If you’re a guy who waits until something is seriously wrong before going to the doctor, you’re not alone. A recent poll of 1,100 men showed that even under the best circumstances — when men have health insurance and have a primary doctor they feel comfortable talking to — 58 percent say that something still keeps them from actually going to the doctor.
The biggest problem with men’s health is, well, men.
So what’s the issue, guys? At the risk of sounding like your nagging wife or mother, here are the top five reasons why men don't go to the doctor:
5. "I'm fine."
It’s just a broken leg… weeping rash… bullet wound, but I feel fine. Of men polled, 36 percent said they only go to the doctor when they are "extremely sick." So, unless there’s a problem, men aren’t going to the doctor for prevention.
The fact is that many health issues are not detectable until it’s too late. It certainly wouldn’t be advisable to ignore high cholesterol or high blood pressure until there’s physical evidence of advanced heart disease.The same can be said for your sexual health as the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have no major warning signs at all. Of the estimated 1.1 million Americans living with HIV infection, 21 percent do not know that they are infected. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 80 percent of the people who have the herpes simplex 2 virus have no idea they are infected.
You may feel "fine" but visiting the doctor or getting an STD test is the only way to know for sure.
4. "I'll tough it out."
So there may be a small rash, itch or burn, but no big deal, right? You’re a guy, you can shake it off and it’ll be gone soon enough. Men are told when they’re young that big boys don’t cry. And that holds true years later. While women are fairly open with their friends and family, men don’t like to complain about their health. It’s not masculine. But while we may be able to "shake off" a bad bruise or sprain, there are plenty other examples where your symptoms will only get worse if you don’t receive proper treatment.
3. Lack of female encouragement (also known as nagging)
If you don’t have a girlfriend, wife or mom nagging you, you’re less likely to go the doctor. Let’s be honest, you think going to the doctor is a chick thing. And it’s true — women go to the doctor four times more frequently than men do. Maybe that’s why women live longer than men!
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2. Because your wife/mother/sister nags you
See above. And then, come on. Taking care of your health isn’t something that you’re "giving in to." When it comes to your health, especially your sexual health, get tested. If your new girlfriend wants to get tested before having sex, why fight it? Sex will be hotter with peace of mind.
1. "I don't have time."
Of course you don’t have time. You have 18 holes of golf to play. And there’s a Deadliest Catch marathon on. Look, we’re all busy, but making time for a doctor visit once a year isn’t a big deal.
For more personal issues, like your sexual health, there are quick and convenient online STD testing clinics available. You can get tested in 15 minutes, get test results in three days and consult with a doctor by phone. Even the busiest people can take care of their sexual health. And then get busy. So, man up. Real men go to the doctor. No excuses.