There are tons of information regarding men’s health that you can find on the internet or hear from your family or friends that are not actually true. Therefore, it is important that you have critical thinking and find the time to do some research to verify whatever you read or hear. When it comes to your overall health and wellbeing, it is crucial that you only incorporate science-backed practices and habits to your life, and not immediately believe everything you are shown or told without fact-checking.
Below, we break down and debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions about men’s health, so that you do not end up wasting your time and energy on things that do not work:
Myth: Your sperm count is reduced if you wear briefs.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence that shows and proves that wearing briefs has a negative effect on a man’s sperm count. Your choice of underwear has no bearing on the production and quality of your swimmers.
You can wear whatever you want as long as it is not too tight and too restrictive. Tight underwear pushes your testicles closer to each other, and can cause discomfort or even pain.
However, to protect your fertility, you should avoid exposing your genitals to high temperature. Many studies have found that sperm flourish in low temperatures, and, ideally, they should be exposed to an environment with a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, as anything higher than that can impair their motility.
Myth: Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer in men.
Fact: According to the World Cancer Research Fund International’s American Institute for Cancer Research, lung cancer is the most common cancer in men in 2018. Around the world, more than 1.3 million men have been diagnosed in 2018 alone. Prostate cancer is ranked second, with more than 1.27 documented cases in 2018.
If you develop prostate cancer, your prostate gland, which is a gland that is a bit larger than a walnut and situated between your penis and your bladder, is affected. At the beginning, you may not show any noticeable signs that can drastically change your life. However, once you reach the advanced stages of the disease, you may manifest a number of symptoms, such as blood traces in semen, bone pain, pelvic pain, difficulty urinating, and erectile dysfunction.
To prevent prostate cancer, you have to commit to a healthy lifestyle. You should eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, keep your weight within the ideal range, and visit your doctor for a prostate exam every couple of years or so.
Myth: You will get bald if you wear a hat frequently.
Fact: Wearing a hat, whether occasionally or daily, does not cause baldness. If you do your research, you will learn that the common causes of hair loss are stress, age, androgenic alopecia, hormonal changes, scalp infections, certain medications, and thyroid disease. Nowhere in the list can you find “wearing a hat.” It is totally a misconception.
If, after taking your hat off at the end of the day, you notice some hair strands stuck inside your hat, you should not start panicking, as it is perfectly normal for human beings to lose about 100 strands of hair per day.
Or, if after removing your hat, you notice some areas of your head looking like there is thinning of hair, you should remain calm and take a deep breath, as it could just be because your hat pushed some of your hair in one direction and the others in other directions, resulting to that thinner look.
Myth: Breast cancer only affects women.
Fact: Breast cancer is a type of cancer that strikes the breast tissue. It is characterized by a lump in the breast, a scaly or red area of skin, a discharge from the nipple, or a change in the shape or appearance of the breast. If not diagnosed and treated right away, it can spread to other parts of the body, and cause shortness of breath, yellow skin, bone pain, and inflammation of the lymph nodes.
While the majority of breast cancer cases occur in women, men are not safe from it. Men have breast tissues too that can be at risk of breast cancer.
There are several types of breast cancer in men, and the most common of them are ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive lobular carcinoma, and invasive ductal carcinoma. For proper diagnosis, a biopsy is done by a pathologist by taking a sample of a breast tissue for closer examination, typically under a microscope. For treatment, there are various methods available, including surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Myth: Having difficulty getting or keeping an erection just means you are not attracted to your sex partner.
Fact: While a lack of sexual attraction to your sex partner can make getting hard during intimate moments very challenging, it may not be the primary or only cause of your erectile problems.
There are many more erectile dysfunction cases that are caused by obesity, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, stress, depression, prostate problems, alcohol abuse, smoking, and certain medications.
To fix the problem, you should go to a doctor right away. You may only have to undergo a physical exam, where your penis and testicles are carefully examined for nerve sensations, and answer some questions regarding your medical history for your doctor to make a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment solution.
But, you may also be required to undergo more tests, such as a blood test or a urine test, if your doctor believes there is a good chance your erectile dysfunction is linked to other health conditions. Through your blood, they can find signs of low testosterone levels, diabetes, or heart disease, and, through your urine, they can find signs of diabetes or some other underlying health problems.
Other testing methods that your doctor may ask you to take are an ultrasound, which allows them to see if there is anything wrong with the blood flow to your penis, and a psychological exam, which helps determine if your erectile dysfunction is due to depression or other mental disorders.