NPN | Men's Health

According to the Men’s Health Forum, levels of health literacy for men are significantly inferior to women - and the difference is extremely stark when it comes to men between the ages of 20 and 40. Men are less likely to attend the GP for a consultation, which means a lot of people can be suffering in silence when it comes to health issues like erectile dysfunction and hair loss.

Pharmacies are rising to the challenge of ensuring that community pharmacies can be an environment where men feel comfortable talking about their health, and your local pharmacy is likely to have a dedicated men’s health section, where you can find grooming products, shaving accessories, condoms, nutritional supplements and vitamins specifically targeted at men.

Pharmacy has the opportunity to establish itself as a safe port of call for men in need of help with erection problems - and this is a very common affliction, affecting around 4.3 million men in the UK, with a fifth of sufferers under the age of 45.

“We know that this issue can have a huge toll on men’s mental wellbeing, with almost a fifth of men with erection problems feeling depressed because of them. Worryingly, 5% have even suffered panic attacks. We know that two thirds of men with erection problems feel too embarrassed to even discuss the issue with their partner and friends, so that having a conversation with a pharmacist could be the first time they’ve opened up with anyone.”

  • Rob Elliott, Viagra Connect

In fact, only 4% of men have ever sought help from a pharmacist relating to erection problems - due to the perceived embarrassment of discussing the issue. The Viagra Connect campaign aimed to raise awareness of modern-day lifestyle stresses that can contribute to erection problems, and encouraged men to seek advice from pharmacists, who are trained to identify customers with erection problems, build trust and offer appropriate advice on lifestyle interventions and treatment options.

Another everyday ailment that can affect men is hair loss, and pharmacists receive training on how to offer men advice and provide a range of treatments designed to help. Over-the-counter treatments for male hair loss includes topical agents like minoxidil, which works by expanding blood vessels in the scalp to increase blood flow to the hair follicles. This treatment is most effective when it’s used early, so it’s important that your local pharmacy is considered a comfortable environment for men to talk about this issue. Most pharmacies will have a number of caffeine-based shampoos and scalp lotions, which have less evidence of efficacy. Pharmacists are trained to provide male customers with advice on lifestyle changes that may help reduce hair loss, including a healthy, balanced diet, and recommended vitamin and mineral supplements.


As well as providing advice on health issues that commonly affect men, pharmacists can offer help relating to underlying health issues that may be causing erectile dysfunction and hair loss. To have a discrete conversation with your pharmacist today, call up and request a private consultation at a time that works for you.