Monthly Archives March 2016

Common UTI Symptoms and Prevention

GS_UTI BlogUrinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) are common infections that occur within the urinary system. This can include the urethra, bladder, and kidneys. They occur more frequently in women due to a short urethra. In fact, studies show that up to 1 in every 2 women will develop a UTI at least once in their lifetime.

Although UTI’s can occur in men, it is rare. Especially in men under the age of 50, as the male urinary tract has many natural defenses against infection.

Symptoms

UTI symptoms include:

  • Cloudy, dark, or strange-smelling urine
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent urges to urinate, followed by dribbling urine
  • Pain or pressure in your lower back or abdomen
  • Fatigue

If you develop a fever, nausea or chills on top of the above symptoms, then this could be a sign that the infection has reached your kidneys. If this is the case, you should seek medical attention immediately, as kidney infections can pose serious health problems very quickly.

Cause

UTI’s occur when bacteria invades the urethra and travels up into the bladder. When left untreated, these infections can continue on to the kidneys, where serious infection can develop.

Other causes include genetics, such as abnormalities in the urinary tract. Women with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, kidney stones, or who are pregnant are also more susceptible to developing UTI’s.

Treatment

After conducting tests on a urine sample to confirm and identify the bacteria causing the infection, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate antibiotic to treat the UTI. The consumption of fluids (such as cranberry juice) is also important to help flush out the bacteria in your system.

Prevention

The best way for women to prevent a UTI is to pay close attention to hygiene. Because the urethra in women is located close to the anus, it is important to wipe from front to back rather than vice versa to prevent the spread of bacteria. Other habits that will help reduce a woman’s risk of UTI are:

  • Urinating as soon as you feel the urge to go
  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Trade baths for showers
  • Cleanse the genital area before sex
  • Urinate after sex

If you are experiencing symptoms of UTI or suffer from frequent UTI’s, then make an appointment with your doctor today.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Mar 10, 2016   Urinary Tract Infection   Comments Off on Common UTI Symptoms and Prevention   Read More

3 Factors that Cause Male Infertility

GS_3 Factors Male InfertilityFor men looking to enter fatherhood, it is important to know how your health plays a factor in fertility. Male infertility can be caused by a number of different environmental, medical, and lifestyle influences, some of which can be controlled.

Getting a partner pregnant is a marathon for the male sperm, which must be healthy and abundant enough to be carried into the semen and exert the mobility to reach and fertilize the egg.

If you’re a man struggling to get your partner pregnant, then consider these fertility factors:

Medical Factors that Cause Male Infertility

Men who are struggling with male infertility should first consult their doctor. There are a number of health issues that can reduce your odds of producing a child, including (but not limited to):

  • Trouble Performing Sexual Intercourse
    This includes erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, anatomical abnormalities, and even psychological problems.
  • Side Effects of Medication
    Certain medications such as steroids, cancer treatments, and testosterone replacement therapy can produce side effects such as reduced sperm production.
  • Infection
    Infections like epididymitis, orchitis, and certain STD’s can impact sperm production or cause scarring that reduces the size of the sperms’ passageways. It’s important to treat infections immediately, as they can cause permanent testicular damage.
  • Tumors
    Both benign and cancerous tumors as well as their treatments can affect the pituitary glands and male reproductive organs.
  • Testicular Disorders
    This includes undescended testicles and other disorders that create a hormone imbalance within the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands.
  • Prior Surgical Procedures
    Multiple different surgeries can impact male fertility, both intentionally and as a side effect. This includes vasectomies, inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal surgeries, testicular surgeries, large abdominal surgeries, and prostate surgeries.
  • Genetic Defects
    There are a wide range of genetic defects that can impact male fertility, including chromosome defects, Celiac disease and defects of the tubules.
  • Varicocele
    Varicocele causes a swelling of the veins that drain the testicles. This common cause is usually reversible.

Lifestyle Factors that Cause Male Infertility

Just as influential as medical factors, your lifestyle choices can either increase or reduce your sperm count and fertility. It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid addictive habits, such as:

  • Alcohol Abuse
    Drinking alcohol frequently and in high volume lowers testosterone levels and sperm production. These effects can be reversed when you cut down on your alcohol consumption. Three half-pint glasses of alcohol per day should be the limit to avoid side-effects.
  • Smoking Tobacco
    Cigarettes reduce sperm count and damage sperm, among other health hazards.
  • Using Illicit Drugs
    Illicit drugs such as marijuana and cocaine can reduce both the quality and quantity of male sperm.
  • Steroids
    Long-term anabolic steroid use can cause testicles to shrink and dramatically lower sperm production, decreasing fertility and even causing sterility.
  • Obesity
    Severe weight gain can cause a change in hormones that directly impacts your sperm quality.
  • Stress
    Long-term stress can reduce your sperm count by interfering with the hormones needed to produce them.

Environmental Factors that Cause Male Infertility

While the impact of environmental factors may not be immediately obvious, they play a prevalent role in your health, including male fertility. Make sure you avoid these elements both at home and in the workplace:

  • Chemical and Metal Exposure
    Studies have shown benzenes, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, lead, and other chemical and metal elements can reduce male sperm production.
  • Radiation Exposure
    High doses of radiation can poses several medical concerns, including a permanent reduction in your sperm count.
  • Overheating
    Whether you’re exposed to elevated temperatures or produce them through tight clothing or prolonged exposure to laptops or other heat producing technology placed upon your lap, overheating can temporarily reduce sperm production and quality.

Is Male Infertility Reversible?

Depending on the diagnosis, the effects may be reversible. However, in cases where health factors permanently render a male patient infertile doesn’t mean that assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization can’t be used to induce a pregnancy.

If you’re struggling with male infertility, make an appointment with your doctor today. After diagnosing the cause of male infertility, you and your doctor can discuss what options are available to increase fertility or help induce pregnancy through medical procedures.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Mar 10, 2016   Male Infertility   Comments Off on 3 Factors that Cause Male Infertility   Read More