Sexually transmitted diseases (commonly referred to as STDs), refers to diseases that are spread through sexual intercourse with a person who is infected. It is, however, important to understand that you can get STDs from normal sex, oral sex, and anal sex.
Reports by the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases are diagnosed annually. American Social Health Organization studies have found that one in every four teens in the U.S is infected with sexually transmitted disease each year.
Besides, studies have also shown that more than half of the people across the world have been diagnosed with an STD at one point in their life. Fortunately, much of these diseases are preventable as you can at least reduce the risks of contracting an STD significantly.
This is possible if you choose to practice safe sex or stick to one faithful partner every time. However, it is important to learn more about sexually transmitted diseases to be safe as they are severe illness that might require treatment and like HIV have no cure. This article discusses all the key things that you need to know about sexually transmitted diseases
What You Need To Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases
1. There are Different Types of STDs
Most people engage in indiscriminate sex because they do not understand that they are exposing themselves to a wide variety of severe illnesses. Therefore, it is important to understand that apart from the most common STDs there other sexually transmitted diseases that are equally dangerous. Some of the most common STDs include HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, Chlamydia, herpes, crabs (pubic lice), syphilis and hepatitis B. However, some of the common STDs have more than one variety. For instance, there are more than 100 types of HPV viruses.
2. Some STDs are Treatable but Other are Not
Usually, sexually transmitted diseases that result from bacterial infections such as syphilis, Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can be cured with the right treatment. On the other hand, other types of sexually transmitted diseases can be treated and managed but cannot be cured completely, which means that one has to live with the condition.
3. It Possible to Contract an STD Through Any Form of Sex
Contrary to the common belief that one can contract STDs through normal sex alone, it is also possible for one to contract these diseases through oral and anal sex. Therefore, this dispels the myth that one is safe from STDs if they limit themselves to oral sex only. It is therefore, advisable to use a condom during oral or anal sex.
4. It Is Important to be Tested Regularly if you Engage in Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners
It is advisable to be tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases if you practice sex with multiple partners without using protection. This is because some of the STDs do show any symptoms and others may have their symptoms appearing after several years if you are infected.
Moreover, some STDs come with symptoms that are similar to urinary tract or yeast infections and therefore you can easily confuse them for these infections. However, regular testing for STDs will help know if you have contracted an STD right away and therefore start on your treatment early enough.
5. STDs can be Transmitted to an Unborn Child
Medical studies have shown that an unborn child can contract the infection from mothers with STDs during the time of giving birth or during the pregnancy.
6. Untreated STDs can Lead to Health Complications and Issues
According to research, untreated STDs or lack of proper treatment can lead to health complications, problems and issues with later pregnancies. Some sexually transmitted diseases can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, cause infertility or increase your risk for experiencing ectopic pregnancy.
On the other hand, untreated HPV can lead to cervical cancer and other forms of cancer while untreated syphilis can cause brain damage, blindness, and paralysis. Studies have also shown that women infected with STDs tend to have a greater risk of bearing children with infections, low birth rate as well as other complications.
7. Women Have a Higher Risk of Contracting an STD as Compared to Men
The anatomy of women makes them more susceptible to being infected with STDs than men. This is because women’s genitals are more prone to infections as they are thinner and moister as compared to men.
However, women may not be diagnosed with these infections often as most of the symptoms go unnoticed. This is because the STD may be asymptomatic or its symptoms might not be noticeable in women as their reproductive parts are not as accessible as the penis.
8. Condoms Only Reduce the Risk of Contracting an STD
Condoms may protect you from contracting STDs but the only way to eliminate the risk of an STD is abstinence. This is because some STDs can be transmitted through the skin like herpes, HPV, and syphilis, which means that by using a condom you are still at risk.
9. Doctors May Not Test you for STDs Unless You Request for One
In most cases, your doctor may not test you for STDs unless you specifically request them to do it. Therefore, it is important to share your medical history with the doctor and specifically ask for a test, especially if you are having unprotected sex.
10. Think of Sleeping with your Partner as Sleeping with their Past Partners
If you decide to sleep with your partner, then it means that you trust them and you know that it is safe. However, it is important to remember that some STDs may not come with clear symptoms and therefore your partner may have contracted an infection without his or her knowledge of the former partners.
In conclusion, acquiring more knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases is a key to having safe sex and avoiding health complications. Learning more about STDs helps in dispelling those myths that could lead you in trouble such as assuming that an infected person has to show some symptoms.
Besides, it also protects you from contracting diseases that are not curable such as HIV, as they can complicate your life. The article has, however, discussed some of the crucial things that you should know about STDs to allow you to stay safe.
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