We know that women attend their GP more than men do. Whilst an obvious explanation for this could be that due to pregnancies and contraception as well as cervical screening women have more reason to attend their GP, these reasons alone do not explain the attendance disparity.

Some research argues that the health service is not very ‘man-friendly’ and not as well set up to deal with men’s health issues.

Here in Portmarnock GP Clinic all our team members are well equipped when it comes to men’s health issues and we welcome men of all ages with their health concerns.

Mental Health

Both men and women need to be clued into issues associated with their mental health. Unfortunately, issues surrounding mental health have often been stigmatised in this country and as doctors we are constantly doing our best to help people overcome these. About 1 in 4 people in Ireland will have a significant mental health issue at some stage of their lives.

Mental health is not something that men can ‘get over’ or ‘snap out of’ and comments like this are unhelpful to someone who is suffering with their mental health.

We have written about mental health on these pages previously and this piece summarises the topic well.

Prostate Health

We know about one in eight men in Ireland will develop prostate cancer at some stage in their lives.

When you come to see us we generally focus on three things:

  • Your family history and personal medical history (prostate cancer is commoner in those with a family history of the disease and in non-white skinned men)
  • Symptoms that could imply prostate disease include urinary frequency, getting up increasingly at night to use the toilet, a poor stream, occasional accidents or urinary urgency, to name but a few
  • Whether you need blood tests (PSA) or a prostate examination

You can read more about the PSA blood test here and the ‘digital rectal exam’ (DRE) here. Essentially we like to do both the physical exam and the blood test and combine these results with your personal and family history to decide if you are at risk of prostate cancer or if you need to see a specialist for more investigations.

Importantly not everyone with a positive family history of prostate cancer or an elevated PSA blood test will need to see as specialist, and here in the clinic we can go through what option is best for you. To read more on the prostate examination and subsequent tests done, please check out this website.

Heart Health

Heart disease unfortunately causes about 1 in 4 of all male deaths. There are plenty things that you can do to stay heart healthy:

  • Eating heathy and staying active
  • Not smoking and watching your cholesterol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Drink alcohol in moderation and manage your stress levels

Heart disease is generally commoner in men so if you are worried about your heart health it is important to be proactive and if you are unsure about something we can help you decide what, if any, investigations are indicated for you.

We can check your bloods, perform a cardiovascular risk assessment, do a heart tracing (ECG) or 24h blood pressure monitor for you-all in the surgery. Some of these services are covered by medical cards too!

Sexual Health

Studies show that men generally leave contraception to their female partner in heterosexual relationships!

This is an extremely important area of men’s health that is often ignored. Using the withdrawal method or having unprotected sex as well as having any contact with someone working in the sex industry can leave men susceptible to HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphillis, herpes or warts amongst other diseases.

It is essential that men of all ages take responsibility for contraception as well as women. Many sexually transmitted infections can be easily transferred to others and are often asymptomatic.

In Portmarnock GP Clinic we can offer a full sexual health service to you and of course we are very discreet about this and will communicate results sensitively.

Further Reading

 

Here in Portmarnock GP Clinic we are committed to men’s health all throughout the year. If you have a concern please get in touch to see one of the team and we can help or investigate as appropriate. Just call us on 01-8461335 or 01-8038881. You can e-mail on info@portmarnockgpclinic.ie. We see men of all ages-under 6, GMS, doctor visit, over 70 and private.

This blog was written by Dr Niall