No man likes having a sore penis, but it does happen; much more problematic and serious is a penis that has contracted an STI (sexually transmitted infection, also often called sexually transmitted diseases). Promptly treating STIs is one of the most crucial aspects of proper penis health; leaving an STI to "take care of itself" can have very serious consequences.

What are STIs?

As the name implies, STIs are infections that are passed along primarily or exclusively through sexual contact between two individuals. About 19,000,000 new infections occur annually in the U.S., and they are disproportionately found among younger people, due the fact that they tend to have more partners; they are also more likely to engage in unprotected sexual activity.

There are quite a few STIs, but some of the most common ones are:

- Chlamydia

- Genital herpes

- Gonorrhea


- Human papillomavirus

- Pubic lice

- Syphilis

- Trichomoniasis

- Viral herpes

How does a guy know if he has an STI?

One of the issues with many STIs is that a man may never know he has one if he isn't tested; while there are some symptoms associated with some STIs, many people who catch an STI do not show symptoms or do not show them until late in the infection's progression.

Testing and treatment

Because symptoms do not always pop up to signal an STI, it's important that a man takes steps to avoid contracting one in the first place. The most important preventive step for a sexually active man is to make sure he always wears a condom when engaging in sexual activities. (If he is on the receiving end of an anal sex encounter, he must also make sure that his partner is wearing a condom.)

It's also a good idea for a sexually active man to periodically be tested for STIs; if he is sexually active and has engaged in any unprotected bouts of sex, getting tested soon after the encounters is crucial. Identifying an STI early and beginning prompt treatment increases the likelihood that the treatment will be successful and that permanent damage can be prevented.

Where to get treated

In most cases, a person's general physician can provide the tests and treatment that are required for an STI; however, some men may feel uncomfortable going to their regular doctor. They may feel that they will be judged or may simply feel uncomfortable sharing information about their sexual activities with someone whom they see on a regular and ongoing basis. In such cases, there are other options to consider:

1) Urologist. Visiting a urologist, a doctor who specializes in the urinary tract and penis-related issues is one good option. As a specialist, he should have experience in identifying and treating common STIs.

2) Urgent care. Many urgent care clinics have opened in recent years; these are centers which take "drop-in" cases, kind of like an emergency room in a hospital but usually for less severe cases. As with general physicians, different centers accept different health plans, so it's usually a good idea to find out this information before visiting.

3) Health departments. Many local health departments have STI-related services; depending on where a man lives, these services may be free or low cost.

4) Hospitals. As with urgent care clinics, it's good to check on insurance coverage before pursuing this option.

5) Planned Parenthood. Most Planned Parenthood centers offer STI services for both men and women.

Avoiding STIs is crucial for penis health, but so is regular penis health maintenance; using a top notch penis nutrient cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) helps provide the proper everyday care a vibrant penis needs. The best cream will include L-arginine, an ingredient which is very helpful in maintaining processes that encourage appropriate penis blood flow. Another important ingredient to look for is acetyl L-carnitine, which aids in repairing the negative effects of peripheral nerve damage in the sore penis, restoring a member to a proper level of sensitivity.