Why Male Sexual Health Matters
When it comes to men’s sexual health, conversations are typically focused on the use of contraceptive protection during sexual encounters. While using protection is 100% necessary for many men, there’s a bit more to consider. Sexual health issues aren’t just embarrassing – they can also have long-lasting effects on your overall health or fertility.
Good sexual health care for men starts with the proper use of contraception. Using condoms is a great start, but it’s also important that condoms be used properly. Not only does proper condom usage help to prevent unplanned pregnancies, but it can also reduce the risk of getting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI).
STD testing is an essential part of sexual healthcare. If your doctor does not bring it up, patients are advised to ask for STD screening during annual physical exams to confirm they are negative and not in need of treatment. Many STDs are entirely treatable, or you can at least effectively manage symptoms or outbreak episodes. Also, the longer an STD goes without care, the more likely that negative long-term health effects can occur.
If left untreated, some STDs can cause both male and female infertility. Scarring and inflammation are common side effects, which can lead to reproductive challenges. This can be one of the more surprising impacts of poor sexual health. And it can have devastating consequences for those who had or have future family planning goals.
How can I protect myself and my partner(s)?
Sex is a normal and healthy part of life. As long as mutual consent and an agreement on contraception are present before initiating intercourse, there is no reason to be fearful of quality sexual health.
It is essential that, from a young age, men be proactive and take control of their sexual health. Even one minor lapse in judgment can lead to a positive STD test result, unplanned pregnancy, or long-term health issues.
Ensuring male sexual health is a vital, complex, lifelong journey. Beyond intercourse, it can encompass your fertility and overall health. We encourage you to stay on top of your sexual health, whether for a specific issue or overall wellness. Please contact the Fertility Center of California to quickly and conveniently schedule an appointment.