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Men's Health

Why Men Ignore Their Health Needs

Patient Comments
  • "Men often do not set their overall health condition or set prevention of health problems as a high priority in their daily life."
  • "Men, in general, seem to ignore health issues until they become noticeable to others that are close to them (wife, family, or friends). Even then, in many instances, many men need prodding to have themselves examined by a physician. "
  • There is evidence in the health literature that lends support to these statements. After seeing patients over many years, and after discussing health problems with my family and friends and after being prodded by my wife to take my own advice to others for checkups, I tend to think the above is true for a large number of men.
  • The reasons why health is a low priority for many men is complex and may include such rationalizations as
    • "I've been doing well, so far..."
    • "I'm too busy and have to earn a living..."
    • "I've been (fill in the blank_____) for years, so why should I change now..."
    • "When I had problems before, I'd just keep on working and they would go away..."

Consequently, for many men, accepting and understanding how important good health habits and preventive medical care might be, is a struggle. Presenting it similar to the care and preventive maintenance schedule of a car might be a way of relating health care to a subject that is often familiar to them. A car requires a specific range of fuel components to run well daily. A car needs checkups to maintain its function and to detect when preventive maintenance is needed over the years. For best performance, a car needs to be occasionally driven and not simply run constantly at an idle or low speed. Although not a perfect analogy, this same general approach should be taken for men's health care.

Unfortunately, a man's health is a bit more complicated than choosing between three or four fuel mixtures and checking the tire pressure. This article will first present a general approach for men to take to maximize their chances for continued good health; the second part will discuss some of the major problems that men may encounter during their life journey that can affect their health. However, if male readers do not take that first step and realize they need to act responsibly and not take their health for granted, then it is probable this article will have no impact on them.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/28/2016

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Symptoms of an Initial Outbreak of Genital Herpes

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted viral infection (STD) that is relatively common worldwide. In the U.S., it is estimated to affect about 45 million people. While the hallmark of this recurring condition is the presence of raised, reddened, and usually painful bumps or blisters in the genital area, the initial outbreak of genital herpes may look and feel different than the later characteristic flare-ups.

In a person who has never been exposed to the herpes simplex virus (genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 or HSV-2; and, less commonly, herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV-1), symptoms (if present) typically develop within two to 12 days, with an average time of four days. The symptoms and appearance of the initial infection (known as the primary infection) vary widely among individuals.

It is possible for someone to become infected with the herpes simplex virus and not display any symptoms at all. Other people may have a mild infection that may even go unnoticed. Still others will develop a more severe illness including the typical skin lesions. In an initial infection, the skin blisters often are associated with systemic (body-wide) symptoms that may mimic those associated with the flu or other viral illnesses.

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