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STD or Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a global health problem that affects an estimated 40 million individuals worldwide. The STD symptoms of appear slowly and the treatment options are available with medical professionals. In case, you have irritation in your intimate area which is getting worse with time, it is better to show it to a doctor. Untreated STDs like HIV can cause severe health issues or pain during intimate contact. There is also a threat of spread of infection to others if the STD is not treated on time.

What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

A sexually transmitted disease is an infection transmitted through sexual contact. People often contract these diseases through vaginal contact. They can, however, be transmitted by anal intercourse, oral sex, or skin-to-skin contact. STIs are brought on by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Many people develop STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) but are unaware of them since they have no symptoms.

Awareness - Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Awareness – Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Who is at risk of getting an STD?

Anyone who engages in sexual activity is at a risk of contracting an STD. Drug usage might raise your chances of contracting an STD. STDs can be transferred by sharing needles. Many people may be reluctant to disclose that they have an STD. However, without treatment, they continue to transfer the STD to others. Being upfront about your symptoms and sexual history is critical for you and your partners’ health and well-being.

Those who are High Risk Groups for STDs –

  • Commercial Sex Workers and their Clients
  • Gay or Homosexual Men
  • Drug Addicts
  • Unprotected Sex
  • People with Multiple Sex Partners
  • Prison Inmates with Poor Hygiene
  • Victims of Sexual Violence
STD in Women - HIV and Others

STD in Women

Burning Questions – Sexually Transmitted Diseases –

  • Is STD different from STI?

STD – Sexually Transmitted Disease. STI – Sexually Transmitted Infection. A disease is a more aggressive form of an infection. An infection, if left untreated, can lead to a serious disease.

  • Do all STDs have symptoms?

Not all STDs have Symptoms. Some may have no indication or delayed symptoms. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia can have no visible symptoms. HPV or HIV may take months or years to show any kind of symptoms.

  • Can STDs be transmitted with Oral Sex?

Yes, unfortunately you are not protected from an STD if you indulge in oral sex.

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  • Can Birth Control Pills protect you against STD?

No. Birth Control Pills give no Protection against STDs.

  • How often should you get tested for STDs?

This purely depends on your sexual behaviour. If you have multiple sexual partners or go to commercial sex workers, then you should get yourself tested regularly.

  • What are common STD Treatment Options?

Antibiotics usually work well against some STDs. However, certain conditions like HIV and Herpes are more serious and require life-long medications.

  • Can Kissing transmit STD?

Yes, kissing can transmit STDs like CMV, Herpes and Syphilis.

  • What Causes STDs?

Bacteria, Virus and Parasites are the main cause of STDs.

Youngsters are High Risk Groups - Sexually Transmitted DIseases

Youngsters are High Risk Groups

Common Types of STD:

There are many types of STDs known to humans. Below are the most common ones –

Chlamydia –

Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis infection. It does not usually cause symptoms, but it can lead to infertility and other complications if it is not treated. Early therapy makes it simple to cure.

How does it Spread:

It is a common infection that can be transmitted via anal, vaginal, or oral sex. It can also be transmitted to a baby during childbirth.

STD Chlamydia Symptoms:

Symptoms may include a change in vaginal discharge and burning discomfort while urinating. Chlamydia can infect the rectum if it is transmitted during anal intercourse or spreads from another part of the body. This can result in:

Symptoms typically occur one to three weeks after exposure.

Women:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Mild pain when urinating
  • Progression to pelvic inflammatory disease
Chlamydia - STD Symptoms

Chlamydia – STD Symptoms

Men:

  • Penile discharge
  • Mild pain when urinating
  • Progression to epididymitis, an inflammation of the tubelike structure that stores and transports sperm

HSV:

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a common virus that affects the skin, cervix, and genitals, as well as other regions of the body.

HSV-1:

HSV – 1 most commonly affects the mouth. It can spread by saliva or if another person’s mouth has a herpes-related sore. It has the potential to enter the genital region during oral sex.

HSV Treatment Options

HSV Treatment Options

HSV-2:

It can infect the vaginal, anal, and oral cavities. It spreads via vaginal, oral, and anal sex.

How does it spread?

If a person touches a herpes-infected body part and then touches another part of their body, herpes can spread to that area.

Herpes remains in the body once it is there. However, it normally remains latent, and many people never develop symptoms.

