This week a reader is concerned that his penis has started to sting and the end has gone all read. Pharmacy2U’s Medical Director Dr Nitin Shori looks into for him.
Dear TGUK team
My foreskin has gone all tight and is stinging whenever I pee and my urethra is all red. I had unprotected sex around a month ago.
The first thing you must do is get a test that will rule out a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The latest statistics from NHS England show that there were more than 435,000 STI diagnoses in 2015 alone and many people now fear that we may have forgotten the safe sex message, with disease rates on the increase.
In Wales, reports of new diagnoses of chlamydia, herpes, LGV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C have been increasing for the last two years.
Alarmingly, in some patient groups, the number of cases of syphilis have increased by 76 percent in three years, while gonorrhoea cases have risen by 53 per cent. Even more worryingly, there appears to be evidence of some drug resistance that can make some STIs more difficult to treat.
STIs are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital contact, which is why it is so important that we spread the message of using condoms and other barrier methods when we’re going to be intimate.
You can be tested for STIs at a sexual health clinic, genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or GP surgery. Some people prefer the privacy of buying a reliable testing kit online from a reputable supplier, such as Pharmacy2U.co.uk.
There are different types of STIs and some, if caught early, are easy to treat with antibiotics. Chlamydia is the most common STI in England and can be treated with antibiotics.
But many have no cures, including genital herpes and HIV. There can be far reaching health implications with some STIs, especially if left undiagnosed and untreated.
In many instances, STIs don’t give their sufferers symptoms, but obviously, you sound to have symptoms that something is not right.
Get tested and I hope everything works out for you but remember prevention is better than cure. Speak to a GP for treatment if you do test positive.
The advice listed above is not intended to replace or take the place of that of your own doctor, GP or medical professional who knows your full medical history. If in any doubt make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.