Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)- All You Need to Know
According to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), around 376 million new sexually transmitted diseases are reported every year. However, with the lack of awareness surrounding it, more and more people are either unaware of the disease or its prevention.
Even the American Social Health Association suggests that at least half of the sexually active young adults will likely experience a form of STD by the time they are 25 years old.
Here, we are going to discuss everything that one needs to know about STDs.
Table of Contents
Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye
1. What are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs are a group of diseases that are often spread from one person to another through sexual contact. It can spread among partners indulging in sexual intimacy involving the mouth, anus, vagina or penis.
These diseases are extremely communicable and should be treated under an established doctor’s guidance to ensure accurate cure without further risks. There are some types of STDs like HIV, which are extremely challenging or may be incurable. Having a thorough knowledge about these diseases help sexually active individuals avoid the risks of further spread of the infections.
2. Types of STDs
When it comes to discussing the types of sexually transmitted diseases, there are a few important ones that one needs to know. Following is the sexually transmitted diseases list that occurs most commonly:
Chlamydia - This is one of the most common types of STD caused by a bacterial infection. Majority of the patients struggling with this infection report feeling pain during intercourse or urination, along with chronic pain in the lower abdomen and yellow discharge during urination.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - Often witnessed more in women, it is a viral-borne infection that is passed on through sexual contact between two people. There are different strains of the virus that infect individuals, one more virulent than the other. It primarily affects the genitals, throat or mouth.
HIV - When talking about STDs, HIV is likely the most common type of STD known to man. It is a viral infection that directly targets and affects the immune systems of infected individuals. It is also one of the most threatening types of sexually transmitted diseases and needs immediate treatment for faster recovery and prevents it from reaching the third stage of AIDS.
Syphilis - Another common sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria is Syphilis. It is a very unnoticeable form of STD, wherein the infection starts with a chancre, or a small sore on the genitals, anus or the mouth.
Gonorrhoea - Often termed as “the clap”, this is another common type of STD that is caused by bacteria. It often imposes symptoms like pain, discomfort and yellow discharge during urination.
Trichomoniasis - The Trichomoniasis is a common type of STD that is caused by a tiny protozoan, passed primarily through genital contact. The symptoms of this STD are different in both men and women.
Herpes - Often divided into two types - oral herpes and genital herpes, it is another common type of STD that you can look into. The condition is often characterized by the appearance of blisters on the affected area.
Aside from these common types of sexually transmitted infections, there are a few less known types as well. Some of them include:
3. How are STDs diagnosed?
The diagnosis of STDs is very subjective and depends on the type of infection you are struggling with. If you are sexually active and have been experiencing any of the unusual symptoms as mentioned above, it is important that you immediately consult a doctor about it.
Once you see a healthcare provider for your issues, they will first discuss your medical and sexual health history along with that of your partner’s. If you have any noticeable symptoms, the doctors might be able to diagnose the kind of STD you are struggling with.
However, for accurate diagnosis, the doctor suggests undergoing a swab test, urine test and blood test. There are also several home testing kits available in the market that further help with the diagnosis with 100% discretion.
Women often get confused between Pap smear and STD tests. Both of them are different and help diagnose different diseases. The pap smears are primarily done to diagnose any presence of cancerous cells in the cervix.
4. Treatment Options for STDs
As mentioned before, there are bacterial STDs, viral STDs and a few others that are caused by other organisms like protozoans. So, the treatment of the condition generally depends on the type of STD the patient is struggling with.
Bacterial STDs - this infection is primarily treated with the correct dosage of antibiotics.
Viral STDs - this infection doesn’t have any stable cure, which means that the patient will have to rely on their body’s immune system to ward off the disease. The prescribed medications can generally help reduce the frequency and the impact of the STD in the patient’s body.
Accessory STDs - this includes the remaining types of STDs, which are only treatable using topical medications.
5. How to Prevent STDs?
There is no better phrase that defines STDs than “Prevention is better than cure.” So, if you are sexually active, it is necessary that you take care of the condition and use preventive measures rather than dealing with the aftermath of the disease.
Some of the best preventive measures for STDs include:
Use a latex condom while engaging in sexual intercourse
Limit having sexual intercourse with multiple partners
Get tested before engaging in sexual intimacy
Be alert while engaging in sexual contact and avoid drinking alcohol before it
Be aware of the possible symptoms of the STDs and see a doctor is something seems amiss
Get vaccinated with the necessary vaccines against certain STDs like HPV and Hepatitis B
Get regular STD screening
If you have wondered about “What are Sexually transmitted diseases”, we hope this answers all your queries. STDs are common but getting timely treatments and preventing it in the first place can help relieve a lot of complications that come with such diseases. If you are struggling with any kinds of STD symptoms, it is important that you consult your healthcare provider about the same.
At Elan Healthcare, you can avail the right consultation and treatment options for your complications.