Men’s health is more than diet and fitness. From hair loss, to contraception advice, to the importance of sexual wellbeing, there’s a known silence amongst the gents. LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor clinical team have collated answers to the most popular subjects with information and advice on the whys and hows of speaking up about your health. Including tips about taking the next step and getting help, where to go and find the help and treatments you might need. I hope this is helpful and if you’d like to join in the conversation, the hashtag to follow is #TalkingHealthMag
Can you reverse hair loss?
There are undoubtedly some pretty out there treatments for hair loss. From drinking the freshly harvested urine of virgin cows to massaging onion juice into the scalp, these supposed remedies all have their committed followers. But which, if any, treatments actually work when it comes to reversing hair loss?
Many men decide to embrace thinning tresses, balance their look with a statement beard or shave their head. But for those who wish to try to hold on to their locks for longer there are two main products on the market.
Finasteride (better known under the brand name Propecia) is currently the most effective treatment for male-pattern baldness available. A prescription medicine, it comes in tablet form and should be taken once a day.
Male-pattern baldness is a genetic condition that causes the hormone testosterone to be converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which in turn causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually die. Finasteride works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into DHT, therefore reducing the negative effects that this hormone has on the hair.
Studies have found that when taken over a long period of time, finasteride can have positive effects in up to 90% of men with mild to moderate hair loss, while around two-thirds actually see hair regrowth. It’s important to be aware that you’ll probably need to take the tablets for around three months or longer before you notice any improvements, and your hair loss is likely to resume if you stop treatment.
Widely known under the brand name Regaine, minoxidil is a lotion that you apply twice daily directly to your scalp. It’s thought to work by helping blood flow to the follicles and by increasingly follicular size.
Although it’s not as effective as finasteride, it’s been shown to bring positive results to many of those who use it. One study found that 60% of men who used it experienced more hair coverage, compared with 23% of men who used a placebo treatment. A non-prescription treatment, minoxidil comes as a foam, liquid or lotion and it’s available in strengths of 2% and 5%. As with finasteride, if you stop using it, your hair loss is likely to resume.
See if one of these treatments could be suitable for you with a free online hair loss assessment with LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor.
Note to self – be realistic
The important thing if you’re investigating hair loss treatments is to be realistic. If you see something purporting to be a miracle cure, don’t be fooled. However, by using either finasteride or minoxidil, you might find you can halt or even reverse male-pattern baldness.
Beat erectile dysfunction
People often mistakenly assume that erectile dysfunction is an older man’s problem. In reality, while this medical issue may be more common among those over the age of 40, many younger guys also experience it.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggested that the condition may be much more prevalent among younger men than previously thought. It found that over a quarter (26%) of men currently experiencing erection problems are under 40 years of age. In addition, nearly half of these younger men were experiencing severe ED.
Help is available
Regardless of your age and the cause of your ED, help is available. You can speak to your GP or seek advice from an Online Doctor, who’ll be able to help you identify the cause of the issue and the best treatment options on offer.
In fact, if you’re considering treatment, Online Doctor offers a free ED online assessment that can help point you in the right direction.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore this problem. As well as potentially putting strain on your relationships, ED could be a sign of an underlying health problem, so it’s important to get to the bottom of it and take steps to tackle it.
Typically ED has a trigger or cause and once the trigger of your ED has been discovered, you can find suitable treatments. Physical and emotional causes are both common and lifestyle alterations, therapy as well as treatment programmes can help to remedy the symptoms. As long as you find out why you’re experiencing ED, you shouldn’t struggle to identify effective treatments.
Know your contraception options
Choosing contraception can be a minefield. With the male pill still years away from landing on pharmacists’ shelves, you might think that apart from condoms, it’s up to your lady friend to sort out the way in which you’re going to avoid becoming a parent. With so many methods of contraception available, it can be hard to know which is right for you and your partner. From the condom, to the pill, to natural family planning, to a vasectomy, the possibilities might put your head into a spin.
The most popular methods of contraception include the following:
- Combined pill
- Contraceptive implant
- Contraceptive injection
- Diaphragms or caps
- Progestogen-only pill
- Contraceptive patch
- Intrauterine device (IUD) or coil
- Intrauterine system (IUS) or hormonal coil
- Female condoms
- Vaginal ring
The method that works best for you and your partner will depend on a variety of factors, including your lifestyles, your partner’s health and any plans you may have for starting a family in the future. The level of choice on offer can seem overwhelming, but there’s plenty of information and advice available. For example, you can check out online guides, book an appointment with your GP or go to your local contraceptive clinic.
For medical advice and support that spares your blushes, check out LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor