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5 Facts About Testosterone Your Urologist Wants You to Know

There are various places all over the internet to read about testosterone, but you never know if you can trust the source to give you the real facts. A urologist, on the other hand, has dedicated their life to understanding and helping people with concerns related to the male reproductive and hormonal systems. London Andrology hosts two dedicated urologists available for a private consultation. Here are 5 facts about testosterone they want you to know.

1.   Testosterone peaks during puberty, levels out, then steadily declines.

Testosterone is highest when a man is between the ages of 17 to 19 and then levels out shortly after these years. After the age of 30, testosterone levels begin to decline at a regular rate of about 1% per year.

There is no cause for alarm as the body continues to create testosterone even though the pace at which it produces the hormone begins to slow. This can sometimes bring a decrease in libido, but there are many options to boost testosterone and libido to maintain sexual performance.

2.   Men need testosterone for sperm production.

Sperm is produced in the testes, the same place that testosterone production and release into the body occurs. Testosterone along with other hormones are responsible for signalling the body to produce sperm. Problems with the testicles can result in problems with both testosterone levels and sperm production.

When fertility problems occur, checking testosterone levels is a common part of the evaluation process. In cases where there is a male factor in an infertility case, boosting testosterone may be part of the prescribed solution.

3.   Low testosterone can cause problems from depression to memory failures.

Low testosterone is most known for affecting a drop in libido, but this isn’t the only negative result. Lowered levels of testosterone can also result in:

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Lowered sexual performance
  • Poor concentration
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Memory loss
  • Osteoporosis

Any concerns about low testosterone should be brought to your doctor or urologist. A simple physical examination followed by a blood test can check testosterone levels and whether the testes are healthy and functioning.

4.   Testosterone is produced in the testes but regulated from the brain.

Both men and women have testosterone, and both men and women have different optimal levels of testosterone. For men, testosterone is produced by the way of signals in the brain that tell the testes to produce sperm. In women, it’s produced in the ovaries. Testosterone is also produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands in both sexes.

The pituitary gland and hypothalamus gland in the brain is where the levels of testosterone are monitored and regulated. These glands regulate many of the hormones in the body, testosterone being only one of multiple hormones required for healthy functioning.

5.   High testosterone is not necessarily a good thing.

Some bodybuilders and athletes might consider a high testosterone level a good thing, but this isn’t quite true. Abnormally high levels of testosterone can be just as damaging as abnormally low levels of testosterone.

Negative effects of overly high testosterone levels include:

  • Low sperm counts
  • Insomnia
  • Acne
  • Increased aggression and anxiety
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of blood clots

You should talk to a health professional if you are concerned about your testosterone levels. A urologist specialises in male reproductive system along with other systems in the male body, and will be able to provide for you the most information and options.

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7 Common Myths About Male Infertility

Male Infertility affects 1 in 7 couples in the UK. Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse.

Typically, 84% of couples successfully conceive naturally over the course of a year with regular, unprotected sex. The causes for male infertility or female infertility range from lifestyle issues to more complex conditions.

Care for male infertility specifically is less common in the UK, with only a few consultation urologists dedicated to this field. However, the best care starts with education and informed decision-making. These are some of the most common myths about male infertility and the truth behind them.

1.   Fertility and infertility are a woman’s problem.

Having a child requires two people with functional reproductive systems. Both men and women may experience fertility issues. When couples attempt their first pregnancy, about 15% fail to conceive. After seeking treatment, a male factor can be the cause in up to 50% of cases.

If fertility is a concern, both partners should seek fertility consultations for professional assistance and diagnoses of the problem. Diagnosing issues begins with assessing both partners’ fertility.

2.   Masturbating too much causes infertility.

The simple answer is that masturbation doesn’t have any major effects on fertility. Excessive ejaculation can result in a temporary drop in sperm count, but does not typically result in infertility issues. Your body will produce more sperm in time again.

If you plan to discuss fertility concerns with your doctor or urologist, remember that your sexual history will be included. A urologist will be able to best explain which sexual habits you should consider to maximize your fertility.

3.   Men can easily have children all their lives.

Sperm function, like many bodily functions, decline with age. While men may continue to produce sperm throughout their entire life, the quality and quantity of sperm decreases.

Men begin to lose sperm at around 2% per year from ages 30-40, and then significantly after the age of 50. If you are hoping to conceive and are concerned about your age, consider making an appointment with a consultant urologist to have a fertility assessment.

4.   Male infertility is always due to low sperm or testosterone.

There are various causes for male infertility. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hormonal problems
  • Chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Previous surgeries on the testis
  • Drugs and medications
  • Sperm DNA damage and other genetic problems.

There are rare cases where no cause can be determined, but that does not mean treatment options are not available for those wishing to conceive together.

