When it comes to doctors, men are more likely to drag their heels, unless they are convinced it is a medical emergency.

Women tend to be more cautious and pragmatic about health matters, and can exert a positive influence on the man in their life.

Indeed, a recently published study has found that married men are more likely to survive a heart attack, thanks to their partner getting them to the hospital sooner.

We compiled a guide to symptoms a man, and the women close to them, should not ignore.

Chest pain

Men might dial 999 for a crushing chest pain, but what about “heartburn” or “indigestion,” along with sweating or shortness of breath?

Blood caused by “piles”

It may be convenient to dismiss any amount of blood in stools as just piles, but that’s for the doctor to decide. You should book an appointment with a male doctor if you find discussing bowel movements embarrassing.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cause of cancer in men, after lung and prostate cancer. Each year more than 20,000 men are diagnosed with the disease. As with many cancers, the earlier it is detected, the easier it is to treat.

Beer belly

A man may dismiss it as nothing more than a “bit of beer belly,” but research has shown that people who carry extra fat around their waist have a higher risk of developing serious health problems compared with those who carry fat on their hips and thighs.

A large waist can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. In the early stages, diabetes is often without symptoms, when it can best be treated. Similarly high blood pressure, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, is usually without symptoms.

Problems down below

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is the inability to maintain an erection firm enough to have satisfactory sex. Although the symptoms are easily recognised, men are often too embarrassed to seek medical attention.

Men should visit their doctor if they are experiencing any degree of ED, not only to improve their quality of life, but to get help with any other health conditions they are unaware of.