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Ever wondered reasons men avoid going to the doctor? It is common knowledge that most men are less likely to seek medical attention. Women have a higher chance of visiting the hospital than their male counterpart.
A 2021 survey carried out by the insurance company, Aflac, gives great insight into why men avoid going to the doctor. The survey reveals that the male pattern of seeking or not seeking help for health-related issues is apparent to a good number of the male population.
Does the scenerio below seem familiar?
“It was often one thing or all at once, from a severe headache that threatens his ability to think clearly to fatigue from almost doing nothing. There were also moments when gravity failed him, causing him to scramble for anything within reach to steady himself.
Some other days, he’d have to blink repeatedly to get a clearer view of whatever appeared blurry, even at a short distance. There was nothing a few aspirin tablets couldn’t fix- or so he thought.
But as days passed, he started experiencing even newer symptoms like shortness of breath and heart palpitations. As these became unbearable, he had to visit a doctor.
Following several investigations, he was found to be hypertensive and immediately placed on routine anti-hypertensive medications.”
It is not out of place that a good number of men would acknowledge that going to the doctor makes them feel “less masculine”, especially in our African setting.
This fact, however, found its root in phrases like: “You’re a man, show some strength”, “Hospitals are for women and children”, “Men have better things like work to keep the doctors away”, etc. 80% of our African fathers have shown similar behaviours and approaches towards their health at one point or the other.
The Aflac study surveyed 1,000 U.S. men ages 18 years and above and found that, “in the past year, almost half (45%) had not visited a doctor for an annual wellness visit or checkup.
Three-quarters had not gone to the doctor even if they had symptoms of a specific illness, 84% had not consulted a doctor about an injury, and (54%) had not gone to a dentist for a routine dental exam”. This shows men’s disproportionately low use of health care.
The big question is why?
Here are Top 5 Reasons Men Avoid Going to the Doctor
1. Time allocation
Everyone who is employed deals with busy work schedules, from obligations to one meeting or the other. Finding time to spare for a doctor’s appointment becomes even more difficult when deadlines become urgent.
Notwithstanding, it’s important to prioritize your health and include it as a non-negotiable task on your annual calendar. A few hours of consultation once or twice a year could extend your lifespan.
2. Men think they’re ‘Superhumans’.
As mentioned earlier, men are often reluctant to consult a doctor due to societal constraints. So, they tend to focus on everyone else’s health other than themselves. It goes a long way to say that men need proper awareness and re-education about their health, including the importance of early detection of some major diseases like prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, etc.
3. The burden of Hospital bills
The high cost of proper medical care is another leading cause of health negligence amongst men, hence men avoid In countries (like Nigeria) where most federal hospitals lay in ruins due to apathy of the government in the affairs of the health sector, one’s only choice of proper healthcare becomes a private hospital. The exorbitant cost of acquiring proper medical intervention, coupled with the fear of potentially losing all his life savings if the condition turns out serious, makes it less convenient for a commoner to consult the doctor.
4. “I’m not sick enough.”
Since our society has conditioned men to suppress certain behaviours, admitting to feeling sick can be seen as a sign of weakness. According to the 2021 survey by Aflac, men are more likely to withhold information about their health from their partners simply because they don’t feel “sick enough” to be pressured into seeing the doctor. This stigma can be reversed by skillful persuasion and health awareness.
5. Fear of the unknown
While men may feel more comfortable shying away from a potential diagnosis from a doctor’s consultation, the results could be inescapable. Fear of the unknown results in procrastinating scheduled visits to the doctor and further prolonging potential health crises. With online doctor consultation, it is easier and cheaper than ever to see a doctor right in your comfort zone. Make your health a priority by staying proactive about ways to remain healthy.
According to Harvard Medical School, men are 50% more likely than women to die of heart disease and other medical risks such as poorly treated high blood pressure or unfavorable cholesterol levels.
Because we care about your health, one of our goals at KompleteCare is to ensure that the statistics are reduced by increasing men’s health awareness. We are hopeful that the health tips we share help men stay on top of their health as well as encourage them to seek medical help when necessary.
Be proactive concerning your health by taking the required action to reduce your risk of dying young. Book a doctor appointment on KompleteCare today.
- Medically reviewed by Dr. Victor Nze