5.   Avoiding ejaculation or sex increases fertility.

The good news is that long periods of abstinence are not going to increase fertility by any extreme degrees. Withholding ejaculation or abstaining from sex can temporarily increase overall sperm count according to some research but this is not the only effect that abstinence has.

Abstinence can affect sperm count, sperm health, sperm motility and sperm morphology.

6.   Taking testosterone will help increase fertility.

Low testosterone may affect a man’s libido, and can affect fertility to some degree.  Under no circumstances should you take any hormone supplements without first discussing it with your doctor or urologist.

Taking testosterone without the supervision of a health professional can in fact lead to lowered fertility rates. Taking testosterone supplements and bodybuilding drugs results in the body producing less testosterone by itself and reduces sperm count and is not something you want if you are looking to boost your fertility.

7.   Lifestyle does not affect male fertility.

Various lifestyle factors all affect fertility and infertility, including but not limited to:

  • Diet
    • Drug and alcohol use
    • Smoking
    • Weight
    • Stress

For a deeper understanding of common lifestyle influences on male infertility, read about 9 common lifestyle factors that could affect male fertility.

When to visit a urologist

Any questions or concerns you have about male infertility can be brought to a urologist. Since a urologist specialises in understanding the male reproductive system, they will have the most knowledge and treatment options for you to discuss male infertility.

If you are looking to conceive but have not had any success, or have a concern about male infertility, make an appointment with the urologists at London Andrology. Our urologists are some of the most eminent in the UK and will be happy to help discuss your fertility concerns with a high degree of professionalism, sensitivity and understanding.

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Why You Need a Specialist for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction, also known as impotence, is an issue where someone is unable to achieve or maintain an erection for a period of time. As 1 in 2 men experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, the problem is not as uncommon or embarrassing as you might believe.

The varying causes of erectile dysfunction range from physical to psychological, but can also be drug-induced. Some of the problems are a result of an issue related to blood flow. For example, the hardening of blood vessels in the penis may stop a full erection. In younger men, performance anxiety can be a common psychological factor in erectile dysfunction. Other problems which might cause erectile dysfunction include hormonal problems, previous surgery or trauma to the penis.

It’s normal for men to experience some difficulty with getting or maintaining an erection every once in a while. This might happen after a very tiring day or when there is a lot on your mind to distract you from the present moment. Having too much alcohol is also known to result in temporary erectile dysfunction. If difficulties persist, then it’s time to see your doctor or make an appointment with a specialist.

What Does a Urologist Do?

Specifically trained in the genitourinary tract, a urologist can tell you everything you need to know about the male reproductive tract and organs. The genitourinary tract also includes the kidneys, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, and urethra. Urologists have a specialised understanding of these areas of the body and their related medical diseases and treatments. These include Peyronie’s Disease, the complications of which can cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction may also be a barometer of your general health and in some cases may be associated with other important diseases such as heart disease.  

When visiting a urologist for a consultation, they will ask questions about your medical background, your lifestyle, and complete examinations that may or may not include an ultrasound to look at the blood vessels in the genitalia and surrounding areas. They will also ask relevant questions about your experience with erections including duration, firmness, masturbation, and ability to have sex.

As an expert in the field, a urologist will be able to discuss and diagnose problems with a high level of understanding and professionalism. As with any confidential medical information, your doctor is discussing these questions and concerns in the interest of helping you reach your full potential, so honesty is the best policy.

When to Be Concerned About Erectile Dysfunction

You should speak with a health professional if you experience any of these:

  • Numbness in the areas near and around the buttocks and genitalia
  • Painful leg cramps that are induced during physical activity but relieved with rest
  • Pain when developing or during an erection
  • Lack of erections during the night or when you wake up

Generally, some erectile dysfunction may not be debilitating, and it alone doesn’t often cause for alarm. However, it can be a symptom of something more serious, which is why reaching out to a medical professional or specialist is always in your best interest.

Your London Specialists

London Andrology specialises in the best evidence-based treatments for a variety of conditions related to the male reproductive system and organs, such as erectile dysfunction. Treatment plans might include:

  • Simple lifestyle changes
  • Oral medication
  • Injections
  • Sexual therapy or counselling
  • Assistive or constrictive devices
  • Shock wave therapy
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Penile prosthesis

At London Andrology, urologists Mr Tet Yap and Professor Suks Minhas work together with an allied team of high-level health professionals to develop individualised evidence-based treatment plans. You can request an appointment at any time to learn more.

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How Can A Consultant Urologist in London Help You?

If you are having symptoms that are affecting your genitals, then you should see a specialist. For male health issues, you should speak to an andrologist or a consultant urologist in London. The capital is home to both of these types of specialists. It can feel embarrassing, but it really shouldn’t be, and your health is more important. If you spot any of these symptoms, then you should make an appointment.

