensory and motor nerves. To
elicit and check the client’s cremaster reflex:
1. Lightly stroke the upper third of the inner thigh on each leg.
2. Observe whether the testicle on the same side pulls upward slightly toward the groin.
Note: Check the cremaster reflex before performing other parts of the genital examination,
because exposure of the testes and inner thighs to cool air and tactile stimulation will
diminish the reflex as the examination progresses.
Inspecting the Pubis
1. Look at the client’s pubis. The hair may be more or less abundant. Slight differences
in genes among races cause variations in hair distribution, type, and thickness. Pubic
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hair typically extends onto the inner sides of the thighs, over the scrotal skin, and often
in a central line up toward the umbilicus, forming a diamond-shaped pattern (which is
sometimes called the male escutcheon). A triangular-shaped pattern without any vertical extension, which is more typical in women, may indicate a hormonal disorder
when present in men.
2. Next, check the client’s pubic hair and skin for lice, folliculitis, lesions, rash, and signs
of scratching. Note the client’s skin color. It may indicate a disorder. For example,
jaundice turns the skin yellow, respiratory problems and heart failure turn it blue, and
blood disorders turn the skin purple.
Note: Most of these problems will already have been discovered during the general
physical assessment.
Inspecting the Penis
1. Look at the client’s penis, noting its size, color, symmetry, and hair distribution, as well
as any penile deviation.
2. Next, hold the shaft of the penis gently and examine it for skin lesions, excoriations,
abrasions, and tumors.
3. Carefully check the veins on the penis for signs of phlebitis; this condition is indicated
by veins that are tender and inflamed or nodular.
4. If the client reports penile curvature during erection, which indicates Peyronie’s
disease, or if the penis appears to bend or deviate to one side, palpate the corpora
cavernosa for fibrotic plaques. To do this, either hold the penile shaft between your
thumb (which is below the penis) and your first two fingers (which are on top of the
penis), or support the penis with one hand while palpating with the fingers of the other
hand.
5. Next, retract the foreskin (or ask the client to retract it), and observe whether it retracts
easily.
6. Look for lesions, chancres, and eruptions on the glans, which is exposed; note any
signs of infection (opportunistic) or lesions (Kaposi’s sarcoma) that indicate HIV
infection.
7. Check whether the glans is clean when the foreskin is retracted; if the glans is not
clean, discuss penile hygiene with the client.
8. The next step is to check the penile shaft and glans for lesions, sores, abrasions, and
tumors. Genital warts in men may be difficult to recognize. Sometimes they look like
smooth, dull, or slightly shiny macules and differ very little in appearance from the
surrounding skin. More typically, on moist skin, as on the female genitals, genital
warts have a papillomatous, ragged, or bumpy appearance. If necessary, use a magnifying lens during the inspection. Around the corona, it is normal to find very small (1to 2-mm) papules that are flesh-colored, soft, and nontender (called pearly penile
papules). If these are present, explain to the client that they are a normal finding.
9. If you notice an ulcer while inspecting the penis (which indicates balanitis, chancroid,
granuloma inguinale, herpes genitalis, penile carcinoma, or primary syphilis), palpate
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the ulcer to check for tenderness and the consistency and texture of its border. Use the
tips of one or two fingers when palpating the ulcer.
10. Next, check the urethral meatus (see Photograph 19 in Appendix H on page H.9).
Apply gentle pressure on the top and bottom of the glans to open the meatus, then look
for discharge, erythema, vesicles, pustules, plaques, and intraurethral warts. If the
client’s history indicates urethritis but no discharge is visible, ask him to milk the shaft
of the penis to express discharge. To do this, ask the client to encircle his penis at the
base, next to the scrotum, by making a ring with his index finger and thumb. Tell him
to tighten the “ring” moderately as he slides it down his penis to the glans. This
expresses any discharge in the urethra.
11. After explaining to the client what you are about to do, take a urethral smear with a
urethral swab. To obtain the smear, gently insert a urethral swab only 1 to 2 cm into
the client’s urethra.
Note: A urethral smear should be obtained only from a client who has not urinated for
at least two hours. If the client has urinated within the last two hours, obtain a specimen; some discharge may have accumulated. If the smear is negative, you may want
to direct the client not to urinate for two hours, and then take another specimen at that
time.
12. If the client reports symptoms of chronic urethritis or urethral blockage (dribbling,
incontinence, urinary hesitancy), which indicates urethral stricture or urethral carcinoma, palpate the urethra for masses, firmness, swelling, and tenderness. Hold the
penile shaft between your thumb (which is below the penis) and your first two fingers
(which are on top of the penis).
Overview: Tips for Inspecting the Penis
When you inspect the penis, note the following serious situations:
• A syphilitic ulcer or carcinoma has a smooth, firm border and is nontender. The
carcinoma is a visible, nodular mass.
• Tender, indurated (slightly swollen, firm) areas along the urethra indicate periurethritis resulting from urethral blockage or chronic infection of the periurethral
glands.
Inspecting the Scrotum
1. Look at the client’s genital (also called genitocrural) folds and scrotal skin. The scrotal skin is more darkly pigmented than the skin on the torso and thighs. In young men,
the scrotal skin is usually wrinkled and firmly hugs the testes; in elderly men, it is
usually flaccid. Visible, tiny, and numerous dilations of veins in the scrotal skin are a
normal finding. Epidermoid cysts—pale, smooth, shiny, firm, and nontender nodules
containing skin secretions—are also a normal finding on the scrotum and do not
require treatment. Explain the findings to the client, in the proper context.
2. Check for bacterial or fungal infections and skin lesions, separating any skin folds
with your fingers to ensure that you do not overlook anything.
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3. Next, check the size and configuration of the scrotum. Look at the anterior scrotal
wall. The scrotum is divided into two compartments containing a testicle, epididymis,
and vas deferens. Note whether the size of the scrotum is normal and whether it is
fairly symmetrical in shape. One testicle may hang lower than the other, so that one
side of the scrotum is typically lower. If the client has a hernia, you may notice a
swollen area because the peritoneum or a portion of the bowel protrudes into the
inguinal canal or into the scrotum, causing asymmetry. Asymmetrical fullness may
also indicate a varicocele, hydrocele, or testicular tumor.
4. Look at the posterior scrotal wall. Ask the client (who is wearing a drape) to assume
the lateral recumbent position: to lie on his side on the examination table, facing away
from you, with both knees flexed, with the upper knee flexed more than the lower knee.
Alternatively, ask the client to bend forward, place his elbows on the examination
table, and place his feet comfortably apart (you will sit behind him). Then check the
posterior scrotal wall in the same manner as you did the anterior scrotal wall; the
normal features are the same.
5. To check for a varicocele, ask the client to do the Valsalva maneuver (see page 3.8)
while you inspect the scrotum. When the client is in this position, the dilated veins of
the varicocele are more prominent and look like a “bag of worms.”
Note: Varicoceles are more common on the left side of the scrotum.
6. The final step of the scrotal inspection is to transilluminate the scrotum, which is helpful in checking for hernias, hydroceles, testicular tumors, and varicoceles. Darken the
room, and place a high-intensity flashlight against the posterior scrotal wall, with the
beam pointing forward so that the light shines through the scrotum toward your eyes.
Then gently stretch the scrotal skin across the swelling or mass, and view the scrotum
from the front. Relatively clear fluids in the scrotum, such as those in hydroceles, transilluminate; solid masses, such as testicular tumors, do not transilluminate.
Overview: Inspecting the Scrotum
Remember the following important points when inspecting the scrotum:
• When inspection shows an asymmetric scrotum or palpation reveals a swollen or
abnormal mass in the scrotum, transilluminate the scrotum.
• The scrotal wall transmits light, causing solid tissues inside the scrotal sac to
appear as opaque shadows and most fluids to appear translucent, with a red glow,
during transillumination.
• Hydroceles also appear translucent during transillumination.
• Normal scrotal contents, swollen areas other than hydroceles, and abnormal
masses (including inguinal hernias in the scrotal sac and testicular cancers) appear
opaque during transillumination.
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Palpating the Scrotal Contents
1. Gently hold the scrotal sac, and separate the testes (see Photograph 21 in Appendix H
on page H.10). Since the scrotal contents are usually paired structures, you should be
able to feel similar structures in each half of the scrotum.
2. Next, check each half of the scrotum for a testicle (which feels like a large ovoid
mass), epididymis (which feels like a ridge of tissue lying vertically on the posterolateral surface of the ovoid mass), and spermatic cord (which feels like a firm, nontender
column of blood vessels and tissue ascending through and leaving the scrotal sac near
the groin).
Note: If the scrotal sac is empty on one or both sides, this indicates cryptorchidism or
temporary migration of the testicle, which is caused by the cremaster muscles drawing the testicle up toward the inguinal canal. Palpate for the testicle along the inguinal
canal.
3. Next, use both hands to examine each testicle and epididymis for normal size (2.5 to
5 cm), contour, consistency, and tenderness. Place one hand behind the scrotum to
stabilize the testicle. Use your other hand to capture the testicle, and gently palpate it
to check its width and length. Compare one side of the scrotum to the other.
Note: The testes are usually sensitive but not tender. Testes feel slightly rubbery, but
not hard, with a smooth surface. A very firm, nodular, or tender testicle indicates
cancer (see Appendix C). If testicular cancer is indicated, refer the client to a urologist
or surgeon immediately. A small or abnormally soft testicle may indicate an endocrine
disorder or testicular atrophy.
The epididymis is usually insensitive to pressure. Any mass, localized pain, or swelling
of the epididymis is abnormal. In acute epididymitis, the epididymis is enlarged and
tender compared to the other side. In severe epididymo-orchitis, the testes and
epididymis may not be distinguishable from each other through palpation. They are
extremely tender, and the scrotum is usually inflamed. Chronic, painless induration of
the epididymis indicates tuberculosis, schistosomiasis (also called bilharzia), or
nonspecific chronic epididymitis. Cystic masses near the upper pole of the testicle that
are separate from the testicle and epididymis are usually spermatoceles, which contain
thin, milky fluid and sperm; spermatoceles usually are not clinically significant.
4. The next step is to check the spermatic cord. The cord, which consists of blood vessels,
tissue, and the vas deferens, is palpable between the upper border of the testicle and
the external inguinal ring. When palpating the spermatic cord, you can identify the vas
deferens by feeling for a firm tube approximately 3 mm in diameter in a posteriomedial location within the spermatic cord. A swollen area in the spermatic cord may
be cystic (indicating, for example, a hydrocele or hernia) or solid (indicating, for
example, a lipoma or rare connective tissue tumor). Diffuse swelling and induration of
the spermatic cord are present with filariasis. If the client does the Valsalva maneuver,
palpating the spermatic cord may reveal a varicocele. Palpating the spermatic cord
may also reveal bead-like enlargements of the vas deferens, which indicates tuberculosis, or the absence of the vas deferens, which, if bilateral, causes infertility.
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Overview: Teaching the Client How to Perform
a Genital Self-Examination
Regular genital self-examinations are an important way to detect problems. During the
genital examination, teach the client how to perform a genital self-examination (see
Appendix F). This self-examination helps the client identify physical abnormalities,
such as testicular cancer, epididymal cysts, STIs, and skin disorders (see Photograph
22 in Appendix H on page H.10). The genital self-examination also helps the client
become more aware of his body’s functions and promotes responsible health behaviors.
Self-examination of the testes is particularly important for men between 15 and 40
years old, and those with a history of undescended testicle.
Palpating for an Inguinal Hernia
1. When palpating for an inguinal hernia, use only your smallest finger or index finger.
Gently insert the examining finger into the scrotal wall just above and lateral to the
testicle.
Note: A fold of the scrotal skin covers your finger as you push it into the scrotal wall.
2. Feel for the vas deferens, and follow the vas upward and laterally to the inguinal ring
(which feels like a sphincter) or inguinal canal. Never force your finger through the
inguinal ring. Instead, gently hold your finger against the inguinal ring, and ask the
client to do the Valsalva maneuver. Usually, you feel nothing against your finger. But
if the client has an inguinal hernia, you feel pressure from a soft mass pushing through
the inguinal canal onto the tip of your finger; this may be abdominal tissue or the
bowel. When abdominal tissue penetrates the inguinal canal through the internal
inguinal ring, the client has an indirect hernia. You can also palpate some direct hernias
using this technique. If abdominal tissue penetrates the inguinal canal through an
abnormal opening in the abdominal wall, you feel a direct hernia pressing against the
more proximal portion of your examining finger, away from the tip.
3. When palpating for an inguinal hernia, also palpate the inguinal lymph nodes for
swelling and tenderness. Infection and cancers of the penis and scrotal wall, as well as
those of the legs, can spread to the inguinal and subinguinal nodes. When assessing a
client with these conditions, remember to check for inguinal node enlargement and
tenderness.
Overview: Palpating for an Inguinal Hernia
When you palpate for an inguinal hernia, keep in mind the following important points:
• Palpating for an inguinal hernia may routinely be performed as part of an abdominal or genital examination.
• When you palpate for an inguinal hernia, it is normal to find a soft inguinal lymph
node, up to 1 cm in diameter, in the inguinal fold lateral to the femoral artery.
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Inspecting the Perineum and Anal Orifice
When inspecting the perineum and anal orifice, you are performing the rectal examination
part of the genital examination (see Photograph 20 in Appendix H on page H.9). This
involves the following steps:
1. Ask the client (who is wearing a drape) to assume the lateral recumbent position, with
both knees flexed, with the upper knee flexed more than the lower knee; or ask the
client to bend forward, place his elbows on the examination table, and place his feet
comfortably apart (you will sit behind him).
2. Next, look at the perineum, which should be smooth and unbroken, and should have
a regular contour with no significant discoloration or bulges.
3. Then check the anal orifice, which should be brown or pinkish-brown and should not
have any visible protruding masses. The anal orifice and perianal tissue are covered
by smooth, unbroken skin. Some hair growth around the orifice is normal.
