STDS – General Information on Sexually Transmitted Diseases

There are a number of different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases.  It is important to be educated about these diseases so you know what symptoms to look for and how you can protect yourself.  If someone looks healthy, that does not mean he or she is not infected.  Be smart and be knowledgeable about different STDs, the symptoms, and how you can protect yourself from getting an STD.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, also known as STDs, are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual activity.  Having unprotected vaginal sexual intercourse with an infected partner is not the only way that you can get an STD.  You can also become infected by having unprotected anal and oral sex with a partner that has an STD.  According to the American Social Health Organization, one in four teenagers will contract a sexually transmitted diseases and by the age of 25, half of the adults will get infected.
Having an STD is serious and requires treatment.  If left untreated, having a sexually transmitted disease can lead to serious health problems.  Even worse is contracting HIV, in which there is no cure and can lead to death.  It is important to protect yourself and be knowledgeable about STDs.  You will not always experience any symptoms if you have a sexually transmitted disease.  Some sexually transmitted diseases can be passed on even if the infection person is not showing any symptoms.

A List of Common STDS:

-Genital Herpes
-Human Papilloma Virus/Genital Warts

Symptoms of STDS Include:

-Burning or painful sensation during urination or sexual intercourse
-Skin Rash
-Discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus
-Vaginal odor
-Severe itching near penis or vagina
-Weight loss
-Fever or chills
-Inflammation near penis or vagina
-Lower abdominal pain
-Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding
-Testicular pain
-Muscle Aches

How Are STDs Treated?

Talk to your doctor about STD testing.  Your doctor can examine you and perform certain tests to see if you have an STD.  Many sexually transmitted diseases can be cured with antibiotics.  Please be sure to take your antibiotics as directed even if you are not showing any more symptoms.  If you are diagnosed with a STD, your partner should definitely get tested and treated if he or she has been infected.  Do not share your medication with your partner.  He or she should get properly examined by a health care professional and be prescribed the medication.  Hold off on sex until you and your partner have been tested and treated.  See your doctor for a follow up appointment to make sure that the STD has been cured.

How Can I Protect Myself from Getting an STD?

-Use a latex condom every time you have sex.  There are also non latex condoms that are made of polyisoprene or polyurethane for people are are allergic to latex.
-Consider not having sex.  That is the only sure way of not getting an STD.
-Have only one sexual partner.  The more sexual partners, the higher the risk.
-Know the symptoms of STDs.
-Get checked for an STD.
-Do not drink or do drugs before having sex as you may not put on a condom before the sexual act if you are not in the right state of mind.


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