Things men should see a doctor for, but don’t

A shocking study recently revealed that three-quarters of men will avoid going to the doctors when showing signs of an illness. Whether it’s due to “not having enough time”, or simply feeling embarrassed, many men put off going to the doctors even if they feel under the weather. But what exactly are the conditions that cause men to avoid the doctors like the plague? Here are some common things men should see a doctor for, but don’t.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem amongst men. A survey by Numan found that out of 1000 men, 66% had experienced ED at some point in their lives. However, many men feel too embarrassed to tell their GP about their ED. In fact, a quarter of men would rather break up with their partner than talk to their GP about their ED.

However, if you are experiencing ED then talking to a doctor is highly recommended, as it can be caused by many factors including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Although ED is typically treated with sildenafil or tadalafil, men may not be aware that these treatment options exist if they do not go to the doctors.

If talking to a doctor face-to-face is still too daunting, sildenafil (and tadalafil) can now be bought safely online without a prescription. But be careful. It is important to ensure the provider of these ED treatments is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - the UK authority on medicines regulations.

For example, one such MHRA-approved company is Numan. All prescription requests are approved online by a registered clinician and, once approved, are dispatched in a discreet package to the customer’s door within 48 hours.

Testicular cancer

Although testicular cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer, it nonetheless affects 2,300 men in the UK each year. Men often feel sheepish when it comes to getting their gear checked out because it (understandably) makes them feel vulnerable. But if you feel a lump in one of your testicles, or notice that they have changed shape or texture, then it is important that you go and get it examined by a medical professional.

Thankfully, if treated early enough, the survival rate for testicular cancer is very high. However, testicular cancer can spread to other organs such as the lungs, brain, and liver, so it is crucial that you visit your doctor if you feel any unusual lumps on your testicles.

Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the testicles (known as orchidectomy orchiectomy). This does not usually affect fertility or the ability to have sex, however there is always the chance that infertility and/or impotence may occur after an orchiectomy.  

Prostate cancer

The promise of having a cold, gloved finger thrust up into your nether regions is enough to unnerve the most stoic of men. It makes sense, then, that many men feel uncomfortable about going to the doctors to have a prostate examination.

However, prostate cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the UK, with 130 cases of prostate cancer being reported every day. It kills 11,000 men-a-year and Prostate Cancer UK estimate that this number will rise to 15,000 men-a-year by 2026. This is why it is crucial to let a doctor examine your prostate every now and then (even if done reluctantly) to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape.

Hair Loss

Whether it’s due to male pattern baldness, stress, or even particular hairstyles, hair loss in men can occur for a variety of reasons. Men may not go to a doctor when they start losing hair because they might assume that it’s just “a part of getting older”. In the case of male pattern baldness, they would be correct to assume this. Male pattern baldness affects 50% of men over the age of 50, and currently affects 6.5 million men in the UK.

However, if men do not visit the doctor when they start to lose hair, they may remain unaware of the potential treatments that exist that help slow the rate of hair loss. For example, finasteride is a hair loss treatment that helps to reduce the rate of hair loss in men affected by male pattern baldness.

Since many men experience low self-confidence and low self-esteem when they lose their hair, treatments such as finasteride may help to assuage these feelings. But since there are many types of hair loss, it is important to visit a dermatologist before taking finasteride to determine what kind of hair loss you have and what the appropriate treatment for it should be.