4. The next step is to look for hemorrhoids, scars from trauma, warts, lesions (e.g.,
Condylomata acuminata, herpes, and chancres), anal bleeding, and mucous discharge.
Purulent discharge from the anus may indicate rectal gonorrhea. If the client has anal
discharge or has risk factors for rectal infections or STIs (which you learned while
taking his history), obtain a rectal specimen before placing a lubricant gel in his anus
(see below).
5. After explaining to the client what you are about to do, obtain the rectal specimen. For
a gonorrhea culture, ask the client to bear down gently. Then slowly and gently insert
a cotton swab into his anus, and gently rotate the swab to capture the purulent discharge on the swab. Immediately place the specimen on the gonorrhea culture and
label the plate.
6. Before you continue the rectal examination, check for rectal fissures (deep cracks),
hemorrhoids, and anal herpes. If the client has any of these conditions, use an anesthetic gel to lessen his pain before proceeding with the rectal examination. Wait at least
five minutes after applying the gel to ensure that the anesthetic has time to work. If the
client has a history of pain or bleeding with defecation, carefully examine the anus for
rectal fissures, which may be hidden between the skin folds.
7. If the client has a history of erectile dysfunction (particularly if he also has a history
of possible neurological disease, injury, pelvic surgery, or diabetes), check for the
bulbocavernosus reflex before touching the anal area. To elicit this reflex, ask the
client to squeeze the head of his penis. Observe the resulting reflex anal contraction.
A normal bulbocavernosus reflex indicates an intact spinal reflex arc.
Overview: Obtaining a Rectal Specimen
When you obtain a rectal specimen, keep in mind the following information:
• Lubricant gels contain phenols to keep them free of bacteria, and the phenols can
•
3.14
inhibit accurate results from collected rectal specimens. To prevent false negatives
even when an infection is present, use lubricants that do not contain phenols.
Bearing down gently helps to relax and open the rectal sphincter.
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Examining the Prostate Gland
When examining the prostate gland, check the prostate gland itself and other internal
structures. The prostate examination consists of the following steps:
1. Inspecting the prostate gland
2. Palpating the prostate gland
3. Palpating the seminal vesicles
4. Checking the rectal walls
5. Checking the urethral meatus (if prostatitis is indicated)
Note: Before you begin the prostate examination, tell the client that he does not have to
change position. Then explain the importance of the prostate examination. Tell the client
that it enables you to inspect the prostate gland and to check for tumors and other possible disorders. Remind the client that he may feel the urge to defecate or urinate, that this
is normal, and that he will not lose bowel or bladder control.
1. Before inspecting the prostate gland, place your nonexamining hand on the client’s hip
or against his buttock to stabilize him and to enable him to prepare himself psychologically for the examination. Place the ball (the soft, fleshy part of the tip) of your
well-lubricated, gloved finger flat against the anus. Ask the client to do the Valsalva
maneuver as you slowly insert your finger into the anus.
Note: Rarely, a client may have a spasm of the rectal sphincter, which can be very
painful. If this occurs during the prostate examination, hold your finger still and wait
for the spasm to subside. This usually takes at least one minute but may last several
minutes, especially if the examination is not gentle or unhurried or if the client is
anxious. Explain to the client what is happening.
2. Next, with your finger pressing against the anterior wall of the rectum, feel for the
prostate gland. The prostate gland is a roughly heart-shaped, symmetric organ, with
two halves (lobes) that may be separated by an indentation through the rectal canal.
The base of the prostate gland is wider than its apex and will be farther away from the
examining finger than from the apex. The prostate gland usually feels rubbery and
smooth; it should not feel hard, nodular, irregular, enlarged, or tender.
Note: Most clients feel a mild-to-severe burning sensation in the penis when the examining finger pushes on the prostate gland. You can massage the prostate gland if
necessary.
3. The next step is to assess the size of the client’s prostate gland. To do this, you must
know the length and width of your examining finger in centimeters. Typically, a prostate
gland is palpable 2 to 5 cm inside the anal sphincter through the anterior rectal wall.
With your examining finger, find the median sulcus, move your finger from the sulcus
to the lateral borders of the right and left lobes, and assess the size of each lobe. A shallow lateral sulcus is palpable lateral to each lobe. Typically, a prostate gland is approximately 3 cm wide and 4 cm long, and its two lobes are symmetrical in size and shape.
Note: The size of the prostate gland increases with age.
4. If you have long fingers, try to palpate for the seminal vesicles, which are superior and
lateral to the prostate gland, for palpability and tenderness. Typically, they are not
palpable and are nontender.
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5. During the prostate examination, feel the rectal walls to check for polyps, fissures,
internal hemorrhoids, and tumors. The rectal walls should feel very soft. If you feel a
mass, determine if it is stool. Stool can be indented, but a mass cannot be.
6. If, given the client’s history and the examination findings, you think that the client may
have prostatitis, check the urethral meatus during the prostate examination for any
discharge that might indicate this condition. The discharge is usually clear and does
not have a smell.
7. When you have finished the genital examination, explain to the client that you are
about to withdraw your finger. Remove it smoothly and slowly to prevent any client
discomfort.
8. After the rectal examination, take a sample of stool from your glove to test for occult
blood. This is particularly important in men who are over 40 years old. Explain to the
client that he should have an annual rectal examination for occult blood and prostate
disorders.
Overview: Inspecting the Prostate Gland
When you inspect the prostate gland, keep in mind the following points:
• Poor sphincter tone (a very relaxed sphincter) indicates that the client has a history
of either anal penetration (which is common among male homosexuals) or possible neurological deficit. In neurological disorders with widespread nerve involvement, both sensory and motor nerves may be affected. The effect on sensory nerves
may lead to decreased sensation in the client’s perianal area.
• The normal consistency of the prostate gland is like that of the contracted thenar
eminence. A prostate gland also may have a somewhat soft, boggy consistency if
ejaculation is infrequent or if chronic infection impairs the drainage of prostatic fluid.
• An enlarged prostate gland may have a firmer, boggy consistency with obliteration
of the median sulcus.
• Prostate tenderness indicates acute or chronic prostatitis.
• Chronic infection can also lead to induration or nodularity of the prostate gland,
especially with tuberculosis.
• Carcinoma of the prostate gland or a prostatic stone can be suspected if one or both
lobes of the prostate gland has a very hard nodule or mass. Generally, prostate
gland nodules are caused by nodular BPH or cancer.
After the Genital Examination
When the genital examination is complete:
1. Give the client tissues to wipe away excess lubricant used during the examination.
2. Explain to the client that the examination is over and that he may get dressed.
3. Leave the examination room to give the client privacy to get dressed.
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4. Once the client has dressed, meet with him to review the examination findings, answer
any questions that he may have, discuss treatment and management plans and referrals, and provide client education. Ask the client to return to the facility if necessary.
If you will need to take a urethral smear during the second visit, explain to the client
that he cannot urinate for two hours beforehand, to prevent washing away any urethral
secretions.
5. Write the examination findings on the client’s chart as soon as possible after the examination to avoid omitting any important details. Draw diagrams as needed to record
any abnormal findings, including their locations and dimensions.
Interpreting Laboratory Test Results
Part of the male genital examination involves laboratory test results that help the service
provider make a differential diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment. To effectively diagnose and treat men’s reproductive health disorders, the provider should be able
to interpret the results of two commonly used laboratory tests: the urine test and prostate
secretions tests.
Urine Test
A urine sample is easy to obtain and can provide important information. Urine can indicate the condition of the kidneys, as well as infections of the genitourinary tract. A urine
sample also can provide information about systemic conditions, including diabetes and
hypertension. Urine is usually checked for blood, protein, glucose, ketones, nitrites, and
leukocyte esterase. When present in urine:
• Ketones indicate an insulin deficiency, which is significant in diabetes
• Nitrites indicate a bacterial infection in the urinary tract, kidneys, or bladder
• Leukocyte esterase indicates white blood cells (WBCs; also called leukocytes) and
probable bacterial infection in the genitourinary system
In addition, the sample can be studied under a microscope to quantify the number of
WBCs and red blood cells (RBCs), and describe the types of cells. Some WBCs and RBCs
are mature, and some are not. When stained in the laboratory, some WBCs contain granules, and some do not. RBCs have different shapes and sizes.
A midstream urine sample prevents the contamination of the sample with skin and urethral
organisms. To provide a midstream sample, an uncircumcised client retracts the foreskin,
cleans the glans penis with antiseptic solution, and then urinates into a wide-mouth sterile container placed over the toilet, under his penis. He continues to retract the foreskin as
he urinates. A circumcised client provides a midstream urine sample by urinating a small
amount into the toilet, stopping, then urinating another small amount into a wide-mouth
sterile container placed over the toilet, under his penis. Because circumcised clients do not
have a foreskin to retract, there is less risk for contamination with skin and urethral
organisms.
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An infertile client should provide a postcoital urine sample. This sample may reveal sperm
if the client has retrograde ejaculation. With retrograde ejaculation, semen is forced backward into the bladder, nor forward through the urethra and out the penis.
Prostate Secretions Tests
Normally, few WBCs are present in prostatic secretions; the presence of many WBCs indicates prostatitis. Acute and chronic prostatitis and epididymitis can be identified through
the interpretation of the results of testing the secretions. Prostate fluid usually does not
stain well for bacteria because of the makeup of their cell walls, but it can be stained to
check for acid-fast organisms, which have slightly different cell walls. Prostate secretions
collected during a genital examination must be collected in a sterile container to prevent
contaminating the secretions with organisms already in the container, which would confuse test results.
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From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendixes
Appendix A: The Male Reproductive System
A.1
Appendix B: Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs
B.1
Appendix C: Testicular Cancer Facts
C.1
Appendix D: Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health
History Form
D.1
Appendix E: Sexual and Reproductive Health History Questions
E.1
Appendix F: Teaching the Client How to Perform a Genital
Self-Examination
F.1
Appendix G: Checklist for Performing a Genital Examination
G.1
Appendix H: Photographs
H.1
Appendix I: Glossary
I.1
Appendix J: Recommended References
J.1
blank page
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix A
The Male Reproductive System
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A.1
The Male Reproductive System
Breasts
Breasts are sexual organs and, in males, are usually moderately sensitive to stimulation.
The nipples may be highly sensitive to stimulation. Men’s breasts are not as pendulous as
women’s except in the presence of gynecomastia (benign glandular enlargement of the
breast, which is usually bilateral).
External Male Genitals
As shown in Figure A-1, the external male genitals are the penis, the glans, the foreskin,
and the scrotum.
Figure A-1. External Male Genitals
The penis is a tubular structure with the capacity to be flaccid or erect; it is very sensitive
to stimulation. The head of the penis, the glans, includes the most highly innervated, or
sensitive, part of the penis and is covered by the foreskin in men who are not circumcised.
The penis provides passage for both urine and semen.
As is the case with other human characteristics, adult penis size and shape vary. The size
of a penis when it is flaccid does not predict what size it will be when it is erect. Most men
have an erect penis length in the range between 12 and 18 cm (5 to 7 inches), roughly the
same as the length of most women’s vaginas. Some variation also occurs in penis diameter. Average diameter (width) of an erect penis is 4 cm (1.6 inches).
Although concern about penis size is common, true microphallus, or abnormal smallness
of the penis, is rare. To assess the normality of penis size, the stretched penile length of
a flaccid penis is determined. Microphallus is defined as a stretched penile length of less
than 4 cm (1.6 inches) for prepubertal boys or less than 10 cm (4 inches) for adult men.
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The scrotum is a pouch hanging directly under the penis that contains the testes. The scrotum both protects the testes and contracts to raise or lower the testes toward and away from
the body in order to maintain the optimal temperature for sperm production within the
scrotum, 34°C (93°F). Sperm production is also called spermatogenesis (see “Overview:
Spermatogenesis”). The median raphe is a seam or ridge indicating the junction of two
lateral halves of the scrotum. It is continuous posteriorly (toward the back) with the raphe
of the perineum, and continuous anteriorly (toward the front) with the raphe of the penis.
Overview: Male Circumcision
Male circumcision is the surgical removal of part or all of the foreskin, the skin that
covers the glans of the penis. Although male circumcision is commonly practiced in
many countries, its health benefits are uncertain; however, several studies show that
circumcised boys are less likely to develop urinary tract infections than uncircumcised
boys. But because these infections are relatively uncommon and easily treated, it is
unclear whether male circumcision is a reasonable preventive measure. Current studies are looking at the relationship between male circumcision and the transmission of
HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In low-resource settings male
circumcision is performed by service providers without proper medical training, risks
associated with the procedure include tetanus infection, severe blood loss, disfigurement, and even death. When a provider performs a male circumcision, he or she should
use anesthesia to minimize the client’s pain and trauma.
Overview: Spermatogenesis
Spermatogenesis—the process by which primary germ cells, called spermatogonia
(singularly, a spermatogonium), become mature sperm, called sperm or spermatozoa
(singularly, a spermatozoon)—involves the following steps:
1. The hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
2. GnRH causes the anterior pituitary gland to secrete luteinizing hormone (LH) and
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which are gonadotropin hormones.
3. LH stimulates the Leydig cells to produce testosterone to help the sperm cells
mature.
4. Within the seminiferous tubules in the testes, FSH acts on Sertoli cells to anchor and
possibly nourish the developing sperm cells.
5. Other hormones (testosterone, inhibin, and activin) produced in the testes also enter
the body’s general blood circulation. When these hormones reach the hypothalamus
and pituitary gland, they act via a feedback mechanism to influence the amounts of
GnRH, LH, and FSH that are produced.
6. After approximately 64 days, the spermatogonia become sperm.
7. When the sperm are fully formed, they travel through the epididymis, where they
develop the capacity to fertilize female oocytes, or egg cells.
Source: Swanson & Forrest, 1984.
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Internal Male Genitals
As shown in Figure A-2, the internal male genitals are the testes, the epididymides, the
vasa deferentia, the seminal vesicles, the prostate gland, and the Cowper’s glands.
