But do you examine trouble down below and listen if your penis is trying to tell you something?
Kevin Billups, M.D. and associate professor of urology at Johns Hopkins University, told Men’s Health that a man’s penis is a great barometer of overall health.
Here are some of these warning you may need to look for:
- You’re going soft more than you care to admit
An Australian study found that the risk of developing heart disease within 10 years was 65% higher in men with moderate or severe erectile dysfunction than in men without ED. Limping into the bedroom more than twice a month may mean your heart’s just not into it.
“Blood vessels in the penis are significantly smaller and start to narrow long before those in the heart or brain,” said Darius Paduch, MD, PhD, a urologist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College.
- Your urine has gone from yellow to red
Dr Billups said blood can be a sign of prostate, bladder, or kidney disease, so you need to find out where the blood is coming from. Ask your doctor to check it out as you could have prostatitis, a gland inflammation that’s an E.coli infection. If that’s the case, it can be treated with antibiotics.
- Your sex drive has been stuck in neutral
Men with the lowest levels of nighttime blood oxygen reported sexual desire levels that were 11% lower than men who breathed easily. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder in which your airway becomes blocked, might be reducing your sex drive. OSA can reduce testosterone, affecting your erections as a result. If you snore loudly, wake up gasping for air, or feel exhausted during the day, ask your doctor about OSA testing.
- You see that the tip is red and swollen
Inflammation, redness, and pain at the head of your smokestack. It’s called balanitis, and it’s typically caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, often as a result of less-than-stellar hygiene, Dr Paduch says.
You may need an over-the-counter antifungal, such as Lotrimin, or a prescription steroid cream or antibiotics. Then get checked for diabetes. Research from Bristol-Myers Squibb shows that people with diabetes are nearly three times as likely as non-diabetics to develop balanitis.
- You notice it doesn’t feel as sensitive as before
Each day, make sure you consume at least 2,4 micrograms of vitamin B12, from such sources as clams, milk, and beef, and 400 micrograms of folate, found in leafy greens and black-eyed peas. A deficiency in these vitamins can prevent nerve fibers in your penis from carrying signals to your brain. A numb knob could be a sign of poor diet.
- You have to urinate more often than usual
The likely cause of your plumbing problem is benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, a condition that rarely causes symptoms before age 40 but affects up to 90% of men in their 70s and 80s. When your prostate is enlarged, it presses on the tube that carries urine out of your body, giving you that persistent gotta-go feeling.
- You produce less ejaculate or can’t orgasm
Low testosterone could be the culprit. “Testosterone helps produce semen, and the more semen you have, the more force you ejaculate with,” Dr Paduch says. About one-third of men who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression experience difficulty reaching orgasm, according to researchers in Iran.
- Your erection is curving at a strange angle
You might be one of the up to 23% of men ages 40 and over who will get Peyronie’s disease, a condition that makes an erect penis bend in any direction at an angle of 30 degrees or more. It strikes when collagen plaques form on the connective tissue surrounding the spongy interior of the penis. The cause may be genetic or a sign of too much or too little sexual activity. Seek treatment within 24 hours and consider a blood sugar test.