A healthy penis should be free of lesions, warts, and abnormal discharge. In general, the penis should be roughly the same color as the surrounding skin, though it may be a shade darker or lighter.
Also, a person should not experience any pain in their penis when urinating or engaging in sexual activity.
A sudden change in the appearance, sensation, or function of the penis may signal an underlying issue that requires medical attention.
This article describes certain lifestyle factors and health conditions that can affect penis health. It also outlines some possible symptoms of poor penis health and provides tips on penis care.
Lifestyle factors that affect penis health
Lifestyle factors that can affect penis health include sexual relationships, weight management, and alcohol use.
The sections below outline some common lifestyle factors that can affect penis health.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can negatively affect penis health. Some of the most common STIs include:
human papillomavirus (HPV)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people practice safe sex in order to reduce their risk of contracting an STI. This involves using barrier methods during sexual activity and getting vaccinated against hepatitis B and HPV.
The following can also help reduce the risk of spreading and contracting STIs:
limiting the number of sexual partners
maintaining a monogamous sexual relationship
abstaining from sexual activity
Often, people who contract an STI do not experience any symptoms. This is why it is important for people who are sexually active to attend regular sexual health screenings.
Obesity can negatively affect many aspects of a person’s health, including penis function.
People with obesity may be more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, or impotence. This occurs when a person is unable to develop or maintain an erection during sexual activity.
According to the Obesity Action Coalition, obesity can contribute to erectile dysfunction by:
decreasing testosterone levels
causing inflammation throughout the body
damaging the blood vessels, including those that supply blood to the penis
However, one 2018 study suggests that the relationship between obesity and sexual health is not completely clear. Although obesity may contribute to erectile dysfunction, other factors may also give rise to poor sexual health. These include: