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Your Pride & Joy
If you want to keep your pride and joy in tip top condition, there are a few things you can do to make sure your meat and two veg stays fit and healthy for years to come.
How do I check my nuts?
Testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer when detected early. For this reason you should examine your testicles at least once a month.
For information on how to check yourself, go to www.kidshealth.org. Another useful webiste is www.orchid-cancer.org.uk which has lots of information on testicular cancer.
What about Sexually Transmitted Infections?
STIs are more than just an embarrassment: they're a serious health problem. If untreated, some STIs can cause permanent damage, such as infertility or even death. The only form of contraception that can help prevent you catching an STI is a condom. For free condoms join the Somerset C-Card.
Can smoking effect my performance?
Yes, smoking does affect the ability to get an erection. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens blood vessels and restricts blood flow. In the long term, it has even been shown to cause permanent damage to arteries. Since a man's erection depends on blood flow, researchers assumed smoking would affect erections. Studies have confirmed this time and again. In a recent study it was shown that just two cigarettes a day could cause softer erections in male smokers.
To find out more about the effects of smoking, and for help on quitting, visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk
Can too much alcohol have an effect?
If the information on smoking doesn't bother you, this should.
With prolonged use of alcohol in men, there is shrinkage of sex glands and an increase of the "female hormone" estrogen. This can cause enlarged breasts, a decrease in body hair, and can cause infertility.
Research has shown that many young people who get drunk end up engaging in sexual activity and often regret it! Young people who drink are also far more likely to compromise their personal safety, walking home alone or trusting others too easily.
It's not just your sexual health that alcohol can affect. There are strong links between drinking high levels of alcohol and youth offending, teenage pregnancy, truancy and exclusion from school.
Alcohol can make you mouthy, argumentative and aggressive. There's no way of knowing beforehand if you're going to turn into a nasty drunk. During or after drinking, around two-fifths get into an argument and about a fifth get into a fight.
Can drugs have an effect on my ablility?
Drugs as well as alcohol can have dramatic effects on your sexual behaviour. They can make you more likely to have casual sex, and less likely to use condoms, leaving you at risk of exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Some drugs can also mess up your sexual performance and have a negative impact on your relationships.
If you are concerned about drug use or worried about a friend, you may find the 'Talk to Frank' website useful.
Want to have skin as smooth as a baby's bum but not smell like one?
It may seem fairly obvious, but if you don't want to catch an infection or smell like a skunk you need to wash your penis every day to avoid a build up of smegma. Smegma is a mixture of dead cells, skin oils, moisture and bacteria. Since bacteria tend to thrive in any small place that has plenty of moisture, be sure to wash away all Smegma from under the foreskin.
To clean the penis, start at the tip. Pull the foreskin back as far as it will go. Wash the end of the penis and the inside of the foreskin thoroughly, but gently. This is not supposed to cause pain, so be gentle with one of the most sensitive parts of your body.