Men: Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Sexual Health?

Sexually transmitted infections cause a vast number of health concerns, and can be passed on through either vaginal, oral or anal sex. The symptoms of STIs can include rashes, pain, unusual discharge or itching, but sometimes they have no symptoms whatsoever and cause silent damage to the wellness and wellbeing of your genitals and reproductive system. It is very important to avoid STIs, and the only way to ensure that you don’t catch one (or pass one on) is to practice safe sex.


Men who have male sexual partners should be especially careful as there are some infections that are most easily transmitted via anal sex, and are more commonly found in the gay community. That does not mean that straight men can afford to relax, though, as infections are common amongst straight and gay men. Unless you are in a long-term relationship (where you are both monogamous), it is extremely advisable to get tested for STIs on a regular basis. You can either choose to do this once a year or before having sex with a new partner.


When it comes to prevention, condoms are the best way to protect you against STIs, and they should be worn for vaginal, oral or anal sex. Don’t use condoms which are described as ‘natural’ as they do not protect against STIs – stick to the latex kind (or polyurethane if you are sensitive to latex) and make sure that you use the condoms correctly, following the instructions on the box. Remember that other methods that protect against pregnancy (such as spermicides, the coil, the pill etc.) do not guard against STIs.


Men should look out for symptoms such as pain during urination or the need to urinate more frequently. They may also discover blood in their urine. Discharge from the penis is also a danger sign, as are any bumps, sores or blisters on the penis.

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