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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)

Facts About STDs

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease passed from one person to another through sexual contact. STD can be contracted when you have unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected person. 

Methods of transmission of STD are not restricted to sex only; other modes of transmission include the use of infected needles and breastfeeding.

Types of STDs

Below is a full description of the most common STDs. 

Chlamydia

chlamydia is caused by specific bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. 

It initial phase, chlamydia is asymptomatic, but when symptoms begin to show up they often include:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • Green or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina

If this is left untreated, it can lead to infections of the testicles, urethra, or prostate gland, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility

Human Papillomavirus ( HPV)

Human papillomavirus is a virus that can be transmitted through intimate sexual contact. There are different species of this virus; some are more harmful than the others.

The most common symptom of this virus is warts on the mouth, throat, and genitals.

Some strains of the infection can result in several cancers like rectal, oral, cervical, penile, or vulvar cancers.

There is no treatment for human papillomavirus; the virus often clears up on its own. 

Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection. In the early stage, it is asymptomatic. 

The first symptom to appear is chancre- which is a small round sore that develops on the mouth, genitals, or anus. The sore is painless but very infectious.

Later symptoms of the infection include hair loss, weight loss, fever, fatigue, headache, and joint pain. If this is not treated, it results in loss of hearing, vision, and memory, mental illness, heart disease, infection of the spinal cord, and eventually death.

If noticed early, can be treated with antibiotics.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus( HIV)

HIV damages the immune system and elevates the risk of contracting other viruses, bacteria, or certain cancers.

Symptoms of HIV include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Aches and pains 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rashes

There is yet to be a tested and proven cure for HIV, but with available treatment options, it can be managed, and life can be sustained. 

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, which is also known as “the clap,” is a well-known bacterial STD. 

Many people with gonorrhea show no symptoms. But when symptoms are present, they include:

  • Sore throat
  • Pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • A white, yellow, beige, or green-colored discharge from the penis or vagina
  • More frequent urination than usual 
  • Itching around the genitals

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, which is known as “trich,” is a disease caused by a protozoan that can be transmitted from person to person through genital contact. 

Symptoms may include:

  • Itching or burning around the vagina or penis
  • Discharge from the vagina or penis
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or discomfort during urination or sex

In women, discharge often has an unpleasant or “fishy” smell.

Herpes

Herpes is a simplified name for the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two main species of the virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2, and they can be transmitted sexually. 

HSV-1 causes oral herpes. However, during oral sex, HSV-1 can also be transmitted from one person’s mouth to another person’s genitals leading to genital herpes. 

HSV-2 mainly results in genital herpes.

Blistery sore remains the most common symptom of herpes. 

There’s no cure for herpes yet. 

Symptoms Of STDs

STDs could be asymptomatic. But some cause obvious symptoms which includes:

  • Experiencing pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • Sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the penis, vagina, testicles, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth
  • Unusual discharge or bleeding from the penis or vagina
  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Itchiness in or around the vagina

Summary

Sexually transmitted diseases are generally deadly and discomforting to living. Most importantly, these diseases can be transmitted from mother to child if not treated.

Furthermore, sexually transmitted diseases can lead to other health issues, including infertility, if not treated early; therefore, it is essential to make it a duty to know your infection status regularly.

Lastly, Though most sexually transmitted diseases are without cure e.g., HIV/AIDS and herpes, there are drugs to preserve life.

To know more on how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases click here.

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Freeman Fox

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