Sexually transmitted infections are no laughing matter, and they certainly aren’t something to take lying down, no pun intended. Sadly, many men and women take a wait and see approach to their sexual health. They may cross their fingers, wait for symptoms and just hope it never happens to them. However, sexual infections can, do, and will happen to individuals who do not take precautions and don’t take STI’s seriously. Here are a few things all men need to know about STI’s and how to maintain penis health.

1) Men and women can both be asymptomatic

Some people are under the misconception that as long as everything looks and feels okay below the belt, they must be healthy. Unfortunately, this is not true. Many men and women can be asymptomatic carriers of sexual infections, meaning they have one and can pass it to others, but are completely unaware because they themselves are experiencing no symptoms. That is why testing is so important; it is the only way to be sure.

2) They are extremely prevalent

It is estimated that 50% or more of the sexually active population will contract at least one sexual infection in their lifetime.

3) Condoms are the best line of defense

Apart from abstinence, using a condom is the only recommended way to prevent STI’s; when used correctly, they are 99% effective. The condoms need to be in place before any sexual contact occurs, they cannot be reused, and they should be changed between different types of activities -- regardless of the occurrence of ejaculation.

4) They can be linked to cancer

Certain strains of HPV have been linked to an increased risk of anal cancer in men, and cervical cancer in women. So men who think a round of medicine is all that is needed to clear up an STI are wrong. They can have lasting health repercussions for men and women.

5) You can have more than one at a time

There is no limit to the number of STIs an individual can be carrying at one time. It is completely possible to have more than one infection; a doctor can best determine the route of treatment for the coexisting conditions.

6) You can get the same one twice

The body does not become immune to STIs once it has been infected, so one can keep transmitting them again and again and again. In fact, sometimes when two partners have it and do not get treated, they just continue to pass it back and forth to each other.

7) There is more than one way to transmit them

While it is a myth that one can get an STI from a toilet seat, for instance, they truly can be transmitted during vaginal, anal and oral sex. And of course, certain infections like HIV/AIDS can also be transmitted via needle sharing.

8) STIs require treatment

While some mild symptoms may clear up on their own, the lasting effects of them can cause serious damage to the body; thus, medical attention is necessary.

9) STIs can cause sterility

Sterility is one of the possible long-term consequences of an STI. This side effect is far more likely to occur in men who never properly treat their infection - so go to the doc, guys!

10) Men should be tested regularly for STIs

All sexually active men should be regularly tested for STI. Those who have multiple partners, who sleep with women who have multiple partners, who engage in risky sexual behavior, or who are sleeping with a partner who has recently been infected should be tested every 3 months - or more - depending on the frequency in which they are changing partners.

Keeping the Penis Healthy

To keep the penis generally healthy, men should always do the following:

  • Always use a condom
  • Get tested regularly
  • Have monogamous sex with a partner who has also been tested first
  • Exchange sexual histories with each new partner before having sex

And finally, to improve and maintain the health of the penis, men should use a penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) containing essential vitamins and nutrients. While no amount of vitamins can prevent an STI, maintaining excellent hygiene can reduce the chance of bacterial infection, yeast infection, pimples, lumps and bumps, leading to a softer, smoother, more responsive tool.