Embarrassing conditions that leave patients suffering in silence
9 months ago, 12 Jan 10:41
What is that health condition so embarrassing to you that you’d not freely discuss it with family or even a doctor? Medics say cases of patients being uneasy with some medical conditions are common, leaving many at risk of severe health complications or even death because they would not step forward for help. Paul Mitei, a medical doctor, discussed the issue with the Business Daily. 1. Anal itching This is a common problem which may be caused by poor hygiene, anal warts — sometimes caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) — haemorrhoids, dyes or other agents in toilet paper, fungal infection, lice, or sexually transmitted infections. The condition can also be caused by an allergy to soaps or tissue. “These are uncomfortable areas to scratch openly. The itchiness could also be a yeast infection and may be a colorectal condition. “Seeing a doctor can solve the problem,” Dr Mitei said. In mild cases, the itching may be controlled by improved hygiene or decreasing intake of yeast. 2. Vaginal flatulence This involves sudden loud emission of air from the vagina and mainly happens during or after sexual intercourse, body stretches or exercise. Though the sound produced may be comparable to flatulence from the anal opening, it has no odour. “This is a common health problem, but most women are too embarrassed to talk about it,” Dr Mitei said. The condition is caused by loose pelvic muscles that cause vaginal muscles to expand and trap air inside. The condition can be corrected through physiotherapy or surgery to rectify the loose muscles, Dr Mitei said. 3. Urinary incontinence This is a common yet embarrassing condition where one loses control of the urinary bladder. People suffering from this condition report varied severity, from occasional urine leaks when they sneeze or cough to inability to hold back urine. Medics attribute the condition to weakened pelvic muscles and the urethra sphincter. Some factors heighten chances of developing the condition including obesity, pregnancy and vaginal birth, advanced age or a history of incontinence in the family. “Pelvic exercises including kegels can strengthen muscles,” advises Dr Mitei. The condition can also be managed through dieting for weight loss or training of the urinary bladder. Surgery is also recommended for extreme cases of urinary incontinence. 4. Sexual dysfunction Sexual dysfunction has become a common problem among Kenyan men and women, but many are too anxious to talk about it with their partners and doctors. In women, it is mainly manifested through reduced sex drive and vaginal dryness, while in men it is characterised by erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. Premature ejaculation may be caused by anxiety about sexual performance, stress, unresolved issues in a relationship, or depression. It may also be due to an infection in the prostate or urethra. Tackling stress or treating infections may help deal with premature ejaculation. Some men are also unable to get or keep an erection during sexual intercourse. This may be due to causes such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a heart condition. ...
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