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Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Men’s Health
1 Apr. 2016

STD testing for menSexually transmitted infections affect about 20 million people of all ages in the USA. They can be passed to sexual partners through any type of sex: vaginal, anal or oral. Sometimes a man can become infected through contact with blood or body fluids. Oftentimes people may not know themselves that they are infected as most common STDs can go completely unnoticed for weeks, months or even years without any symptoms. However, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t affecting their health. The health risk specific to men with STDs is inflammation of the urethra, epididymis, prostate and anus, resulting in urological conditions, erectile dysfunction and infertility.

Men may have no symptoms, especially if they are infected with the so-called ‘silent infections’ as Chlamydia Mycoplasma urealiticum or Trichomonas. When symptoms do occur, usually several weeks after initial exposure, they may include pain or burning sensation during urination; abnormal discharge from the penis, especially white, cloudy or foul-smelling; tenderness, inflammation and pain in testicles; frequent urination and rectal pain. If left untreated this may lead to severe complications, affect sperm production and prostate health.

Most men who are infected with Human papillomavirus never develop symptoms at the beginning. However, weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected person, there may appear genital warts on the penis, thighs, groin and in or around anus. Some types of HPV may result in cancer of the anus or penis, especially if left untreated for years after being infected.

Syphilis, which manifests in round painless sores in the genitals, anus or mouth, may result in severe complications. As the disease progresses it can lead to blindness, numbness, paralysis, dementia and in the late stages it can damage the brain, blood vessels, heart and liver, resulting in death.
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Gonorrhea, which manifests by frequent, burning urination along with pus-like discharge from the urethra, can lead to epididymitis – painful condition of testicles that causes infertility and septic arthritis.

Most of the above mentioned sexually transmitted diseases are completely treated with antibiotics. However, such diseases as HIV or hepatitis cannot be fully treated and only when a person is early diagnosed, he may have a normal life expectancy. Therefore, regular STD testing is necessary for any man who isn’t in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship.

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