Individuals & Families Employers Brokers Physicians Health & Wellness
ARTICLE Men's Health - Additional Topics

Men's Health: Additional Topics

Whether you are 17 or 70, you can start to make healthy, informed choices about your body and lifestyle. An important step is learning about common men's health topics.


Index
Cardiovascular health | Erectile dysfunction (ED) | Fatherhood | Mental and emotional health | Prostate health | Screenings and immunizations

Health and Wellness Podcast Series

Men's Health: Caring for Ourselves – Learn about a man's top health concerns: Heart, prostate and brain health; diet, exercise and managing stress. Presented by Jason Lee, wellness consultant. View podcast

Cardiovascular health

Men tend to develop high blood pressure earlier in life than women. Among American adults, about 45 percent of men have total cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dL or higher, which is considered borderline to high risk.1

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in America. Good cardiovascular health can help prevent life-threatening heart conditions such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Heart valve disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Strokes

Lower your risk for heart disease. Adopt healthy lifestyle habits that may lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, such as:

  • Not smoking
  • Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoiding high-fat foods
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising approximately 30 minutes a day

Erectile dysfunction (ED)

Sometimes men have trouble talking about sexual issues with their doctor. But if you and your partner are struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED), it's important to seek help. Remind him that ED is a medical problem that can be treated.

A treatment for ED will depend on what's causing it. Don't assume it's just part of the normal aging process. That's usually not the case. Specific causes may include:

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Diabetes-related injuries to blood vessels and nerves
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Reactions to prescription drugs, including antidepressants
  • Unhealthy habits like smoking, overeating and inactivity
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Treatments for prostate cancer
  • Diseases that affect the nerves, like multiple sclerosis
  • Reduced levels of testosterone (rare)
  • Depression and anxiety

Your partner's doctor can offer a number of treatments for ED. You can decide together which treatment fits you best as a couple, which may include:

  • Lifestyle changes. Exercising, quitting smoking, losing weight and decreasing alcohol use may help to alleviate ED.
  • Counseling. In addition to treating the physical cause, counseling can help couples handle the emotional stress of ED.
  • Medication. Prescription drugs that increase the blood flow to the penis to facilitate an erection may be an option for treating the physical cause of ED.
  • Other treatment options. Injections, vacuum devices or penile implants may help men when other options fail.

Fatherhood

A father's presence can be just as important to a child's healthy development as the mother's. If you're planning a family, talk to your partner about the important role you want to play in your child's life.

Help prepare yourself for the important role of fatherhood. Consider some of the following suggestions for dealing with the changes ahead:

  • Be patient. Being a new parent is tough and getting a routine down takes practice. It's important for you to practice patience with yourself, your partner and children.
  • Talk with other dads. Sometimes it just feels good to vent with someone else in your situation. Be encouraged and seek support.
  • Connect with your partner. Talk openly and try to help one another with diapers, feeding and other tasks.

Mental and emotional health

Doctors don't always ask male patients about their mental or emotional health, even though they can play a major role in overall well-being. Here are some common mental health problems for men:

  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Sexual problems
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia

If you are suffering from a mental health condition, talk to your doctor. Most mental health problems typically are treatable. And sometimes simple lifestyle changes are all you'll need to feel better.

Prostate health

African American men are 2.5 times more likely to die from prostate cancer than Caucasian men.2

The prostate is a gland near the bladder that only men have. Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in men of all ages - although it's rare in men under 40.

Help the men in your life – father, husband, son or friend – understand and recognize the symptoms of prostate cancer. Symptoms may include:

  • The urge to urinate frequently
  • A weak urine flow
  • Breaks in urine stream
  • Dribbling
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in semen
  • Low back pain
  • Pain with ejaculation

If someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, encourage him to see a doctor. And get him in as soon as possible, because treatment generally depends on how fast and how much it's grown. Prostate cancer treatment may include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy

Sources