Our Chatswood clinic is open 6 days per week offering consultations for men, women or couples together. As we are general practitioners, we can look after all aspects of your health, but especially those affecting your sexual or reproductive wellbeing. We understand that men are less likely to visit the doctor than women, even though they face higher risks to their health. Men often feel that services are not appropriate for them, or access is difficult. That's why, at Clinic 66 we run a dedicated Mens Health Clinic. We want you to have a positive, easy and straightforward experience so that you know how easy it is to seek advice from health professionals.
Men and women share some anatomy and function, such as the cardiovascular system; disease of which is one of the commonest causes of ill health and death in all Australians. However, there are gender specific body systems which can be unhealthy or malfunction. Men have a very different reproductive system than women, and frequently come to see us because of a problem related to their penis, bladder or sexual function. When the doctor takes a history and does an examination for problems in the sexual or reproductive system, it may be that the problem really lies elsewhere i.e. cardiovascular or mental health problem. Erectile dysfunction, or inability to have/maintain an erection may have underlying causes, which easily diagnosed and managed e.g. diabetes.
These days there is increased health awareness of male specific complaints, such as prostate cancer but unless you know what to look for, it's easy to ignore symptoms and signs which should be investigated. The prostate gland can enlarge and cause problems with urination, for instance, but it doesn't mean that a cancer process has begun. Prostatic enlargement is a normal part of the aging process and is treatable with medication and surgery. Screening for prostate cancer is controversial, as currently there is no accurate blood test which gives us reliable results. Treatments for prostate cancer vary, and it appears that taking a "watchful waiting" approach can be just as good as having radical surgery. Come and talk to us if you want to be screened for prostate cancer.
Testicular cancer, though rare is important to pick up in the early stages, as it responds really well to treatment. Women are strongly encouraged to be "breast aware" so they can pick up lumps or anything new/unusual in their breast tissue. Men should be similarly vigilant and regularly check their own testicles. Any lump in the scrotum should be thoroughly investigated e.g. with an ultrasound scan, to exclude anything sinister. Just ignoring it is not the right thing to do!
We see couples who are trying for a pregnancy and if they are having trouble, it may be that female factors or male factors are responsible. Before spending a lot of money on assisted reproductive technologies, come and see us to get assessed for male infertility. By producing a semen sample for analysis, the laboratory can tell us if your sperm is reduced in number or quality. Many causes of male infertility are diagnosed and treatable without having to go through IVF.
So how do you get healthy sperm? Remember that sperm are produced constantly by the body and should be ejaculated regularly. Like any production process, the output is only as good as the raw ingredients...... Simple...... be a normal weight, don't smoke, drink alcohol in moderation and exercise regularly. Adopting this approach will also help stave off a number of other health problems so it's behaviour change which really works, and that is up to you.
Men have hormones too! Testosterone is a natural hormone which can affects all body systems. It is the male hormone; determining male hair and muscle distribution and partly responsible for physical drive. Low testosterone can affect a man in ways such as lethargy and low sex drive. It is also referred to as "androgen deficiency" and is diagnosed by early morning blood tests (though history and examination can raise the suspicion that testosterone levels may be low). If a man is found to have low natural levels of testosterone, they may be replaced (gels, injections etc.) though this is a decision which should not be taken lightly, as there can be risks with testosterone replacement therapy.
One of the commonest problems we come across, is a risk of developing cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol is one factor for increased cardiovascular disease risk, and although statins have been hugely important in our management of this problem, there are ways that a man (or woman) can lower cholesterol levels before resorting to medication. Key factors are these;
Or in other words, better diet + regular exercise = normal body weight and optimised cholesterol level.
We can refer you to a dietician if you need some extra motivation to change that diet......
Think about the love and care you put into your vehicle. Do you give yourself the same attention? Maintaining good health and wellbeing is even more important than keeping your car in good condition! Of course sometimes things go wrong, but regular servicing and maintenance can make problems less likely to happen. It is the same with physical and mental health! Common health problems amongst men are cardiovascular disease, skin cancer, diabetes, depression, and prostate cancer. Come and talk to us about what lifestyle changes you can make to prevent these conditions or, manage them appropriately if you already have a diagnosis. In the Men's Health Check, you will be at the clinic for 2 appointments about one month apart. At the first appointment, you will have a thorough check with a nurse and then a doctor. We will undertake a comprehensive risk assessment, with you, using validated questionnaires to assess you. We will look at your risk of heart disease, diabetes, mental health issues and may arrange appropriate investigations e.g. blood tests, ECG, imaging and home blood pressure monitoring. At the second visit you will get an overall review given all the results, and see the doctor to put together an action plan. Subsequently we will see you at regular intervals to check your progress.
The validate risk assessment tools that we use include AusDRisk, I-PSS, IIEF-5, K10 and modified Framingham algorithm.
Depression and anxiety affect everyone to some degree. We all have bad days. However, when a bad day goes on for weeks and months, it may be that you have developed a mental health problem. This is very common and not to be ashamed of. Most people at some time in their lives feel sad or anxious, and if it continues, it can really affect your life, work and relationships.
Men may find it difficult to talk to health professionals or counsellors about their feelings, so these days it's very easy to sign up to a computerized programme which can help diagnose your problem and give you a toolkit of how to manage when you are not feeling fully fit mentally (see below). We can also refer you to a mental health professional such as a psychologist if you prefer.
Physical health and wellbeing is intricately linked with good mental health. By exercising regularly, symptoms of depression and anxiety can improve, as well as help keep weight under control and reduce risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Keeping yourself and others safe, sexually is really important. If you are in a hetero relationship, condoms are great for preventing pregnancy as well as infection. If you are in a same sex relationship, safe sex is always recommended to protect yourself and others. If you are looking for permanent contraception, then we can offer you a vasectomy.
In essence, there are many lifestyle factors which can impact on physical and mental health and wellbeing. We will advise you about these first, and only prescribe medication, if it is really necessary. Usually there are lifestyle and behaviour modifications that can improved quality of life and life expectancy, either alone or alongside other medical interventions.
We offer professional consultations for the "Men's Health Check" at our dedicated Men's Health Clinic or at any time to discuss a particular issue or complaint relating to male reproductive and sexual health. At your consultation, you can discuss screening for prostate cancer or symptoms of an enlarged prostate, erectile dysfunction, sexually transmitted infection screening and treatments.
Vasectomy is undertaken at regular sessions, as a surgical procedure as an awake procedure or under sedation. Male and female surgeons available.
Make an enquiry today for a complete health and wellbeing review, or book in for your vasectomy.
No referral required.
For general mens health information and resources
For mental health
For cardiovascular health