STD symptoms are common today because of the increasing number of people being involved in sexual activity.
STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are conditions or illnesses acquired through sexual contact. These diseases spread quickly today because of more people being sexually active and having multiple sex partners throughout their lives. There are numerous sexually transmitted diseases having different symptoms. Although these diseases spread commonly through oral, anal, and vaginal sex, some of them may be acquired through other means such as through needle injections.
How Do STDs Spread?
People may think that the only way STDs are spread is through sexual intercourse. Some may also think that they can’t be spread through anal or oral sex. That’s wrong. They can spread through any skin-to-skin contact with the affected area like in genital warts or herpes. They can also spread through oral sex as bacteria or viruses can enter the body through a portal of entry in the mouth which may be a break or cut in the buccal mucosa.
It is very difficult to identify STD symptoms. Some may not even know that they are already affected. This makes STDs spread easily. People won’t know that they are already infecting their partners during sexual activity.
There are some cases wherein the risk of developing the disease becomes high. A person who begins having sex at a very young age is more likely to become infected. People who are having multiple sex partners are also more at risk of having the disease than people who stay with the same partner. A birth control method, such as using condoms, decreases the risk of acquiring an STD.
Common STD Symptoms and Diseases
STD symptoms vary depending on the type of infection. In some cases, the patient may become asymptomatic in the early stage of the disease. However, it doesn’t mean that nothing is wrong. Damage may occur to the reproductive organ and complications such as infertility may arise even if symptoms are absent.
Chlamydia infection is one of the most common STDs. It affects both men and women. Symptoms of this infection include: a burning sensation when urinating and an abnormal discharge from the genitals. However, most patients show no symptoms. Complications of this infection include: pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and infertility. This type of infection can be treated through antibiotic therapy.
Open sores and painful blisters are also one of the most common STD symptoms caused by genital herpes. The herpes simplex virus is responsible for this type of infection. Other symptoms such as: vaginal discharges, pain while urinating, and itching in the genital area may occur. Furthermore, patients may also experience pain in the leg area, genitals, and buttocks. Other patients may experience no symptoms while others may say that symptoms come and go. Unfortunately, genital herpes has no cure. Treatment mainly focuses on treating the symptoms such as pain and itching.
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, causes AIDS or acquired immune deficiency syndrome. This disease is one of the most easily spread diseases. This is because a person may be infected by the virus but may not show any sign or symptoms of the disease for ten years or more. This infection tends to weaken the body’s immune system making the infected person susceptible to infection. A person infected with HIV (See: Symptoms of HIV) doesn’t really die of the infection but because of life-threatening diseases that they acquire because of a weak immune system. AIDS has no cure. It is transmitted during sexual activity or through the use of infected objects that penetrate the skin.
Gonorrhea also causes STD symptoms like discharges in the reproductive system of the affected individual. The discharge is yellow in color and may sometimes be bloody. Painful urination may also occur. Serious complications may develop as well because of this infection such as: infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Complications may be prevented if treated early through the use of antibiotics.
How are STDs Treated?
STD symptoms should be reported immediately because STDs can easily be cured if detected early. Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are examples of STDs that are easily treated. However, diseases such as HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, and infection caused by the human papillomavirus have no cure. Furthermore, these diseases should not be neglected as early diagnosis helps in reducing the severity of complications brought about by the disease as well as prevent the spread of infection. It is advised that both sex partners should undergo treatment. They should also avoid sexual contact with other people during the whole course of treatment.
In case of recurring infection, it is recommended that the patient consult a physician immediately. Even with the same type of infection, it is not advisable to take the same medication that was used before because the organism may have developed resistance to the medication, and it may require a stronger antibiotic to kill the organism.