November is Men's Health Awareness Month, but even more importantly, November is ‘Movember’. Since this campaign started in 2004, it means that, for a full 30 days, the bravest of the brave need to nurture awkward facial hair in aid of testicular, prostate cancer and other health problems.
Those who’ve taken part in ’Movember’ before can probably attest to the sense of camaraderie experienced by those ‘suffering’ through all the stages for an important cause. This unity is great to see, particularly in men, who traditionally are less focussed on health issues that affect them, which is why I think more should be done to aid of men’s health, in particular impotence.
Although the gap between male and female life expectancy is closing, there is still a vast difference in how men approach their personal healthcare compared to women. A national survey conducted in 2011 showed that 70% of men found felt more comfortable taking care of their cars than they do about their health.
Men tend to drink or smoke more than women and are statistically less likely to visit their doctor, which means that many serious health conditions aren’t always detected early enough. Conditions like prostate cancer, low levels of testosterone, colon cancer and heart disease can often be treated successfully provided they are detected early on.
Read the original BBC article about male mortality age by clicking here.
However, men don’t just avoid dealing with their health by not going to their doctors often, research has shown that some men tend to ignore early warning signs of illness if they do occur.
A condition that is too often ignored is impotence. It can be an important and early indication of a number of different health conditions. Regular issues getting or being able to maintain an erection can be a sign of diabetes, high blood pressure, low testosterone, a number of different types of cancers and even cholesterol.
However, I am making impotence sound scarier than is necessary, because in the majority of cases, it isn’t serious and can be treated easily. None the less, taking that step to go to a doctor and getting the help, can be very difficult for men, resulting in unnecessary emotional agony that can eventually perpetuate erection problems.
Even in today’s more sharing and open society, impotence isn’t something that men feel they can talk about, which is why I think we should create a ‘Movember’ style atmosphere where we can feel willing to talk about the issue. Personally I think it’s inappropriate that National Impotence Awareness Day shares a spot with Valentine’s Day. Yes, sure it’s a bit of a laugh, but that’s pretty much all this evokes. Impotence needs a spot of it’s own and to be taken seriously.