The health of the male reproductive system is a reflection of overall well-being as well as sexual habits. We cover common menís health concerns, including sexually transmitted diseases, urethritis, prostate problems, irritation of the foreskin, and less common serious problems of the testicles.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, include about fifteen infectious illnesses that may be transmitted during lovemaking. Symptoms of these infections can include discharge from the penis, various kinds of eruptions or sores on the genitals or surrounding skin, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin. Any such symptoms require medical evaluation and treatment. Two of the most common STDs are genital herpes simplex and venereal warts; homeopathic treatment can be helpful during either of these infections.
Serious illnesses such as AIDS and some forms of hepatitis can also be transmitted during sex. They are beyond the scope of homeopathic self-care.
Short of abstinence, the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases is by practicing "safer sex," which includes limiting the number of sexual partners, selecting them carefully, and using condoms correctly until youíve been in a long-term, strictly monogamous relationship with no evidence of STDs in either partner. These measures do not guarantee you will escape infections, but they will improve your chances dramatically.
Urethritis and Bladder Infections
Urethritis is infection and inflammation of the lining of the urethra, the tube that runs the length of the penis, carrying urine and semen. Urethritis is most often associated with sexually transmitted infections, though sometimes no infection can be documented. A variety of germs can infect the urethra and trigger the bodyís inflammatory response, which can result in symptoms of burning and stinging as well as discharge of mucus or pus.
The Chlamydia bacteria is one of the germs most frequently associated with urethritis. Occasionally this infection leads to chronic symptoms of urethral irritation and discharge, and to infections of the prostate or testicles. Of more concern, Chlamydia is often passed on to women where it may cause infections of the female reproductive tract that result in pain and sterility.
The most worrisome infection of the urethra is gonorrhea, since the gonorrhea bacteria can spread to other parts of the body, causing general illness and infections in the large joints, usually elbows and knees. It, too, can cause serious infections in women. A gonorrhea infection of the urethra usually causes the penis to discharge a copious, thick, yellowish pus, along with burning pain at the opening of the urethra, felt during urination especially. In some cases. however, the discharge may be watery, scanty, or completely nonexistent, and there may be no pain. Gonorrhea can also infect other mucous membranes. Gonorrhea infections of the throat and rectum after oral or anal sex are not uncommon. Rectal gonorrhea may result in pain or discharge of pus, or there may be no symptoms at all.
There are many other kinds of germs associated with urethritis in men. Most of these are not now considered causes of other health problems, but they have not been well studied. Urethritis can sometimes be caused by physical irritation by soap, for example, or it may occur after taking antibiotics. Health practitioners may give the diagnosis of "non-specific urethritis" if no infection with Chlamydia or gonorrhea is found.