The testes, which are located in the scrotum, are the paired organs that produce sperm and
male sex hormones. They are highly innervated and sensitive to touch and pressure. The
testes produce testosterone, which is the hormone responsible for the development of male
sexual characteristics (a man’s deepened voice and prominent facial hair) and sex drive
(libido). The epididymides are the two highly coiled tubes against the back of the testes
where sperm mature and are stored until they are released during ejaculation. The vasa
deferentia (singularly, a vas deferens) are the paired tubes that carry the mature sperm
from the epididymis to the urethra.
The seminal vesicles are the pair of glandular sacs that secrete some of the fluid that
makes up semen, the white, milky fluid in which sperm are transported. Seminal fluid
provides both the medium for transport of and nourishment for the sperm. The prostate
gland is a walnut-sized glandular structure that also secretes fluid that makes up semen.
A muscle at the bottom of the prostate gland keeps sperm out of the urethra until ejaculation, the process of releasing semen, begins. This same muscle also keeps urine from
coming out during ejaculation. The prostate gland is very sensitive to stimulation and can
be a source of sexual pleasure. The (urinary) bladder is a hollow organ that serves as a
Figure A-2. Internal Male Genitals
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reservoir for urine. The ureters are two long, narrow tubes that transport urine from the
kidneys to the bladder.
The Cowper’s glands are two pea-sized glands at the base of the penis under the prostate
that secrete a clear fluid into the urethra during sexual arousal and before ejaculation. This
fluid, which is sometimes known as pre-ejaculate, or “pre-cum,” acts as a lubricant for
the sperm and coats the urethra while flowing out of the penis.
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From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix B
Complications, Treatment,
and Prevention of STIs
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
B.1
Complications, Treatment,
and Prevention of STIs
The chart below provides information to explain to the client regarding complications and treatment of various sexually transmitted infections (STIs), prevention of repeat infections, and
transmission of STIs to others.
Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs
STI
Chancroid
Complications
• Treatment cures the
infection, and complications are rare.
• If left untreated,
chancroid can lead to
swollen lymph nodes
(glands) in the groin
that can rupture and
drain pus.
Chlamydia
• Many men who have
this infection have no
symptoms, but can
pass it on to others.
Treatment
Prevention
• It is important to take
the medication right
away and to complete
the treatment even if
the symptoms go
away.
• If the symptoms do
not go away, or if the
client has problems
with the medication,
he should return to
the health care
facility.
• It is important to take
the medication right
away and to complete
the treatment even if
the symptoms go
away.
• An infected client should
inform all sexual partners
he has had in the last
three months about the
infection (if possible) and
encourage them to come
to the health care facility
for more information and
treatment—even if a partner does not have any
symptoms.
• An infected client should
avoid sex both (1) until the
sores are completely
healed, to make sure he
does not pass the infection
to others, and (2) until after
any partner completes
treatment (or for seven
days if one-dose therapy is
used) so he does not get
infected again. If abstinence is not possible, the
client should use a male or
female condom during
anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
(However, transmission
can still occur if the condom does not cover the
sores.)
• An infected client should
inform all sexual partners
he has had in the last
month about the infection
(if possible) and encourage
them to come to the health
care facility for more infor(continued)
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Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs (continued)
STI
Chlamydia
(cont’d.)
Genital herpes
Complications
Treatment
Prevention
• If left untreated in
men, chlamydia can
cause pain and swelling in the testes,
leading to infertility.
• If the symptoms do
not go away, or if the
client has problems
with the medication,
he should return to
the health care
facility.
mation and treatment—
even if a partner does not
have any symptoms—to
avoid reinfection.
• There is no cure for
herpes, but there are
ways to relieve pain
caused by the sores.
• Sores can heal on
their own after 10 to
14 days, but the virus
stays in the body
after the sores are
healed.
• Some people experience repeated outbreaks (in other
words, the sores
return after they have
healed).
• An infected client should
avoid sex (1) until treatment is completed (for
seven days if one-dose
therapy is used) to make
sure he does not pass the
infection to others, and
(2) until after any partner
completes treatment (or for
seven days if one-dose
therapy is used) so he
does not get infected
again. If abstinence is not
possible, the client should
use a male or female
condom during anal, oral,
or vaginal sex.
• If available, certain medications can shorten the
time it takes the sores to
heal and can help prevent
them from coming back.
• An infected client can get
relief from the sores by
(1) sitting in a bathtub or
basin filled with warm
water and some baking
soda two times a day,
(2) keeping the sores and
the areas around them
clean and dry, and
(3) using pain relievers,
such as acetaminophen or
aspirin.
• To reduce the chances of
infecting sexual partners, a
client should avoid any
contact with the sores until
they are completely
healed. The easiest way to
avoid contact is not to
have sex until the sores
are fully healed or to use a
(continued)
B.4
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs (continued)
STI
Complications
Treatment
Prevention
Genital herpes
(cont’d.)
male or female condom
during anal, oral, or vaginal
sex. (However, transmission, can still occur if the
condom does not cover the
sores.)
• Some people have outbreaks during stressful
times.
• Sunlight can also increase
outbreaks, so it is best to
stay out of the sun or use
protection from the sun
while outdoors.
• A client with herpes infection often feels a tingling or
itchy feeling at the site
where an outbreak is
about to occur. The risk of
transmission is highest just
before and during an
outbreak. If possible, the
client should avoid sex at
these times.
• An infected client should
inform all sexual partners
about the infection and its
symptoms (if possible) and
encourage them to come
to the health care facility
for more information—
even if a partner does not
have any symptoms.
Genital warts
(human
papillomavirus,
or HPV)
Not applicable
• If the warts do not go
away, if the warts
return, or if the client
has problems with
the treatment, he
should return to the
health care facility.
• Although genital warts can
be removed, HPV can stay
in the body after removal. If
this is the case, the warts
can come back and HPV
can still be transmitted to
others.
• An infected client should
avoid sexual contact
throughout the course of
treatment and should
inform all sexual partners
about the infection (if
possible) and encourage
(continued)
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
B.5
Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs (continued)
STI
Complications
Treatment
them to come to the health
care facility for more
information—even if a
partner does not have any
symptoms. If abstinence is
not possible, the client
should use a male or
female condom during
anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
Genital warts
(human
papillomavirus,
or HPV)
(cont’d.)
Gonorrhea
Nongonococcal
urethritis (NGU)
Prevention
• If left untreated in
men, gonorrhea can
cause pain and
swelling in the testes,
leading to infertility,
and can get into the
bloodstream, leading
to an infection
throughout the body,
often causing pain
and swelling in the
joints.
• It is important to take
the medication right
away and to complete
the treatment even if
the symptoms go
away.
• Although complications are rare, if left
untreated in men,
NGU can cause pain
and swelling in the
testes and damage to
the genitals, leading
to infertility.
• It is important to take
the medication right
away and to complete
the treatment even if
the symptoms go
away.
• If the symptoms do
not go away, or if the
client has problems
with the medication,
he should return to
the health care
facility.
• If the symptoms do
not go away, or if the
client has problems
with the medication,
he should return to
the health care
facility.
• An infected client should
inform all sexual partners
he has had in the last
month about the infection
(if possible) and encourage
them to come to the health
care facility for more information and treatment—
even if a partner does not
have any symptoms.
• An infected client should
avoid sex (1) until treatment
is completed (for seven days
if one-dose therapy is used)
to make sure he does not
pass the infection to others,
and (2) until after any partner completes treatment (or
for seven days if one-dose
therapy is used) so he does
not get infected again. If
abstinence is not possible,
the client should use a male
or female condom during
anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
• An infected client should
inform all sexual partners
he has had in the last
month about the infection
(if possible) and encourage
them to come to the health
care facility for more information and treatment—
even if a partner does not
have any symptoms.
• An infected client should
avoid sex (1) until treatment is completed (for
seven days if one-dose
(continued)
B.6
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs (continued)
STI
Complications
Treatment
Prevention
therapy is used) to make
sure he does not pass the
infection to others, and
(2) until after any partner
completes treatment (or for
seven days if one-dose
therapy is used) so he
does not get infected
again. If abstinence is not
possible, the client should
use a male or female
condom during anal, oral,
or vaginal sex.
Nongonococcal
urethritis (NGU)
(cont’d.)
Pubic lice
• If left untreated, there
are no serious complications, other than
the lack of sleep and
exhaustion caused by
constant scratching.
• Excessive scratching
may also cause skin
infection.
• An infected client should
• It is important to take
inform all sexual partners
the medication right
he has had in the last
away and to complete
month about the infection
the treatment even if
(if possible) and encourthe symptoms go away.
age them to come to the
• If the symptoms do not
health care facility for
go away, or if the client
more information and
has problems with the
treatment to avoid
medication, he should
reinfection.
return to the health
care facility.
• Clothing and bed
linens should be
washed and dried at
high temperatures, if
possible.
Scabies
• Inflammation of the
skin can last several
months, even after
effective treatment.
• Extensive treatment
can, on rare occasions, damage nerve
function, especially in
infants and pregnant
women.
• It is important to take
the medication right
away and to complete
the treatment even if
the symptoms go away.
• If the symptoms do not
go away, or if the client
has problems with the
medication, he should
return to the health
care facility.
• An infected client should
dispose of any clothing that
has come into contact with
the lice.
• An infected client should
inform all family members
and members of institutional groups to which he
belongs about the infection
(if possible) and encourage
them to come to the health
care facility for more information and treatment to
avoid reinfection.
• Scabies is difficult to
treat in people with
AIDS and in those
who are institutionalized, are in nursing
homes, or are mentally
impaired.
(continued)
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
B.7
Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs (continued)
STI
Complications
Scabies
(cont’d.)
Syphilis
Prevention
• Clothing and bed
linens should be
laundered and
cleaned or set aside
for 14 days in plastic
bags.
• If left untreated, the
sores syphilis causes
will heal on their own,
but the client will still
have the infection,
which can progress
and cause serious
problems.
• If left untreated,
syphilis can damage
the heart and
nervous system and
can cause death.
Trichomonas
infection
Treatment
Not applicable
• It is important to take
the medication right
away and to complete
the treatment even if
the symptoms go
away.
• If the symptoms do
not go away, or if the
client has problems
with the medication,
he should return to
the health care
facility.
• It is important to take
the medication right
away and to complete
the treatment even if
the symptoms go
away.
• If the symptoms do
not go away, or if the
client has problems
with the medication,
he should return to
the health care
facility.
• An infected client should
inform all sexual partners
he has had in the last three
months about the infection
(if possible) and encourage
them to come to the health
care facility for more
information and treatment—
even if a partner does not
have any symptoms.
• An infected client should
avoid sex (1) until the sores
are completely healed after
treatment to make sure he
does not pass the infection
to others, and (2) until after
any partner completes
treatment (or for seven days
if one-dose therapy is used)
so he does not get infected
again. If abstinence is not
possible, the client should
use a male or female
condom during anal, oral,
or vaginal sex (however,
transmission can still occur
if the condom does not
cover the sores).
• An infected client should
inform all sexual partners
he has had in the last three
months about the infection
(if possible) and encourage
them to come to the health
care facility for more
information and treatment—
even if a partner does not
have any symptoms.
• An infected client should
avoid sex (1) until treatment
is completed (for seven
days if one-dose therapy is
used) to make sure he does
(continued)
B.8
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Complications, Treatment, and Prevention of STIs (continued)
STI
Complications
Trichomonas
infection
(cont’d.)
Treatment
Prevention
not pass the infection to
others, and (2) until after
any partner completes
treatment (or for seven
days if one-dose therapy is
used) so he does not get
infected again. If abstinence
is not possible, the client
should use a male or
female condom during anal,
oral, or vaginal sex.
Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS
Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS deserve special mention because of their variable presentations.
Service providers should strongly suspect these conditions when treating clients, especially those
who engage in high-risk behavior.
Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a virus that can cause liver damage and possibly even liver failure. The condition is
incurable.
Hepatitis B
Complications
• There is no medical cure for hepatitis B, but there is a vaccine to prevent it, as well as treatments that can reduce the damage caused by the virus.
• A small percentage (1% to 5%) of people infected with the virus become chronic hepatitis B
carriers. Of these, approximately one third develop chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.
Prevention
Infected clients should:
• Refrain from donating blood, body organs, other tissue, or sperm and from sharing any items
that might come into contact with blood (such as needles, razors, and toothbrushes).
• Use a male or female condom during anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
Hepatitis C
Complications
• There is no vaccine available to prevent hepatitis C, and there is no cure. However, some treatments can reduce the damage caused by the virus.
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
B.9
• Many people (50% to 80%) infected with the virus become chronic hepatitis C carriers.
• Hepatitis C can gradually lead to cirrhosis. In a number of those infected with chronic hepatitis C, the infection can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.
Prevention
Infected clients should:
• Refrain from donating blood, body organs, other tissue, or sperm and from sharing any items
that might come into contact with blood (such as needles, razors, and toothbrushes).
• Use a male or female condom during anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
HIV/AIDS
Because HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is incurable, prevention is critical. Although the condition is incurable, opportunistic infections in HIV-positive clients can be managed. Counseling
such clients is directed at changing risky sexual behaviors, maintaining/improving personal
hygiene, offering nutritional advice, and encouraging positive living.
Complications
• There is no vaccine available to prevent HIV infection, and there is no cure.
• Treatment does not cure the infection, but some medications can slow the spread of the virus
or fight illnesses common in those infected.
• HIV weakens the immune system, making the infected person susceptible to many opportunistic infections, which are infections that the body is normally able to fight off. Many
conditions may be especially severe, difficult to treat, and recurrent in individuals with HIV
infection.
• HIV causes AIDS, which can lead to opportunistic infections, such as pneumonia and certain
types of cancer; other life-threatening diseases; and eventually death.
Prevention
HIV-positive clients should:
• Inform all sexual partners they have had in the last three months about the infection (if possible) and encourage them to come to the clinic for more information, counseling, testing, and
treatment (if available)—even if a partner does not have any symptoms.
• Refrain from donating blood, body organs, other tissue, or sperm and from sharing any items
that might come into contact with blood (such as needles, razors, and toothbrushes).
