It may come as no surprise that men are 24 percent less likely than women
to have visited a doctor in the past year. Some men feel that they are
not “real men” if they complain or can’t deal with pain
and will wait until the ache, lump, or rash gets too bad to ignore before
consulting a healthcare professional.
However, even the most proactive, informed men fall victim to widely circulated
health myths. We think it’s time to set the record straight about
these common men’s health myths.
Boxers or Briefs?
The Lie: Men who wear briefs have fewer sperm.
The Truth: Though extended exposure to high temperatures can affect sperm count, there
has been no conclusive evidence that wearing briefs can lower your sperm count.
No Pain, No Gain
The Lie: If your workout isn’t hurting, it’s not working.
The Truth: Pain does not indicate gain. Working out until it hurts can actually cause injury.
Protect Your Pecs
The Lie: Only women get breast cancer.
The Truth: Though women are about 100 times more likely to get breast cancer, men
still have breast tissue and can be affected. It is estimated that about
one in 100 men will contract breast cancer. Look for lumps, thickening
of breast tissue, any indentation or redness of the nipple, or nipple
discharge, as these are all signs of breast cancer.
The Lie: Shaving more often will give you thicker facial hair.
The Truth: Facial hair is determined by your genes. Shaving can make your hair appear
more coarse, but it will not change the follicle and cannot make your
Rock Your Do
The Lie: Wearing a hat or blow drying your hair can cause baldness.
The Truth: Baldness is caused by genetics – and not just on your mother’s
side of the family, as another common myth claims – and hormonal
influences. Hot air from a blow dryer or wearing hats will not damage
your hair follicles and cause you to go bald.
Suck It In
The Lie: Knocking back too many cold ones will give you a “beer belly.”
The Truth: Storing extra fat around your midsection can be caused by ingesting excess
calories of any kind, not just from beer or other alcoholic beverages.
However, alcohol tends to be high in calories, and it can be easy to overdo
it while drinking.
Still Going Strong
The Lie: Men hit their sexual peak at age 18.
The Truth: Though a man’s testosterone peaks at around age 18, this does not
equate to a peak in sexual appetite or performance. Additionally, men
who invest in their overall health may actually be able to boost their
sexual hormones in their 20s, 30s, or even 40s.
Out of the Sack
The Lie: Erectile dysfunction is only a problem in bed.
The Truth: Though it may feel awkward to bring up erectile dysfunction, or ED, with
your doctor, it is important that you do. ED can be an early sign of heart
disease and can make existing heart disease more dangerous. Both are related
to atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the arteries, but
your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes, such as cutting down on alcohol
or quitting smoking, to keep the condition from worsening.