The following are some infection symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Body pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Genital Herpes

Symptoms typically occur two to ten days after exposure. Initial episode, typically lasting two to three weeks:

  • Itching or burning sensation in the genitals or anus
  • Pain in the genitals, buttocks, legs
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Tiny red bumps involving the vagina, cervix, penis or in the anal area.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Swollen glands in the groin
Recurrences, typically lasting about one week:
  • Itching or tingling sensation in the genitals, buttocks or legs
  • Small blisters or open sores at the site of infection

Hepatitis B:

Hepatitis B can produce a long-term illness and liver damage. Once infected, the virus can live in a person’s sperm, blood, and other physiological fluids.

Hepatitis B - Dangerous STD

Hepatitis B – Dangerous STD

How does it spread:

  • sexual contact
  • utilizing non-sterile injection equipment
  • puncturing the skin using a sharp tool where the virus is present
  • From Mother to Child – During Pregnancy

A doctor, on the other hand, may advice on how to avoid this. People who are at high risk of acquiring hepatitis B should consult their doctor about a vaccination, which may provide some protection.

STD Symptoms – Hepatitis B:

Symptoms might be mild or severe, and may include:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • stomach ache
  • Appetite loss
  • Fever of moderate severity
  • diarrhea
  • Insufficient energy
  • Constipation
  • Jaundice

Syphilis:

A potentially fatal sexually transmitted disorder (STI). Syphilis is a medication-treatable sexually transmitted infection (STI). Syphilis causes major health complications and death if not treated. It has the potential to permanently harm the heart, brain, muscles, bones, and eyes. Always wear a condom during intercourse to lower your chance of infection.

Syphilis in Women - Sexually Transmitted Disease

Syphilis in Women

How does it spread?

It spreads by sexual contact with an infected person.

How widespread is syphilis?

Syphilis cases have been on the rise in recent years, particularly among homosexual and bisexual males. Every year, around 80,000 people are diagnosed with syphilis.

Symptoms:

There might be:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Hair thinning
  • Headaches
  • Loss of Weight
  • Muscular pain
  • Tiredness
  • Fever

This STD Treatment is done with Antibiotics.

Gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea is a common bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It’s also known as “the clap” or “drip.” It is very infectious and, if left untreated, can result in life-threatening consequences. Gonorrhea is a bacterial illness that is commonly transmitted through sexual contact.

How does it spread?

Gonorrhea transmission happens through oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse. Pink eye can be caused by gonorrhea if a person contacts an infected region of their body and subsequently touches their eye.

STD Symptoms- Gonorrhea:

Symptoms typically occur two to ten days after exposure.

Men:

  • Penile discharge
  • Mild to severe burning sensation when urinating
  • Can progress to epididymitis

Women:

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating and/or yellow or bloody vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Progression to pelvic inflammatory disease

Rectal Infection:

  • Anal discharge
  • Anal itching
  • Painful bowel movements

Genital Warts/Human Papillomavirus – HPV

HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses. Low risk HPV generally goes away on its own and does not lead to any issues. High Risk HPVs can lead to complications like genital warts, cervical changes and cervical cancer.

Vaccination for HPV - Sexually Transmitted Disease

Vaccination for HPV

Symptoms typically occur three months after exposure.

Women:

Clusters of tiny warts outside and inside of the vagina, on the cervix or around the anus

Men:

Clusters of tiny warts on the penis, scrotum or anus

HIV:

HIV is an abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus. It attacks and kills immune system cells, making it difficult to fight against other infections. HIV can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if it has severely damaged your immune system (AIDS).

HIV - AIDS Rash

HIV – AIDS Rash

AIDS is the last and most severe stage of HIV infection. People with AIDS have highly compromised immune systems and very low levels of specific white blood cells.

How does HIV spread:

This can occur as a result of sexual interaction, needle sharing, contact with injured skin, childbirth, and lactation.

Symptoms of HIV/AIDS –

  • HIV Symptoms Headaches
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Itchy, rashy skin/skin lesions
  • Chronic coughing
  • Confusion/delirium
  • Difficulty breathing
HIV Symptoms

HIV Symptoms

The STD Treatment for HIV and AIDS is to be continued for Life.

While some people may find STDs embarrassing or terrifying, it is best to get medical support if you suspect an exposure. Doctors are sworn to secrecy and will not judge you for your sexual behaviour or preferences. So, shed your fears and get STD Treatment in case you experience any of the above symptoms.

Learn More – Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Information from CDC

Shivani Kapur

A Writer at Heart, an Engineer by Qualification, and a Soap Crafter by Profession, Shivani does not fear to speak her mind. This blog is a reflection of some of her thoughts, personal experiences mixed with some well researched information. Please feel free to reach out to her (shivanikapur@gustchimes.com) if you have any questions or concerns :-)

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