An annual male wellness exam is one of the best ways to maintain your health. During the exam, the healthcare provider will conduct a series of health checks including checking your vital signs and examining your heart and lungs with a stethoscope. A male wellness exam will also include:
Digital rectal exam
During a digital rectal exam, your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum and feels the back wall of the prostate gland for enlargement, tenderness, lumps or hard spots.
Urinalysis is the testing of a urine sample for abnormal substances or signs of infection. The urine sample is collected in a special container in a health care provider’s office or commercial facility and can be tested in the same location or sent to a lab for analysis.
If an infection is suspected, the health care provider may ask that the urine sample be collected in two or three containers during a single urination to help locate the infection site. After the first collection, the health care provider will have the patient stop the urine stream for a prostate massage before collecting more urine. If signs of infection appear in the first container but not in the others, the infection is likely to be in the urethra. If the urine contains significantly more bacteria after the prostate massage or bacteria are in the prostate fluid itself, the infection is likely to be in the prostate.
Urodynamic tests and cystoscopy may cause mild discomfort for a few hours after the procedures. Drinking an 8-ounce glass of water every half-hour for 2 hours may help reduce discomfort. The health care provider may recommend taking a warm bath or holding a warm, damp washcloth over the urethral opening to relieve discomfort. A prostate biopsy may produce pain in the area of the rectum and the perineum, which is between the rectum and the scrotum. A prostate biopsy may also produce blood in urine and semen.
An antibiotic may be prescribed for 1 or 2 days to prevent infection. Patients with signs of infection—including pain, chills, or fever—should call their health care provider immediately.