In life, there are opportunities taken and opportunities missed. The same is true in men’s health. The way men are built, they typically don’t come face to face with medical care unless their lives are threatened, or they’re in pain. The latest Cleveland Clinic survey pretty much sums this up: Over 60% of men neglect seeing a physician even when they know they need to go. And over half of men prefer to keep their health concerns to themselves. As a result, their care is defensive and reactive medicine which is no way to keep a population healthy.
The introduction of Viagra twenty years ago created an unprecedented opportunity to lure men into the doctor’s office for care, and that’s exactly what happened. They came in hoards. And then we learned that erectile dysfunction is a biomarker of heart health. Now, men with erectile dysfunction are routinely checked (and treated!) for metabolic health risks like high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and smoking. Major life-shortening illnesses are now handled before they become critical. All because of a simple erection pill. What a great, proactive leap forward in men’s health.
But are erection pills bad for your health? The good news is, consuming them does not cause physical harm. In fact, they are incredibly safe when taken according to FDA indications; think of them as coffee for the penis. However, because erection pills can now be easily and legally obtained online through internet startups, men are still avoiding the doctor’s office. It’s good that men that otherwise would have avoided treatment are getting treatment for ED, but buying ED pills online is not the same as getting “care.” And that, my friends, has the potential to set us back a few decades in men’s health.
You could consider the online prescription marketplace as the perpetuation of an outdated model of medical care in which pills exist for all ills. Similarly, it can also be viewed as a missed opportunity to actually prevent disease and keep men living healthier and longer. Let’s use diabetes as an example, since we now know that much of acquired diabetes is not just treatable but cured with weight loss. Suppose pills to treat diabetes were available online like ED medications. Sure, you’d take the pills and things might improve. But with proper medical care and weight loss, there’s the chance to cure the damn disease for good. As pills typically don’t cure things, they generate a missed opportunity.
I have mixed feelings about the widespread availability of ED drugs online. Great for short-term improvements in the quality of men’s sex lives, but at what expense? Men’s health and longevity?