Medical Terminology for Male Reproductive Tests, Procedures, and Pharmacology - dummies

Medical Terminology for Male Reproductive Tests, Procedures, and Pharmacology

By Beverley Henderson, Jennifer Lee Dorsey

Reproduction is a fragile subject that you may face in a medical setting. You will need to be armed with the necessary medical terminology to understand the ins and outs of reproduction.

Male reproductive radiology and diagnostic tests

It’s time to test those testes! Okay, bad pun, but you get the drift. Though there aren’t tons of laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures used for this system, they remain important methods for helping men of all ages find peace when it comes to issues of concern related to sexual health.

One very common test is semen analysis. This test is performed as part of fertility studies and also to establishment fertility status. Sometimes the test is performed to determine sperm viability for couples having difficulty conceiving. It can also be performed following a vasectomy to assure that the procedure was successful.

In this case, semen is collected in a sterile container and analyzed microscopically; sperm cells are counted and examined for motility and shape. Analysis is also done at six weeks following vasectomy and again at three months, to establish aspermia.

Another common test for men is the GC/Chlamydia test, performed by inserting a small cotton swab into the opening of the urethra to obtain a sample, which is then tested for gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

A general viral culture tests for herpes and HIV, and is performed simply by swabbing an open sore.

In VDRL, also known as the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test, the blood is tested to diagnose syphilis. Because the syphilis antigen stays in the blood for a lifetime, it can have far-reaching effects.

The PSA (prostate specific antigen test) is a prescreening test that can be performed yearly on males over 50. This is a prescreening mechanism for precancerous conditions of the prostate gland. Any rise or elevation of PSA level is followed up by other investigations.

Prostate carcinoma is both serious and scary. Any time a disease, particularly cancer, is associated with a reproductive system, it can cause more than just physical symptoms. It can be emotionally and mentally devastating. A man can be devastated by a cancer affecting his sexual health. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers associated with the male reproductive system.

Here are some typical prostate carcinoma investigations:

  • Digital rectal examination (DRE) of prostate

  • Prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test

  • Transrectal ultrasound/ultrasound examination of prostate through the rectum using sound waves

Male reproductive surgeries and procedures

You’ve found the problem, now it’s time to call the plumber, or, in this case, the urologist. Take a look at some of the procedural terms you’ll need to know about all things male:

  • ART (Assisted reproductive techniques): Includes procedures such as IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF (in vitro fertilization), and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)

  • Balanoplasty: Surgical repair of the glans penis

  • Brachytherapy: A form of radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer in which radioactive seeds are implanted directly into malignant prostate tissue

  • Circumcision: Surgery to remove the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis; usually performed on newborn male but can be performed in adult males for phimosis

  • Hydrocelectomy: Surgical removal of a hydrocele

  • Microsurgical vasovasostomy: Restoration of fertility following a vasectomy; a surgical re-joining of interrupted vasa deferentia

  • Orchidectomy: Surgical removal of one or both testes

  • Orchidopexy: Surgical fixation or “stitching in place” of a testicle

  • Orchioplasty: Surgical repair of testis

  • Penile implant: Surgical implanting of a penile prosthesis to correct erectile dysfunction

  • Prostatectomy: Excision of prostate gland

  • TUMT (transurethral microwave thermotherapy): A prostatron is used to deliver microwaves heating the area for one hour, to eliminate excessive tissue present in BPH; no anesthetic required

  • TUREP (transurethral resection of ejaculatory ducts): Corrective procedure in treatment of infertility

  • TURP (transurethral resection of prostate): Resection through the urethra; cutting back or removal of the prostate if enlargement of the prostate may interfere with urination

  • Varicocelectomy: Surgical removal of a varicocele

  • Vasectomy: Excision of a portion of the vas deferens to perform male sterilization; does not interfere with nerves or blood supply to the testis or penis; hormone secretions, sex drive, and potency not affected

  • Vasoepididymostomy: Surgical joining of vas deferens and epididymis used in treatment of infertility

Male reproductive pharmacology

Believe it or not, there is more to male reproductive pharmacology than that infamous pill to aid in erectile dysfunction. However, that pill certainly is nice, and you will wow all your friends by knowing its official generic name, which is sildenafil citrate.Vasodilators like this keep things cooking in the bedroom for those who are experiencing difficulty.

The usual routine for any inflammations is antibiotics, and it’s no different for the male reproductive system.

Finally, on a more serious note, amebicides,antifungal agents, as well as good old penicillin, are used to treat the STD family of bacteria. Amebicides treat amebal infections, almost always of the intestines; fungicides treat fungi, most commonly tinea cruris, or jock itch; penicillin is still the treatment for syphilis.