Tackling Movember & Men’s Health

Well, it’s that time of year again: time for men to put down their razors and start growing their unruly (albeit handsome) mustaches. That’s right, it’s Movember.

What is Movember?

The Movember Foundation is an international organization that strives to tackle men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. Independent of government funding, they challenge themselves to fund men’s health projects around the world because they feel that the statistics surrounding men’s health are alarming: prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. Three quarters of suicides are men—one every minute. Men are dying six years earlier than women for reasons that are largely preventable.

Movember itself is a month, created out of the abbreviations “mo” for mustache, and “vember” for November. This month is the foundation’s yearly push for increased fundraising and awareness for the men’s health issues that they find extremely important.

How does Movember work?

Famously, men who want to become involved in Movember grow a mustache – check it out on professional athletes across the country. However, the Movember Foundation also takes other actions in order to improve the quality of life of the men they are serving. They enable men to take control of their own health and attempt to diminish the stigma that men’s health isn’t an important issue. They give men the facts about their own health, create services that work for men, bring experts together to develop solutions to men’s health problems, and reach out to communities to advocate for men.

What does Movember have to do with fertility?

In reality, a lot. Because Movember advocates for prostate and testicular cancer treatment, fertility becomes a huge issue. Following most forms of prostate cancer treatment, patient fertility is compromised. Patients who undergo surgery or radiation are at an increased risk. During this surgery, the prostate is removed as well as the seminal vesicles, which carry semen out through penis. When these tubes are removed, ejaculation is no longer possible, so the sperm has no way of reaching the woman’s egg. Other treatments, such as hormone therapy, display less fertility risk, but might be less effective in treating the cancer.

Infertility can also be indicative of more serious health conditions in men, including an increased risk of developing testicular cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes later in life. In other words, guys  with poor sperm health should be evaluated for other health issues as well.

The Movember Foundation’s purpose is to advance the spread of information about men’s health issues across the world. They (and we) believe that men’s health needs more attention. This Movember, doing your part can be as simple as having a health conversation with a man you  care about. You never know, it could save his life.

References

“Movember United States.” Movember United States, Movember Foundation, 2019.

“Prostate Cancer Treatment and Loss of Fertility.” SpaceOAR Hydrogel, 2019.

Knoester, PA. “Fertility Issues for Men with Newly Diagnosed Prostate Cancer.” Urology, vol. 69, no. 1, Jan. 2007, pp. 123–125.