Andrology is the male equivalent of gynecology, which refers to the study of the female reproductive system and sexual health. Unlike its female counterpart, andrology is not very widely used. Urology is a more popular known specialty for male urinary and reproductive issues.
Read on to understand some of the common issues and procedures that come under the purview of andrology.
- Vasectomy: One of the most effective methods of birth control, vasectomy is ligating the tubes so that the sperm does not enter the urethra. It is a definitive surgical contraceptive technique and is very simple, as compared to the other contraceptive measures.
- Circumcision: Surgical method of removing the foreskin, which may be done for medical or elective reasons, at birth or later in life. This is one of the most widely performed surgical procedures across the world.
- Prostatitis: The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. It can get inflamed as a result of infection, often bacterial. This can be acute or chronic and presents with painful urination and change in color of urine. The patient never has the feeling of having emptied the bladder fully, and there is a constant fullness. Urge to urinate is increased, especially at night. A course of antibiotics often helps in treatment.
- Impotence: The most common reproductive problem in males, impotence or erectile dysfunction is now known to have strong psychological and physiological components. In addition to male organ problems, there can be unhealthy relationships and performance anxiety which also could lead to impotence. In most cases, counseling will help in managing impotence.
- Epididymitis: In sexually active males, the epididymis which is located behind the testicles can get inflamed as a complication of gonorrhea or chlamydia. There can also be swelling of the testicles, frequent urination, and a burning sensation when urinating. Treatment includes pain killers and antibiotics.
- Phimosis: In a patient with phimosis, the foreskin cannot be pulled back beyond the glans. There could be a balloon-like swelling with urination under the foreskin. It is often painless, but with the erection, may be slightly painful. Seen in young children, usually resolves by the age of 7 years.
- Peyronie's disease: This is a connective tissue disorder, where fibrous plaques form in the soft areas of the penis. The penis develops a curvature which does not easily go away. It becomes common with age and interferes with urination and sexual intercourse. Though it resolves with time, there is no definitive treatment for this condition.
These are the major conditions encountered by andrologists. This specialty has gained popularity over the last few decades and is only set to get more popular in the coming years.