I recently had sex for the first time and out of concern that I might get an STD, I poured some Listerine over the head of my penis, with a little going into the tip then washing with water. There is mild irritation/burning the next day. Bad idea?

Thanks for your question. Many people worry about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms with every sexual encounter is the best way to prevent STIs. Unfortunately using Listerine doesn’t help with preventing STIs in your urinary tract. It may cause some skin irritation, such as redness and burning. If the irritation goes away on its own after a day or so, it likely isn’t anything to worry about. If the irritation or burning is lasting for a few days, getting worse, or you’re having any other penile concerns you should contact your health care provider.

We recommend getting tested for STI’s every time you have a new sexual partner or contact. It’s also a good idea to get tested whenever you have a concern about an STI.

For more information about STI’s and how to prevent them: