What is an STD?
STD stands for sexually transmitted disease and it is the term given to any disease or virus that can be contracted through sexual contact. STD’s can affect both men and women of any age and background. Some can be treated by a simple visit to the doctor and a course of antibiotics however others are incurable and can affect a person for their entire lifetime.
Common STD’s and their Symptoms:
Herpes is a virus that can be contracted through oral, anal or vaginal sex. Often there are no symptoms of having herpes, but even if there are no symptoms present the virus can still be spread from person to person. Some people with the virus will experience blisters that are painful and itchy and can break open. They can be located around the mouth, on the genitals or around the rectum.
AIDS is a very dangerous virus that can be spread through sexual contact or by sharing needles or coming in contact with an infected persons blood. AIDS can develop into the HIV virus and can lower an infected persons immune system. This weakened immunity can lead to many serious illnesses and possibly even death. Symptoms of this disease can include rapid weight loss, extreme sweating, unexplainable tiredness, prolonged diarrhea and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Gonorrhea is a very common STD and can easily be treated if caught early. If it is not treated early on, this infection can become quite serious and complications may occur. Symptoms of gonorrhea include genital itching, painful urination or an unusual green or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina.
4. Genital Warts
Genital warts are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). They appear as small, skin coloured bumps on or around the genitals and can be itchy or painful. Sometimes these bumps are smooth and other times they are bumpy and shaped like a cauliflower. Proper steps should be taken to protect yourself from contracting this virus because it can sometimes lead to cancer, specifically in women.
Hepatitis is a virus that can be contracted through sexual contact and affects the liver. It can eventually lead to acute liver disease or cirrhosis of the liver. Symptoms of this virus include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, general feeling of being unwell and yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can be cured fairly easily with a course of the appropriate antibiotics. It can be quite serious if left untreated and could lead to infertility in women. Someone with this STD may experience a painful, burning sensation during urination, a yellow or green discharge, pain in the lower abdomen and painful intercourse in women.
How to Protect yourself
Protecting yourself from contracting any sexually transmitted diseases is very important. By following the tips below you can you can minimize your risk of becoming infected:
- Always wear a condom when having sex
- Only have one sexual partner. Having multiple partners at one time will greatly increase your risk factors for contracting an STD.
- Talk to your partner about your sexual histories and get tested for STD’s
- Do not share needles
If you suspect that you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease it is important to get checked out by a doctor and receive treatment promptly. It is also important to abstain from sexual activity until you have been diagnosed to stop the spread of these STD’S.
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Posted in Sexual Health