Sexually transmitted diseases: What you need to know, prevention and care
February 15, 2021
Diseases spread by sexual contact are called sexually transmitted diseases, commonly known as STDs. The transmission can happen through any sexual activity that involves vagina, penis, mouth, or anus. To start with, STDs are very common among people as they are spread easily. Some STDs are curable and some are not. So the best way to stay away from STDs is follow the old saying “prevention is better than cure”.
There are many types of STDs. The most common types of STDs are:
HIV: HIV virus causes acquired immunodeficiency(AIDS). It is spread through bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid, or blood. It attacks and weakens the immune system
Pubic lice: Also known as ‘crabs’. Presence of tiny insects in pubic hair. Transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, clothing, bedding, etc.
Chlamydia: Caused by bacteria and can have long-effects on fertility. Passed during sexual contact.
Gonorrhea: Caused by bacteria and can have long-effects on fertility. Passed during sexual contact.
Syphilis: Caused by bacteria. Transferred through a cut in the skin or through contact with a partner’s syphilis sore. Can cause long-term health issues.
Trichomoniasis: Caused by microscopic parasites. It is spread through sex.
Genital herpes: Caused by virus which can be transferred to the partner through regular and oral sex.
Most of the STDs never exhibit any symptoms. The symptoms start showing up only after the infection has gone for a while. The symptoms, if any, include:
Burning sensation while urinating
Sores, bumps, etc. near mouth, vagina, penis or anus.
Itching near vagina or penis
Unusual vaginal bleeding
Smelly vaginal discharge
Discharge from penis
Swelling near penis or vagina
Pain during sex
The best thing about STDs is that they are preventable. You can stay away from the risk of STDs by using latex condoms during sex. It is always better to limit your number of sexual partners. Vaccines can also keep you away from some types of STDs. It is very important to be well-aware about the symptoms of different types of STDs. Above all, if you are a sexually active person, get tested for STDs frequently and if you are not too active, get checks for STDs at least once in a while.
Many STDs are treated with antibiotics. Treatments can sometimes cure the disease or sometimes lessen the symptoms. The best way to get the best treatment is to seek medical help immediately. If you have any doubt about having an STD, get yourself and your partner tested and visit your doctor for further treatments. Severe STDs like HIV that causes AIDs are dealt with antiviral drugs which can keep the infection in check for many years.
STDs are nothing to be embarrassed about. But once detected, it needs to be taken care of. As they spread easily, it is also important to take necessary precautions to avoid the spread. If you have or if you don’t have, make sure you use condoms, dental dams or other forms of protection. Like said during the beginning of the article, Prevention is always better than cure.