Why Do We Need to Talk About Men’s Health?
Men have always been expected to be strong and stoic in nature. Perhaps as a result, on average, most men avoid talking about health, going for a medical check-up, or visiting their primary care doctor. In fact, according to a 2021 study, 45% of men surveyed did not visit a GP or a family doctor for an annual check-up. As a result, many men miss out on physical and mental warning signs that could turn into serious illnesses. Let’s look at some examples of why we need to talk about men’s health.
1) Men don’t open up about ED related issues
Erectile Dysfunction or ED is a condition when a man finds it difficult to achieve or sustain an erection. The causes of ED are generally medical but can also be psychological in nature. It is a common male sexual dysfunction, but many men find it extremely difficult to talk about it. As a result, relationships can be destroyed, not by ED itself, rather by the lack of communication and assumptions around it. There are ED medications that men can take to overcome this condition, but the first step is to acknowledge that they have a problem.
2) Early messaging makes men feel less masculine if they go to a doctor
There is a belief held by many men that they will be less masculine they go to a doctor. Men who think like this may believe that admitting to needing help may mean admitting defeat. Such messages are drilled into boys during their formative years. It all starts with expectations that boys shouldn’t cry even if they are physically hurt. Another early messaging that percolates into men is that men shouldn’t talk about what’s going on in their minds or bodies. All of this results in grown men thinking that they can overcome everything on their own.
3) Concerns about costs
At times, the high cost of medical care is a concern when it comes to men seeking medical help. There have been many instances of men delaying medical consultations for months altogether because they are worried about the high costs of medical treatment. It is a fact that medical expenses are one of the main causes of personal bankruptcy in the United States, and men may be inclined to put off medical consultations in fear of having to spend too much money. However, many people don’t realize that a delay in consulting a doctor may lead to more costs down the road if the condition turns out to be serious.
4) Men have a greater chance of dying earlier than women
Men have a greater chance of dying earlier in comparison to women. They are more likely to contract heart disease at an earlier age, have a much higher risk of dying due to liver disease, and have more risk of dying due to diabetes. Keeping this in mind, all men need to incorporate more fitness in their lives. Not only that, they should be open to eating healthy, undergoing annual health check-ups, and contacting their doctor without any hesitation. Your doctor will help in monitoring your blood pressure, weight, and blood cholesterol levels. A doctor can also help in recommending medications, lifestyle changes, or other treatments to help tackle any medical issues that you may be facing.
A lot of health issues are preventable in nature. A fit lifestyle, annual health checkups, and regular doctor visits are vital to ensure that men stay healthy at all ages. Hence, it is essential for family members and men themselves to be aware of and have regular conversations around men’s health.