Why we need to talk about men’s health issues and wipe out the taboos

men's health issues

It’s not often that the fellas get a look in on this blog. As someone who is passionate about health though I can’t help but think that men’s health is something that often gets overlooked or more should I say – swept under the carpet. Yet there are some serious issues that need to be addressed out in the open. So let’s address the top health issues among men that we prefer not to talk about:

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition, particularly in older men, yet still it is something that people don’t utter out in the open. Silently popping tablets of sildenafil 100mg undercover is not going to change people’s perceptions about erectile dysfunction and considering that it is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree it shouldn’t be something to feel ashamed about.

Mental health

Despite movements like Men’s Mental Health Week, we dare not mention men and mental health in the same sentence. Yet it is a silent epidemic. 78% of deaths by suicide in the UK are by men yet only 38% of NHS referrals to talking therapies like counselling are for men. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that something is amiss here.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men – one in eight men will will get prostate cancer in the UK, with over 400,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It’s often called the silent killer because it has no noticeable symptoms and can often be confused with an enlarged prostate. Because it’s a silent cancer, it is often picked up too late making it extremely difficult to fight the cancer.

Obesity

In the UK, around one in four adults is obese. The key issue with obese or overweight men which sets them apart from women is that they are far less likely to take action on it – for example, join weight loss programmes. We need to make it more socially acceptable for overweight or obese men to be motivated to lose weight.

Infertility

There’s no denying it, there is fertility crisis happening right here the Western world with sperm counts in Western men men now halved. Scientists are still trying to get to the bottom of this major social and physical biological problem but collectively we are now having to fight infertility, albeit in a very shush shush manner.

Although movements like Movember are going great guns at putting conversations around men’s health out in the open, more needs to be done here. Where other taboo health topics seem to have made great gains in shaking off the stigma associated with them, why have things been so slow on the uptake concerning these men’s health issues?

In the Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus argument, I can’t help thinking that women are just a lot more up front and open about their health concerns than men, and are far more likely to take action about their health. I blame the phrase “Man up” – because if there is one area men need to man up less on, it’s got to be their health. If manning up means ignoring symptoms until it’s too late, or until it causes huge problems in your life, then manning up is definitely not the way forward here.

What do you think about these men’s health issues highlighted above? Do you think they need to be more out in the open? Do leave a comment and share.

*This is a collaborative post

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