• Always practice safer sex and use a male or female condom during anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
Less Common STIs
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
This STI is a common virus (a member of the herpes family of viruses) that can cause serious
infections in people with compromised immune systems.
B.10
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Donovanosis
This STI can cause serious ulcers at the site of infection. These ulcers can grow together and
cause permanent scarring and genital destruction.
Molluscum contagiosum
This STI causes relatively benign skin infections. It can lead to secondary bacterial infections.
Counseling
Ask all clients the following questions:
• Have you ever discussed STIs with a partner? If so, what happened?
• If not, how might you bring up the subject of STIs?
• What might you say?
• Would bringing up the subject put you at risk of violence or other serious problems?
For all clients:
If the client feels uncomfortable telling a sexual partner about an infection:
• Discuss or role play what the client might say to a partner, and suggest some strategies that
might help, such as:
– Suggest that the client choose a private place where he and the partner will not be disturbed
at a time not associated with sex.
– Encourage the client to tell the partner that they are discussing this important issue because
the client really cares about the partner.
– Suggest that the client allow time for the partner’s initial reaction, then begin talking about
treatment and how to prevent future infections.
• Discuss alternative strategies for getting a partner to come to the health care facility, such as
providing a referral card (if available).
• Offer to talk to any partners.
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
B.11
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix C
Testicular Cancer Facts
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
C.1
Testicular Cancer Facts
Rates and Statistics
• Approximately 3,000 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed each year in the United
•
•
•
States.
Overall incidence in the United States is 2 per 100,000 males.
Testicular cancer accounts for about 2% of all cancers in men.
Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in men between ages 29 and 35,
and is the third most common cancer (after leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease) in men
between ages 20 and 40. It is rare in middle-aged or older men.
Ninety-five percent of testicular tumors are malignant.
•
• Testicular cancer is 10 to 40 times more likely to occur when the testes descend to the
scrotum after age 6 or never descend.
High-Risk Factors
The exact cause of testicular cancer is still unknown, but men in one or more of the following categories seem more susceptible than others:
• Men who have or have had an undescended testicle, especially if it occurred after age 6
• Men who have atrophy (decrease in size) of the testicle from mumps or a viral infection
• Men who have a twin, brother, or other family member who has or has had a testicular
tumor
• Men who have or have had trauma to the testes (some service providers believe that this
may influence the development of testicular tumors)
• Men who have or have had endocrine system abnormalities, such as elevated hormone
levels (pituitary gonadotropin hormone or androgens)
Types of Testicular Tumors
Testicular tumors are classified into four main types, according to their microscopic
appearance. They may occur alone or in combination, and they account for approximately
87% of all testicular tumors. The four main types of testicular tumors are as follows:
• Seminoma. This is a slow-growing type of tumor that accounts for 40% of occurrences
of testicular cancer.
• Teratocarcinoma. This is a combination type of tumor, accounting for about 25% of
cases of testicular cancer.
• Embryonal carcinoma. This is a rapidly growing type of tumor that tends to spread
early and accounts for 15% to 20% of occurrences of testicular cancer.
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
C.3
• Choriocarcinoma. This type of tumor is responsible for only about 2% of cases of
testicular cancer.
Source: Schnare, 1998.
Signs of Testicular Cancer
• In 65% of cases, a small, hard lump, which is usually painless, on the front or side
of the testicle (not involving the scrotal wall or the spermatic cord)
Sometimes, a diffusely firm and enlarged testicle
A sudden accumulation of fluid or blood in the scrotum (cystocele or hematocele)
A heavy feeling in the testicle
Pain or discomfort in the genital area
Swelling or tenderness in the breast (gynecomastia)
•
•
•
•
•
• Enlarged lymph nodes
Detection of Testicular Cancer
To help detect testicular cancer at an early stage, clients should:
• Perform monthly genital self-examinations. This procedure is most helpful when performed after a bath or shower, when the scrotal skin and muscles are most relaxed.
• Gently examine each testicle with the fingers of both hands, rolling the testicle between
the thumbs and fingers to check for lumps.
• Have an annual physical examination performed by a service provider; this should include a thorough genital examination. If the provider does not perform a genital examination as part of the physical examination, the client should request one.
• Report any unusual symptoms to a service provider immediately.
In addition, parents should check their male infants to make sure that both testes have
descended into the scrotum.
C.4
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix D
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health
History Form
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
D.1
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health
History Form
Instructions
Fill in the following information as fully as possible. All of your answers are confidential. If
you prefer, your provider will ask you the questions and mark the answers on the form for you.
Date: ____________________
Your name: ________________________________________________
Facility name: ______________________________________________
Facility number/code: ________________________________________
Date of birth: ____________________________
Age: ___________
Race/ethnicity: ____________________________________________
Preferred language: __________________________________________
Use of translator/relationship to client: __________________________
Allergies to medications:
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the medication(s): ______________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
1. Why have you come to the health care facility today?
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
D.3
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
Family History (immediate family)
2. Do any members of your family have a history of:
• Cancer?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the type(s) of cancer and the family member: ____________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Congenital or genetic disorders?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the disorder(s) and the family member: ________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Depression and/or other emotional illness?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the illness(es) and the family member: __________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Diabetes?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the family member: ________________________________________
• Heart disease?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the family member: ________________________________________
• Heavy drinking, alcoholism, or other drug use?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the type(s) of drug use and the family member: __________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• High blood pressure?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the family member: ________________________________________
• High cholesterol?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the family member: ________________________________________
D.4
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
Family History (immediate family) (continued)
2. Do any members of your family have a history of: (continued)
• Problems with impulse control (for example, anger,
hitting, or violence)?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the problem(s) and the family member: ____________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Do any members of your family currently have
any other illnesses?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the the illness(es) and the family member:__________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
Personal History
3. Do you have a history of:
• Cancer?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the type(s) of cancer: ________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Depression and/or other emotional illness?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the illness(es): ____________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Diabetes?
Yes ______ No ______
• Heart disease?
Yes ______ No ______
• Heavy drinking, alcoholism, or other drug use?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the type(s) of drug use: ______________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
D.5
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
Personal History (continued)
• High blood pressure?
Yes ______ No ______
• High cholesterol?
Yes ______ No ______
• Liver disease?
Yes ______ No ______
• Lung disease?
Yes ______ No ______
• Problems with impulse control (for example, anger,
hitting, or violence)?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the problem(s): ____________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Smoking or other tobacco use?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, do you use tobacco occasionally (up to one pack per day, on average) or
frequently (more than one pack per day, on average):__________________________
4. Do you currently take any medications (including herbal
remedies, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins)?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the medication(s):____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
5. Have you had any surgeries and/or been hospitalized?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify when and where:_____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
6. Have you been abused or been forced to have sex
against your will?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify when:______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
D.6
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
STIs/HIV/AIDS Risk History
7. Are you protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections
(STIs), including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify how:_______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
8. How many sexual partners have you had in the past 12 months?
9. Do you use condoms every time you have sex?
________________
Yes ______ No ______
10. Have you used drugs that you injected using needles?
Yes ______ No ______
11. Do any of your partners use drugs that they inject
using needles?
Yes ______ No ______
12. Have you had blood transfusions or blood products?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify when and where:_____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
13. Do you have oral sex?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, do you give oral sex or do you receive oral sex: __________________________
14. Do you have anal sex?
Yes ______ No ______
15. Do you have sex with women, men, or both women
and men?
Yes ______ No ______
16. Have you ever had an STI?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
If so, identify the STI and when:____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
D.7
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
STIs/HIV/AIDS Risk History (continued)
17. Do you know if you have had any of these infections:
• Chlamydia?
Yes ______ No ______
• Chancroid?
Yes ______ No ______
• Donovanosis?
Yes ______ No ______
• Genital herpes?
Yes ______ No ______
• Genital warts or condyloma?
Yes ______ No ______
• Gonorrhea?
Yes ______ No ______
• Hepatitis or liver infection?
Yes ______ No ______
• HIV/AIDS?
Yes ______ No ______
• Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU)?
Yes ______ No ______
• Syphilis?
Yes ______ No ______
18. Were you treated?
19. Were your partners treated?
Yes ______ No ______
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
20. Have you or your partners had:
• Burning with urination?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Difficulty urinating or dribbling?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Penile discharge?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Pain during defecation?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Pain during ejaculation?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Pain during sex?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Pelvic infection?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Rash on the body or the palms
or soles of the feet?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Sores on the penis?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Sores on the vulva, labia, or vagina? Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Sore throat?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
• Vaginal discharge?
Yes ______ No ______ Don’t know ______
21. Do you practice genital self-examination?
D.8
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
Yes ______ No ______
EngenderHealth
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
STIs/HIV/AIDS Risk History (continued)
22. Is there anything else in your medical history that you
would like to let me know?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition: _______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
Other Health Issues
23. Do you know whether you have, or have had, any diseases, infections, injuries, or problems related to your:
• Bladder?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Bones or muscles?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Ears, nose, or throat?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Eyes?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Immune system?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
D.9
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
Other Health Issues (continued)
• Kidneys, penis, or testes?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Prostate gland?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Skin?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Gallbladder, intestines (bowel), pancreas, rectum,
spleen, or stomach?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
• Thyroid, growth, or development?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the condition:______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
D.10
Reproductive and Contraceptive History
24. Have you had any children?
Yes ______ No ______
25. Are you concerned about your fertility?
Yes ______ No ______
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Sample Sexual and Reproductive Health History Form
Reproductive and Contraceptive History (continued)
26. If you are having a sexual relationship with a woman, which contraceptive method(s)
are you and your partner using to prevent pregnancy?
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
Sexual History
27. Are you satisfied with your current level of sexual activity?
Yes ______ No ______
28. Do you have any sexual concerns?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the concern(s): ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
29. Do you have concerns or questions about libido or
sexual arousal?
Yes ______ No ______
If so, identify the concern(s) or question(s):___________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
D.11
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix E
Sexual and Reproductive Health
History Questions
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
E.1
Sexual and Reproductive Health
History Questions
Questions Related to Major Components of Taking a Sexual
and Reproductive Health History
When taking a sexual and reproductive health history, you may want to include the questions below. Become familiar with these questions so that you will be able to use them as
needed.
• How did you learn about sex as a child? (for adolescents)
• How old were you when you first talked about erection, wet dreams (nocturnal ejaculation), and sexual intercourse? (for adolescents)
• Are your beliefs and attitudes about sex the same as or different from those you held
during childhood or adolescence?
• How important is a sexual relationship to you?
• In your lifetime, have you had sex with women, men, or both women and men?
• Are you currently sexually involved with anyone?
• Are you satisfied with how often you have sex?
• How has your health affected the way you feel about yourself as a man?
• How has your health affected the way your partner feels about you?
• How has your health affected your ability to function as a sexual partner (or as a
husband and/or as a father)?
• How has this change in your sexual functioning affected you?
• How has this change in your sexual functioning affected your partner?
• What adjustments have you made to this situation?
• Do you have difficulty discussing this situation with your partner?
• What medications are you currently taking?
• How have the medications affected your sexual functioning?
• Are you in a relationship that requires you to use contraception?
• How is your sexual functioning affected by your current contraceptive method(s)?
• What would you change about your current contraceptive method(s)?
• Most men find that sometimes they cannot have sex or they will start to have sex but
then lose their erection. Does this happen to you?
• Sometimes, people express concerns about ______. What are your concerns about
______? (This question is good for eliciting specific concerns, such as erection problems, sexual techniques, lack of sexual interest, and fear of sexually transmitted infections [STIs].)
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
E.3
• Many people masturbate at all ages. When did you first masturbate? (A client who has
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not masturbated is always free to say that he has not masturbated.)
Many people experience some disappointments in their sexual lives. What are some of
your disappointments?
Have you ever had any doubts, problems, or concerns about how you function sexually?
What would you like to change about your sex life?
Quite often, people have questions about ______. What are some of your questions
about ______?
Note: Some of these questions assume that people have questions and concerns about sex,
including disappointments related to sex and erection difficulties. The questions listed
above are worded deliberately to let the client know that if he has such questions and
concerns, he is not unique, and that it is acceptable to have such questions and concerns
and to talk about them with a service provider.
Follow-Up Questions Related to Risk for Contracting STIs
The following questions are intended to help you assess if a client has an STI or is at risk
for contracting an STI.
• Are you sexually active?
• Are you engaging in sexual activity regularly?
• What kind of sexual activities do you engage in? (Modify this question according to the
client’s answers to questions about types of partners and other related information.)
• Do you have sex with women, men, or both women and men?
• Are you having sex with more than one partner?
• How many partners have you had in the last year?
• Have you had any new partners in the last few months?
• Have you ever had any casual or one-time partners?
• When was the last time you had sex with someone other than your regular partner? Who
was this person?
• Does any aspect of your life, such as recent travel, sexual orientation, or sexual activities, have any bearing on your current problem?
• Do you have oral sex?
• Do you have anal sex?
• Have you ever had any partners you would consider risky from the standpoint of HIV
(the virus that causes AIDS) or other infections? What makes these partners risky?
• Is there any reason I should check you for an STI?
• Have you ever been infected by any partners?
• If you have been infected, were you and your partners treated? (If the client answers yes,
ask: How were you and your partners treated? How are you and your partners now?
E.4
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• How are you protecting yourself from HIV and other STIs?
• Do you have any problems with your genitals, such as burning or pain during urination,
a discharge from your penis, bumps or sores on your genitals, or pain or lumps in your
genital area? (Follow up on any specific signs or symptoms that the client mentions.)
Follow-Up Questions Related to Symptoms of Infections,
Injuries, and Disorders
• Do you have any pain, lumps, or heaviness in your testes?
• Do you have any problems with urination, such as having difficulty emptying the bladder, urinating frequently, having to get up during the night to urinate, or dribbling?
• Do you have any lower abdominal pain?
• Do you have dark urine or any yellowing of your skin or eyes?
• Do you have any history of genital injuries or surgery?
• Do you want to be checked for STIs today?
• Do you routinely examine your testes and other genitals? (Identify the possible need for
genital self-examination instruction during the physical examination.)
• Do you have any questions about STIs or other men’s sexual and reproductive health
problems?
Follow-Up Questions Related to Sexual Satisfaction
The following questions are appropriate to use with a client whom you think may have a
problem with sexual satisfaction. They are intended to help you assess whether the client
does, in fact, have a problem, the nature of the problem, and the primary causes of and
contributing factors to the problem. Choose the questions in the list below that you need
to ask in order to understand the client’s situation. You may want to schedule a separate
visit to talk with the client about his sexual problem if there is not enough time when you
first learn that he may have sexual concerns.
General Sexual and Reproductive Health
• During the past month, how often have you had sexual intercourse?
• During the past month, how often have you engaged in other sexual activities?
• Are you satisfied with these sexual activities?
Change in Sexual Frequency or Sexual Satisfaction
• Have you had any change in how often you have sex or how interested you are in sex?
(Diminished libido may suggest an endocrine problem.)
• Did you have any changes in your personal life around the time that your sex life
changed?
• Have you had any changes in your employment?
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
E.5
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•
Have you had any changes in your economic situation?
Have you had any illnesses that have affected your sex life?
Are you currently taking any medications that you weren’t taking earlier?
Do you use alcohol, drugs, or tobacco?
Do you have any problems with your moods, such as feeling angry and not being able
to control your anger, or feeling depressed (lethargic, unable to sleep)?
Have you had any changes in your relationships?
Are you with the same sexual partner(s)?
How do you feel about this partner(s)? (Listen for such concerns as anger, guilt, different goals for the relationship, and disagreements about having children.)
How often is sex unsatisfying for you or your partner?
With which of your partners does this happen? (Note: This wording enables the client
to reveal that he has multiple partners and lets him know that it is acceptable to have
multiple partners and to talk about it with a service provider. If the client has only one
partner, this wording enables him to say so.)
When are you most likely to have this problem?
When was the last time you had (or tried to have) sex?
When was the last time having sex didn’t happen the way you wanted it to? What
happened? Who were you with? Where were you? What time of day was it? Were you
drinking alcohol or using drugs?
What did your partner do when this happened?
Erectile Dysfunction
• Are you able to achieve an erection each time you would like to have one?
• Do you ever achieve an erection but have difficulty having an orgasm?
• Do you ever have an orgasm each time you would like to have one?
• Do you have an orgasm but no liquid comes out of your penis (no ejaculation)?
• When you’re interested in having sex, do you ever have any trouble achieving an
erection?
• Is your erection always firm (hard) enough for you to put your penis into your partner’s
body?
• Do you ever lose the erection?
• What do you do when this happens?
• What does your partner do when this happens?
• Do you and/or your partner do anything to try to help you achieve or maintain an erection? Is this successful?
• Many men occasionally have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Sometimes they get really worried about this problem, and it seems that the more they think
E.6
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
“Is my erection okay?” the more likely they are to lose the erection. Does this ever
happen to you?
• Do you have ever pain when you have intercourse (or achieve an erection or ejaculate)?
Premature Ejaculation
• Do you ever have an orgasm sooner than you or your partner would like?
• What happens?
• Do you ever ejaculate before you have a chance to put your penis into your partner’s
body?
• How soon after putting the penis into your partner’s body do you have an orgasm?
• About how many minutes does it take from the time you achieve an erection to the time
you ejaculate?
• What, if anything, have you tried to do about this problem?
Follow-Up Questions Related to Contraception
• How important is it to you and your partner to prevent pregnancy at this time? (If the
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client answers that preventing pregnancy is not important to him and his partner,
continue with the “Follow-Up Questions Related to Infertility and Pregnancy.” If the
client answers that preventing pregnancy is important to him and his partner, continue
with the rest of the questions in this section.)
Which contraceptive method(s) are you and your partner using to prevent pregnancy?
(If the client and his partner use a female-directed method, ask him:) Are there ways in
which you help your partner use this contraceptive method?
How satisfied are you and your partner with your current contraceptive method(s)?
What would you or your partner change about your current contraceptive method(s)?
Have you or your partner had any illnesses or problems that interfere with your current
contraceptive method(s)?
Do you understand how emergency contraception works?
Can you talk with your partner about contraception and sexuality?
Do you have any questions about preventing pregnancy?
What effect has your illness or your surgery had on your sexual functioning?
What adjustments have you made to this situation?
Is your sexual functioning getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
What medications are you taking? What effects from the medications have you noticed
on your ability to function sexually?
Do you have questions about the effects of your illness or surgery on your sexual
activity?
Do you have questions about how sexual activity might affect your health?
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
E.7
Follow-Up Questions Related to Infertility and Pregnancy
• Have you ever been responsible for impregnating a woman?
• Do you have any children? (If the client answers yes, ask:) How many children do you
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have? How old are they/is he or she?
Do you want any (more) children? (If the client answers yes, ask:) When? How many?
With your current partner?
Do you have any concerns about your ability to make someone pregnant? (If the client
answers yes, follow up with additional appropriate questions or refer the client to the
appropriate specialist.)
Have you had a vasectomy? (If the client answers yes, ask the questions below:)
How has your vasectomy affected the way you feel about yourself as a man? How has
your vasectomy affected the way your partner feels about you?
How has your vasectomy affected your sexual functioning? Is your sexual functioning
getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
Do you have any questions about the effects of your vasectomy on your sexual activity?
Note: If a client has questions that you cannot answer or concerns that you are not
prepared to address, be honest with him. Explain that you will try to find an answer or find
another service provider who may be able to address his questions or concerns. If possible, refer the client to the appropriate specialist.
A general health history should be obtained with a focus on the following areas:
• Client’s age: Fertility declines in men who are over age 65. If his female partner is over
age 35, the infertility evaluation should begin promptly due to her declining fertility,
without waiting one year.
Note: Sperm evaluation and the male reproductive examination should always precede
the female infertility screening because a sperm assessment is simpler, less costly, less
painful, and less invasive than the female infertility assessment.
• Fertility: Has the man or woman:
– Ever had children?
– Been proven fertile at some time in their lives with other partners?
• Reproductive tract infections (RTIs): Ask the couple about RTIs, with an emphasis
on STIs. STIs, particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia, are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and are a common cause of infertility due to tubal scarring. They can also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. STIs in men are associated
with urethritis, orchitis, epididymitis, and prostatitis; these infections can impair fertility. Does the couple have risk factors for STIs (multiple sex partners, intravenous drug
use, history of previous STI episodes)?
• Contraceptive history: Ask the couple:
– Has the woman used an intrauterine device (IUD) in the past as a contraceptive
method? The insertion of IUDs has been associated with pelvic infections that can
lead to infertility.
E.8
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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– Has the woman used Depo-Provera (depomedroxyprogesterone acetate [DMPA])
as a contraceptive method? DMPA may inhibit ovulation for up to 10 months after
the last injection.
– Has either partner had a sterilization procedure (vasectomy or tubal ligation) or surgery to reverse a sterilization?
Developmental history:
– What is the client’s developmental history, including timing of puberty? Precocious
puberty may indicate adrenogenital syndrome, while delayed puberty may indicate
Klinefelter’s syndrome or idiopathic hypogonadism. Gynecomastia may suggest an
endocrine abnormality. Hot flashes may result from declining testicular function.
– Has the client ever had specific related disorders such as mumps orchitis, cryptorchidism, and testicular pain (possible testicular torsion) or injury?
– Was he exposed antenatally to diethylstilbestrol (DES), a medication that many
women in Europe were given between 1940 and 1970 in the mistaken belief that it
would help prevent miscarriage? “DES daughters” had high rates of cancer in the
genital tract, and their “DES sons” had various genital abnormalities and, in some
cases, poor semen quality.
General medical history:
– Does the client’s history suggest chronic liver or kidney disease or an endocrine
disorder (pituitary, thyroid, adrenal)?
– Does the client’s history suggest alcohol or drug abuse?
– Does he have diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disease? Chronic or repeated respiratory infections may be associated with one of several congenital abnormalities that
lead to azoospermia or immotile sperm.
– Has he had chemotherapy treatment or abdominal or pelvic radiation?
– Has he had abdominal or pelvic surgery such as herniorrhaphy or scrotal surgery?
– What type of work does he do? Does it expose him to reproductive hazards such as
lead, testicular toxins, or pesticides?
– Febrile illnesses during the preceding three to six months may result in a temporary
decrease in sperm count and fertilization capacity. Tuberculosis, malaria, filariasis,
schistosomiasis, and Hansen’s disease may all cause infertility in some men.
Medication history:
– Is either partner taking medications or substances that can affect sexual performance
or fertility?
– Does either partner use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or opiates? Tobacco use impairs
semen quality, as well as sexual functioning.
History of sexual practices:
– What are the frequency and timing of penile-vaginal sex?
– Does the man ejaculate?
– Does he ejaculate prematurely?
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
E.9
– Do the man and his partner achieve orgasm?
– Pain with intercourse can suggest endometriosis in the woman or Peyronie’s disease in
the man. Many vaginal lubricants contain phenol, or are bactericidal, or may be spermicidal, which can cause sperm immobility or death. Douching after penile-vaginal
sex can wash out significant numbers of sperm and should be discouraged.
E.10
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix F
Teaching the Client How to Perform
a Genital Self-Examination
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
F.1
Teaching the Client How to Perform
a Genital Self-Examination
Teaching a client how to perform a genital self-examination provides him with another
opportunity to ask questions about his genitals and their functions. Offer the client printed
instructions for performing a genital self-examination to which he can refer as he begins
to practice. Then, once you have taught him the technique for performing a genital selfexamination, you can check to determine if he has been examining his genitals, verify his
findings, and answer any questions he may have on subsequent visits to your facility.
If you find out that the client has not been examining his genitals regularly or at all, you
can encourage him to do so by explaining the following: “Do you examine your own genitals regularly? It is important to do so. You can find testicular cancer—which is particularly common in young men—by self-exam, and also diseases that might be passed
between you and your sex partner. You should get in the habit of checking your genitals
routinely, about once a month.… Learning what your testicles feel like is important. If any
changes occur—and nondangerous changes, as well as serious ones can occur—you
should call your health professional” (Swanson & Forrest, 1984).
Performing a Genital Self-Examination
Why You Should Perform a Genital Self-Examination
• Genital self-examination helps detect testicular cancer in its early stages when it is
highly curable, although in the very early stages there may not be any symptoms.
Testicular cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men who are between
20 and 35 years old. Men should start performing genital self-examinations as soon as
possible around age 15 and continue on a regular basis until around age 40.
• Genital self-examination helps detect signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted
infections (STIs), enabling you to seek treatment.
• Genital self-examination helps detect other disorders of the male genitals, including
hydrocele, varicocele, inguinal hernia, and scrotal hernia.
When to Perform a Genital Self-Examination
• Perform a genital self-examination once a month.
• The following suggestions are examples of ways that you can remember when to
perform the genital self-examination:
– If you have a female partner, develop the habit of performing the examination during
the time she menstruates.
– Perform the examination on the same day each month, such as the day of the month
on which you were born or on the day you receive your paycheck.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
F.3
• The best time to perform the genital self-examination is after a warm bath or shower,
because heat causes the scrotal skin to relax and soften.
How to Perform a Genital Self-Examination
• Look at your scrotum, and check for swelling.
• Feel each testicle separately by rolling the testicle between your thumb and your first
two fingers of both hands. It is normal for one testicle to hang slightly lower than the
other testicle. The testicle feels like a large oval mass and is slightly rubbery, but not
hard, with a smooth surface.
• Feel for lumps, swelling, or a change in the size or the consistency of each testicle.
• Feel the epididymis, which is located on the outer side of each testicle. The epididymis
feels like a ridge of tissue on the testicle.
• Feel for a firm, nontender column of blood vessels and tissues. This cord-like structure
behind and above each testicle is the spermatic cord. Do not interpret this as an abnormality because, for example, you confuse it with a varicocele.
• See your service provider if you notice any changes in the size or consistency (e.g.,
firm, soft, cystic). With testicular cancer, the testicle feels very firm, nodular, or tender,
and usually is not painful.
• After you examine both testes, look at your penis and scrotum. Check for any lumps,
blisters, sores, rashes, or changes in the color or texture of the penis and the scrotum.
• Look at the opening at the tip of your penis to see if there is any discharge.
• Feel your genital area for bumps, sores, skin ulcers, or unevenness.
• If you have burning or pain during urination, a discharge from your penis, bumps or
sores on your genitals, or pain or lumps in your genital area, see your service provider
as soon as possible. These are common symptoms of STIs.
Remember to use condoms until you can be examined, so if you have an infection you will
not spread it to someone else when you have sex.
F.4
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix G
Checklist for Performing
a Genital Examination
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
G.1
Checklist for Performing
a Genital Examination
Instructions
Place a check mark (✓) in the “Very well done” box if the participant performed the task
correctly and completely; place a check mark in the “Needs improvement” box if the
participant performed the task incorrectly or incompletely. Write your observations and/or
your suggestions for ways the participant can more effectively perform the task in the
“Comments” box.
Note: Add that it is important to tell the “service provider” to wear gloves.
Checklist for Performing a Genital Examination
Task
Very well
done
Needs
improvement
Comments
1. Perform a general physical
assessment.
2. Perform a breast examination, and
teach the client how to perform a
breast self-examination.
3. Perform a lower abdomen examination.
4. Check the cremaster reflex.
5. Inspect the pubis.
6. Inspect the penis.
7. Inspect the scrotum, and teach the
client how to perform a genital selfexamination.
8. Palpate the scrotal contents.
9. Palpate for an inguinal hernia.
10. Inspect the perineum and anal orifice.
11. Examine the prostate gland.
12. Obtain prostate, rectal, and urine
specimens, if indicated.
