Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

Gynecologists Treat Men Too

by Stephen Silva

Although gynecology generally is a specialty in medicine that targets treating female patients, gynecologists, such as those at Desert Rose OBGYN PC, can also treat men. This area of medicine, which initially focused on female reproductive health, has widened its scope to treat multiple other health issues and includes the care of men with certain medical problems.

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain isn't always understood in men and is frequently misdiagnosed. But like in women, it is sometimes difficult for doctors to determine the cause of the pain. Since pelvic pain in men isn't necessarily due to prostate problems, gynecologists who see similar symptoms in women often have more experience in treating certain types of chronic pelvic pain.

Patients oftentimes come to a gynecologist for pelvic pain that turns out to be related to a nerve injury or a weakened levator ani muscle. The levator ani supports the pelvic organs and structures involved in urinary control – the bladder, urethra, and the prostate in men. While the condition is common in women following multiple vaginal deliveries, men can suffer from levator ani syndrome as well.

Anal Cancer

Many gynecologists see screening and treating men for anal cancer as important roles in their profession. Cancer prevention includes screening for sexually transmitted infections, such as the human papilloma virus, which puts men at risk for developing anal cancer. Gynecologists who have researched or treated cervical cancer in women – a cancer caused by the same virus – often have more knowledge about the disease when it comes to treating anal cancer in men.

Gynecologists are skilled at performing a procedure called anoscopy in which the doctor inserts a tool called an anal speculum into the anal canal. Doctors do the test to look at the inner lining of the anus and rectum to detect the presence of abnormal growths.

Anal cancer is more common in men than in women if it occurs before age 35. The rate is higher in single men than married men, with genital warts being a major risk factor. Individuals with HIV also are more likely to get anal cancer. But the earlier anal cancer is detected, the more effective treatment can be.

Transgender Individuals

Although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages all health care providers to provide quality health care, including preventive health care, to transgender individuals, gynecologists treat transgender patients who often are refused treatment in other medical settings. By doing so, they help to improve the overall health of individuals – including gays, bisexuals, cross-dressers, and male-to-female transsexuals – who may otherwise have difficulty accessing the health care they need.