The sexually transmitted diseases, STDs , are caused by different viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause a specific abnormality in the body, which can be more or less severe. According to data provided by the Spanish Gynecological Association, this type of pathology affects 10% of young people between 15 and 24 years old ; Furthermore, in recent years the number of adults over 45 who suffer from them has increased significantly.
One of the main dangers posed by STDs is that in many cases the conditions are asymptomatic; that is, people who suffer from this type of disease do not have any symptoms, thus going completely unnoticed. The problem is that many of them, if left untreated in their early stages, can lead to far more serious health consequences.
Therefore, it is essential that both men and women have regular check-ups to the gynecologist to diagnose any possible sexually transmitted diseases in time. In addition, it is very important to use a condom in all sexual relations, both vaginal and anal; it is the only contraceptive method that also protects against STDs.
What are the most common sexually transmitted diseases?
This is the most popular STD of all, and also one of the most common, in both men and women. It is the human immunodeficiency virus that completely destroys the body’s ability to defend itself against any possible infection.
Transmission generally occurs through the exchange of certain body fluids, such as semen or vaginal secretions, as well as blood. Generally, this disease is spread through sexual intercourse, although it can also occur in the exchange of needles for injecting drugs. It is worth noting that pregnant women with HIV can transmit the disease to their children, both during the gestation period and during childbirth.
As for symptoms, they generally appear between two and four weeks after contracting the disease. The first to appear are the following: fatigue, swollen glands and fever . Sometimes people associate these red flags with a simple flu . The most severe symptoms can take up to several years to appear.
The way HIV is diagnosed is through a blood test.
Genital herpes can be caused by two types of viruses. On the one hand, HSV-1, which generally affects the mouth, but can be transmitted to the male or female genitalia through oral sex. And, on the other hand, VHS-2, the most common of both; it is transmitted either by the exchange of fluids, or by direct contact with the skin of an infected person.
It is one of the STDs whose symptoms are easier to detect, since a set of ulcers appear, with a very similar appearance to small blisters, in the genital area . These ulcers are often accompanied by other signs such as fever or muscle aches.
The diagnosis of genital herpes is made by a laboratory culture. There is no treatment for this disease; It is usually treated with acyclovir so that no new outbreaks occur, but the virus remains in the body forever.
The gonorrhea is also a fairly common disease sexually transmitted diseases, especially among young people. It can be transmitted through any type of sexual relationship: vaginal, anal and oral.
Symptoms vary between both sexes. In their case, the first warning sign is constant and intense pain in the lower abdomen , which happens when there is an infection that has spread. In men, gonorrhea inflames both the testicles and the urethra, which appear red. In addition, in both cases there is great pain when urinating, as well as having sex.
If the infection spreads throughout the body through the blood, other more serious symptoms may occur, such as fever or rash in certain areas.
It is the most common bacteriological STD, both among men and women. It is transmitted sexually, both orally, vaginally and anally; therefore, it can develop on the cervix, urethra, rectum, or throat.
One of the first symptoms of chlamydia is a vaginal discharge with a jelly-like appearance and a bad smell in the case of chlamydia ; and, in men, discharge from the penis . In addition, in both sexes there are other warning signs such as pain when urinating, burning in the genital area or burning during sexual intercourse.
The way this disease is diagnosed is by urinalysis. If the condition is confirmed, the most common treatment is oral administration of antibiotics. It is essential to treat the disease in time since otherwise serious health problems can occur in the medium and long term, such as infertility or ectopic pregnancy ; damage to both the male and female reproductive systems can be irreversible.
The human papillomavirus is the most common viral STD among both men and women. Currently, it is estimated that about 90% of people who have an active sexual life have contact with this virus at least once , although not all are infected with it; In the vast majority of cases, the immune system acts as a protective barrier against HPV.
It is worth paying special attention to the symptoms because if left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences in the medium and long term, such as cervical cancer. The most common treatment is removal through an outpatient procedure.
There is a vaccine for HPV, which is recommended if you lead a sexually active life with different partners.
The syphilis is a disease very common sexually transmitted diseases, especially among young people. It is spread by bacteria and can affect both the genitals and the mouth or anus, depending on the sexual relationship through which it is transmitted. On rare occasions it presents some type of complication and requires a very simple treatment with penicillin or antibiotics.
However, you have to pay special attention to the symptoms. One of the main warning signs of this pathology is the appearance of sores, which increase the risk of contracting other types of conditions during unprotected sex, such as HIV.
Tips to avoid STDs
As we have noted, certain sexually transmitted diseases can have permanent health effects, such as HIV. Also, some conditions can lead to chronic health problems, such as organ damage, and even lead to infertility. In the case of pregnant women, STDs can lead to damage to the fetus, such as malformations.
Therefore, it is essential to pay maximum attention so that sexual relations are always safe. There are a number of tips that are always worth following.
- Using a condom is essential in all types of sexual relations, both vaginal and anal and oral. It must be taken into account that the rest of contraceptive methods such as the IUD or the pill only prevent pregnancy, but do not offer any type of protection against this type of disease. Today, only the female and male condoms protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
- It is also advisable to limit the number of sexual partners as much as possible ; the higher this number, the more likely you are to get an STD.
- Of course, in these cases it is very important that you be totally honest with your partner; If you have had a sexually transmitted disease, it is important that you tell them.
- Not all STDs have symptoms in their early stages, so regular blood and urine tests are key. It is also advisable to perform a pelvic analysis once a year for women.
In addition, there are some practices that should be avoided at all costs to minimize the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
- Prevents genital secretions from having direct contact with the vagina, mouth or anus ; the vast majority of STDs are transmitted through semen or vaginal secretions.
- If you have any symptoms of a disease of this type, it is best to contact your doctor and avoid sexual intercourse until you find the diagnosis.
- There are those who consider that it is very easy to notice that a sexual partner has an STD. Nothing could be further from the truth; not all people with such a condition have symptoms. That is why the diagnosis is established through analysis.
- Alcohol and drugs are not good companions. They can lead to risky behaviors such as unprotected sex.
STDs are one of the most common conditions in the world . Although people are more and more aware of the importance of having sexual relations, of whatever type, with protection, sexually transmitted diseases are the order of the day.
It is worth paying the utmost attention to the advice and tips that we have pointed out to avoid contracting an STD as much as possible.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.