He doesn't wash himself properly...

All Woman

DEAR DR MITCHELL,

I live in Florida with my boyfriend and our four-year-old daughter. We have been together for a little over six years now and I have mentioned before to him how he should consider taking care of his uncircumsised penis a lot more because I read that it can cause women to get UTIs and/or yeast infections if not cleaned properly and on a regular basis. At the time I was getting a lot of yeast infections back to back and even more while I was pregnant. He ended up taking my advice for a little while but it didn't last long

It has a foul smell all the time. I can usually smell it through his pants when I'm lying in his lap or when we try to get intimate. It makes me gag or want to vomit. The smell is just nasty. Furthermore, I have had yeast infections and UTIs non-stop and currently have a yeast infection as we speak. Could he be causing this?

I never had this issue before getting with him, nor have I had this many yeast infections and UTIs back to back in such close proximity before. I love this man and I hate to tell him again, but how can I actually convince him to clean under his foreskin ritually?

The problem that you are experiencing with your partner needs to be dealt with urgently.

He needs to wash properly and pull back the foreskin to prevent the accumulation of secretion under the foreskin. If it is that he has difficulty pulling back the foreskin he should consider doing circumcision to remove the extra fold of skin. This will make washing easier and reduce the risk of recurrent infections.

The fact that he has a significant odour coming from his penis may be an indication of a serious sexually transmitted infection so he needs to see his doctor and get a proper examination and a swab done to help with the treatment of this long-standing problem. In addition to bacteria, the virus that causes cervical cancer thrives within these conditions. This virus is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and this will definitely increase your risk of picking up the virus and developing cancer of the cervix, throat, and anal cancer.

You should see your doctor and do a Pap smear in addition to obtaining the vaccine to reduce your risk of cervical cancer. Make an appointment for him to see his doctor too and have him do a complete screening for sexually transmitted infections.

You should also tell him that his risk for cancer of the penis is increased if he does not wash properly. This will probably encourage him to do something about the problem.

In the interim, you should consider using condoms to reduce the risk of any exposure to infection that your partner might have.

Consult your doctor and set an appointment for both of you.

Best regards.

Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Ave, Kingston 5; or fax to 876-968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.

DISCLAIMER:

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.

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