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
G.3
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix H
Photographs
Disorders of the Penis
Photograph 1 Balanitis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 2 Latex allergy (associated with balanitis or balanoposthitis). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 3 Paraphimosis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 4 Priapism and paraphimosis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 5 Smegma (associated with phimosis). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 6 Squamous cell carcinoma of the penis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.3
H.3
H.3
H.3
H.4
H.4
Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin
Photograph 7 Hydrocele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 8 Inguinal hernia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 9 Scrotal elephantiasis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 10 Spermatocele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.4
H.5
H.5
H.5
Disorders of the Skin of the Genitals
Photograph 11 Genital herpes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.6
Disorders of the Testes
Photograph 12 Cryptorchidism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 13 Testicular cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 14 Testicular torsion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.6
H.6
H.7
Disorders of the Urethra
Photograph 15 Hypospadias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Photograph 16 Purulent urethral discharge (associated with gonococcal urethritis). . . . . . . . . . . .
H.7
H.8
Common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Photograph 17 Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
H.8
Examining the Client
Photograph 18 Checking for hernias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H.9
Photograph 19 Examination of the urethral meatus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H.9
Photograph 20 Inspection of the perineum and anal orifice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H.9
Photograph 21 Palpation of the scrotal contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H.10
Photograph 22 Genital self-examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H.10
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems H.1
Disorders of the Penis
Photograph 1 Balanitis
Photograph 2 Latex allergy
(associated with balanitis
or balanoposthitis)
Photograph 3 Paraphimosis
Photograph 4 Priapism
and paraphimosis
continued
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems H.3
Disorders of the Penis (continued)
Photograph 5 Smegma
(associated with phimosis)
Photograph 6 Squamous cell
carcinoma of the penis
Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin
Photograph 7 Hydrocele
continued
H.4 Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Disorders of the Scrotum and Groin (continued)
Photograph 8 Inguinal hernia
Photograph 9 Scrotal
elephantiasis
Photograph 10 Spermatocele
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems H.5
Disorders of the Skin of the Genitals
Photograph 11 Genital herpes
Disorders of the Testes
Photograph 12 Cryptorchidism
Photograph 13 Testicular cancer
continued
H.6 Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Disorders of the Testes (continued)
Photograph 14 Testicular torsion
Disorders of the Urethra
Photograph 15 Hypospadias
continued
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems H.7
Disorders of the Urethra (continued)
Photograph 16 Purulent urethral discharge
(associated with gonococcal urethritis)
Common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Photograph 17 Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
H.8 Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
Examining the Client
Photograph 18 Checking for hernias
Photograph 19 Examination of
the urethral meatus
Photograph 20 Inspection of
the perineum and anal orifice
continued
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems H.9
Examining the Client (continued)
Photograph 21 Palpation of the scrotal contents
Photograph 22 Genital self-examination
H.10 Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix I
Glossary
EngenderHealth
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
I.1
Glossary
Abdominal lymphatic compression
Alpha-adrenergic agonists
Pressure on the lymph vessels in the abdomen.
Drugs that decrease bladder-outlet resistance.
Abdominal mass
Amyloidosis
A swelling in the abdomen.
A disorder that is caused by an abnormal
deposit of a protein called amyloid, in various
tissues.
Accelerated transit time
A situation in which the length of time needed
for passage is decreased.
Acid-fast
Refers to organisms, such as bacteria-causing
tuberculosis and leprosy, whose bacterial
walls do not stain well with common reagents
because their cell makeup is slightly different
than normal and requires special stains.
Active bleeding
A situation in which blood is escaping vigorously under pressure, so is unlikely to stop by
itself.
Anal cancer
Cancer of the anus.
Anal probing
Entering or exploring the anus with a slender
rod or a flexible instrument with a bulbous tip.
Anal verge
The transitional zone between the innermost,
hairless skin of the anal canal and the outer
perianal skin.
Androgen
Cells that are dynamic and alive.
A hormone that causes the development of
male sexual characteristics; usually refers to
testosterone and androsterone.
Acute nonspecific epididymitis
Angio-neurotic edema
A type of epididymitis that is caused by an
unidentified organism.
A disorder that causes a swelling in the scrotum
that is due to a disease or injury of the vasomotor nerves.
Actively dividing cells
Adherent
Has the ability to stick to other tissue.
Anorectal junction
Adipose tissue
The distal portion of the digestive tract, a transitional area from the anal to the rectal mucosa.
Fat.
Adrenogenital syndrome
A group of symptoms associated with alterations of secondary sexual characteristics due
to an abnormal increase in the production of
androgens by the adrenal glands.
Anoscope
An endoscope or a speculum that is used to
directly visualize the anal canal.
Anovulation
A lack of ovulation.
Alcoholism
Anterior urethral injuries
A type of drug addiction. This illness is
indicated by an excess consumption of alcoholic beverages that interferes with physical
or mental health and with social, family, or
occupational responsibilities.
Injuries located between the penile and bulbous urethra below the urogenital diaphragm.
Allergen
Anything that produces an allergic reaction.
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Antiandrogen
A medication that counteracts the effect of the
male hormone androgen.
Anticholinergic drugs
Drugs that weaken bladder contractility.
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I.3
Antifungal cream
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
A topical medication that slows or stops the
growth of a fungus.
An enlargement of the prostate gland. Also
known as benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Arteriosclerosis
Bilateral
A hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
Occurs on both sides of the body.
Ascending infection
Bilateral anorchia
An infection that climbs up or inward from the
lower or outer parts, respectively, of the genital
tract—for example, from the urethra upward to
the bladder, then the ureters, then the kidneys.
The absence of both testes at birth.
Ascites
Biopsy
An accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal
cavity.
Aseptic meningitis
An inflammation of the meninges (membranes
covering the brain), without infection or sepsis.
Attenuated
A weakened or diluted strain of vaccine (such
as a virus) that is used to diminish potency in
order to prevent causing a disease.
Audible peristaltic sounds
Sounds of the intestines contracting that can be
heard.
Auscultation
Listening to sounds of organs that can be
heard.
Auspitz’s sign
A condition in which scaly papules reveal
bleeding points when removed; associated
with psoriasis.
Bilateral orchitis
An inflammation of both testes.
A process by which a piece of tissue is
removed from a client for the purposes of
performing a diagnostic examination.
Bladder diverticula
Small pouches, sacs, or pockets of the inner
layer of the bladder.
Bladder neoplasm
Tumor of the bladder.
Bladder-outlet obstruction
A blockage between the bladder and the
urethra.
Bleeding points
Spots from which blood is escaping.
Blood tests
Tests for which blood is drawn from a vein
into a vial and analyzed.
Blue dot sign
Axilla
A small, bluish area seen though the scrotal
skin, which indicates a blood-flow insufficiency
to a structure underneath it.
An armpit.
Boggy
Azoospermia
Somewhat soft.
A condition that is characterized by an absence
of sperm in semen.
Botox
A botulinum toxin.
Bowel movements
Bacteremia
The presence of bacteria in the bloodstream.
Passages of stools; bowel elimination.
Bowel perforation
Bacterial prostatitis
An infection of the prostate gland that is
caused by a bacterial infection.
An abnormal opening in the intestine.
Bowen’s disease
A precancerous skin lesion that has pinkish
papules covered by a thickened layer of skin.
I.4
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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“Buffalo hump”
Chlamydia
A mound of fat on the back of the neck.
A sexually transmitted infection (STI)
transmitted during anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
Bulbocavernosus reflex
A condition in which the sphincter of the anus
contracts in response to squeezing the head of
the penis.
Chronic epididymitis
Bulbous urethra
Chronic ulcerative colitis
The part of the urethra that has the form or
nature of a bulb; it adjoins the membranous
urethra.
An inflammation of the large intestine and
rectum that is characterized by bloody diarrhea
and is of long duration.
A type of epididymitis that progresses slowly
and is of long duration.
Cirrhosis
Calculi
Stones.
Candida
A specific microorganism normally found in
the vagina in small numbers.
Carcinoma in situ
A progressive disease of the liver that is
characterized by diffuse damage to liver cells,
nodular regeneration, fibrosis, and disturbance
of normal liver structure and function; it is
often associated with alcoholism.
Clinically significant
A very early stage of cancer that is confined
locally to its site of origin; it has not yet
penetrated deeper tissues.
Indicates the significance of the difference
between outcomes in a clinical situation;
a service provider makes this determination
with respect to the client.
CAT scans
Coliform bacteria
Images of body structures that are created by
a computer that takes the data from multiple
X-ray images and turns them into pictures
on a screen. CAT (computerized axial tomography) scans can reveal some soft-tissue
and other structures that cannot be seen in
conventional X-rays. Also known as CT scan.
A specific type of microorganism.
Colostomy
A surgical procedure that creates an opening
on the abdomen for the drainage of stool from
the large intestine.
Combination type
Screening for carcinoembryonic antigen.
A testicular cancer having more than one
histologic, or tissue, type.
Celiac disease
Communicating hernia
A common disease in which the lining of the
small intestine is damaged.
An opening or passage that connects two body
structures.
Chancres
Compresses
Small, solid, well-defined, elevated skin lesions
that occur at the point of entry of an infection;
they usually indicate primary syphilis.
Pads of gauze or other material for applying
local pressure.
Chemical epididymitis
Physical or mental anomalies, diseases, malformations, or traits that exist at birth.
CEA scans
A type of epididymitis that is associated with
noninfective causes.
Chemotherapy
Congenital
Congenital failure
A failure that exists at birth.
A cancer treatment that uses drugs.
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Congenital urethral valves
Cystoscopy
Abnormal folds of membranous tissue of the
inner layer of the urethra that exist at birth and
interfere with the flow of urine through the
urethral canal.
A procedure that enables the inside of the
bladder and urethra to be viewed in great
detail using a specialized endoscope (a tube
with a small camera used to perform tests and
surgeries) called a cystoscope.
Congestive heart failure
A disorder in which the heart loses its ability to
pump blood efficiently.
Crepitant
Relating to or characterized by a crackling,
bubbling sound or vibration, similar to the
sound produced by rubbing hair between the
fingers; indicates both air entering fluid in tissues and air or gas in tissues.
Crohn’s disease
A chronic autoimmune disease that can affect
any part of the gastrointestinal tract but most
commonly occurs in the ileum (the area where
the small and large intestine meet).
Crural fold
A space between the thigh and the lower
abdomen.
Cryotherapy
A process by which tissues are frozen in order
to destroy them.
“Cushing’s syndrome” body habitus
Greatly weakened from disease.
Decompensation of the bladder
A condition in which the bladder is not able to
adjust to an increased resistance to urine flow.
Delayed puberty
An unusually late development of secondary
sexual characteristics and capability for sexual
reproduction.
Dentate line
The irregular, tooth-shaped area between the
rectum and the anus.
Depo-Provera
A trademark for medroxyprogesterone acetate;
a progestin-only injectable contraceptive
method.
Dermatome
The area of skin supplied with nerve fibers
from a single spinal nerve root.
The body features (e.g., “buffalo hump,”
moon face) that result from an excess of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
Detorsion
Cyst
Diagnostics
A fluid-filled sac.
Cystic fibrosis
Reverse the torsion of or twist manually.
The science and practice of making a diagnosis
and finding the type and cause of a disease.
A congenital metabolic disorder in which
secretions from glands are normally adhesive,
causing both a sticky-mucus obstruction of
passageways in, for example, the lungs,
intestines, and pancreas and an increase in the
salt content of sweat.
Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
Cystitis
Dilation
An inflammation of the bladder.
A condition in which an orifice or tubular
structure is stretched beyond normal dimensions. Another term for dilatation.
Cystocele
Protrusion of the urinary bladder into the
vagina.
I.6
Debilitated
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
A synthetic estrogen used as a substitute for the
natural estrogenic hormones.
Digital rectal examination (DRE)
Palpation of the rectum and adjoining structures using the examiner’s finger.
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Direct hernias
Electro-ejaculation
Hernias that directly separate the abdominal
muscles.
Stimulation of ejaculation using an electric
current.
Direct inhibition
Emesis
Straightforward, uninterrupted restraint or
reduction.
Vomiting; upset stomach.
Distal
An inflammation of the brain.
Farthest from the point of reference, attachment, or origin.
Endocrine disorder
Diverticulitis
An inflammation of an abnormal pouch in the
intestinal wall, which is usually found in the
large intestine.
Dorsal
Upper.
Draining sinus tract
A channel or passageway through which pus is
discharged.
Dyspnea
Breathing difficulty.
Dysuria
Pain during urination.
Encephalitis
A disorder that is associated with hormone
levels.
Endometriosis
A disorder that is characterized by pain during
menstruation and can cause infertility.
Endoscopy
A process by which tissues are viewed using
an endoscope, which consists of a camera
mounted on a flexible tube. Small instruments
can be used to take samples of suspicious
tissues through the endoscope.
Engorged
Filled with fluid, such as blood.
Enterococci
A specific type of microorganism.
E. coli urinary tract infection
Epidermoid cysts
An inflammation of the urinary bladder or urethra that is caused by E. coli bacteria.
Cysts found just under the skin containing skin
secretions that look like cheese. Another term
for sebaceous cysts.
Ectopic testicle
A condition in which a testicle descends to the
wrong area.
Epididymitis
Edema
Epididymo-orchitis
A condition that is characterized by excess
swelling in connective tissue.
An inflammation and swelling of the epdidymis and testicle, usually caused by an
infection.
Edematous
Has edema.
Ejaculation
An inflammation of the epididymis.
Erectile dysfunction
Another term for impotence.
Contractions of the ejaculatory duct in the
prostate gland that cause semen to be ejected
through the urethra and penis.
Eroded
Electrocautery
Redness.
A high-frequency electrical current.
Denuded of skin.
Erythema
Erythematous papules
Red, solid, well-defined elevations of the skin.
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Esophageal varices
Fertile
Varicose veins in the esophagus.
Able to reproduce.
Etiologic management
Fertilization capacity
An approach in which diagnosis is based on
the results of laboratory tests.
An ability to fertilize.
Etiologic organisms
An infection by the filaria parasite, a worm
whose larvae invade lymphoid tissue, causing
obstruction, inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Microorganisms that cause a disease.
Eunuch-like
Like a boy or man whose sexual characteristics have not been influenced by male
hormones and who lacks testes or external
genitals.
Excised
Removed by cutting out.
Excoriations
Scratch marks.
Excrescences
Outgrowths from a body surface.
Exertional weakness
Filariasis
Fissure
A tear.
Flexible endoscopy
Visual inspection of interior structures of the
body using a nonrigid fiberoptic instrument.
Focally indurate
Small, discrete areas of hardening.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
A hormone that affects the germinal epithelium
and the Sertoli cells in the seminiferous tubules
in the testicle.
A lack of energy caused by iron-deficiency
anemia.
Folliculitis
Exteriorization
Foreskin
To transpose an internal organ to the external
surface of the body. In psychiatry, to turn one’s
interest outward.
The prepuce or skin that covers the head of
the penis.
Facial adiposity
Excessive fat deposited in the face. Another
term for moon face.
Familial polyposis
A disease in which some families have a
higher chance than others of developing
polyps.
An infection of the hair follicles.
Frank peritonitis
Obvious signs of an inflammation of the
peritoneum.
Fulguration
A destruction of tissue that is caused by
electrocautery.
Furuncle
An infection of a hair follicle. Another term
for boil.
Febrile
Can cause or is associated with fever.
Female factor
A substance promoting or functioning in a
particular process for females.
Femoral pulses
Pulses of the femoral artery located in the
upper third of the inner thigh.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
Galactorrhea
A persistent discharge of milk or a white fluid
from the breast.
Gangrene
A particular type of necrosis that is caused
by an obstruction or a decrease in the blood
supply.
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Gastritis
Gram stain
An inflammation of the stomach lining.
Illnesses related to the stomach, intestines, and
adjacent anatomical structures.
A diagnostic reagent that is used for a simple
laboratory test that identifies bacteria; this is
usually the first test performed in microbiology
because it is simple, inexpensive, and relatively reliable.
Genital ducts
Granulomatous orchitis
Gastrointestinal problems
Genital structures, such as the epididymis and
vas deferens.
Genitourinary tract
The genitals and urinary structures.
Germ cell tumors
A type of cancer that arises from the transformation of primordial cells (cells showing the
earliest structure of an embryo).
A granulated inflammation of the testicle.
Gynecomastia
A benign glandular enlargement of the breast.
Hansen’s disease
Glans
An infectious disease that is characterized by
disfiguring skin lesions, peripheral nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. Another term
for leprosy.
The head of the penis.
Hemachromatosis
The space or parting between the buttocks.
An iron-metabolism disorder that is characterized by both an excessive absorption of ingested iron and a deposit of iron compounds in
tissues, such as the skin, liver, pancreas, and
heart.
Glycosuria
Hematemesis
The presence of abnormal amounts of sugar in
urine.
Vomiting of gross blood or bloody material,
which indicates bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Glans penis
The foreskin of the penis.
Gluteal cleft
GnRH release
The release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone
(GnRH).
Gonadal dysgenesis
A birth defect that is caused by the absence of
an X chromosome in some or all cells of a
female, which inhibits sexual development and
usually causes infertility. Another term for
Turner syndrome.
Hematochezia
A condition in which bright red blood is passed
in the stool. Another term for melena.
Hematogenous spread
A method by which an infection travels
through the bloodstream.
Hematoma
A specific type of microorganism.
A mass of usually clotted blood that forms in a
tissue, organ, or body cavity and is caused by a
broken blood vessel.
Gonorrhea
Hematospermia
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmitted during anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
A condition in which semen contains blood or
red blood cells (RBCs).
Gram-negative bacteria
Hematuria
Bacteria that react to a Gram stain.
A condition in which urine contains blood or
red blood cells (RBCs).
Gonococci
Gram-negative enteric bacteria
Intestinal bacteria that react to a Gram stain.
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Hemiscrotum
Half or one side of the scrotum.
Hemodynamically significant
Causing a change in the stability of the heart
and vascular systems.
Hemorrhagic
Bleeding.
Hepatitis B
A viral infection transmitted through contact
with infected blood or other body fluids.
Hepatitis B can be transmitted during anal,
oral, or vaginal sex.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
A group of more than 70 types of viruses that
can cause warts or papillomas. Although some
types of HPV cause common warts on the
hands and feet, genital HPVs are sexually
transmitted and can cause warts in the genital
and anal areas of both men and women.
Hyperglycemia
An excess amount of sugar in the blood.
Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism
An excess of gonadotropin secretion by the
pituitary gland.
Hepatitis C
Hypermobile
A viral infection transmitted through contact
with infected blood or other body fluids. The
most common route of transmission of hepatitis C is injection drug use.
Moves beyond the normal range with little
effort.
Herniorrhaphy
Hyperpigmentation
An excess of pigmentation or dark color in a
tissue, such as skin.
A hernia repair.
Hyperprolactinemia
Herpes simplex
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is
transmitted through direct contact with the
painful ulcers (sores) it causes, but can also
be transmitted after the sores have healed
or before an outbreak has occurred. It can be
transmitted from the mouth to the genitals or
from the genitals to the mouth during oral sex.
Higher-level assessment
An assessment that is done at a specialized
referral site and involves more elaborate and
refined tests than those done at a health care
facility.
Hirsutism
Excessive growth of dark, coarse body hair in
women and children.
Histologic
An excess of prolactin in the blood.
Hypogonadism
A deficiency in testosterone secretion by the
testes.
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
A deficiency in gonadotropin secretion by the
pituitary gland. Another term for Kallman’s
syndrome.
Hypothalamic-pituitary axis
A dynamic functional link between the
hypothalamus and the pituitary that controls
hormone levels and function.
Hypothyroidism
A deficiency in thyroid gland activity; the
underproduction of thyroxine or the condition
resulting from its underproduction.
Of or pertaining to tissue.
I.10
Hormone therapy
Idiopathic infertility
Treatment with chemical transmitter substances produced by body cells and tranported
in the bloodstream to other cells to achieve a
specific regulatory effect, or treatment with
synthetic substances that have similar effects.
Cases of infertility whose causes are unknown.
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
Idiopathic lymphedema
A condition in which an obstruction of
lymphatics causes a swelling of tissue and
an accumulation of large amounts of lymph
in the affected area; its causes are unknown.
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Immotile cilia syndrome
A syndrome that is caused when hair-like cilia
do not function properly and do not effectively
help move secretions and eliminate trapped
microorganisms.
Immunotherapy
Passive immunization of an individual by
administration of preformed antibodies; also,
use of treatments to potentiate an immune
reaction or infusion of specially treated white
blood cells or bone marrow.
Impaired spermatogenesis
Disordered sperm production (division and differentiation).
Impotence
An inability to achieve an erection.
Incarcerated hernia
A hernia that is trapped in the inguinal ring.
Incontinence
An inability to prevent the discharge of body
secretions, especially urine and feces.
Incubation period
The time from infection to the first appearance
of signs and symptoms.
Induration
Hardening of a tissue or part, usually from
inflammation or infiltration with cancer.
Infarction
A sudden insufficiency in blood supply that
produces an area of tissue death.
Inferior vena cava
A blood vessel.
Infertile
Unable to reproduce.
Infiltrate
To penetrate the interstices of a tissue or substance; also, material deposited by infiltration.
Inguinal area
The groin.
Inguinal canal
men, this canal allows passage of the spermatic
cord to the scrotum. The canal is an area of
weakness in the anterior abdominal wall and is,
as a result, a frequent site of fistula.
Inguinal defect
An absence, dysfunction, imperfection, malformation, or weakness of the lower part of
the abdominal wall at the groin.
Inguinal lymphadenopathy
Any disorder that affects one or more lymph
nodes in the inguinal region or groin.
Inguinal region
Groin.
Inguinal ring
The entrance of the inguinal canal.
Inhibited sexual desire (ISD)
A persistent loss of desire that disrupts an individual’s sexual relationship(s).
Interdigital web spaces
Spaces between the fingers.
Interstitial cystitis
A bladder condition that is caused by chronic
inflammation.
Intra-abdominal tumor
A tumor inside the abdomen.
Intrapelvic
Inside the pelvis.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
A long-acting conceptive method that is
usually made of plastic or of plastic and
copper.
Intrauterine insemination
To deposit seminal fluid directly into the uterus.
Ischemia
A lack of circulation to a tissue.
Jaundice
A yellowing of the skin, the whites of the eyes,
and the mucous membranes that is usually
caused by a liver disorder.
A passage in the lower abdominal wall. In
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Kallman’s syndrome
Luteinizing hormone (LH)
A deficiency in gonadotropin secretion by
the pituitary gland. Another term for hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.
A hormone that affects the Leydig cells, causing them to provide the primary intratesticular
source of testosterone.
Ketones
Lymphatics
Chemical compounds. When excess amounts
of ketones are found in urine, caused by lipid/
fat breakdown, they signify an impaired
metabolism. This is significant in clients with
diabetes because it indicates an insulin deficiency and a decreased availability of glucose
to body tissues.
Small vessels that carry lymph fluid throughout the body.
Klinefelter’s syndrome
Macules
A chromosome abnormality that affects only
men and causes hypogonadism.
Lymph nodes
Circular masses of lymph tissue that are surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue.
Discolored spots on the skin that are not elevated above the surrounding surface.
Male factor
Leiomyomata
Uterine fibroids.
Leprosy
Male orgasmic disorder
An infectious disease that is characterized by
disfiguring skin lesions, peripheral nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. Another term
for Hansen’s disease.
Male-pattern baldness
Lethargy
A loss of energy.
A problem related to orgasm in men.
A pattern of hair loss in men that is caused
by their genetic makeup and hormones; this
type of baldness usually starts with a receding
hairline.
Leukocyte esterase
Malignant cells
An enzyme that indicates the activity of white
blood cells (WBCs).
Manual detorsion
Cancer cells.
Leukocytes
Reduction.
Another term for white blood cells (WBCs).
Manual reduction
Levator ani
A muscle that forms part of the pelvic floor.
Lichen planus
A type of skin disease.
Lipoma
A fat-tissue growth.
A procedure in which an examiner uses his or
her hands to replace tissue back to its normal
position.
Melena
Blood in the stool. Another term for hematochezia.
Meletemesis
Lithotomy position
“Coffee-grounds” vomiting.
A position a client assumes during a genital
examination in which he lies on his back with
his knees up and apart.
Menometrorrhagia
Live
Not killed (such as a virus).
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A substance promoting or functioning in a particular process for males.
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
Excessive uterine bleeding during and between
menstrual periods.
Metastasize
To grow or spread.
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Metastatic disease
Nocturia
Cancer that has spread beyond its original
location.
Increased urination at night.
Metastatic potential
The likelihood that cancer cells will travel, settle, and metastasize to other parts of the body.
Marked with or resembling small, circular
swellings or nodes that can be detected by
touch.
Moon face
Nodular sperm granuloma
Excessive fat deposited in the face. Another
term for facial adiposity.
A process by which sperm seep through the
blocked end of the vas deferens and form a
tiny swelling or nodule.
Morbidity
Nodular
Ill health; diseased state.
Nonacute intrascrotal swelling
Morphology
A swelling located inside the scrotum that
progresses gradually.
The shape of an organism or any of its parts.
Motility
The ability to move or to change place or form.
Nonbacterial prostatitis
An inflammation of the prostate gland that is
not caused by a bacterial infection.
Mumps parotitis
An acute, contagious, viral disease that causes
a painful enlargement of the salivary or parotid
glands.
Obliterate
Myocardial infarction
To blot out, especially by filling a natural
space or lumen through fibrosis or inflammation.
A heart attack.
Obstructive uropathy
Necrosis
A blockage of the flow of urine, causing it to
back up and injure one or both kidneys.
The death of a cell, tissue, or organ, resulting
from irreversible damage.
Needle biopsy
A biopsy in which the specimen is taken using
a needle to minimize trauma.
Nephrotic syndrome
An abnormal condition that is characterized by
a deficiency of albumin in the blood and its
excretion in the urine.
Neurogenic bladder
A bladder whose nerve impulses are not
normal.
Neurological symptoms
Complaints related to the nervous system.
Nitrites
Compounds formed from nitrous acid. When
present in urine, they indicate a bacterial
infection; the bacteria convert the nitrate compounds in the diet to nitrites.
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Obvious blood
Easily visible, and usually a copious amount
of, blood.
Occult blood
Tiny amounts of blood that are hidden or
invisible to the naked eye.
Occult blood testing
Testing for tiny amounts of blood that are
hidden or invisible to the naked eye.
Oligospermia
A condition that is characterized by fewer
sperm than normal in semen.
Opportunistic
Caused by microorganisms that usually do not
cause disease but take the “opportunity” to do
so under certain conditions, such as when the
body’s immune system is suppressed by
chemotherapy, HIV infection, or steroids.
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Orchidometer
A simple device that is used to assess testicular
size.
Orchidopexy
A treatment of an undescended testicle by freeing it surgically and implanting or fixing it in
the scrotum.
Penile skin edema
An accumulation of excessive amounts of fluid
in the skin of the penis.
Peptic ulcer
The excision of one or both testes.
An open sore or raw area in the lining of
the stomach or the upper part of the small
intestine.
Ovoid
Percussion
Egg-shaped.
A method of “tapping” body parts during a
physical examination with fingers, hands, or
small instruments, to check the size, consistency, borders, and presence or absence of fluid
in body organs.
Orchiectomy
Ovulation
A discharge of a mature egg from an ovary.
Palpable vibrations
Vibrations that can be detected through touch.
Performance anxiety
Papules
A man’s anxiety about his ability to “perform”
sexually.
Small, solid, and raised skin lesions.
Perianal tissue
Partner management
The tissue around the anus.
Partner notification, counseling, and treatment.
Perineum
Pathologic fractures
The pelvic floor, associated muscles, and other
structures occupying the pelvic outlet.
Breaks in the continuity of bone due to a weakening of the bone structure by a pathologic
process, such as cancer or infection.
