Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Overview, Symptoms, Prevention

Aug 06, 2018

Overview

Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs are mostly contracted through sexual contact. These diseases can also be transmitted from mother to infant during pregnancy during childbirth, (like gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV, syphilis) or by sharing of needles with an affected person (HIV, syphilis). STDs are transferred by organisms (bacteria, parasites, and viruses) that pass the body through blood, semen, vaginal fluids and other bodily fluids. A life-threatening disease, HIV has affected 10 major countries and India is one of them with fresh cases added every year. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are on the rise and as they say, information is power. It will be beneficial to be well-informed about the same. Let us discuss the symptoms & methods of prevention from sexually transmitted diseases.

Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A fact about STDs is that many times, they have no symptoms and the person who has contracted the disease has no idea about the same till a long time. However, the following are the most prominent symptoms when present.
  • Sores, warts near the mouth, vagina or penis, bumps
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Arthritis
  • Infertility
  • Swelling near the penis or vagina
  • Skin Rashes
  • Heart diseases
  • Cancer
  • Pain during urination
  • Loose stools and night sweats
  • Jaundice
  • Weight Loss
  • Chills or fever
  • Foul smell during the vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Excessive pain during sex
  • Itching near the vagina or penis
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina

Prevention From Sexually Transmitted Diseases

To protect yourself from contracting a sexually transmitted disease, here are a few preventive measures to follow.
  • Use a condom during intercourse because vaginal discharge and semen carry bacteria from an infected person to a normal person. There have been numerous programs to create awareness about the importance of using a condom during intercourse.
  • Limit your sexual partners because the more people you are having sex with, the higher risk you are exposed to.
  • Choose your sex partner carefully. Don’t just have sex with anyone and everyone.
  • If you suspect your partner might have an STD, request him/ her to get tested before having sex for the first time.
  • Get yourself checked for STDs, you could be the one transmitting the disease too.
  • Do not booze before intercourse as you are less likely to use a condom when you are under the effect of alcohol.
  • Be well informed about sexually transmitted diseases and keep checking for symptoms.
  • Wash thoroughly before and after having intercourse.
  • Avoid sharing underclothing, toothbrushes or towels.
  • Injecting drugs through needle sharing may result in serious infections and deadly diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
  • Get vaccinated for diseases like hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Talk to your partner about any doubts or problems that you have been facing. Communication is the key!
  • Male Circumcision has been known to reduce the man’s risk of acquiring HIV from infected women by a huge percentage. It also helps in the prevention of genital HPV and herpes.
If you think you have contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease, do not waste time. Schedule an appointment with a certified hospital and see a doctor at the earliest.

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