Sexually transmitted diseases are among the most commonly contracted conditions today. While this is an obvious cause for concern, it is important to note that not all STDs are life threatening and most can be treated. The problem with STDs is many of them can be passed along between partners even if the person carrying the disease or viruses shows no symptoms. And this makes it incredibly difficult to have any cause for alarm.
Herpes is one of the most common STDs because it is so contagious, easily passed on, and so many people have no idea they have it! Even if a partner is between outbreaks, it is still a possibility, so always use protection to prevent transmission.
The best way to avoid dealing with STDs is to make sure you know all the ways to prevent the viruses. The most reliable way is abstinence and completely obtaining from any sexual activity. If you are sexually active (and best before) it is important to get vaccinated. The HPV vaccination for teen girls should be gotten up to age 26 and in men, teen boys to men the age of 21. It is also important to get vaccinated for Hepatitis B if you never did when you were younger.
Another way to avoid passing on STDs is to be completely monogamous with your current partner. That means the two of you decide to only be sexually active with each other. It is important you get tested before this to make sure neither of you are infected so that it is a mutual understanding.
Now that we’ve covered a bit on how to prevent STDs, let’s talk about what there is to look for. The symptoms can be so subtle and barely noticeable that you may not have any idea. It is important to be open and honest when confronting the idea that you have an STD. If you are infected, you must get treated and you must tell your partner. It’s important to always use protection for this reason, such as condoms, whenever you are sexually active.
Here are some signs and symptoms along with the infection it may be, so you have an idea of what to look for if you are curious about your STD status.
Chlamydia: symptoms may not appear until 1-3 weeks after contact (some have no symptoms) and are usually mild, therefore many overlook them. Things to look out for: pain when urinating, low abdominal pain, discharge, experiencing pain during sex and testicular pain in men
Gonorrhea: Symptoms are generally seen in two to ten days after contact. Some people don’t see signs or symptoms for months. Things to look out for: cloudy, bloody discharge, pain when urinating, non-regular bleeding, swollen and painful testicles, pain when having a bowel movement, rectal itching.
Trichomoniasis: The infection happens in the urinary tract of men or infects the vagina of the woman. The symptoms can range from mild to severe irritation and inflammation. Other symptoms are white, yellowish, clear discharge, discharge in men, irritation and itching for men, painful intercourse and pain when urinating.
HIV: HIV weakens the immune system so that the body cannot effectively combat viruses, disease causing fungi, viruses and it can also lead to AIDS, which is a life threatening disease.
The last stages of HIV infection are the worst; persistent fatigue, night sweats, chills and fever, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, headaches and additional infections.
HSV-1 & HSV-2: Herpes is one of the most common STDs, but can also fall into the category of no shown symptoms on those infected. If there are signs, the sufferer will notice blisters in the genital area.
There is no known cure for herpes. The best current option is antiviral medication that will heal break outs faster and prevent future ones. You must usually continue taking these medications to reduce the possibility of passing on the virus.
Condoms are a great way to protect yourself from contracting the virus or passing it along to your partner but it is not 100% fool proof and you still run the risk of transmitting it. If you are in a monogamous, long term relationship and are open and honest about your sexual history, you will be able to deal with it together. Many couples live normal lives and are still sexually active when they get either both of their situations or the infected partners situation under control.