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Penis Health 101: Is Hot Tub Play Really Safe?
Hot tubs offer a variety of great reasons to indulge. Not only do they make a great sensual play space for those who are so inclined, they also serve the very practical purpose of soothing sore muscles and helping a guy relax in a way that he just can't find anywhere else. The benefits are obvious. But are there equal benefits for penis health?
Hot tubs have gotten a bad reputation over the years, to the point where sometimes men are encouraged to stay away from the spa and find something else to enjoy when it's time to relax. So it's important that a man understands the questions surrounding the hot tub and makes up his own mind as to whether the soak is safe. Here are some facts on that can shed light on penis health.
1) The water can get really hot. Though this is great for muscles that ache, it's not necessarily the best for delicate penis skin, especially if a guy indulges in the hot tub on a regular basis. Hot water leaches away the essential oils in the skin, which are necessary to help keep the skin hydrated, smooth and supple. As these oils vanish, the skin can take on a dry, ashy appearance, as well as begin itching something fierce.
2) The jets are powerful. The jets in a hot tub are great for massaging the sore muscles and helping a guy relax, but he should take care to keep his penis away from the most powerful jets of water. Though some guys might be tempted to use the jets as a way to pleasure themselves, they should keep in mind that the very rough "handling" they get from those jets can be enough to damage the penis skin.
3) Hot tubs need chemical treatments on a regular basis. Though this is great for keeping the water fresh and clean, it's not great for a guy's skin, especially the most delicate areas. In fact, a particular type of rash can result from chemicals being forced into the hair follicles with the constant motion of the water. Besides that, the chemicals must be perfectly balanced or they could lead to soreness, redness, chafing and other problems.
4) Hot tub water is rarely changed. Why are all those chemicals necessary? Because the water in a hot tub is usually changed only once or twice per year. This might be fine if it's a man's personal tub and he's paying close attention to the chemical balance, but it's one very good reason why a guy might want to skip the public hot tubs.
5) Some old hot tubs have exposed moving parts. For some, the jets do have moving parts that can be touched by someone using the tub. And from time to time, an adventurous guy might come into contact with those parts, perhaps even with his penis. And that's where the trouble starts. There have been reports of men getting their delicate equipment trapped among the jets and other areas of their hot tub, leading to pain, injury and of course, a quite embarrassing extraction.
So how does a man enjoy a hot tub and still maintain good penis health? He should take care with the jets, make sure the water is not too hot and make a point of using his own personal tub - where he can control the chemicals and water cleanliness - rather than using a public tub. And every time he gets out of the hot tub, he should rinse off in the shower and then apply a top-notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). A nutrient crème that contains a wealth of healthy vitamins can help replenish the skin's natural balance. A crème with Shea butter and vitamin E for hydration is especially welcome to prevent dryness.
Penis Problems Due to Antidepressants
Advances in the mental health field have benefited countless people in recent years. The rise of antidepressants in particular has enabled many whose quality of life would otherwise have been severely impaired to experience happier, less anxious lives. Of course, as with all mediations, antidepressants do come with potential side effects which may bother some people - and surprisingly, sometimes these side effects can potentially have an impact on penis health. So for men taking antidepressants, it's valuable to know about penis problems that could possibly result.
How antidepressants work?
People often say that antidepressants "cure" depression, but that's not exactly true. What they do is work on certain brain circuits and neurotransmitters in such a way that chemicals are released that seem to ease depression.
There are a variety of antidepressants, but the ones that this article is concerned with belong to a class called reuptake inhibitors, and specifically to a subclass of these known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The way SSRIs work is by keeping neurotransmitters "active" for a longer period of time, thus improving communication between the nerve cells. This helps the brain regulate a person's mood (including feelings of depression).
Potential penis problems of SSRIs
There are potential penis problems associated with the use of some antidepressants, especially SSRIs. Exactly how prevalent are these problems? That's hard to determine, although one study estimates that 60% of people (men and women) who take SSRIs experience sexual side effects. However, which of these side effects they experience, how often, and to what degree are harder to determine. It's also difficult to know whether the sexual issues may have been in existence before the subjects began taking the medication. (Depression itself is often a factor in the development of sexual issues.) However, it is safe to say that some men who take SSRIs will develop some form of penis problems at some time.
For men, there are three potential penis problems to know about:
- Decreased libido;
- Erectile impairment;
- Delayed or blocked ejaculation.
Why might SSRIs contribute to potential penis problems? The way they work is by raising the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the body. But serotonin tends to decrease the amount of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are important contributors to feelings of desire and arousal. In addition, serotonin tends to dampen the physical sensitivity of the penis and the production of nitric oxide, which is crucial to keeping penile blood vessels open to receive the increased amounts of blood that create a firm erection.
Fortunately, penis problems from antidepressants are not permanent. If a physician believes an SSRI is causing issues, he can see if changing the dose can help. Alternatively, he may try a different antidepressant that may not have the same side effects. (Changing medication or dosage should only be done under the care of a physician.) If the problems seem to be related to something other than medication, the physician can recommend further treatments to address the root causes.