In 2019, the CDC reported that women were 33% more likely to visit the doctor than men—but, let’s be honest, this is hardly a surprise. Every woman has seen this statistic in action when they ask their clearly ill husband, father, or male friend if he needs to get a checkup.
“I’m fine,” he’ll probably sniff stubbornly. “It’s nothing.”
But when it comes to sexual health, your husband can’t simply take some NyQuil and hope for the best. He should be visiting his doctor and asking important questions to keep himself healthy—in fact, he should be asking questions like these:
1. “What Is This Thing on My Penis/Scrotum?”
Your husband is very well aware of how his genitals look and feel, so when something’s not quite right, it can be cause for alarm. Of course, sometimes a bump or irritation is no big deal (for example, ingrown hairs can cause acne-like bumps on the penis), but other times they can spell big trouble.
If your husband notices something on his penis or scrotum, it’s very important that he visit the doctor and get it checked out. Early examinations can help the doctor intervene early if that “weird bump” turns out to be a cyst, a varicocele, or (God forbid) a tumor.
2. “Can I Break My Penis?”
It may seem counterintuitive (since, you know, there are no bones), but men actually can break their penises. This is because the penis has a layer of fibrous connective tissue around it called the tunica albuginea. When that tissue rips during intercourse, the penis effectively “breaks”—and that is a medical emergency.
Men will want to know whether or not their “favorite organ” is at risk during sexual activity—but it’s even more important to recognize the signs of a broken penis. If your man experiences a loud, painful snap during sex, which is followed by losing his erection, go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY.
3. “Is Erectile Dysfunction Normal?”
This question can be a complicated one. If the man asking is under age 50, then the answer is no; the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) for 50-year-olds and under is less than 5%. Erectile dysfunction becomes increasingly common as men age, but the stigma that accompanies it keeps men of all ages from asking their doctors about it.
If your man is struggling with ED, talking to his doctor is the first step toward regaining a fulfilling sex life. Additionally, ED can sometimes point to other issues, particularly in young men—for example, diabetes or hypertension. Talking to the doctor can be instrumental in preserving his health.
4. “Is a Curved Penis Normal?”
Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which scar tissue inside the penis causes it to curve. If the case is mild (AKA, if the curve is less than 30 degrees), there’s no real issue and your man can use his penis normally. However, if the curve is too great, it can cause pain during intercourse or conditions like ED.
Peyronie’s disease is rare in most young men, but it becomes more common as men reach their 30s and older. In fact, 4 out of 100 men between age 40 and 70 have some form of this condition. If your husband is noticing an increased curve in his penis, it’s important to have his doctor take a look and make sure it’s not too serious.
5. “Do Men Go Through Menopause?”
Menopause refers to the end of a woman’s fertility, marked by the end of her menstrual cycle. Obviously, men don’t go through this specific experience—but they do experience a drop in testosterone as they age. The process, known as androgen deficiency in the aging male (ADAM), starts as early as 45 or 50, but it becomes most notable after age 70.
If your man starts to experience fatigue, weakness, or a decrease in sexual desire, this drop in testosterone might be to blame. However, other issues could be at play as well—which is why it’s important to see a doctor for a thorough check-up.