From infertility to cancer care: one-stop men’s health clinic opens in Winnipeg

A first of its kind in Canada men’s health clinic opens in Winnipeg. As Mark Neufeld reports, the space provides treatment and health services specifically for men.

By Mark Neufeld

A first-of-its-kind clinic in Canada has opened its doors to deliver health-care services specifically designed for men.

Located in Winnipeg, the Manitoba Men’s Health Clinic focuses on health issues ranging from male fertility to sexual dysfunction, as well as cancer care screening and treatments.

“There really isn’t a comprehensive place for men’s health conditions,” said clinic co-founder Dr. Premal Patel. “And given how prevalent and common a lot of these conditions are, we knew there was just a big need that was required in Manitoba and probably all across Canada as well.”

Patel says the clinic is streamlining health-care options by offering patients primary-care physicians as well as specialists – like urologists – under one roof.

“So, our vision was why break it up,” said Patel. “Why don’t we have a clinic that has a compressive approach. If you have problems with erections, we talk about education, lifestyle modification, diet, exercise, weight loss.

“So, we don’t want to just be the back end or have the front end. Instead let’s have a comprehensive approach that takes clients through the entire journey.”

Dr. Jay Nayak, the clinic’s other co-founder, says he’s noticed men are less likely to seek medical assistance compared with women. He hopes the Manitoba Men’s Health Clinic will reduce the stigma around seeking medical intervention for issues below the belt.

“Awareness is a big part of preventative medicine,” said Nayak. “And whether it’s right or wrong, I think men do have a stigma about trying to avoid the doctor’s.”

Nayak says COVID-19 has also impacted the frequency of men screening for health issues.

“Patients often delayed seeing their doctors, and now are presenting a little bit later in stages of their illness because they just put off seeing the doctor,” he said.

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The new clinic also treats male infertility. According to the Government of Canada, infertility affects one-in-six couples. The rate has doubled since the 1980s.

“An infertility diagnosis has the same impact on someone’s mental health as a more significant health diagnosis like cancer,” said Carolynn Dube, the executive director of Fertility Matters Canada.

Dube says one-third of fertility issues are related to men, and more needs to be done to normalize conversations around infertility in men who often feel emasculated, isolated, and distressed as a result of the diagnosis.

“Men diagnosed with infertility have significantly higher thoughts and feelings of depression, suicidal ideation – it’s very significant compared with their fertile cohorts,” she said.

The Manitoba Men’s Health clinic also has an active research program focusing on men’s health conditions.

A full list of health-care services and treatments are available on the clinic’s website.

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