Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are passed on through sexual contact from person to person. An STD can be spread to another person through vaginal intercourse or anal intercourse. Sexually transmitted diseases are contracted from someone who has a disease passing it on by bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions and blood. It is thought to be more than 50 known STD. Certain STD’s can be treated and completely cured if caught early enough. Some can not be cured and others can only be controlled.
There is a difference between a Sexually transmitted infection (STI) and a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). STIs used to be referred to as venereal diseases or VD. They are among the most common contagious diseases. An STI for example, Chlamydia can infect a person without causing a disease. Most infections can be cured when caught in the earlier stages before it becomes a STD.
Signs and Symptoms of a STD
The problem with a STD and STI is some do not show any symptoms at all especially in the earlier stages. For this reason regular testing if a person is sexually active is very important.
Some common symptoms of STD:
- abnormal discharge secreting from the penis or vagina, the color may be yellow or green
- Burning or itching in vaginal or penis area
- Uncommon bleeding,
- painful intercourse,
- lumps or blisters in or around the genital area
- Bleeding between periods
When to get tested for a STD
It is recommended to have yearly testing for Sexually transmitted diseases if a person is sexually active. There are also at home test kits for all STDs. Below are some of the risk factors to consider; Unprotected Sex It is important to remember even when using a condom it is not a guarantee that a person is fully protected from STD. Remember that when having unprotected sex with someone you are exposing yourself to every sexual partner they have been intimate with.
The more partners a person has the more chance of being exposed to a STD Age People under the age of 25 are more likely to be infected with a form of STD or STI than older people. Research has shown young woman is more biologically susceptible to contracting STDS. Statistics have shown that younger people are less likely to use protection when engaging in sexual risks.
How to protect yourself against an STD
- Do not have unprotected sex- this can be Anal, vaginal or oral
- Keep the number of partners to minimum
- Do not share sexual toys
- Avoid sharing underwear
- Do not Use intravenous drugs (injected into a vein) or share needles
- Remember an STD can be passed on by sexual secretions, saliva and blood.