Sexually transmitted diseases, often abbreviated as STDs, are infections that spread primarily through sexual contact. With millions affected globally, it’s essential to grasp the basics of STDs to protect oneself and maintain sexual health. This article delves into the causes, preventive measures, and treatments related to STDs.
What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread from one individual to another through sexual contact. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Some STDs can also be transmitted through non-sexual means, such as shared needles or from mother to child during childbirth.
Common STDs and Their Symptoms
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Often symptomless, but can lead to genital warts and is linked to certain types of cancer.
- Chlamydia: Symptoms include painful urination, abnormal discharge, and in women, pelvic pain. If left untreated, it can lead to infertility.
- Gonorrhea: Similar symptoms to Chlamydia but can additionally lead to joint pain and skin sores.
- Herpes: Characterized by periodic outbreaks of painful sores in the genital or oral area.
- HIV: Can lead to AIDS. Early symptoms include flu-like symptoms, but it can be symptomless for years.
How can I prevent a sexually transmitted disease?
Preventing STDs is always preferable to treating them. Here’s how:
- Practice Safe Sex: Always use condoms or dental dams during intercourse.
- Limit Sexual Partners: The fewer partners, the lower the risk.
- Get Vaccinated: There are vaccines available for HPV and Hepatitis B.
- Regular Testing: Regularly get screened for STDs, especially if sexually active with multiple partners.
How do I find out if I have a sexually transmitted disease?
Consulting a doctor is the most reliable method. Discuss your symptoms (if any) and get recommendations on which tests you should undergo. Your doctor can then take samples, which might include blood, urine, or swabs.
Home Testing Kits can be a good alternative if you want to take matters into your own hands. The vaginal smear culture can detect a variety of common STIs such as chlamydia that are treatable via medication.
The following full package test checks for 13 of the most common sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia, Genital herpes, Trichomoniasis and Gonorrhea.
After purchasing a kit from omgyno, these are the next steps:
- Follow Instructions: To take your sample you will use a soft flexible swab, which you insert 5cm (which is about half the size of your index finger) into the vaginal opening. Gently rub the swab against the walls of your vagina by turning it around for about 30 seconds.
- Send to our Lab: We partner with ISO certified diagnostics labs in each country where our home test services are available.
- Get your Results: Omgyno home test results are delivered in 3-5 days with no appointment booking in advance
If you like to talk about your results or receive a prescription from a certified doctor, head over to our telemedicine page and book a session directly with a gynecologist within 24 hrs.
Treatments for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Antibiotics: For bacterial STDs like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
- Antiviral Medications: For viral infections like Herpes and HIV. These don’t cure but can control the disease.
- Education & Counseling: For managing symptoms and preventing spread.
Consequences of Untreated STDs
Ignoring symptoms or avoiding treatment can have serious health consequences:
- Infertility: Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can lead to infertility in both men and women.
- Cancer: HPV can lead to cervical, throat, and penile cancers.
- Systemic Damage: Syphilis, if not treated, can damage the heart, brain, and other organs.
Regular check-ups, practicing safe sex, and open communication with partners can significantly reduce the risk of STDs.