Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is an equal-opportunity STD, as likely to infect men as women, but much less likely to cause symptoms in men. However, even if you have no symptoms, if you are infected, you can infect your sexual partner.

Trichomonas vaginalis, a single-celled bacterium, can lodge in the urethra, the bladder, or, less often, the prostate. Sometimes it can cause a frothy or puslike discharge and painful or frequent urination, especially early in the morning. Other symptoms may include mild irritation of the urethra and moisture at the opening of the penis. In rare cases, the epididymis, the cordlike structure behind each testicle, also may be infected with the bacterium, causing pain in the testicles.

If your doctor suspects that you may have trichomoniasis, he or she may want to examine secretions from your penis that you collect first thing in the morning before urinating. You may also be asked for a urine specimen.

Trichomoniasis in men will usually respond to treatment with antibiotics within a week. It is important to wait until the disease is cured before having sexual intercourse because this infection spreads easily.

How to Use a Condom

ondoms will not protect you against STDs unless you use them consistently and correctly. To use a condom correctly:

• Keep your penis away from your partner's genital area until the condom is on because drops of semen can leak out before ejaculation.

• With the lubricated side out, put the rolled-up condom over the tip of your erect penis and roll it all the way down toward the base. If you have not been circumcised, pull your foreskin back before putting on the condom. Leave about half an inch of space at the top to catch the ejaculated semen and to reduce the chance that an overly stretched condom will break.

• Withdraw your penis immediately after intercourse, holding the condom at the base to prevent it from slipping off as your erection subsides. Check the condom for signs of leakage.

• Throw the condom away after you use it; never reuse a condom.

If you don't have a condom, your partner may want to use a female condom, which is a soft, thin polyurethane sheath that fits inside the vagina and has a visible outer ring. A female condom doesn't protect against STDs as well as a male condom, but is better than no condom. It can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex and does not have to be removed immediately afterward.

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