As part of Movember, we’re talking about Men’s Health issues on Roaddave. We’ve covered the low hanging fruit and given you the background on why you have a prostate, what it does and why you need a PSA test on a regular basis. This update is on the Other Prostate test: The one that isn’t a blood test, a digital test.
Digit, as in finger, not zeros and ones digital. Somewhere after the age of 40 (some doctors say 50, others somewhere in between) a digital test of the prostate will become part of your yearly medial check up.
Your doctor will insert a gloved and well-lubricated finger in your asshole and palpate your prostate. Palpate means poke at it and press on it. Without resorting to surgery, there is no other way to get at your prostate unless you use the bodily orifices available. Being men, we have a grand total of one that is in the neighbourhood of the prostate. You can’t get at the prostate to palpate it via a nostril or ear.
The sensation of having the prostate digitally examined is no worse than taking a five-pound dump after a night of bad Mexican food, or going to a Brazilian restaurant and eating until you get the meat sweats. Honestly. We’ve all had those mornings on the toilet when we vow to God that we will chew our food better and a digital exam is no worse.
What the doc is looking for is abnormal size, or malformation of the prostate itself. Your doc isn’t doing this for giggles or to humiliate you. If you have a swollen prostate, you will scream like a little girl when the doc palpates it. That doesn’t mean you have cancer, it only means something is wrong.
You can get a swollen prostate from too much self-pleasuring, or in some men, bike riding. Think about where the bicycle seat sits on your body: Can you get a bruised prostate? Prostatic inflammation from those kinds of activities is harmless goes away after a couple of days of rest.
A good, caring, doc will have you lie on one side and have you bring one knee up to your chest for a digital exam. An army-trained doctor will have you bend over the examining table and say “Hang on to your hat!” I’ve had both and the knee up is much easier.
Yes, you might spring a Hollywood half-loaf totally without intention. Pressure on the prostate can trigger a drop or two of urine, or a mild, momentary erection, no worse than a morning piss-hard and no more useful either. The prostate is covered with the very same pelvic floor muscles that contract when you have an orgasm and cause you to ejaculate by giving the prostate a good, hard squeeze. It’s perfectly normal as the systems are all interrelated and your doc has seen it before.
Or, absolutely nothing will happen: It varies from human to human.
Odds are 50-50 you’ll fart. I asked and my doc and she (Yes, my GP is a female) said she’s been farted at so many times doing prostate exams that it’s now beyond disgusting and merely funny.
No, it is not appropriate to load up on jalapeno nachos, cabbage soup, beer and beans the night before your prostate exam. Yes your doc will clean up any excess lubricant afterwards, but you might feel a little icky around the orf. Deal with it.
A digital prostate exam does not make you suddenly want to sing show tunes, or find the beauty in old Judy Garland movies. Sorry guys, it doesn’t. Your sexual orientation is between your ears, in the brain, not between the legs in your asshole or prostate.
It’s not a comfortable sensation, but it is insanely important to have done. The prostate doesn’t give many clues that it is unwell and a PSA in combination with a digital exam is the best way to determine your prostate health.
To sum up. Your prostate helps keep your participation in the fornicative and procreative arts alive. The prostate doesn’t kick up a fuss when it is unwell, so there are no symptoms to speak of. A PSA blood test in combination with a digital examination is the best way to find out if things are in good order. As we all know, early detection of problems means a better outcome.
If you want to learn more, www.ca.movember.com has links to Prostate Cancer Canada and several dozen other very good resources. Of course, you can always donate to our Movember team, here, to change the face of Men’s Health.