With the advent of the internet, everything has become one click away, so does your sex partner. Being in modern digital age it is almost impossible to abstain from sexual activity with random strangers. It is because of this reason – the rise of dating apps among young people and lack of sex knowledge particularly about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have resulted in drastic spread of deadly diseases like HIV and Herpes at a devastating rate.
In this article, we explain in detail what an STD is, the symptoms and signs of STDs to watch for, and much more.
Table of Contents
What are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are highly contagious diseases that transmits from one person to another primarily via sexual contact, they are also commonly known as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). According to a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 1 million new cases of STDs are reported every year, however, this number is estimated to be far higher as some cases go unreported and undiagnosed.
Nearly 50% of the cases are from young individuals who fall between the ages of 15 – 24. With this data we can conclude that having multiple sex partners, lack of education on STDs (in lower age groups) and low screening facilities have contributed to high STD cases.
How Does STDs Spread?
People have a misconception about oral sex that it is safer than vaginal or anal sex, but, that not the case. Oral sex is as highly contagious as vaginal or anal sex. STDs are caused by bacteria, viruses, and various other microorganisms that spread from one person to another during sexual contact.
Some STDs can also spread via non-sexual contact like kissing, exchange of blood, and used razors. It is always safe to avoid involving in stranger sex and try to have not more than one sex partner.
What are the 3 Main Symptoms of STDs?
The symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) do not initially appear immediately after you contract the disease. It takes a while, sometimes weeks or even months for the first symptom to occur. It can also be said that, due to the low profile symptoms of STDs, people who are sexually active unknowingly spread the infection to every other new partner. This makes it hard to source the initial infection.
Following are the 3 symptoms and signs of STDs that you should watch out for –
Genital discharge is one of the most commonly seen symptoms of STDs in both men and women. The discharge is very unusual and can be white, grey, green, or yellowish in color.
Genital discharge indicates you can be infected with Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhea, and/or Chlamydia STDs.
2.Pain while Urinating
As the bacteria and viruses that cause STDs spread primarily via genitals, the urethra acts as the main route into the body, thus causing bacteria manipulation on the Urinary Track, causing UTI infections. As a result, pain while passing urine occurs signaling that you have been infected by an STD-causing agent.
Rashes on the skin and on the genitals can be a common sign of STDs such as HIV, Herpes, Trichomoniasis, and Gonorrhea. Some may encounter itchiness and pain on the location of the rashes and sometimes it can be painless. A rash is identified by red or pinkish spots on the skin.
How to Get Check for STDs?
If you experience any of the above symptoms and you are being sexually active, don’t waste a minute and get tested for STDs as quickly as possible. When it comes to STD infections, the sooner you get diagnosed and treated the better it is to avoid serious long-term health consequences.
If you are young and not sure about whether your insurance covers your STD testing cost, Planned Parenthood is a good choice, they are a non-profit-driven organization catering to individuals who can not afford high co-pay or no insurance cover for their fertility and sexual health checkups. However, the process is a bit time-consuming and the STD testing cost at Planned Parenthood is scaled according to your income level and the city you live in.
Are STDs Curable?
STDs like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can be cured if taken medications at the right time. There are two types of STDs that are categorized by the causing agents, one group as STDs caused by viruses and the other one as bacteria causing STDs. Not all the STDs are curable, some are only treatable to the extent of making the symptoms disappear and reducing the chance of transmission to other sex partners.
STDs like HIV and Herpes which are caused by viruses cannot be cured whereas STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are caused by infectious bacteria which can be killed with the help of antibiotics.
If you don’t have the time to check for STDs as the symptoms have popped up, there are also at-home STD testing providers in the US, where the test kit is directly mailed to your home by the test provider and reports of the results are sent via email in a timely manner, typically two to five business days. As the old saying goes – protection is better than cure, it is highly advisable not to involve in sex with unknown sex partners rather than engaging in and getting treated for STDs. Take care, take more responsibility and help stop spreading deadly diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.