Current estimates indicate that there are over 20 million reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia in the United States alone each year. Moreover, medical statistics show that more than 50% of people worldwide will at some point contract an STD. Here are some basic facts you need to know about these conditions.
There are many different types of STDs
There are over 25 STDs that have been studied. Since 1980 this number has increased by more than eight. The more common ones include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, human papillomavirus, syphilis, hepatitis b, and HIV, with different varieties of some being known to exist. These diseases can be bacterial, viral or parasitic in origin.
It is possible to contract STDs through oral sex. Comparatively, oral sex is much safer than either anal or vaginal sex. Taking simple precautions like using a latex condom or a dental dam is still advised to be on the safer side. Some STDs can easily be transmitted through mouth sores and cuts while some like herpes can be transferred by skin contact.
Most STDs are treatable, some are incurable
Bacterial STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are easily curable using common antibiotics. However, viral conditions can only be managed and persist for years. Being straightforward with any sexual partners in is often encouraged. Using condoms lowers the risk of contracting STDs, but doesn’t eliminate it.
Some cases are asymptomatic
Some STDs do not show any visible symptoms while in some the symptoms may not appear until many years after exposure. Examples are chlamydia, which is mostly asymptomatic and HIV, which may take up to 10 years for symptoms to present. Some have symptoms similar in characteristic to yeast or urinary tract infections and can easily be confused for the same.
Women are more susceptible to STDs
About half of all sexually active women acquire an STD at some point in their lives. This has nothing to do with promiscuity, but everything to do with anatomy. Female genitals are moister and are therefore more prone to infection. Furthermore, STDs are usually more difficult to detect in women because of the more inaccessible nature of their anatomy.
Untreated STDs lead to complications
Without proper management, some STDs can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies. Untreated syphilis can cause blindness or brain damage while HPV can cause cervical cancer. Infected mothers can even infect newborns during delivery.
Sexually transmitted diseases have many implications across our daily life. They affect our interpersonal relationships with our partners and influence our self-esteem. Get informed on such diseases will help you stay safe.