What are sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases, commonly known as STD, are diseases which are spread by sexual intercourse with someone who has STD. You can get a disease from sexual activity that includes the mouth, anus, vagina, or the penis. It can also be transmitted through contact with blood.

There are many types of STDs, and they are mostly caused by one or another of the millions of different strains of bacteria or viruses. Bacteria mutates quickly and often, and can make it easier for the germs to enter human cells or pass through our tissues. These bacterial infections can harm the body in different ways, and are usually very contagious.

Many infections thrive in the moist genital areas, and because of the skin-to-skin contact of the sexual act, is quickly passed on as a STD.

The story that you may have heard that you will not get STD via oral or anal sex – is just that, a story of no substance, and totally untrue. You will get it.

Some common sexually transmitted diseases

There are various kinds of STDs, some more serious than others, and although they may manifest in different ways, they are all contagious, infectious diseases.

Here are 4 of the most common STDs

  • The human papilloma virus is easily transmitted and causes genital warts. Sometimes except for the warts, there are no symptoms of this dangerous virus which increases the risk of cervix or penile cancer. Protect yourself by having an annual check-up for any signs of warts.
  • Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs. If this infection is left untreated, it can spread to the womb and cause a serious disease known as pelvic inflammatory disease, and lead to infertility in women. Both women and men are attacked by this infection and symptoms include (men) pain when urinating, watery discharge from the tip pf the penis, and pain in the testicles. Women also experience pain when urinating, vaginal discharge, pain or bleeding during sex, and pain in the pelvic area. Medical attention is needed, and if treated early, the condition is usually cleared up with a course of antibiotics.
  • Vaginitis affects women and is inflammation and infection inside the vagina. It is characterised by a serious discharge from the vagina, vaginal itching, pain during intercourse, light vaginal bleeding, and painful urination. The infection can be passed on to a male during unprotected sex, and may cause penile inflammation and pain. Treatment with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic meds is usually successful.
  • Gonorrhea symptoms include frequent urination, a yellowish vaginal discharge, as well as a penile discharge, and redness and painful swelling of the male genitals. Some rectal pain and bleeding may also occur. If Gonorrhea is detected and treated in the early stages, there are no long-term effects. However, if left untreated can spread to the fallopian tubes and negatively impact a woman’s fertility. The usual antibiotic medication will apply, but more than one course may be necessary.

Any symptoms of STDs you may experience, need to be confirmed and treated by a medical doctor as soon as possible.

Ways to protect yourself from picking up STDs

  • A good quality condom is one of the best ways to prevent contracting a sexually transmitted disease. A man should always use a condom if there is the slightest risk that he or his partner may have a STD. This is particularly true for anyone who has casual sex with different partners, including the fact that women should also insist on casual male partners using a condom as a matter of course.
  • Teenagers and young adults are at high risk because many are unprepared physically and emotionally for sex, and tend to have multiple partners, many times with no protection. Those who are sexually active must always insist on making use of a condom.
  • Visit a doctor if you have any symptoms such as urinary hassles, unusual discharge, or pain and swelling in the genital area. Timely treatment for any infection can prevent STD from affecting your future sexual health.

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