STIs affect millions of people in the United States with the number increasing each year. Though many men are infected, most of them may not know since the symptoms may not be visible. In men, symptoms can vary from one person to another due to different factors such as kind of infection and the stage of the disease.
STIs can affect any man that is sexually active irrespective of age, race or sexual orientation. They are transmitted through vaginal, oral, and anal sex. For young men, abstinence is the only foolproof way to protect against STIs; however, consistent practice of the safe sex lessen the chances of infections. Despite the popular belief of people that oral sex is risk-free, it is not, and STIs like syphilis, herpes, and gonorrhea are easily transmitted during oral sex.
Common Symptoms of STIs in Men
Not all STIs will show symptoms in men, but when they show, the most common ones include the following:
- Itching at the tip of the penis
- Rash on the penis and around the genitals
- Pain when urinating
- Pain with ejaculation
- Painful blisters on the genitals
- Painless ulcer on either penis or testicles
- Painful swelling of a joint
- A sore throat, for those practicing oral sex
- Rectal pain or discharge for those doing anal sex
- Testicular pain and swelling
If the above symptoms occur, don’t hesitate to visit a physician. Some men will think that if they do not experience any symptoms, then they do not have an STI. In many cases, as discussed, the symptoms may not develop at all. Thus it is important for sexually active men to be screened for STIs, particularly if they have ever practiced unprotected sex.