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Penis FAQ

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How can I prevent having an involuntary erection?

Unfortunately, you can't. During puberty, erections just happen. There isn't much you can do to stop them. Even thinking of the most non-sexy thing you can imagine won't help. But, over time, involuntary erections will become less frequent.

What is masturbation?

When you masturbate, you release sexual tension. You'll have what's called an ejaculation. Ejaculation is the release of semen from your penis. Semen is made up of fluid and sperm.

Many guys masturbate. In fact, one study of 15- and 16-year-olds found that 75% of boys said they masturbated.

There are many myths about masturbation. For example, some people say it will stunt your growth. But there is nothing wrong with doing it as long as it doesn't become a constant desire or get in the way of other things you want or need to do.

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
  • HIV/AIDS
  • 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.

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