Movember in December – Men's Health & Fertility
Movember? In December? Huh? What exactly is Movember anyway and why should I care?
Matt Boley, the Project Coordinator for Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) tells us what Movember is all about. He answers our questions, with a sense of humor, (much appreciated Matt.) And honestly, whether it is November or December or June for that matter, Men’s health is an important and serious topic.
And even important and serious topics can be made fun, because otherwise, well, they are often just plain tiresome. Here’s how to do it, in a fun way, explained beautifully for us by Matt – for Movember and Men’s health!
Movember & Men's Health Awareness
Lisa Rosenthal: What is the origin of Movember?
Matt Boley: The Movember Foundation traces back only to 2003, but the “No shave November” tradition goes back as far as the Stone Age, when it was first kicked off by cavemen. The goal has always been the same, grow out your facial hair and bring awareness to Men’s health.
LR: What is the purpose of Movemember?
MB: The purpose of Movember is for all of us to get involved to affect real change on men’s health. Your financial support contributes to tackling some of the most significant health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. (All problems that can also create problems with fertility.) Your support though, extends past the financial and adds to a growing movement so that our collective voice is stronger and more audible.
LR: How can we support Movember? What actual steps should we be taking?
MB: Even though the month of November has ended, bringing awareness to Men’s Health should not, and you can get involved any way you wish. Whether that’s donating to our RMACT team online, taking to social media to spread the word (shareable graphics here), taking the “MOVE” challenge by getting active for 30 minutes each day, bringing up men’s health in conversation, or reminding all the special men in your life to go to the doctor for their annual checkup. Pick one, or challenge yourself to all of them.
LR: Is there something I can do besides the visual aspect of growing a beard, to support Movember?
MB: If growing a beard is not an option for you, never fear, perhaps you are just the partner that a man in your life needs to motivate him to better health practices. Offer to join him on a walk or a hike on the weekend. Meet him at the gym before or after work. If you live together, make a healthier meal together, once a week.
LR: Is Movember only for men? Can we women get in on this too?
MB: It doesn’t matter if you’re a Mo Bro or a Mo Sista – Movember is for everyone. The more people continuing this conversation and spreading awareness, the better!
LR: Is men’s health being overlooked? Is that the reason for Movember?
MB: We do believe that Men’s health is often overlooked. Men live, on average, 10 years less than women. You can attribute this largely to the fact that for whatever reason, men don’t go to the doctor as often as they should. If every man got active and went for his annual checkup, we may see a drastic improvement on life expectancy.
How Does Men's Health Relate to Infertility?
LR: How does Movember relate to infertility? Are there specific tests or questions that we, as men, should be asking about our fertility?
MB: Movember relates to infertility in that infertility is an issue that affects men just as often as it does women (male infertility or subfertility, accounts for up to 40% of the reasons that conception does not occur easily), yet unfortunately, it often isn’t discussed as such. So, if men commit to having an annual checkup and a conversation with their doctor about fertility, it certainly wouldn’t hurt! If you are looking for or are concerned about fertility related specifics, I’d recommend giving one of our docs a call. Speaking to a fertility specialist (board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist) makes the most sense if having a baby is on your agenda.
LR: If I wanted to be more private about observing Movember, are there things that I could do in my personal life to acknowledge it?
MB: I’d recommend the “MOVE” challenge to anyone who was looking to get involved on their own. They can accomplish this by making a commitment to exercise for 30 minutes, 30 days in a row!
LR: Any hints on making sure that next Movember I am healthier, stronger and saner?
MB: If you are looking to carry this great Movember momentum forward, I’d challenge you to continue this conversation through the end of the year, and even add it to your docket for 2016. That’s what I’ll be doing. The time to change the face of Men’s health is now!
Please check our RMACT FB page for more pictures of our Movember team.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.