STD Prevention - The Ins and Outs of Barrier Protection

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    May 30, 2013
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STD Prevention - The Ins and Outs of Barrier Protection Photo by John Dugan

Protecting the penis from some sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, is as easy as slipping on a sheath. The thin layer can still transmit signals of pleasure, but it’s too thick for bacteria or viruses to penetrate. For men who have interactions with new partners, a barrier is a vital part of a comprehensive penis care program. However, how that barrier is applied could be vital to the degree of protection provided. These quick tips can help men to ensure that they're playing it safe when in intimate situations.

When to Wear It

Most men think the dangerous part of sex comes with penetration. That might be true, depending on a man's definition of the word "dangerous," but epidemiologists might suggest that infection risk rises anytime skin comes into contact with skin. One tiny poke could lead to an infection, under the proper circumstances. As a result, men who haven't quite progressed to penetration could still get infected if they brush against tainted skin.

Additionally, only the smallest amount of discharge from a man is needed in order to bring about a pregnancy, if his partner is fertile. A dribble in the early stages of the interaction could lead to unwanted consequences, without a barrier standing in the way, and men might not even know that the dribble has occurred.

For these reasons, a condom should be used as soon as the clothes hit the floor. That condom should also stay in place until the action is complete. Applying the protection early and keeping it in place for the duration is key to obtaining the best results. Even so, it's important to mention that a barrier can't provide complete protection against all intimate infections, as it doesn't cover every square inch of a man's skin

How to Wear It

Condoms are, by their very nature, designed to be snug so they'll stay in place through all of the pushing and shoving. They shouldn't be so tight as to cut off circulation or cause discomfort, however, and they shouldn't be so loose that they can just slide around or get stuck. Trying out a few different brands and a few different sizes can help men to find the fit that's right for them.

It should also go without saying that condoms shouldn't be reused. Very tiny tears or wee little punctures could take hold when a man is taking a condom off and putting it back on again, and rinsing out the fluids a condom collects could also mean washing lubricants down the drain. The sex that comes from a reused condom could be painful, and it could also lead to infections or pregnancy. It's best to think of these items as disposable and replaceable, and unfurl a new one each time the action begins.

What Happens Next

Barrier protection is often loaded with lubricants and spermicides that can allow couples to live in the moment without worrying about the future. These products can, at times, be irritating to sensitive penile skin and they can lead to:

  • Penis pain
  • Red skin
  • Intense itching
  • Small penis bumps

Washing the skin after a sexual encounter can allow a man to rinse away the irritants that might be attacking his skin, but men who do have a reaction like this should be sure to discuss the issue with their doctors, as an underlying allergy might be to blame for the symptoms they experienced. Changing brands might be helpful for these men, but a doctor can help them to heal in the interim and understand what might have caused the breakout.

If no allergies are at play, using a penis health creme (most experts recommend Man1 Man Oil) might help. These products can allow men to keep their skin strong, healthy and smooth, so it won't be so susceptible to drying out, flaking and showing signs of friction-based irritation. When used daily, these products can keep the skin prepared for pleasure.

Author's Profile

For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.

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