Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD): All You Need to Know

STDs are diseases that are transmitted from person to person, most commonly through vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. They're very common and many people who have them have no symptoms. STDs can cause major health issues if not treated. The good news is that getting tested is simple, and most STDs are easily treated. STDs are dangerous infections that require medical attention. Others, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), cannot be cured and can be fatal if not treated.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Types of STDs

The types of STDs are as follows

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital herpes
  • HPV
  • Pubic lice
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis.

Symptoms of STDs

STDs may not always cause symptoms and may only cause minor ones. As a result, it is possible to have an infection and be aware of it. You may, however, transmit it to someone else.

The following symptoms may be experienced by men:

  • Itching or burning in the penis
  • A discharge (drip) from the penis
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Penis, anus, or mouth sores, pimples, or blisters
  • Burning and discomfort when passing urine or bowel movements
  • Having to use the restroom frequently

The following symptoms are common among women:

  • Itching or burning in the vagina
  • A discharge or odour from the vaginal area
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Vaginal bleeding that is not usual
  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal sores, pimples, or blisters, anus, or mouth sores
  • Burning and discomfort when passing pee or bowel motions
  • Having to use the restroom frequently

When to see a doctor?

Although some STDs may not cause symptoms, it is nevertheless important to look for any signs of infection, even if they are minor. If you experience any of the following symptoms, see a doctor or healthcare expert straight away:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Abnormal discharge from the cervix, penis, or anus
  • Itching or burning in the genitalia
  • Rashes, pimples, and sores
  • Pelvic discomfort, often known as lower abdominal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding that is unusual
  • Painful penetrative sex

Risk Factors of STDs

  • Having unprotected sex : Vaginal or anal penetration by an infected partner who isn't wearing a latex condom increases the risk of getting an STD substantially. Improper or inconsistent condom usage might also increase the risk.
  • Oral sex : It may be less risky, but infections can still be transmitted without a latex condom or a dental dam.
  • Having sexual contact with multiple partners : The risk increases if someone gets intimate with more people who might already have some kind of infection.
  • History of STD : Anyone who has a history of an STD, particularly HIV/AIDS, is at an increased risk of contracting any other STD. In other words, having an STD makes you more likely to contract another STD in the future.
  • Being forced to engage in sexual activity : Dealing with rape or assault is challenging, but it's critical to visit a doctor as quickly as possible for screening, treatment, and emotional support.
  • Misuse of alcohol or use of recreational drugs : Substance abuse can impair judgement, making you more likely to engage in unsafe behaviour.
  • Injecting drugs : Sharing needles transmits a variety of dangerous illnesses, including HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
  • Age : People aged 15 to 24 contribute about half of all new sexually transmitted diseases.

Complications of STDs

STDs can have long-term consequences if left untreated. The possible complications include:

  • Infertility and reproductive health issues
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and discomfort in the pelvis
  • Complications of pregnancy
  • Certain cancers, including HPV-related cervical and rectal cancers
  • Heart disease
  • Inflammation of the eyes

Prevention of STDs

Preventing STIs is the best way to avoid an STD. The only sure method to do so is to avoid unprotected sexual contact. There are, however, ways to make sex safer and lower the chance of developing an STD:

  • Before engaging in any sexual activity with a new partner, have an honest conversation about their sexual past.
  • Get tested for STIs on a regular basis, especially if you have new or multiple partners.
  • To help prevent Sexually transmitted diseases that spread through fluids, use a condom properly during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Dental dams can help protect against oral sex.
  • Consider obtaining an HPV and hepatitis B vaccine.
  • If you are at a higher risk of developing HIV, consider taking PrEP medicine on a daily basis.

Diagnosis of STDs

STIs can be diagnosed by a doctor. They will inquire regarding the sexual history in person. It is important, to be honest in order to receive assistance. To confirm the condition, they may take a vaginal or penile fluid sample or a blood test. Laboratory testing can determine the cause and reveal any co-infections you may have.

  • Blood tests : Blood tests can confirm HIV or the latter stages of syphilis.
  • Urine samples : Urine samples can be used to confirm some Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Fluid samples : If you have open genital sores, your doctor may examine fluid and sore samples to determine the kind of infection.

Treatment for STDs

STDs have a significant impact on the body. Depending on the disease, there are several treatment methods available, including

  • Antibiotics
  • Other medications, either oral or topical
  • Laser surgery

You may also be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as abstaining from sex until the treatment is over. Remember that with most STDs, it is not possible to reverse any damage caused by the condition. Moreover, some STDs, such as genital warts and AIDS, are incurable.

Do's and Don’ts

Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, are spread through sexual contact. Every year, millions of people become infected with an STD. Women may get chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, or genital herpes in addition to HIV/AIDS. Preventing STDs and reducing your risk begins with these important do’s and don’ts.

Do’s Don’ts
Use a latex condom every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex Use condoms lubricated with spermicides.
Notice if any changes or symptoms you experience Have sexual intercourse without completing the treatment.
Maintain good personal hygiene Have sexual intercourse with multiple partners
Talk with your partner about his or her sexual history Ignore screening tests for STDs if you suspect infection
Use the antibiotics prescribed. Stop medication without completing the course.

Precautions and self-care will help you fight the condition positively and improve your quality of life.

STDs Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover, we have the best team of Gynaecologists and infectious disease doctors who work together to provide STD disease treatment with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team utilises the latest medical approach, diagnostic procedures and technologies to treat various gynaecological conditions and ailments. For treating STDs, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach and provide comprehensive care to the patients and attend to all their medical needs at once for faster and sustained recovery.

Find STD Doctors Here

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