No, I am not talking about the largest-selling instant noodles that men should know about. I am talking about MAGI (with a single G), a silent infection that makes millions of men impotent and infertile.
MAGI, which stands for Male Accessory Gland Infection, is a condition that affects men, causing impotence and infertility. The main sex gland in men is the testis, but there are other glands called accessory sexual glands that also contribute to reproductive functions. These include the epididymis, seminal vesicles, and prostate, which are connected to the testis and the urinary system.
The accessory sex glands assist the testis in carrying out reproductive functions. For example, the epididymis is a tubular structure that allows sperm to mature and become capable of fertilizing an egg. The seminal vesicles store semen and provide nourishment to the sperm. The prostate contributes to the liquid consistency of semen through its secretions. There are also smaller glands that contribute to semen production.
Infections can reach these accessory sexual glands through various means, including infections from other parts of the body or sexually transmitted diseases. The glands have a rich blood supply, making them susceptible to infection. In some cases, an injury to the glands can also lead to inflammation and swelling. However, the most common cause of infection and swelling in these glands is the reflux of urine, also known as chemical inflammation. This can occur due to urine passing into the sperm passages, which are incidentally connected to the main urinary passage.
When urine enters the accessory sexual glands, the acidic pH of urine combines with the alkaline pH of the genital system, leading to heat production and inflammation. The swelling can obstruct the passage of sperm and cause damage to both the sperm and the nerves responsible for erection signals.
Many men with MAGI do not experience any symptoms, but some may have mild symptoms such as burning during urination, difficulty urinating, loss of direction in the morning or during intimacy, or abnormalities in sperm reports. However, MAGI is often a silent disease, and even doctors can easily miss the symptoms and signs. Confirming the diagnosis usually involves a combination of clinical examination and laboratory tests, such as semen culture.
Effective treatment of MAGI requires identifying the underlying cause of inflammation in the accessory sexual glands. Typically, a urologist or andrologist will prescribe a long-term course of antibiotics, along with anti-inflammatory medication and therapy targeting the root cause. In cases where there is a blockage due to the narrowing of the bladder opening, alpha-blockers may be prescribed to alleviate the obstruction and prevent urine reflux. Treatment usually lasts around six weeks, and addressing the root cause is crucial for the successful management of MAGI.
In addition to medical therapy, it is important to avoid factors that increase urine reflux, such as delaying urination, lifting heavy weights, and exerting undue pressure. Drinking water in moderation is advised until the underlying cause of MAGI is properly identified. Other causes, such as infections, should be addressed with appropriate medical consultation from a urologist or andrologist.