The term ‘sexual health’ covers a wide range of topics, from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to sexual intercourse, fertility, and genital health. Here, we explore some myths about men’s sexual health, and their truths.

Myth: ‘Having Chlamydia won’t affect my fertility’

Being infected with Chlamydia for a short period of time, getting tested, and successfully treating the infection is unlikely to affect your fertility. However, left untreated, Chlamydia can spread into the testicles and epididymis (the tubes that carry sperm) causing epididymitis. Not only can this cause pain and swelling, but an inflamed infection can damage your reproductive system.

Chlamydia can be treated with a course of antibiotics. It is a common STI, however, up to 50% of men with a Chlamydia infection will not have symptoms. Therefore, it is very easy to leave the infection undetected. Having a Chlamydia test is quick, simple and could save your fertility.

Myth: ‘Men can’t get thrush’

False. Thrush is a yeast infection which thrives in warm, moist conditions. Therefore, something as simple as not drying yourself carefully after a shower can cause thrush. Although not classed as a sexually transmitted infection, it can also be passed during sex, or triggered by sex.

The infection targets the head of the penis, leading to balanitis (an inflammation of the tip of the penis). Symptoms of thrush include:

  • Thick, white discharge
  • Redness, itching and burning on the penis head or under the foreskin
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain during urination
  • Foul smell
  • Difficulty pulling the foreskin back.

Learn more about the difference between thrush and an STI.

Myth: ‘If I use a condom during sex, I won’t catch an STI’

Condoms do help to prevent catching and passing STIs. However, some STIs such as Herpes and Syphilis can be passed through skin-on-skin contact alone. Therefore, a regular sexual health check-up is always advised, even if you do use condoms.

Myth: ‘I have discharge coming from my penis. Does this mean I have an STI?’

Discharge can be a symptom of an STI such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea, or a non-sexually transmitted infection such as thrush. If you think you may have been at risk of an STI, the only way to be sure is to get tested.

Better2Know’s Comfort Screen will test you for the STIs which most commonly cause unusual discharge. You can book in at one of our nationwide clinics or test with a convenient home sample collection kit.

Myth: ‘Erectile dysfunction can be cured with medication’

There are many reasons why erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs, ranging from physical issues to psychological factors. Whilst ED can’t be specifically cured, there are treatments and lifestyle changes that can help in reducing or even eliminating the problem.

Although an erection is seemingly physical, it is a complex process involving many nerves, blood vessels and hormones. This means that your emotional or mental state, including depression or low self-esteem, can impact ED.

ED can be a sign of an underlying health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure. It may also occur as a side-effect of medication. Therefore, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor if you are suffering from ED regularly.

Myth: ‘Men don’t suffer from UTIs’

False. A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs due to a build up of bacteria in the urinary tract. It can develop in the urethra, the bladder, the prostate or the kidney, potentially leading to a more serious infection. Other symptoms to look out for include:

  • A need to frequently urinate
  • A sudden need to urinate
  • Pain or burning sensation during or after urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Having difficulty urinating
  • Cloudy, strong smelling urine
  • Pain in lower abdomen.

UTIs often occur due to bacteria from a sexually transmitted infection, so if you may have been at risk, you should get tested.

Myth: ‘Testing for STIs involves having a painful swab inserted’

False! Most STIs can be tested for with a simple blood or urine sample. You will always know, before your appointment, which samples are required for your tests. Better2Know provides testing for a wide range of STIs, so no matter what your concerns are, we have a suitable option for you.

Our STI screens combine testing for different combinations of infections to give you a more complete overview of your sexual health. If you are unsure which test or screen to choose, our highly trained sexual health advisors will be more than happy to help you decide. Why not contact our team by phone or live chat today?


[1] Healthline: Can Erectile Dysfunction Be Cured?

[2] NHS: Chlamydia Complications

[3] Healthline: What are the symptoms of thrush in men and how is it treated?

[4] Harvard Health: Men and urinary tract infections

[5] Healthline: Everything you should know about UTIs in men

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