STDs stand for Sexually Transmitted Diseases. They are sometimes called Sexually Transmitted Illnesses or STI but the terms both refer to the same thing, diseases which are spread mainly through sexual contact. STDs/STIs are caused by bacterium, viruses, or parasites.
What other ways can STDs be contracted
- Blood transfusions before the strict screening was put in place
- From mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth
- Sharing needles for illicit drug use
HIV is a prime example of the other ways STDs can be contracted or spread without sexual activities involved.
STDs are not easily spotted.
STDs are also very hard to spot. Unless tested, it is next to impossible to determine if someone has an STD or not. A person who looks perfectly healthy and attractive could be carrying an STD and even he or she would not know it.
The cultural stigma attached to an STD only makes it worse. There is an element of shame and embarrassment when discussing STDs. This makes people hesitant to test themselves even if STDs pose a serious health risk to everyone. Such a culture should be torn down and replaced with a more open, tolerant and realistic view to STDs.
What to look for concerning STDs
- Discharge from vagina or penis sometimes with an unpleasant odor
- Lower stomach pain
- Sores or bumps on the genitals and be found in both in the oral or rectal area
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- Lymph nodes that are swollen and or sore generally in the groin area but can be widespread
- Rash that covers the trunk, hands, or feet
- Urination that is painful with the sensation of burning
These will appear in a few days, weeks, or even years depending on which STD you have contracted.
What increases your chances of an STD?
Anyone who has been sexually active since a young age has a very high chance of acquiring an STD in one form or another. As long as sex is frequent and with many different partners, the chance of infection is always present and relatively high. If the sex is unprotected, the chances become very high.
How to decrease your chances of an STD?
Use of protection in this day and age is essential if you are sexually active. A condom is a prerequisite to good sexual health in these modern times. A condom is the only form of protection that can significantly decrease your chances of getting an STD. While practicing safe sex with condoms it does not eliminate STDs altogether. The only way to stay truly safe is by not having sex at all.
STDs are a modern health problem with serious ramifications for everyone. They are definitely not to be taken lightly or to be taken in a casual manner. It is everyone’s problem and everyone must do something in a small way to curb its spread. Good education and making smart decisions go a long way in staying safe and avoiding STDs.