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Hey Guys, Let’s Talk Men’s Health

Yes, it is time for a checkup. We know it can be difficult for men to talk about mental and physical health with doctors because there is a fear of judgment or awkwardness, but this silence can lead to poor treatment outcomes and higher mortality rates. Sure you’re tough, but there is no shame in discussing your mental or physical health with your doctor — it can help improve your quality of life.   

Men should communicate with their healthcare providers to not only take care of their own mental and physical health, but also the sexual health of their partners. Many men are embarrassed about discussing issues such as erectile dysfunction or loss of libido because they perceive it as a sign that something is wrong with them personally, but by avoiding these topics, physical and mental health can worsen. 

Your mental health can also be tied to your sexual health. By treating your mental health, you can improve your sexual health and your quality of intimacy.  

Understanding Emotional and Mental Health 

Guys, we know mental health may feel more difficult to discuss with your healthcare provider, but your mental wellness is just as important as your physical health. Having an honest conversation with your doctor about your mental wellbeing and emotions can help improve your treatment and overall health. Be sure to bring it up with your doctor if you have  

Treatment for ED can range from diet changes, stress management tips, a reduced use of alcohol, or prescription medications. Sildenafil and Tadalafil are the generic versions of Viagra and Cialis. They have the same effectiveness as the name-brand, without the same wallet-breaking cost. 

• Concerns over stigmas tied to certain prescriptions 

• Depression, stress, or anxiety 

• Struggles with alcohol or substance abuse 

• Physical, emotional, or mental abuse from someone close to you, or online 

Your mental health can also be tied to your sexual health. By treating your mental health, you can improve your sexual health and your quality of intimacy.  

Erectile Dysfunction 

ED affects an estimated 30 million men in the United States. That is one in ten men, or the entire population of Texas! While it is not uncommon for a man to struggle with an erection once in a while, an ongoing problem should be addressed with a healthcare provider. Sometimes an underlying condition can be the cause of ED (such as hypertension, the use of certain prescriptions like antidepressants, or diabetes). Diet, lack of exercise, stress, and alcohol and tobacco use can also be the cause of ongoing ED.  

Treatment for ED can range from diet changes, stress management tips, a reduced use of alcohol, or prescription medications. Sildenafil and Tadalafil are the generic versions of Viagra and Cialis. They have the same effectiveness as the name-brand, without the same wallet-breaking cost. 

New or Worsening Pain and Abnormal Symptoms 

It may feel easier to believe a new symptom will disappear on its own, but it is important to communicate any health changes with your healthcare provider. Sometimes an unusual symptom can be a sign of a bigger problem and catching it earlier can help prevent future health problems. These unusual symptoms can range from urination changes like leakage or pain in the lower abdomen, to tenderness, swelling, or pain in the testicles.  

Men, when it comes to your health, you should be honest with not only yourself, but with your healthcare provider. Be open about any symptoms or concerns that might affect how you feel, physically and mentally, in order to get the best treatment for yourself. Your sexual health is crucial to having better physical and mental health, so it is important to communicate whether you are at risk for contracting HIV, or if you have struggled consistently with erectile dysfunction. Your healthcare provider can also help by evaluating your mental health and addressing any of your personal concerns.  

HIV Prevention 

Men who engage in anal sex, already have STI’s, and who share needles or syringes while using intravenous drugs are all at risk for contracting HIV. HIV affects the immune system and can lead to AIDS. When it comes to preventing HIV, there are a few different options you can take. Your medical provider may recommend practicing safe sex with proper condom use, or they may suggest starting a PrEP prescription. PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis and is up to 99% effective at preventing the contraction of HIV when taken correctly.  

According to HIV.gov, one in seven individuals in the US are living with HIV and are unaware of their infection. It is important to start your HIV prevention journey by knowing your current HIV status. In order to start a PrEP prescription, you must test negative for HIV. PrEP is a preventative treatment and only is effective if the PrEP regimen is adhered to.  

Those who have sexual partners with unknown HIV status, or a partner who is HIV positive, qualify for PrEP.  

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