Whether it’s skiing and snowboarding
falls, or ATV, snowmobile and motorcycle
collisions, men in Alberta consistently
outpace women in emergency department visits and hospital admissions for
injuries. Males have consistently higher
injury death rates, too, accounting for
69 per cent of all injury deaths.
“Men do have higher rates of injury
and higher rates of hospitalization,” says
Jo-Ann Nelson, manager, Provincial
Injury Prevention, AHS. “But from
a risk management perspective, there
are things that men can do. And from
a parenting perspective, we want males
to be modelling safe behaviour.”
Even the way men socialize may
lead them down the road to risk more
Roxanne LeBlanc, a provincial injury
prevention coordinator with AHS, says:
“Men don’t seek help the way women
do. Risk is a part of life and we can’t
eliminate it all, but there are certainly
things we can all do to manage risk.”
Testosterone is a male sexual hormone
that can be measured in a blood test.
Low testosterone is a treatable medical
problem. Symptoms can include
low energy, loss of muscle mass
and strength, and low libido.
“If a woman believes their significant
other might have low testosterone, take
it to the proper channels (by calling
a physician) and have it monitored,”
Jablonski says. “Don’t let him buy a
product from a 1-800 number.”
If a couple can see the doctor together
and hear the same message, everyone
will be on the same page, he adds.
Tom Keenan, a University of Calgary
professor who writes a men’s health
column for the Calgary Herald and
other Postmedia newspapers, says:
“Remember, the brain is the most
important sex organ, and there’s so
much that a partner can do to improve
the mental side of life in the bedroom.”
You’ve got male
In the popular television reality show
Survivor, 51-year-old cast member
Michael Skupin injured himself so
many times during one season that
he spawned an online injury tracker.
Men’s sexual health:
A hands-on guide
Ladies, a man’s sexual health is a touchy
“No guy likes talking about his penis
when it doesn’t seem to be working
right,” says Dr. Ted Jablonski, clinical
associate at the Men’s Sexual Health
Clinic, Southern Alberta Institute of
Urology at the Rockyview General
Even as erectile dysfunction (ED),
premature ejaculation and Viagra
become familiar terms these days,
men who need help with their sexual
performance are often reluctant to
Try “Smart Risk”
Roxanne Leblanc of AHS urges
everyone to try “Smart Risk”:
understand the risks of an activity
and make a plan to manage them,
following these six steps:
For more information on how
to prevent risk and injury,
It’s not you, it’s me
“Commonly, if a guy has ED, the woman
believes it’s her issue, and thinks if she
was a better wife or girlfriend or lover,
it wouldn’t happen,” says Jablonski.
“That’s usually not the case.” ED (the
consistent inability to get or sustain an
erection) is often the result of a guy’s
physical problems with blood vessels
not working properly.
Viagra is a safe vascular drug that
allows the inner lining of the blood vessel
to respond to stimulation, says Jablonski.
It must be prescribed by a physician,
preferably after an open discussion.
“Physically, if a guy can shovel snow,
he can have sex and take these types of
drugs,” he says.
Skupin, a self-described risk-taker
and thrill-seeker, survived his many
mishaps and almost won the game.
Many men aren’t as fortunate.
Injuries are a leading cause of
death and hospitalization for adults in
Alberta. In 2004, injuries cost Albertans
$2.94 billion in direct and indirect costs,
according to Alberta Health Services.
There is no definitive answer as to
why men are greater risk-takers than
women, leading to more injuries.
One theory is that male physiology,
particularly testosterone, makes men
more attuned to frequent risk-taking.
Regardless, statistics tell the tale.