Survey Reveals Most Male Patients Keep Health Concerns to Themselves

Survey Reveals Most Male Patients Keep Health Concerns to Themselves

The majority of men are still so private when it comes to their health concerns, they don’t even discuss them with a doctor. That’s one of the revelations reported by the Cleveland Clinic in their newest nationwide survey of male patients.

What some doctors may find surprising, however, is that most of the men surveyed leave their spouses in the dark too. According to Ryan Berglund, MD, a Cleveland Clinic expert who recently wrote about the survey in his article Who Do Men Talk to About Their Health?, there are a variety of reasons men are so tight-lipped.

“Men don’t want to seem weak. They don’t want to be a bother. They don’t want to cause worry. It’s just how men are raised to be men, we’re told,” Berglund writes.

In fact, men are so committed to keeping their health to themselves that 6 out of 10 don’t bother to make a doctor’s appointment when they need one. Thirty percent say they feel healthy so they don’t see the need for an annual checkup.

Berglund insists that is the wrong move for male patients. He says, “If you’re feeling healthy, that’s great. It’s the best time to have a checkup, including health screenings. Diseases like prostate cancer are easier to treat before they progress enough to cause symptoms. By the time you notice symptoms, it’s sometimes too late.”

Here are four other key insights from the survey.

  • Self Diagnosis is Not Very Popular Among Men: Only 27 percent of men bother to research their symptoms online when they notice changes in their health.

  • Sex Issues Are Taboo Too: As with the rest of their health issues, men stay mum about their sexual health. 41 percent of men say they would not discuss a painful erection with their doctor, and 43 percent say they would not discuss erectile dysfunction.

  • Bloody Urine Does Spark Action: Fortunately, seeing blood in their urine is enough of a red flag for most men. Sixty-seven percent said they would make an appointment in that instance.   

  • Testicular Changes Don’t Go Unnoticed: 59 percent of men would make a doctor’s appointment after noticing changes in their testicles.

Although the findings from the Cleveland Clinic survey may be disheartening for doctors, they can also spark healthy dialogue with male patients about the importance of annual checkups and reaching out with any health concerns.

To learn more about the key findings from the 2018 Cleveland Clinic survey, visit their website.