It’s not uncommon for men to experience weight gain during their lifetime, but did you know that being overweight or obese can put a serious damper on your sex life? It’s true. In addition to increased cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels, men who have a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or higher may experience reduced testosterone production, erectile dysfunction and abnormal Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. While reduced testosterone production and erectile dysfunction can significantly impact sexual health, abnormal PSA levels are the biggest cause for concern.
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a substance produced almost entirely by cells in the prostate gland. It is secreted by the prostate in the semen where its primary function is to liquefy the semen following ejaculation. Abnormal PSA levels may be an early sign of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men, behind skin cancer. It’s also the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.
In 2013, the American Cancer Society estimates:
While these statistics are alarming, prostate cancer is very treatable, especially when detected early on. PSA screening tests can help detect prostate cancer and identify other prostate irregularities.
However, PSA testing alone is not enough. You will need to schedule an exam and talk to your doctor to see if screening is the best option.
When making your decision, it’s important to note the American Urological Association’s (AUA) new guidelines for PSA testing:
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