Men's Health – what does this actually mean?

The term 'men's health' includes not only individual but also social aspects of health. It is about taking responsibility for one's own health, but also about the living conditions of men in our society. Men's health is becoming an increasingly relevant topic of discussion, as it lagged behind women's health for years, in terms of research and public awareness. There has been a women's health report in Germany since 2001. The first men's health report* was not published until 2010.

The results of the men's health report should provide some food for thought:

  • Men are five times more likely to have a heart attack than women.
  • Men die about five years earlier than women. One year at the most can be explained biologically.
  • One issue specific to men is potency problems, which can already emerge early in adulthood.
  • Mental disorders occur just as often in men as in women. However, they either remain undiscovered or are concealed by men – whether for professional or private reasons.
  • The workplace represents a much higher health risk for men than for women. Men are more likely to work in occupations where there is a risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Men are seen as breadwinners and the stronger sex ("Boys don't cry").
  • The suicide rate among men is at least three times higher than among women.

Men's health is therefore not limited to urological diseases, but also includes other medical areas such as the cardiovascular system, diabetes, nutrition, psychiatric diseases, etc. And then there is the social component – how men are seen in society and what is expected of them.

Health is also a men's issue

Men's health often plays a subordinate role. Medical preventive measures and visits to the doctor are considered unmanly for men. In contrast: strength and invincibility are considered masculine qualities. A man sees his body as a means to an end and takes greater risks to live up to his role as a man. For this reason, serious diseases are often not detected until they are in the late stages. Men also often display violent and self-destructive behaviour. Alcohol and drug use are more common among men than among women. Talking about fallibility (especially with regard to sexuality and erectile dysfunction) and depression is considered taboo. Men in particular often suffer from depression, which is however not diagnosed as such. Either the man does not go to the doctor in the first place or other illnesses are postulated (e.g., burnout or illnesses that may nevertheless be caused by depression).

Urological diseases in men are one aspect of this

Urological diseases such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, prostate carcinoma (PCA), benign prostatic syndrome (BPS) or testosterone deficiency syndrome are often taboo subjects in men's circles. But here, too, damage to health can be avoided by taking timely precautions. For men aged 45 and over, the statutory health insurance offers an annual check-up. This includes a targeted recording of the patient's medical history, inspection and palpation of the external reproductive organs, as well as palpation of the prostate and anus and the regional lymph nodes. In addition, medical specialists recommend an extended range of preventive measures. In many cases, various diagnostic procedures have been proven to facilitate the safer and faster diagnosis of cancer, especially in the early stages. This includes PSA (prostate specific antigen) measurement and an ultrasound examination of the prostate, which can usefully supplement a prostate preventive examination, or a check of the upper urinary tract, consisting of an ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder and a urine test. APOGEPHA offers a range of products for the treatment of prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia, e.g., the herbal medicines Urol® pros and SabalUNO®, as well as extensive services and information material.

* BARDEHLE, D.; STIEHLER, M. (Ed.), First German Men's Health Report: A pilot project, Munich: W. Zuckschwerdt publishing house GmbH, 2010

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