To continue our journey to discovering how to keep yourself healthy in the love makin’ arena, let us explore how to help the guys out there safe and free from infections that may take you out of the game. Since we already established last time that having healthy lady-bits and man-bits are essential for a long and happy sex life, let’s talk about how we keep our man-bits safe!
Gentleman, there is no same in your game when something just ain’t right with your member. There IS shame (on you!) if you knowingly have something wrong and still try to get in the game. SO… to help you get over some embarrassment or ego that may prevent you from getting your manhood examined by a qualified professional and not some website that will have you convinced that you have the plague or man-flu… let’s peruse a list of symptoms that could indicate trouble with your undercarriage.
What should I look out for?
Common STD symptoms in men:
- Being asymptomatic or experiencing no symptoms at all. !!!! Say what? You mean to tell me that I may think there’s nothing wrong but I could be hurting myself or others on the down low?! That’s right! Just because you have external genitalia that looks fine doesn’t mean that trouble isn’t lurking about inside.
- Blisters on or around penis. That seems like a no brainer, but don’t think that your trimming the ol’ landscape can cause fluid filled blisters in your trousers.
- Spots, bumps or lesions (oh my!) on the penis, rectum or mouth (again, I say oh my!). I feel like that one may be self-explanatory, but my medical practice experience has shown me not to assume anything. Always get suspicious or seemingly normal things checked by a medical provider because STDs come in many shapes and sizes, and most them are curable!
- Discharge (clear, white, or yellow). Ain’t nobody get time for that! Who cares what color it is?! Ok, ok, lets back it up. Time for a brush up on the anatomy: your urethra runs through the middle of your penis to the head of the penis (the glans), and the urethra is what carries your urine when you’re urinating or semen during ejaculation. Penile discharge isn’t urine! Urine isn’t watery or thickened fluid that comes out naturally. Mucous-like fluid, commonly known as pre-cum, is normal but only when you’re erect or sexually aroused. Pre-cum is typically clear to whitish.
For the gentleman that are ala natural (uncircumcised), y’all need not fret if you have a cheesy white material around your glans that collects under the foreskin, as that is NOT an STD but rather a by-product that is produced by small glands on the glans. This stuff has a name, and it’s smegma. Smegma is also normal, but if not washed away… it can cause irritation both physically and olfactorally* (aka, it stinks!), so wash it up guys! (Don’t worry, ladies get smegma too so I’ll tell them to handle their hygiene too.)
*[Full disclosure: “olfactorally” is not a real word. Olfactory is your cranial nerve I. I just couldn’t come up with a comparable word to articulate the offense to your nose holes from the odor that arises from unmanaged smegma.]
Any other discharge from the penis is unusual. Get it checked out ASAP!
- Painful urination. Like I explained to the ladies in their article, going number 1 should be a pleasant experience had by all. When you have the sensation of fire coming out when you urinate or fullness like your tube is clogged, that is not normal. It is not a common thing for men to get urinary tract infections (UTIs) since the distance from your urethra to your bladder is considerably longer, it is difficult for bacteria to work its way up to the bladder.
- Painful ejaculation. Now this, for sure, should be a pleasant experience. If it hurts when you ejaculate, don’t just brush it off and think maybe your technique was off. Come get evaluated because you should have a happy healthy experience when you “release” yourself.
- Itching on the tip of the penis. Bacteria is irritating to all hosts and tissues. This includes your urethra. Urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) is commonly due to a gonorrhea infection, but may be caused from a non-gonorrheal infection too (chlamydia, trichomonas) or foreign bodies (inserting objects directly into the urethra), or even irritating soaps. If you don’t get this checked out, you can develop a stricture (aka your urethra may close up smaller or completely!).
- Rash on the penis, testicles, or groin. Um, yeah. Jock itch doesn’t normally happen on the penis or testicles as often as you think, but can spread there. But the most common offending agent of rashes on the man bits are from STDs such as crabs (pubic lice), herpes (blisters), syphilis (rash can be anywhere on the body) just to name a few.
Less common STD symptoms in men:
- Sore throat.
- Chronic flu-like symptoms.
- Pain in the testicles.
- Swelling of the testicles.
- Swelling of the epididymis (known as Epididymitis).
- Swelling of the urethra (known as urethritis).
- Swelling of non-sexual joints (elbow, knee, etc.).
- Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding (after receiving anal sex).
STD symptoms in men usually take a few days to develop, but can take up to weeks (if there are symptoms at all). A lack of symptoms is often mistaken for a lack of an STD, but an infection can continue to progress even in the absence of symptoms. Because men so often don’t show symptoms, the only way to be sure that an STD is not present is to get tested regularly, especially after unprotected sex.
When symptoms do occur, they typically appear within days or weeks of exposure to an STD. Often, symptoms never appear or go unnoticed. Even if an infection never results in obvious symptoms, the STD can still be transmitted and progress into a more serious condition that may result in irreversible side effects (hello syphilis and Al Capone). Fun (not-so-fun) fact, syphilis was one of the major causes of death in the United States until after World War II. Until the invention of penicillin, which CURES syphilis!!
Regular comprehensive STD testing is the only way to guarantee a clean bill of sexual health.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, contact us at:
One Health Medical Systems
901 E. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034