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Sex in the Suburbs: Top 3 tips for Men's Health Week | Johnson
Every June, the week up to and including Father’s Day is Men’s Health Week. This year, it falls June 10-16.
The goal of Men’s Health Week is to increase awareness of preventable health problems for men.
As a wife, mother and daughter of men, I’m sure I’m not alone as a big proponent of supporting men to be healthy.
Yet, research shows men are less likely to go to the doctor for regular check-ups than women are, and many only have limited contact with doctors and the health care system generally.
Consequently, men often do not receive preventive care for life-threatening conditions.
Here are my top three “Sex in the Suburbs” tips for guys this month in terms of preventive care. For a full list of recommended check-ups, see below.
1. Do you do monthly testicular exams? Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35, according to the Mayo Clinic website. It is also highly treatable. For the highest chance of catching it early and getting the most effective treatment, monthly testicular exams — where you look and feel for changes in the testicles — are recommended.
2. Lots of folks have heard of prostate cancer, which is one of the most common types of cancer in men. It has a much better chance of treatment when detected early, which is why it’s important to have those regular check-ups. Check with your doctor right away if you experience trouble urinating, blood in the urine or semen, swelling in your legs, or discomfort in your pelvic area.
3. Erectile dysfunction, or ED, gets lots of publicity, but it’s still an embarrassing topic for many men to bring up with their physicians. Before you reach for a pill, be aware there are many factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction, including these:
• Depression, anxiety, and stress. Getting enough sleep and exercise can help all of these, but if lifestyle changes aren’t working to curb depression or anxiety, it might be time to see a physician for other options.
• Alcohol. Heavy or excessive use of alcohol can interfere with erections, so use moderation if you drink.
• Medications. Many medications have ED as a side effect, including (but not limited to) blood pressure drugs, pain medications, and even some antidepressants. Marijuana and other street drugs can also interfere with your ability to perform.
• Anger. Keeping anger inside or letting anger out in unhealthy ways can add to performance difficulties in the bedroom — even if your partner is not the target of your anger.
• Weight. Obese men produce less testosterone, an important hormone for sexual desire and having an erection.
Implementing lifestyle changes may help with ED, but be sure to see a doctor if any of the issues above are interfering with your relationships or causing you concern. Be aware that there may be underlying conditions that should be addressed in addition to the erectile dysfunction.
Certainly, these aren’t the only health concerns for men, so be sure to check with your physician about other routine tests that are recommended to maximize your health. For a Men’s Health Checklist, visit menshealthnetwork.org for a downloadable pdf file of recommended checkups and screenings. A checklist for women is also included.
Take time for your health, guys. You’re important!