- Painful urination or discharge: Painful urination or discharge is a common symptom that can be experienced by men for a number of reasons, including STIs, kidney stones, bladder infections and more. At the first sign of painful urination or discharge, men should seek medical attention immediately.
- Rashes or bumps in genital area: A genital rash is a skin symptom that can be caused by a number of health problems and can occur on any part of the male genital area. Rashes are normally reddish in color, may be painful or itchy and may include bumps or sores. A genital rash could be a sign of a fungal infection, sexually transmitted infection, allergies and many other conditions. Men who experience a genital rash should seek medical attention immediately.
- Testicular or scrotal pain: There are many reasons that a man could be experiencing testicular or scrotal pain. This type of pain is common with kidney stones, hernias, urinary tract infections and epididymitis (testicle inflammation). Men who experience any abnormal testicular pain should seek medical attention immediately.
STIs can affect any man who is sexually active, no matter what the age, race or sexual orientation. Fortunately, many STIs are highly preventable. By being aware of changes in their bodies and practicing safer sex, men can protect themselves and their partners. Consistently practicing safer sex makes the transmission of an infection less likely. Many men believe that oral sex is risk-free. However, numerous STIs can be transmitted during oral sex including syphilis, herpes and gonorrhea. Men of all sexual orientations should take good care of their sexual health. This doesn’t just mean always having safer sex. Men should also be regularly tested for STIs.
In order to determine what STI tests they need, men should talk to a physician at the Student Health Clinic by calling 404-413-1930.
When and how to perform the exam:
- The best time to check yourself is in the shower or after a warm bath. Fingers glide over soapy skin making it easier to concentrate on the texture underneath. The heat causes the muscles to relax, making the exam easier.
- Examine each testicle gently with both hands. The index and middle fingers should be placed underneath the testicle while the thumbs are placed on the top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumb and fingers. One testicle may be larger than the other. This is normal.
- The epididymis is a cord-like structure on the top and back of the testicle that stores and transports the sperm. Do not confuse the epididymis with an abnormal lump. Now repeat the exam on the other side.
- Feel for any abnormal lumps about the size of a pea on the front or the side of the testicle. These lumps are usually painless.
- In early stages, testicular cancer may be symptom-less. When symptoms do occur, they include a lump on the testicle, slight enlargement of one of the testes and a heavy sensation in testicles or groin.
Men who find an abnormality or have other symptoms, such as any hard lumps or nodules, should seek a medical evaluation immediately.
The condition may not be cancer, but it is important to have a specialist properly diagnose and treat the condition.