One of the most frightening issues facing any sexually-active man is the possibility of contracting an STD. Even when men take good care of their penis health by using condoms and choosing sexual partners carefully, the threat of STDs can loom large. Most of these announce themselves with pain, itching, redness, soreness, small blisters, discharge, and many other symptoms that will almost immediately send any smart man straight to the doctor’s office. Fortunately, most of these infections are fully treatable.
There are some, however, that stay entirely silent. These STDs don’t lead to a penis rash. They don’t lead to an itchy penis. There is no discharge or redness. There are no bumps. In fact, they lead to nothing at all that might indicate they are there, lurking in the reproductive system.
Seeking out the silent STDs
We talk a great deal about good penis care and how important it is to maintain a healthy member. One very important aspect of that good care is to get tested for STDs on a regular basis. Here are four good reasons why.
1. Trichomoniasis. This is the third most common STD in the United States, and only about 30 percent of those infected know they have it. ‘Trich’ is caused by a tiny parasite that can be passed quite easily between partners. It can hang around for years with no symptoms at all. Even more troubling, it can actually increase the chances of contracting other STDs. The few who do have symptoms usually complain of itchy penis, burning, and discharge.
2. Genital herpes. One in six people have genital herpes, and experts believe that 80 percent of those who have it aren’t aware of their STD status. In most cases the symptoms do show up but are mild enough to be confused with ingrown hairs, jock itch, or even acne. The scariest part is that herpes can be spread through any intimate skin-to-skin contact, even if there are no sores or blisters to hint that herpes might be present.
3. HPV. The human papillomavirus is by far the most common STD. In fact most people wind up with HPV at some point during their lives. There are rarely any symptoms for the over 40 types of HPV that are typically transmitted. The bad news is that HPV can lead to deeper problems, such as cervical cancer. The good news is that 90 percent of all HPV cases are cleared by the immune system within two years.
4. Zika. Though the Zika virus is not technically an STD, recent studies have found alarming evidence that it can be transmitted through sexual activity for several months after the symptoms have disappeared. To make matters worse, most who contract Zika have no symptoms at all. The virus might not lead to any problems for most, but it can be absolutely devastating for pregnant women or those who want to become pregnant. There isn’t really a test for Zika just yet, so in the meantime, make sure to use condoms when having sex with a woman who might become pregnant, and abstain from sex altogether when a woman is already expecting.
Proper penis care includes STD testing
Maintaining the best penis health also means maintaining the best overall health. That’s why regular STD testing is a good idea. The tests can help ensure that any STDs are caught quickly and treated appropriately.
Besides taking good care of overall health, a smart man looks to home treatments that are specifically designed for the penis. For instance, a good penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) can go a long way toward ensuring healthy penile skin. A moisturizing cream that contains a strong emollient, such as Shea butter, and plenty of appropriate vitamins and minerals can help lock in moisture and provide a significant health boost. As an added bonus, a man with a very healthy penis might notice an issue long before someone who isn’t as conscientious, and thus might go to the doctor sooner if they suspect an STD.