Keeping the man’s genital organ healthy should be one of the first things you learn as a boy. The male genitalia, the penis, as much as it can be a tool of fun and pleasure, can be a source of immense discomfort and pain if not properly managed. That said, management is keeping it healthy and strong.
The concept of penis health includes but goes beyond keeping your manhood and manhood area clean and strong. It involves maintaining a healthy urinary system, fertility, and avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, non-sexually related penile diseases, infections, e.t.c.
Some areas of penis health that we are going to discuss in this article are listed below:
1. Personal Hygiene
-Washing the penis
-Grooming of pubic hair
2. What to eat and what not
3. Sexually Transmitted Infections
-Examples of Sexually Transmitted Infections
-How to avoid STIs
4. Other Detrimental factors to penile health
-Lack of Exercise
-High blood pressure
5. General tips for maintaining a healthy penile life
1. PERSONAL HYGIENE
Generally, good personal hygiene is important for health reasons. We come in contact with many germs in our daily activities, and we can only protect ourselves from these germs and live healthily through proper hygiene and body maintenance. Likewise, for the penis, proper hygiene assures healthy functioning. Here are some of the recommended personal hygiene routines that should be carried out in the care of the penis;
Washing The Penis
It is important to wash your penis often. Do this with mild soap and lukewarm water. Harsh soaps or antiseptics can irritate the skin around your penis and cause rashes or blisters.
Essential parts to wash
- Wash the penis shaft.
- If you have an uncut penis, gently pull the foreskin and wash it. A cheesy-looking substance called smegma may begin to gather if you don’t wash underneath the foreskin correctly. If smegma builds up in the foreskin, it can start to smell and become a breeding ground for bacteria. (1)
- Wash the scrotum. It is important to clean the scrotum too, as it is quite sweaty sometimes and can produce a very unpleasant smell when left uncleaned.
- Wash the skin between your scrotum and anus.
General Tips when washing your Penis
- Do not use scented soaps.
- Try not to scrub too hard when washing.
How often should you wash your penis?
Washing your penis is hygienic, but do not overdo it. It is okay to wash your penis once a day when taking your bath or having a shower.
Grooming your Pubic Hair
People are different. While some men leave their pubic hair untouched, others love to invest time in grooming it.
Grooming of pubic hair methods includes trimming, shaving, or waxing.
Trimming is reducing the amount of hair in your pubic area. This can be done with a pair of scissors with rounded edges or an electric trimmer. It is advisable to dampen the hair before trimming to make it easier.
- Do not share your trimming scissors with others
- Disinfect the blades each time before use
Shaving can be with razor sticks, razors, or shaving clippers. Use quality shaving cream to avoid skin irritation when shaving.
It is also possible to use hair removal creams to shave. Just apply as instructed on the guide, and you are good to go.
- Do not share shaving razors with anyone
- Replace shaving razors often
- Use quality aftershave products or creams to avoid bumps
- Do not use hair removal creams if you have super sensitive skin
This is the total removal of hair from the pubic area using heated wax or other substitutes. It requires certain precautions and can be quite painful.
- Make sure wax is not too hot before usage.
- Use an after wax product to soothe your waxed skin
- It is genuinely advisable to visit professionals for waxing. Little accidents in waxing may lead to serious burns or abrasion.
Underwear hygiene also matters a lot in penis health. Dirty under-wears can breed bacteria and infect the penis. You should wear clean under-wears every day. It is also essential that you iron them from time to time to kill stubborn germs.
Also, your toilet bowls should always be clean and disinfected. Contrary to popular beliefs that urinary tract infections are known in women, men can also be infected with UTIs either through bacteria in toilet bowls or sex. UTIs in men will be discussed further in the sex aspect of this article.
2. WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT NOT
A popular saying goes, “You are what you eat.” This applies to your penis too. In simpler terms, your penis health is also dependent on your choice of diet.
Foods beneficial to penile health come in handy in different ways. These ways include;
- Some foods help to enrich the sperm, thereby improving fertility.
- Some foods provide necessary vitamins for a healthy penis.
- Some help to increase testosterone levels, a very important hormone in the male sexual system.
The best way to boost penis health is through food. The first thing to consider here is that no matter what we eat, the whole body will benefit from it. So don’t go on a hunt for “penis-enriching” meals; just include the food that is listed to be beneficial to penile health to your diet, and you’re home-free. (2)
You can read more about beneficial food to penile health and check a list of some of them in our previous blog post.
3. SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs)
Sexually Transmitted Infections are one of the most famous threats to penile health. An STI is an infection caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person. They commonly occur when there is an exchange of body fluids during sex.
Some of the most common Sexually transmitted infections and their effects on penile health are discussed below.
A viral disease that causes genital pain and soreness. Genital herpes has no known cure but can be managed by medication.
Effect of Genital Herpes on Penile health
- Genital herpes causes great discomfort to infected persons. The infection is characterized by continuous itching and blisters around the penis area.
- Pain can also occur during urination.
This is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause long-term health problems. Many people with chlamydia have no symptoms and are unaware that they have the infection. (3) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source in the United States report that chlamydia can spread to a sexual partner, even when a male does not ejaculate during the encounter. (3)
Effect of Chlamydia on Penile Health
- Chlamydia from prostatitis complications can lead to erectile dysfunction.
- Pain or swelling in the testicles.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that is easy to contact but also equally easy to treat. However, leaving it untreated can lead to grave complications.
Effects of Gonorrhea on Penile Health
- Urination becomes painful as a burning effect is felt when you try to urinate.
- Pain in testicles
- Swollen testicles
- Discharge from penis
- In rare cases, the man may become sterile.