Pathologic phimosis
A disorder that occurs when the foreskin
cannot be retracted after puberty or when the
foreskin could previously be retracted. A type
of phimosis that is caused by disease or may
itself cause disease or dysfunction.
Peripheral androgen action
Effect of male hormones on tissues outside the
genitalia.
Peristalsis
Pulses of the dorsalis pedal artery located in
the top of the foot, in front of the ankle.
A progressive wave of contraction of a tubular
structure, such as the gastrointestinal tract,
consisting in a narrowing and shortening of
part of the tube, which then relaxes while
a distal portion of the tube narrows and shortens, forcing the contents of the tube further
along.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Peritoneal irritation
An infection of the internal reproductive
organs in women, involving inflammation, irritation, and swelling of the uterus, fallopian
tubes, ovaries, and surrounding pelvic tissues.
A condition in which the inner lining of the
abdominal cavity is abnormally excitable or
reacts excessively to slight stimulation.
Penectomy
An inflammation of the peritoneum.
The excision of a penis.
Periurethral abscesses
Penile deviation
Tiny, pus-filled sacs that are located around
the urethra.
Pedal pulses
The movement of the penis to the right or left
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of the midline; this is more apparent when a
penis is erect.
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
Peritonitis
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Phenols
Posterior midline position
Poisonous organic products derived from
distillation of coal tar or synthetically, used as
antimicrobials; also called carbolic acid.
The back, center part of a structure.
Phimotic foreskin
The foreskin that forms a “noose” at the junction of the glans and shaft of the penis.
Phimotic ring
The tightest part of the “noose” that a phimotic
foreskin forms at the junction of the glans and
shaft of the penis.
Phlebitis
An inflammation of a vein.
Physiologic phimosis
A disorder that occurs when the foreskin
cannot be retracted after puberty or when the
foreskin could previously be retracted. A
“normal” type of phimosis that is not caused
by disease.
Pitting
A condition in which the skin and underlying
fluid-laden tissues indent or dimple when
pressure is applied.
Pituitary gonadotropin secretion
Secretion by the pituitary hormones that has a
stimulating effect on the gonads.
Plaque
A patch or small, differentiated area on a body
surface, either external or internal.
Podophyllin
A solution in a compound benzocaine tincture.
Posterior urethral injuries
Injuries located between the bladder and the
prostate gland.
Posturination dribble
A condition in which urine continues to fall in
drops after a man has finished urinating.
Precocious puberty
Unusually early development of secondary
sexual characteristics and capability for sexual
reproduction.
Premature ejaculation
Male orgasm prior to or immediately after
penetration.
Primary testicular failure
A defect in the testes, not in a secondary control mechanism, such as the pituitary gland or
hypothalamus.
Proctoscopy
An internal examination of the rectum, distal
sigmoid colon, and large bowel using a type of
small camera (flexible sigmoidoscope).
Progressive pain
Pain that worsens over the course of a condition; when related to menstruation, pain that
worsens over the course of the menstrual cycle.
Prolapse
The abnormal movement of a body part from
its usual position.
Prostatectomy
Point of inevitability
The excision of obstructive prostatic tissue.
The time beyond which ejaculation cannot be
stopped.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
Polyps
A growth that projects (usually on a stalk) from
the lining of an organ.
Postcoital test
An antigen used as an indicator of prostatic
disease, especially prostate cancer.
Prostatic abscess
A pus-filled sac in the prostate gland.
A test for infertility carried out on the female
partner after intercourse.
Prostatic cysts
Posterio-medial
Prostatic tuberculosis
Behind and toward the midline of the body.
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Cysts within the prostate gland.
Tuberculosis of the prostate gland.
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Prostatitis
Renal failure
An inflammation of the prostate gland.
An inability of the kidneys to maintain normal
function.
Protein-calorie malnutrition
A disease in which there is inadequate nutrition
from proteins and carbohydrates.
Proximal
Renal tubules
Structures that are located in the kidneys, high
in the urinary tract.
Closest to the point of reference, attachment,
or origin.
Renal vein
Proximal vasal end
Reproductive tract infections (RTIs)
The end of the vas that is closer to the body.
A broad group of infections that includes
sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Pruritis
A blood vessel that is located in the kidneys.
A condition that is characterized by itchiness.
Residual urine
Purulent urethral discharge
Urine that is left behind in the bladder after
urination.
Passage of pus from the urethra.
Pustules
Small, pus-filled sacs on the skin.
Pyelonephritis
An inflammation of the pelvis part of the
kidney.
Radiation therapy
Respiratory problems
Difficulty breathing.
Retarded ejaculation
Ejaculation that is unduly delayed.
Retractile
Capable of being drawn back. Another term for
retractable.
A cancer treatment that uses radiation.
Retrograde ejaculation
Reagent
A chemical used for laboratory tests.
A type of ejaculation that is directed backward
into the urinary bladder rather than outward
through the penis.
Recto-sigmoid diverticulitis
Rigid endoscopy
Diverticula in the rectum and sigmoid colon.
Rectosigmoidoscopy
Examination of the internal surfaces of the
rectum and sigmoid colon using a fiberoptic
instrument.
Reduction of the bowel
Putting the bowel back to its normal position.
Examination of the inside structure of the
body passages or organs using an inflexible
fiberoptic instrument.
Sarcoidosis
A disease whose cause is unknown in which
inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes,
lungs, liver, eyes, skin, and/or other tissues.
Referred pain
Pain in a part other than that in which the cause
of the pain is situated.
Satellite pustules
Reflux
Schistosomiasis
Regurgitation or flowing back of fluid.
A disease caused by parasites of the genus
Schistosoma. Also called bilharzia.
Small pustules surrounding the main lesion.
Refractory period
A period during which muscles relax and the
body begins to return to its pre-excitement state.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
Sclerae
The firm, fibrous outer layer of the eyeball.
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Scleroderma
A thickening of the skin caused by hardening
and swelling or fibrous tissue.
Self-instrumentation
A process by which a client tries to insert
a catheter or some other instrument into his
urethra.
Semen analysis
A method of measuring, describing, or evaluating semen.
Semen parameters
Ways to measure, describe, or evaluate semen
quality; these parameters include concentration, volume, and motility.
(also called libido), excitement (also called
arousal), plateau, orgasm, and resolution.
Each time an individual has a sexual experience, some or all of the phases may be
reached. However, it is not necessary to complete the cycle for sexual fulfillment.
Sigmoid colon
The section of the colon between the descending colon and the rectum.
Smallpox
A viral disease that is characterized by a skin
rash and a high death rate.
Smegma
A discharge from the penis and foreskin.
Sepsis
Spasms
The presence of disease that causes microorganisms or their toxins in blood or other body
tissues; the condition associated with such a
presence.
A loss of muscle control.
Serum gonadotropins
Presence of the hormones that stimulate gonads
in the serum.
Special risk
A higher-than-usual chance of having the
disease.
Special tests
Sexual behaviors and practices.
Additional, more complicated tests that may
need to be performed, depending on the
presentation of an individual client, in order
to make a more specific, reliable diagnosis.
Sexual desire
Specific antimicrobial therapy
A strong wanting for sexual stimulation (either
by oneself or with another person) or sexual
intimacy that may cause one to seek sexual
satisfaction.
A treatment that is expected to be effective
against a particular microorganism.
Sexual activity
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Infections that are primarily passed from person
to person by sexual contact and are part of a
broader group of infections known as reproductive tract infections (RTIs). Another term
for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Infections that are primarily passed from person
to person by sexual contact and are part of a
broader group of infections known as reproductive tract infections (RTIs). Another term
for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Spermatic cord
A firm column of tissue that encloses the vas
deferens.
Spermatocele
A cystic dilation of a duct in the head of the
epididymis.
Spermatocelectomy
The excision of a spermatocele.
Spermatocytes
Cells that arise from spermatogonia and eventually become sperm cells.
Spermatogonia
Primary germ cells.
Sexual response cycle
The pattern of response to sexual stimulation.
This cycle consists of five main phases: desire
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Sperm density
Concentration of sperm.
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Sphincter
A circular muscle that constricts a passage or
closes a natural orifice—e.g., the anus or urethra.
Spinal reflex arc
The pathway or circuit that connects a sensory
nerve to the spinal cord, then to a motor nerve
that supplies a muscle. When the sensory nerve
is stimulated, the impulse travels to the spinal
cord, then through the motor nerve to the
muscle, causing the muscle to contract.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the penis
A malignant, fast-growing cancer that affects
the penis.
reports and the signs the health care provider
observes. The recommended treatments are
effective for all the diseases that could cause
the identified syndrome.
Syphilis
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmitted during anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
Systemic involvement
A generalized, widespread involvement of the
body.
Systemic signs
Signs that pertain to or affect the body as a
whole.
Stenosis
A narrowing or constriction of a body passage
or opening, such as a blood vessel, the urethra,
or the vagina.
A calculus.
A decrease in the size, or wasting, of a normally
developed testicle that is caused by either the
death or reabsorption of cells or diminished cell
division or volume.
Strangulated
Testicular failure
Has a compromised blood supply.
The inability of one or both testes to produce
sperm or male hormones.
Stone
Stricture
A narrowing that may be caused by scar tissue.
Subinguinal
Below the inguinal ligament.
Sulcus
Testicular rupture
A break or tear of a testicle.
Testosterone
A type of male hormone.
A groove.
Testosterone synthesis
Superficial
Creation of the compound hormone testosterone by union of the elements that compose it.
Near the surface of the skin.
Superior scrotal region
The upper part of the scrotal area.
Sympathomimetic drugs
Drugs that increase bladder-outlet resistance
(the obstruction between the bladder and the
urethra).
Syncope
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Testicular atrophy
Thenar eminence
The muscle at the base of the thumb.
Thermal trauma
A type of trauma caused by too much heat.
Thrombosed hemorrhoid
A blood clot in a hemorrhoid that causes an
obstruction at its site of origin.
Fainting, or a sudden, temporary loss of
consciousness.
Thrombosis
Syndromic management
Transilluminate
An approach in which diagnosis is based on
the identification of syndromes, which are
combinations of the symptoms the client
To examine by passing light through tissues,
such as the scrotum or a body cavity.
Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
A clot.
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Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)
Urethral polyps
Ultrasonic imaging through the rectum.
Small growths protruding from the mucous
membrane of the urethra.
Transurethral ultrasound
Ultrasonic imaging through the urethra.
Urethral smear
Trichomonas
A specific microorganism.
A specimen of discharge from the urethra that
is smeared onto a glass slide or some other
specimen holder for processing.
Trichomonas infection
Urethral stricture
An infection that is caused by the trichomonas
microorganism.
Tuberculosis
A contagious bacterial disease.
Tuberculous epididymitis
A type of epididymitis that is caused by
tuberculosis.
Tuberculous orchitis
Scar tissue that causes narrowing of the
urethra.
Urethritis
An inflammation of the urethra.
Urinanalysis
An examination of urine.
Urinary diversion
Tunica vaginalis
A pathway (e.g., a tube that passes through
the abdominal wall directly into the bladder)
that temporarily leads urine away from an
obstruction.
An internal covering of the testicle.
Urinary extravasation
Ulcerative colitis
A discharge or escape of urine from the urethra
or bladder into surrounding tissues.
Inflammation of the testes by infection with
tuberculosis.
An inflammation of the large intestine and
rectum that is characterized by bloody
diarrhea.
Urinary retention
An inability to urinate.
Urogenital diaphragm
Ulcers
Sores.
Part of the structure that supports the urogenital system and genitalia.
Undescended testes
A condition in which there are no testes in the
scrotum.
Valsalva maneuver
Upper pole
During the genital examination, a client bears
down as if he was lifting a heavy object.
Upper end or part.
Varicose
Ureaplasma
Dilated.
A specific microorganism.
Vasoactive substances
Abnormally high levels of urea in the blood.
Substances that can produce an erection when
injected into the corpora cavernosa.
Urethral genital warts
Vasoconstrict
Warts that are present in the urethra.
To get smaller or narrower.
Urethral meatus
Venous compression
The opening of the urethra.
Squeezing of the veins by pressure.
Uremia
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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Venous return
White blood cells (WBCs)
The flow of blood from the tissues back
through the veins toward the heart.
Another term for leukocytes.
Ventilatory support
Ultraviolet radiation from a mercury vapor
source that is transmitted through a nickel
oxide filter.
Assistance with respiration or breathing.
Ventral
Wood’s light
Lower.
Vesicles
Blisters or small sacs in the skin that contain
fluid.
Vesicular border
X-rays
Forms of electromagnetic radiation that are
emitted by a machine as individual particles
(photons) that pass through the body and are
detected by a sensitive film.
The edge of a vesicle.
Viability
An ability to live or survive.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
EngenderHealth
From Management of Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
© 2003 EngenderHealth
Appendix J
Recommended References
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J.1
page J.2 is blank
Recommended References
Holmes, K. K., et al. 1999. Sexually transmitted diseases, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill
Health Professions Division.
Monlia, R. F., and Knowles, J. 1997. All about sex: A family resource on sex and sexuality. New York: Three Rivers Press.
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse Web Site. Erectile
dysfunction. Retrieved from http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/urolog/pubs/impotnce/
impotnce.htm#cause, June 17, 2002.
Rosen, T., and Martin, S. 1981. Atlas of black dermatology. Boston: Little, Brown.
Schnare, S. 1998. The male examination. Unpublished paper.
Swanson, J. M., and Forrest, K. A. 1984. Men’s reproductive health. New York: Springer
Publishing Company.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web Site. Prostate cancer: The
public health perspective. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/prostate.
htm, June 25, 2002.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 1996. Guide to clinical preventive services, 2nd ed.
Screening: Human immunodeficiency virus infection. Retrieved from: http://www.ahcpr.
gov/clinic/uspstf/uspshivi.htm, June 18, 2003.
Walsh, P. C., et al. 1998. Campbell’s urology, 7th ed. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.
Wisdom, A., and Hawkins, D. A. 1997. Diagnosis in color: Sexually transmitted diseases,
2nd ed. London: Mosby-Wolfe.
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Men’s Reproductive Health Problems
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