Sexually transmitted diseases are serious illnesses that require immediate treatment and are among the most contagious. Sexually transmitted diseases include HIV, chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, some forms of hepatitis, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Some of these diseases can turn deadly but most of them can be prevented. Most sexually transmitted diseases are contracted from vaginal, anal or oral sex.
There can be many causes that can put you at high risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. These are listed as follows:
- You have more than one sex partner.
- You have sex with someone who has had many partners.
- You don’t use a condom when having sex.
- You share needles when injecting intravenous drugs.
- You trade sex for money or drugs.
The germs that can cause a sexually transmitted disease can hide in blood, semen, vaginal secretions and sometimes saliva. Most of these germs are spread by vaginal, anal, or oral sex, but some that cause genital herpes and genital warts may be spread through skin contact. You can get hepatitis B by sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors, with someone who has it. A sexually transmitted disease can have the following symptoms:
- Bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina.
- Swelling or redness near the penis or vagina.
- Skin rash.
- Painful urination.
- Weight loss, loose stools, night sweats.
- Aches, pains, fever, and chills.
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice).
- Discharge from the penis or vagina. Vaginal discharge may have an odor.
- Bleeding from the vagina other than during a monthly period.
- Painful sex.
- Severe itching near the penis or vagina.
Treating a sexually transmitted disease has to be done with proper care and medication as prescribed by the doctor. Antibiotics, as prescribed, should be taken for the specified time to control the infection. Apart from these some precautions will go a long way to prevent contracting Sexually transmitted diseases. The precautions are listed below:
- Consider that not having sex or sexual relations (abstinence) is the only sure way to prevent STDs.
- Use a latex condom every time you have sex. (If you use a lubricant, make sure it is water-based.)
- Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch an STD.
- Practice monogamy. This means having sex with only one person. That person must also have sex with only you to reduce your risk.
- Choose your sex partners with care. Don’t have sex with someone whom you suspect may have an STD. And keep in mind that you can’t always tell by looking if your partner has an STD.
- Get checked for STDs. Don’t risk giving the infection to someone else.
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs before you have sex. You may be less likely to use a condom if you are drunk or high.
- Know the signs and symptoms of STDs. Look for them in yourself and your sex partners.
- Learn about STDs. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.
A sexually transmitted disease can be dangerous but if diagnosed on time can be easy to treat.