Stay Healthy – Avoid Sexually Transmitted Infections
sexual transmitted infections
Sexually transmitted disease or Sexually transmitted infections, are commonly known as STDs. STDs are transmitted from one person to another by way of vaginal, oral or anal sex. There is a long list of STDs including genital warts (HPV), HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and hepatitis B and C. Lice and scabies can also be transmitted through sexual contact. In addition, recent discoveries show the mosquito-born Zika virus can also be transmitted through sex. Generally, females are more at risk for complications resulting from an STD, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.
STDs are either bacterial, viral or parasitic in nature. With prompt treatment some STDs are completely curable, however some STDs cannot be completely eradicated. With some infections, symptoms present fairly quickly after contact with an infected individual. On the other hand, some STDs do not present any symptoms at all or they only present mild symptoms that might be mistaken as a yeast infection, urinary traction infection or the flu. In some cases, STD symptoms do not become noticeable until weeks or even months after contact with an infected individual.
If you are sexually active and notice any symptoms such as painful urination, unexplained flu-like symptoms, any unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, painful blistering sores or warts in the genital/anal area or intense itching in these same areas, you should seek professional medical treatment. STDs do not go away on their own and some can lead to serious medical problems if left untreated.
So what can individuals do to protect their reproductive health? There are vaccinations available to protect against HPV and hepatitis B. Condoms might help protect against some STDs, although not all. Women should avoid using douches, since they remove some of the normal bacteria in the vaginal area that help protect women against certain kinds of infection. Lastly, knowing your partner well enough to have an honest discussion about each other’s medical history with regard to STDs, will help couples understand the risks they might be exposing themselves to.
If you have any questions regarding sexually transmitted infections, FirstCare Medical Center is available for testing and treatment seven days a week.