Urinary Tract Infection
Normally, the urinary tract does not have any bacteria or other organisms in it. Bacteria that cause UTI spread from the rectum to the urethra and then to the bladder or kidneys (the urethra is the small tube in the penis through which urine passes). Sometimes bacteria spread from another part of the body through the bloodstream to the urinary tract.
Urinary tract infection is less common in men than in women because the male urethra is long, making it difficult for bacteria to spread to the bladder. (4). Although less common in men, it is still a thing and can be contracted through unprotected sexual intercourse.
Effects of Urinary Tract Infection on Penile Health
- Frequent urge to urinate.
- Burning sensation when urinating.
- Fluid Discharge or pus from the penis.
How To Avoid STIs
Avoid multiple sex partners
One way to avoid sexually transmitted infections and keep your penis free from its threats is by sticking to one sexual partner. This sexual partner has to have been tested negative for STIs. If both parties remain faithful, there is a very low risk of getting infected.
Use protection every time you have sex
Use of latex or polyurethane condoms the right way is essential if you must have sex with multiple partners or an untested person. Although not 100 percent effective, condoms help prevent fluid exchange during sex, thereby reducing the chances of getting infected.
Abstinence from Sex
Even though total abstinence sounds crazy, it is the most effective way to avoid getting infected. You can not get an infection or disease transmitted by sex if you don’t have sex.
Pre Exposure prophylaxis
These are medications taken before potential exposure to STIs. They are taken in preparation for potentially risky sex, and they help reduce the chances of infection.
Post Exposure prophylaxis
These medications are used after engaging in risky sex to prevent infections. Note, they should be used immediately aftersex.
4. FACTORS THAT AFFECT PENILE HEALTH
Apart from poor personal hygiene, unhealthy sexual life, and unhealthy diet choices, some other factors threaten a healthy penis.
These factors include:
We all already know that being overweight is bad. Its disadvantages also stretch to the penis aspect. Too much fat around the groin and abdominal area can cause a condition called “buried penis.” A buried penis occurs when the penis appears to be hidden. Too much fat causes lymphedema (swelling around the scrotum), which makes the penis shaft retract. This has other treatments, but the first and most obvious is weight loss.
Lack of Exercise
People that exercise tend to have improved and healthy blood flow, less tension, and little or no stress. These are great bonuses for a healthy penis. Exercising also helps to boost stamina and endurance, which are essential qualities for good sexual performance.
High blood pressure
Since getting an erection and maintaining it is a function of the blood pressure in the body. Men, especially older men, with high blood pressure may experience difficulty in getting an erection or keeping it; Erectile dysfunction.
Complications in Diabetes often lead to erectile dysfunction in men. It is best to keep your sugar levels in check as a man.
Excessive masturbation can cause scar tissue. Sometimes, it causes the penis to bend distinctly, thereby reducing length and pain when the penis is erect.
Accidents may occur outside or during sex that can cause major damage to the penis. A lot of people believe the penis cannot break. They are wrong. The term for a broken penis is ‘penile fracture.’ It can result from extremely rough sex or impossible sex positions.
Medication side effects
Some drugs you may be taking for other health issues may affect your libido and testosterone levels. Temporary erectile dysfunction may also occur.
A fungus causes this. It is characterized by red rashes and irritating patches on the skin around the penis. It causes constant itching of the penis and gives a burning sensation after scratching for a while.
Excess heat from laptops
Elevated temperatures on the penile area can cause penis itching, discoloration, and serious fertility issues.
Males who use laptops on their laps are likely to experience scrotal hyperthermia – elevated temperatures in their testicles – which can significantly affect the quality of their sperm and consequently their fertility, US scientists report in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. (5). It is ideal to use your laptop on a desk rather than placing it on your lap and posing a danger to your testicles.
Unhealthy Clothing lifestyle
Some men wear very tight under-wears all day long, every day. This can cause heat rashes, skin irritation, sweaty scrotum, and lots more. It is advisable to wear breathable under-wears when you need to be wearing one. Wear loose shorts that give your penis the freedom to dangle when indoors.
Leather costumes should not be worn for too long too.
This is an inevitable factor that gets the best of a healthy penis. As men get older, testosterone levels decrease significantly. Also, the bladder may become weak, and you may not hold urine as usual.
People do all manner of piercings these days, including piercing the penis. This can lead to an infection and cause a disturbance to the normal state of operation of the penis in urination, erection, or ejaculation.
Stress is a major factor that leads to heart and cardiovascular issues. Heart problems are known to affect sexual performance in men and, sometimes, erectile dysfunction.
Stress can be managed by taking stress management classes, good rest, deep breathing, e.t.c.
6. GENERAL GUIDELINES AND TIPS FOR GOOD PENILE HEALTH
Here are extra tips and recap on how to keep your penis healthy:
- Do not share trimming or shaving tools with anybody
- Do not use scented deodorants and soaps on your penis
- Do not have unprotected sex with untested partners
- Do not wear tight clothing around your penis for too long
- Exercise often
- Eat healthily
- Regular penile and prostate check-up is advised
- Avoid extremely rough sex
- Use only clean and disinfected toilet bowls or water closets
- Watch your sugar levels
- Know your medications and their side effects
- Visit your doctor when you have;
- Unusual swelling in your penis or scrotum
- Itching in the penile area
- Skin discoloration around the penile area
- Pain during urination
- Weird discharge
- Blood in your urine
- A sudden rupture of your penis.
The penis is one of, if not the most treasured possession of any man. Therefore it is paramount that we keep it healthy in all aspects. A healthy penis goes a long way in your sexual life. And a great sexual life boosts confidence and self-esteem in men.