When it comes to “freaking out worthy” events, being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease comes pretty close to the top.
What will happen to your nether regions (or your throat)? Do they have a cure? How are you going to share this information with future sex partners? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.
Understanding Sexually Transmitted Diseases
First of all, every single person who’s sexuallly active could be at risk of contracting an STD. Because of this, the best thing you can do is educate yourself and practice safe sex every single time.
Symptoms: Most people don’t have any symptoms when they have gonorrhea. However, those who do have reported the following issues: burning sensation when peeing; a white, yellow, or green discharge when peeing; or spotting between periods.
If you had anal sex, you might get anal itching or painful bowel movements.
Treatment: The really great news is that gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics. It’s crucial to take every single prescribed dose. Otherwise, you’ll continue having the infection.
2. Chlamydia: This is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Although it’s curable, people who are infected with it become more likely to contract HIV.
Symptoms: Most people who have chlamydia aren’t aware of it, because it rarely has any symptoms. However, the people who have reported symptoms have complained about painful sexual intercourse, unusual discharge from their genitals, and burning while urinating (see a common denominator here?)
Treatment: Chlamydia can also be cured with antibiotics.
Symptoms: The symptoms of syphilis will vary depending on the stage the disease is in: Primary, secondary, latent, or tertiary.
During its primary stage, you may get painless sores in the affected area: genitals, anus, or mouth. They usually will go away within a couple of weeks. However, the person will still be infected with the virus unless they receive treatment.
During the secondary stage, you may get flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, fever, headaches, and being tired all the time.
During the latent stage, the person won’t have any symptoms. If left untreated, the illness will reach its tertiary stage.
During the tertiary stage, the disease will start to affect internal organs, including your central nervous system and your brain.
Treatment: Syphilis can be treated with Penicillin. The dosage and length of treatment will depend on the stage of the disease. You should also follow up within 6 to 12 months after treatment has ended to make sure you’re cured.
Additional Side Effects
Having Gonorrhea, Syphilis, or Chlamydia can be transmitted from mother to child during child birth.
Also, if left untreated, they can cause irreparable damage to some of your internal organs.
How can you reduce your risk of getting an STD?
As previously mentioned, anyone who is sexually active can get an STD. And as you can see from the information provided above, some of these diseases don’t show any signs or symptoms.
It is for these reasons that you should do the following if you want to reduce your risk of contracting any sexually transmitted disease:
1. Get tested: This is a scary concept for a lot of people, because it’s easier to pretend that a potential issue doesn’t exist than to have it confirmed.
However, getting tested will allow you to (a) share this information with sex partners (you don’t want to infect other people, right?) and (b) get adequate treatment.
As mentioned earlier, some STDs do have a cure. If you have one of them, you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Also, if left untreated, some sexually transmitted diseases may cause serious complications, such as inflammation of the bladder, testicular or pelvic pain, and infertility.
2. Always practice safe sex: Notice how this is under a section titled “How can you reduce your risk”. “Reduce” being the operative word. Even if you always wear a condom or a dental dam, there’s a risk of infection. This is because some diseases are spread from skin to skin contact, from bodily fluids touching a part of your body, or from defective prophylactics.
This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. So if you’re in high school and think that by going down on someone you’re safe, hopefully you’re reading this before going to that party.
3. Don’t share needles: The best advice is to refrain from using drugs, but if you do, be aware of the fact that sharing needles with an infected person will pass on the disease to you.
OB-GYN Women’s Center can provide screening and treatment
We understand that this is a difficult subject to talk about. We also understand that when faced with the possibility of an STD, things can get really scary.
At OB-GYN Women’s Center, we aim to make all of our patients feel comfortable. And getting answers to all your questions is the first step in getting the treatment you need.
Contact us to schedule an appointment. Because something worse than having a sexually transmitted disease is to leave it untreated and have it turn into a more serious condition.