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Sexual Health Information 101: STDs

As effective as modern contraception methods are, most protect you from only one kind of risk: unintended pregnancies. But, unplanned parenthood is not the only risk that comes with unsafe and unprotected sex. Practicing unsafe sex also puts you at risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Since condoms are the only known and proven birth control method that protect against STDs and STIs, a lot of sexual health information can go a long way in keeping yourself safe and uninfected. What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases? These are diseases and infections that can be contacted by means of having unsafe and unprotected sex with an infected partner. Contrary to popular belief, STDs are not only transmitted via vaginal sex.

Anal, oral, and vaginal sex are potent means of transmitting these viruses and bacteria. Virus and bacteria that trigger these diseases and symptoms are transmitted through the bodily fluids exchanged during intercourse like saliva, vaginal fluids, and semen, among others. Sharing non-sterilized needles with other people is also a common cause of the spread of STDs. Blood is also a potent transmitter of these bacteria and viruses especially if it finds its way into open lesions or sores. What are the kinds of STDs? Generally, there are two kinds of STDs curable and non-treatable.

Curable STDs, which are bacterial infections in nature, are often treated by using antibiotics and medication. Treatments are often long procedures which can take months or even years. It has also been observed that getting infected with STDs lowers one's defenses against future infections. Common examples of curable STDs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphillis, trichomoniasis, and vaginal infections. Non-treatable STDs are viral infections and diseases that progress over time and develop complications. While most are lifelong conditions, some can be fatal and cause death. Treatments and therapies are often administered not for the purpose of treating the infections but for minimizing the symptoms and fortifying the body's resistance against complications. Some of the known non-treatable STDs include genital herpes, Hepatitis B, genital warts, and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. What are the symptoms of STDs? Symptoms of STDs may vary among individuals and the gravity of the infection. However, some of the common symptoms include: * foul penile discharge * burning pain while peeing * foul smell and changes in vaginal discharge * pain during sex and around the lower abdomen * blisters, sores, lesions, and rashes in the mouth, anus, or genital areas If one observes any, a combination, or all of the following symptoms, medical attention should be immediately sought.

Key STD Facts As a controversial subjects, there are lots of misconceptions and wrong ideas about STDs that can potentially cause more trouble. Below are some facts on STDs that can make detection and treatment easier: * A person can contact more than one STD at a time. An STD does not make a person immune from other sexually transmitted infections or from the same infection. In some cases, having STD can make a person more prone to contacting more infections or having a relapse. * STD does not discriminate. Sexually transmitted diseases can infect anyone from an adolescent to an aging drug dependent; all it takes is one unprotected indiscretion. * STDs are common. There are millions of people who are infected with STD or carry an infection strain. Most of these people are not even over the age of 30.


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