Talking to your doctor about your sexual health is very important. Your sexual health is a big part of your overall health and you should never be embarrassed about asking questions or talking about a sexual concern. Your doctor can effectively treat a wide variety of sexual conditions, including erectile dysfunction, genital herpes, HPV, HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Having healthy sex and protecting yourself from getting or spreading a disease is one of the main ways you can take charge of your health.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections generally acquired by sexual contact but they can also be transmitted during pregnancy or childbirth, or through blood transfusions or shared needles. STDs are serious illnesses that require treatment. Some STDs, like HIV, cannot be cured and are deadly. It’s important to learn how to protect yourself from the following STDs.
Types of STDs
- Genital herpes
- Gonorhhea (‘Clap’)
- Human papilloma virus (HPV)/Genital warts
What are the male symptoms of STDs?
- Bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis
- Swelling or redness near the penis
- Skin rash
- Painful urination
- Weight loss, loose stools, night sweats
- Aches, pains, fever and chills
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
- Discharge from the penis
- Painful sex
- Severe itching near the penis
Talk to your doctor if you think you have an STD
It’s very important to talk to your doctor. He can examine you and preform tests to determine if you have an STD. Treatment (usually antibiotics) can:
- Cure many STDs
- Lessen the symptoms of STDs
- Make it less likely that you will spread the disease
- Help you to get healthy and stay healthy
Some basic steps to protect yourself from STDs
- Use a latex condom every time you have sex. (If you use a lubricant, make sure it is water-based.)
- Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch an STD.
- Have sex with only one person. That person must also have sex only with you to reduce your risk.
- Choose your sex partners with care. Don't have sex with someone whom you suspect may have an STD. Remember that you can't always tell if your partner has an STD.
- Get checked for STDs. Don't risk giving the infection to someone else.
- Know the signs and symptoms of STDs. Look for them in yourself and your sex partners.
- Learn about STDs. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.
How you can avoid spreading an STD
- If you have an STD, stop having sex until you see a doctor and are treated and don’t start having sex again until your doctor says it’s okay
- Follow your doctor's instructions for treatment
- Use condoms whenever you have sex, especially with new partners
- Be sure your sex partner or partners also are treated