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Penis FAQ

What is an STD?

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. An STD is a disease you can get by having sex with someone who has one.

You do not have to have sexual intercourse to get an STD, either. You can get STDs from oral sex, anal sex, or from rubbing naked against someone who is infected.

If left untreated, many STDs can cause long-term health problems. Some STDS, like HIV/AIDS, can be life-threatening.

STDs include:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Genital herpes
  • Genital warts (HPV)
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Syphilis
  • Crabs, or pubic lice
  • Trichomoniasis

If you get an STD, be sure to ask your doctor what you need to do to avoid passing it on to someone else.

How do I know if I have an STD?

Depending on the type of STD, symptoms may include the following:

  • Burning when peeing
  • Discharge from the penis that is white, yellow, or green
  • Burning and itching around the opening of the penis
  • Irritation inside the penis
  • Painful and swollen testicles
  • Sores on or around the penis
  • Warts, or painless growths, on the penis, testicles, groin, thighs, or anus
  • Itching in the genital area

If you are worried you may have an STD, see a doctor or visit a health clinic to get screened. Most STDs are treated with antibiotics.

You can also call an STD hotline, including National STD Hotline at 1-800-227-8922, to get your questions answered.

What does penile discharge mean?

Penile discharge is any unusual fluid that comes out of the penis that is not semen or urine. The discharge may be clear or yellowish green and may or may not have an odor. It depends on the cause of the discharge. Penile discharge is often a sign of an STD and should be looked at by a doctor.

What does it mean if I feel burning when I pee?

If it burns when you pee, you may have an infection, like a urinary tract infection or an STD. Other symptoms of infection are:

  • Feeling like you have to pee constantly but, when you go, hardly anything comes out
  • Seeing pink pee (from peeing blood)
  • Having strong, distinct-smelling pee, especially in the morning
  • Pain above the pubic bone

If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor or go to a health clinic to get checked. If left untreated, urinary infections and STDs can cause much bigger health problems.

What is a circumcision?

All guys are born with foreskin. That's a fold of skin at the head of the penis. A circumcision is a procedure performed by a doctor or clergy person in which the foreskin is cut away from the penis. Many parents choose to have the foreskin removed from their baby's penis for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Cultural traditions
  • Religious beliefs
  • Hygiene purposes

Circumcision is not medically necessary.

WebMD Medical Reference

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