Posts Tagged ‘self-examination’

“Don’t Hit My Balls” – How Young Male Athletes Can Preserve Their Fertility

“Don’t hit my balls. I want to have kids!”

I heard one of my son’s high school varsity soccer teammates shout this as he took his place in “the wall” to stop an opponent’s free kick at the goal.

At least he knew that testicular trauma could lead to fertility problems.

Most young men don’t know about the effects of damage of the male genitals and possible problems with having a child later in life.

The first installment from the American Fertility Association’s Male Reproductive Health Alliance (MRHA) features Dr. Ajay Nangia, Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, addressing the topic of male fertility and sports activities.

Dr. Nangia notes that blunt trauma, such as being hit by a bat, ball or hockey puck in the genitals without breaking though the skin, accounts for most of the testicular injuries that send young men to the emergency room.

Yet, only about half of the men playing sports wear genital protection, such as a cup, during sports.

Dr. Nangia emphasizes the need for self-examinations for testicular cancer.

He is a big believer in preparticipation physical exams for all young athletes to check for testicular damage and hernias.

And he notes that while Lance Armstrong survived testicular cancer he really waited too long for the diagnosis and that’s why his cancer spread.

“Overall, sporting activities highlight the need to discuss men’s health issues at preparticipation physicals at all levels but also in schools from an early age,” writes Dr. Nangia.

“Sports also highlight the need to re-iterate education and protection of the male genitals during sports.

At present, there is a lack of adequate information provided to young men and also inadequate technology to make such protection comfortable to wear.

More work is needed to educate sports equipment companies and sporting leagues of the importance of this issue.

Great advances have been made with bike seats through better knowledge and health promotion, now it is time to improve other genital protection.

We urge boys and men who participate in sports on a regular basis to help and educate themselves to ensure a successful reproductive life and good long-term men’s health.”

Back to the game: With their hands covering their crotches, the young soccer players sighed in relief as the opponent’s kick went well over their heads, and they turned to play on.