Men’s Health

Sexual Health

Sexual health services comprise both sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment and contraception services. Our surgery provides the full range of contraceptive services.

Sexual Health services for Brent – including STI and HIV testing and care – are available locally:

  • The Patrick Clements Clinic, Central Middlesex Hospital (Tel 0208 453 2221) or book online.
  • The Caryl Thomas Clinic, Wealdstone HA1 4UQ (Tel 0203 893 8575)

There is also a limited range of contraceptive services only available from Chalkhill Clinic, Wembley Park and Edgware Community Hospital.

You can also use the new online testing for STIs – register online and a kit will be sent for you to post samples back to the lab and receive a result within a few days.

Your Prostate

This small gland lives between the penis and the bladder in front of the anus and is about the size of a walnut but may start growing in your 50s and can pinch the urethra – the tube carrying urine from the bladder which passes through it – leading to obstruction of the passage of urine. Enlarged prostates can be problematic and may require surgery later in life. The prostate can also become cancerous and it can become inflamed (prostatitis). Other than that it gets on peacefully with its job of contributing to the seminal fluid ejaculated at orgasm.

For an expose of the prostate and its problems see these NHS.UK pages
For an excellent NHS overview on Prostate Cancer look here
Prostate Cancer UK also has some excellent guides and a helpline.

Prostate Cancer Screening

There is no good, reliable test currently available for screening men without symptoms, though one should come through in the next few years. The PSA blood test used currently is not specific or accurate enough – you get a significant number of false positives and negatives. False negatives mean a normal PSA level with a hidden cancer and a false positive may mean having uncomfortable prostate biopsies without any cancer detected, though MRI scans are now being used more widely to avoid unnecessary biopsies.

There can also be over-detection and over-treatment. Whilst some prostate cancers are aggressive and need treating, others may grow very slowly and cause no harm and the owner outlives the cancer and dies of other causes in ripe old age.

We haven’t yet arrived at the right balance and better tests are needed.

If, however, you are developing symptoms of prostate enlargement (difficulty starting to urinate, dribbling when finishing, weak stream, having to rush to the toilet, often many times, getting up several times at night) or are worried about the possibility of prostate cancer, then speak to one of our Doctors; you may need a full assessment including abdominal and rectal examination as well as the blood test and maybe an ultrasound.

Whilst there is no national screening programme, if you would like a PSA test and are happy to accept the risks outlined, then please contact one of our GPs.

But first check these helpful pages on Prostate Cancer and the PSA Test on NHS.UK

Bowel Cancer Screening

Around 1 in 20 people get bowel cancer. The screening programme has been shown to pick up cancers at an earlier stage leading to more effective treatments.

Bowel Screening is a two stage process in the NHS:

  • Age 55 yrs (or over) there is a one-off flexible bowel scope test to detect and remove polyps which could be pre-cancerous.
  • Aged 60 – 74 yrs you’ll be sent a FIT home test kit every 2 years – you take a small sample of poo and post it back to the lab to detect invisible traces of blood.

If you are 75 or over , or miss your test, you can ask for one to be sent (Tel: 0800 707 60 60)

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (“AAA”) Screening

The aorta is the main artery leading from the heart running down through the abdomen. It can weaken with age and bulge – an aortic aneurysm – and if it swells too much can rupture (burst) leading to an emergency with a high death rate. If picked up when smaller it can be successfully repaired to prevent the worst outcome and this screening procedure will help.

Some time around your 64th – 65th birthday you will be called up for a screening test which is carried out by a quick, painless ultrasound scan.

If a significant aneurysm is detected you need to be prepared to undergo a surgical repeat or there is no point in having the test. To help you decide whether to go for this test, read this leaflet .

To read about Aortic Aneuryms and screening click here