It’s perfectly normal to feel embarrassed when it comes to asking or speaking about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As long as you’re sexually active there is no shame in learning more about STI because studies have shown that sexually transmitted infections like human papillomavirus (HPV) are present in about 50% of the sexually active population, which is quite staggering.
Ignorance is no bliss and prevention is better than cure because if an STI is left untreated, HPV in women can lead to cervical cancer while in men, it can cause some types of penile cancer. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize your health and seek regular pap smear exams to identify and treat HPV early.
What are sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases, commonly referred to as sexually transmitted infections, are infections that can be transmitted when engaging in sexual activities with an infected partner.
These infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or other pathogens that can be easily spread through sexual contact. It is important to note that not all sexually transmitted infections display symptoms, but can still be transmitted to sexual partners.
Examples of Sexual Transmited diseases are:-
- Mycoplasma genitalium (Mgen)
How do I catch an STI?
STIs are infections caused by germs that are in body fluids like semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and blood. They can spread when people have sex or other intimate contact without protection. That means even just rubbing body parts together can make you sick. Use a condom or other barrier method every time you have sex to protect yourself. Sometimes STIs can also spread through blood or from a mother to her baby during birth or breastfeeding. Common places on the body that can get infected are the private parts, anus, mouth, and throat. Yes, mouth and throat can get infected too, so use a condom or dental dam to protect yourself if you plan to have oral sex.
What are the signs of sexually transmitted diseases
The signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases aren’t constantly obvious but might include:- Lower abdominal pain, painful or burning sensation while urinating, Vaginal discharge in women, Discharge from the penis in men, Pain during sexual intercourse in women, Bleeding between periods in women, Testicular pain in men
How are Sexually transmitted infections treated?
It is essential to keep yourself educated about STIs, their symptoms, prevention, and treatment. While many STIs can be treated effectively with antibiotics, several factors may influence the course of treatment, including the type and stage of the STI and the individual’s overall health status. In some cases, recurring STIs may call for ongoing treatment and monitoring.
On the other hand, STIs such as HPV and genital warts may prompt a referral to a specialist. Visiting a reliable healthcare provider for a checkup and diagnosis is critical to ensure that you are on the right path to treatment and recovery. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about your condition, so you can get started on the appropriate treatment plan.
Without proper medical treatment, these infections can lead to serious reproductive health complications such as infertility, cancer, or pregnancy complications. Therefore, it is crucial to practice safe sex by using condoms, being aware of your and your partner’s sexual history, and getting regular screenings for sexually transmitted infections to prevent further transmission and potential health risks.
Remember, staying informed and getting tested regularly can help protect both you and your partner’s sexual health and wellbeing. Should you or a friend require counselling, STI testing or help with assistance of unplanned pregnancy, Carlton Women’s clinic in Johannesburg can assist you with the above mentioned services in a confidential environment at an affordable price.
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