What is a STD
STD - sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are passed on through sexual contact from person to person. An STD can be spread to another person through vaginal intercourse or anal intercourse. Sexually transmitted diseases are contracted from someone who has a disease passing it on by bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions and blood. It is thought to be more than 50 known STD. Certain STD's can be treated and completely cured if caught early enough. Some can not be cured and others can only be controlled.
There is a difference between a Sexually transmitted infection (STI) and a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). STIs used to be referred to as venereal diseases or VD. They are among the most common contagious diseases. An STI for example, Chlamydia can infect a person without causing a disease. Most infections can be cured when caught in the earlier stages before it becomes a STD.
Signs and Symptoms of a STD
The problem with a STD and STI is some do not show any symptoms at all especially in the earlier stages. For this reason regular testing if a person is sexually active is very important. Some common symptoms of STD:
- abnormal discharge secreting from the penis or vagina, the colour may be yellow or green Burning or itching in vaginal or penis area
- lumps or blisters in or around the genital area
When to get tested for a STD
It is recommended to have yearly testing for Sexually transmitted diseases if a person is sexually active. Below are some of the risk factors to consider; Unprotected Sex It is important to remember even when using a condom it is not a guarantee that a person is fully protected from STD. Multiple Sexual partners Remember that when having unprotected sex with someone you are exposing yourself to every sexual partner they have been intimate with. The more partners a person has the more chance of being exposed to a STD Age People under the age of 25 are more likely to be infected with a form of STD or STI than older people. Research has shown young woman is more biologically susceptible to contracting STDS. Statistics have shown that younger people are less likely to use protection when engaging in sexual risks.
How to protect yourself against an STD
- Do not have unprotected sex- this can be Anal, vaginal or oral
- Keep the number of partners to minimum
Remember an STD can be passed on by sexual secretions, saliva and blood.
- do not Use intravenous drugs (injected into a vein) or share needles
The most common STD's and the one that goes most undetected as symptoms in the early stages are not usually present. Statistics have shown that 16-24 year olds are most at risk from this STI. The cervix of the younger woman are not fully matured at this age and can make them more susceptible. If Chlamydia is left undetected, it can cause complications and damage which can not be reversed. It has been known to cause pelvic inflammatory disease and can lead to infertility.
Genital herpes are another common sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. Like chlamydia symptoms are only slight or completely absent in the early stages. When signs of genital herpes appear it is in the form of blisters which break out on and around the genitals. This type of infection will stay in the body indefinitely and break outs can happen at anytime.
This STD is commonly confused with genital herpes, but there is a difference in genital warts and genital herpes. Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), genital warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV can come with symptoms or without and can remain undetected for any where up to 4 weeks. When genital warts start to break out they look like little clusters, skin tags or almost like tiny cauliflowers. Genital warts can be treated by swabbing the cell with a poison usually podophyllotoxin condyline. A skin specialist may remove the warts under a local anesthetic using surgery by freezing or a laser treatment. Sometimes there is only one outbreak, but genital warts can return at any time throughout your life once contracted.
There are certain strains of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer, if diagnosed it is important to be tested at least every year.
Gonorrhea has many slang names for example, "clap" it is a bacterial infection that can take up to ten days to show symptoms. The symptoms and signs are easier to spot in women than it is for men. Some of the symptoms include bleeding after intercourse, pain when urinating, unusual discharge and bleeding between periods. Treatment for gonorrhea consists of a single dose of medication. The medication will clear up the infection, but it can not reverse the damage that could have been caused to the reproductive system. If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to fertility problems and pelvic inflammatory disease. This can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Treatment for gonorrhea is usually a single dose of medication, whist the medication can clear up the infection it can not undo the damage that may have been caused to the reproductive system. If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to fertility problems and pelvic inflammatory disease. This can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
If you think you could be at risk, visit your local clinic and get tested, the earlier a STD is detected the more chance they can be treated or better controlled.