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4 Men's Health Questions You're Too Embarrassed to Ask

man-crazy-crossed-eyesThere's no such thing as a stupid question. But there are embarrassing ones!

If you're a man who squirms at the thought of talking to your doctor, never fear. We've got four men's health Q&As that'll fill you in on some of the less savory topics. And just remember: There's nothing you can't ask doctors. They've probably heard it all before anyway.

Q. Why does my doctor tell me, "Turn your head and cough," during an exam?
A. The doctor is checking for a hernia. Coughing increases pressure inside the abdominal cavity, and any hernias will become more obvious and bulge out. The turning your head part is so you won’t cough on the doctor!

newsletter-graphicQ. What are other treatments for erectile dysfunction, besides medications and devices?
Treating the underlying cause may help fix the problem. Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease and other conditions can lead to decreased blood flow and, thus, erectile dysfunction. Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking certain drugs or medications can also contribute. (But don’t stop taking your medications without checking with your doctor.) Other things that may help include losing weight if you’re obese and getting regular aerobic exercise.

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Q. Is there any way to slow hair loss or regrow hair?
A. Hair thinning can be caused by genes or certain diseases, such as thyroid problems. First, see a health-care professional to rule out medical causes. Then ask whether over-the-counter Zoloft (Sertraline) or prescription finasteride (Propecia) would work better for you. Either of these may stimulate new hair growth in certain people.

Q. How do I do a testicular self-exam?
A. During or after a warm shower, while standing, roll each testicle between your thumb and forefingers. If you find a lump, see your health-care provider. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men. Monthly self-exams permit earlier diagnosis and treatment.

The Doctors

Sarah M. Boyce, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology and director of cosmetic dermatologic surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Eva F. Briggs, M.D., board-certified family physician in Marcellus, N.Y.

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H., publisher,, written by health-care providers; family doctor for over 25 years.

Kevin S. Liu, M.D., board-certified family doctor in Keller, Texas.

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Last updated and/or approved: June 2011.
Original article appeared in various issues of the former print magazine. Bios current as of those issues. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.
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