A Testicular Mass – Testicular cancer can be a subtle disease. The most obvious symptom is a mass in the testicles. In many cases, this is the first noticeable symptom. With cancer, acting fast is vital. The sooner it is caught, the better the outcomes. So if you do find a mass in your testicle, don’t ignore it.

Difficulty Urinating – Increased difficulty with urinating is a common problem in older men. The issue can often be traced to the prostate. As men get older, the prostate can become larger, which can lead to problems with urinating. There are steps you can take to deal with these issues.

Decreased Sex Drive – Your sex drive naturally rises and falls through your lifetime. But, if a low sex drive is causing you concern, then they may be options to remedy the situation. Talking to a urologist is an excellent first step.

Infertility – In cases where a couple is having issues with getting pregnant, the problems are on the man’s side, in up to 50 % of the time. It is not uncommon. There are options. If you are worried, your best option is to talk to a specialist as soon as possible. Stress can make it harder for your body to produce high-quality sperm, so worrying is only going to make it worse.

Finding A Consultant Urologist in London

If you have any of these symptoms, then the doctor you need is a consultant urologist London. Professor Suks Minhas is based in London. He is an experienced and well-regarded consultant urologist and andrologist. This means he is a highly trained specialist that only treats men. Don’t put off getting help. Make an appointment today.

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How Men Can Keep Healthy

Keeping healthy has never been so important. At a time like this, it is at the forefront of our minds. Figuring out how to stay in tip-top condition can be confusing, especially with so many new health trends appearing.  How men can keep healthy is a significant question, since statistically, men can often neglect their own health.

The statistics for men’s health show this, as one in five men dies before the age of 65. Furthermore, 75% of premature deaths from heart disease are male. Men are statistically more likely to smoke, have a poor diet and drink too much.

So, How Can Men Keep Healthy?

There are a few essential things that men can do to make sure that they stay healthy.

Diet – Pay attention to what you eat. Avoid excessive amounts of red meat and processed foods. Try to get as much fruit and veg as possible. Try to stick to a Mediterranean diet.

Exercise – Staying active can have a significant impact on your long term health. It’s not about your weight; it’s about all aspect of health from mental health, cardiovascular and muscular health. Exercising now will keep you healthier when you are older.

Mental Health – Don’t ignore your mental health. If you are having problems, find someone to talk to. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It can be a hard thing to do, but it is crucial.

Monitor your health – Men typically don’t visit their doctors as much as they need to. Doctors are there to keep you healthy. If you have any concerns about your health or fertility, you should get any issues investigated sooner rather than later.

What Can You Do Today?

If you are asking ‘how can men stay healthy?’ then you are making an excellent first step. The next step is to start doing something about it. If your diet is not great, pick one thing to change first and work on it from there. If you don’t exercise, commit to doing something active three times a week. If you have been putting off going to see a doctor about your health, make an appointment today.

If you need to see a urologist or discuss fertility health, you can make an appointment with Professor Suks Minhas.

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Men’s Health Tips

We all need to focus on our health. Focusing on health can not only improve your physical state but your mental wellbeing too. If you need some help staying healthy here are a few top men’s health tips to keep you on track.

Top Men’s Health Tips

Get Regular Health Screenings

Men statistically don’t go to the doctor as often as they should. Typically, the number of doctor visits reduces when symptoms relate to the genitals and fertility. However, there are more than 2000 cases of testicular cancer diagnosed every year in the UK. If you have symptoms, don’t ignore them.

Stay Active

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your long term health. Find something that you love to do that involves moving, and make it part of your routine.

Monitor Your Waistline

BMI is often what people think about when asked to monitor their weight. However, it actually can be a problem depending on your body type. An easy way to determine if your body is a healthy shape is to measure your height and weight. Your waist is also an indicator of good health  and if your wait circumference is  high then you may need to look at your diet.

Maintain Healthy Relationships

The relationships we build in our lives are essential for helping to maintain our health. Emotional and mental wellbeing is important. This means maintaining friendship groups as well as family and intimate partners. Healthy relationships keep you strong.

How To Look After Your Health

Number one on this list of men’s health tips was getting health checks, even if they are uncomfortable. So, if you have been putting off getting a problem looked into or haven’t had a routine health check, do something about it now. If you are in London and want to speak to a urologist about a men’s health issue, then make an appointment today with Professor Suks Minhas.

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New South West London IVF policy means service reinstated in Croydon

New South West London IVF policy means service reinstated in Croydon

Croydon residents are set to be able to access IVF services following a decision by the six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in South West London today (Thursday, 5 March 2020).

The CCGs met to agree a new single policy for assisted conception treatment and fertility preservation which increases access and equity to NHS-funded IVF and fertility preservation across the region.

The policy, which will come into force on 1 April 2020 when the organisations merge, means the new South West London CCG will consistently offer one cycle of IVF for women up to the age to 42, and no longer require both partners to be childless.

Dr Andrew Murray, Designate Chair of the new South West London CCG and a GP in Merton, said: “In bringing our CCGs together we’ve been able to develop a new policy which will help more women with fertility issues to have babies. It is important to us that we’re offering a fair and consistent service across all our six boroughs and our clinically-led approach has ensured we are better reflecting people’s needs.”

GPs and specialists across South West London came together to recommend the changes to the policy, which include:

For Croydon – re-instatement of routine access to IVF
Women aged up to the age of 42 would qualify for IVF across all boroughs, previously 39 for some of our boroughs
Shortening the length of time women aged 36 years or over need to have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive before they quality for referral for fertility investigations, 6 months, rather than 12 months for younger women
Couples where one partner has children from a previous relationship would qualify for NHS funded fertility treatment, whereas previously childlessness from both partners would be a requirement
Fertility preservation including freezing eggs and sperm for those undergoing NHS gender reassignment or any treatment or condition which might cause infertility, where current policies only make routine provision for those undergoing treatment for cancerThis is great news for men requiring sperm retrieval in the area as well as patients with Klinefelter Syndrome and other diseases that cause infertility. The Androfertility Clinic will continue to support patients who fall outside the criteria for sperm retrieval & freezing.

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NHS North East Essex CCG Agrees to Reinstate IVF Funding

NHS North East Essex CCG Agrees to Reinstate IVF Funding

The Governing Body of North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has today agreed to reinstate IVF provision across Colchester and Tendring.

The decision means two cycles of IVF treatment will be available to patients aged 23 to 40, and one cycle of IVF treatment to those aged 40 – 42, in north east Essex, who meet the necessary criteria from 1 April 1 2020.*

Today’s announcement brings the number of cycles offered in north east Essex in line with the Suffolk threshold.

Dr Hasan Chowhan, Chairman of North East Essex CCG, said: “I am pleased that the CCG is now in a position to reinstate this policy.

“However, I also appreciate and acknowledge the emotional strain and heartache this would have caused many couples across north east Essex since the restriction was introduced in 2015.

“Implementing this policy at that time was an extremely difficult decision for myself and my board colleagues but we did so to ensure our limited resource was put to the best possible use to the majority of people.”

Dr Chowhan added: “Back in 2015, we did promise we would review the restriction at regular intervals.

“We have kept to our word and after now achieving a healthier financial position, we are able to reinstate this service for people who meet the clinical criteria.”

Healthwatch Essex has agreed to support the CCG to reinstate this policy and to help clinicians and commissioners to inform the people they serve. It remains to be seen whether microTESE and other male fertility procedures will be offered and funded for men with non-obstructive azoospermia. The Androfertility Clinic remains open for patients requiring the microTESE procedure when fertility procedures resume.For more updates follow us on here.

*Eligibility criteria is:

Age 23 years or more and less than 40 years:

will be eligible for up to TWO full cycles (for women who have undergone no previous cycles of IVF, or have self-funded one previous cycle of IVF); or ONE full cycle (for women who have self-funded two previous cycles of IVF). If the woman reaches the age of 40 years during treatment, the current cycle will be completed, but no further cycles will be offered.

Age 40 years to 42 years:

will be eligible for ONE full cycle providing the woman has never previously had IVF treatment

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Storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos extended during coronavirus outbreak

Storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos extended during coronavirus outbreak

In recognition of the potential impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on those wishing to start a family, the Government has today confirmed that the current 10-year storage limit for embryos and gametes will be extended by two years.

HFEA Chair, Sally Cheshire, said:

“We welcome today’s announcement from the DHSC. We have been working together to ensure those patients who have stored sperm, eggs or embryos that are reaching the 10-year storage limit are not penalised by the current suspension of fertility treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know this is a difficult and distressing time for all patients, so this decision brings good news for those who are reaching the 10-year storage limit. It provides them with some much-needed reassurance and most importantly gives more time to try for their much longed for family.”

HFEA will be issuing new guidance to fertility clinics in the UK to support them in implementing the new storage limit extension.

Read the full statement from the Department of Health and Social Care here.

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Phone Clinic Slots Increased

Phone Clinic Slots Increased

As the HFEA have now issued their CoVID guidance allowing the resumption of fertility treatments, The Androfertility Clinic has opened more phone slots for our patients. Please email mary.mcfeeley@hcahealthcare.co.uk or call 02070345089 . Face to face consults remain on hold until further notice, although we will continue to update on this here as soon as we receive clearance to do so.

Keep safe and stay safe (& alert).

All the best,

Mr Yap & The Androfertility Clinicv