Sexually Transmitted Diseases are diseases that are primarily transmitted through sexual activities which are not limited to penetrative sex; they can also be transmitted through oral and anal sex.
Many people suffer from STDs in silence with most being overly shy to talk about it and to also see a doctor because they believe it’s a stigma. It must be emphasized that it is always the best to seek early diagnosis and treatment because most STDs have terrible consequences if not treated early.
The common Sexually Transmitted Diseases include Genital Herpes and Human Papilloma Virus/Genital Warts. Others are Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, and HIV.
As much as it is possible to have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) without showing any symptom, it is nevertheless important that you are informed enough to know when symptoms arise so that you can seek medical attention.
Below are 10 important signs that you may have a Sexually Transmitted Disease,
1. Penile and Vaginal Discharge
The discharge may come in varying colours depending on the exact cause of the infection. It may also be foul smelling especially in the case of females.
Rash may appear around the genital area and it could even appear over the body depending on the STD.
3. Painful Urination
Urinating may become painful with or without discharge.
4. Sores, Bumps or Warts around the Genital Area
You may start having swellings around your genitals with some swellings rupturing to become sores which may be painful or painless. Warts are small growths that may hang from the skin in the genital area and they are also an important pointer to STDs.
Females may often find themselves bleeding outside their monthly period.
6. Diarrhoea, weight loss and night sweats
As the disease progresses, the above symptoms may begin to surface. There is frequent passage of loose stools with associated weight loss which may become evident with loose fitting of cloths. Night sweats are also another sign.
7. Painful Sexual Intercourse
Sex may start to become painful and this may cause sexual displeasure.
8. Itching around the Genitals
This can affect both males and females alike. The itching can become very severe causing serious discomfort and there may be self-inflicted wounds due to intense finger scratching.
9. Sores on the lips or tongues
As noted earlier, STDs can be transmitted through oral sex. If this is the route of transmission, then there could be sores on the lips and/or the tongue.
10. Fever, Aches, Nausea and Vomiting
This may be a non-specific symptom that can be experienced in many other diseases asides STDs. However, the combination of these symptoms with any of the other ones listed above may be a strong indication that it is a STD.
Early diagnosis and treatment is important in all cases of STDs because the later treatments are started, the more difficult it becomes to treat. This is why it is important that you see a doctor immediately you suspect you have a STD. Just taking some medications for some days can help free you from the discomfort.
One important thing is that you should not only be the one seeking medical attention, your sexual partner(s) too should be encouraged to do the same because if they don’t get treatment, there is a high likelihood of you getting re-infected.
Preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases
STDs are largely preventable. Taking the following precautions can lower your chances of contracting an STD
Always use a new condom during sexual intercourse.
Put condom on when partner is erect and before any genital contact.
Use only water based lubricants, ie KY Jelly. Oil based lubricants such as vaseline and lotions can cause condoms to weaken or break.
Withdraw penis while still erect, holding the condom firmly at the base.
Female condoms can also be used.
Spermicides such as contraceptive films, foams, or gels are not effective in preventing STDs
STDs, particularly genital herpes, can be spread through oral sex. A dental damn or condom should be used at all times during oral-genital contact.