You don't need a TV show to tell you that most men hate going to the doctor. It's like asking for directions - it just doesn't seem in their DNA. But what you may not know is how much about their health men are keeping from you.
Whether they're worried it will make them seem less manly, scared what the doctor will say, or just think it's their job to be strong and silent, American men are damaging their families and their health by hiding important medical information. Here are their 3 biggest secrets and how you can help them break the silence.
The Big One
Nobody wants to talk about it, but almost every man experiences it at some point in their life - the inability to get or maintain an erection. In fact, new research shows that Erectile Dysfunction affects more than half of men over the age of 60, and nearly 20% of men over the age of 20. So why aren't they talking about it?
Experts say that most men blame themselves, thinking that emotions are at the root of the problem. But most cases of ED result from medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and smoking, which is one of the reasons (beyond keeping your sex life healthy) that it's important to address it.
The solution: There are several effective treatments for ED from well-known medications such as Viagra and Cialis (which increase blood flow to the penis) to medication injected in the base of the penis and, even, penile implants. Sometimes addressing underlying issues such as weight or alcohol consumption can help as well. Learn more about the Beer Gut Diet for a guy-friendly weight-loss plan.
A Pressing Issue
It's a normal part of getting older: as men age, their prostate (the walnut-shaped gland under the bladder that helps produce semen) begins to thicken, compressing the urethra and making it difficult for urine to pass through. So men may go to the bathroom constantly, but take a long time to actually urinate or finish - and feel like they have to go again right away.
The solution: Though there is no cure for an enlarged prostate, treatment options include using targeted microwaves or a heat-releasing needle to shrink the prostate, and surgery. For milder cases, lifestyle changes such as spreading your fluid intake throughout the day and relaxing during urination can help.