Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are those which, as their name indicates, are contracted through sexual contact. The microorganisms that cause them (can be viruses, bacteria or fungi) They are passed from one person to another through contact with blood, semen, vaginal discharge, and other bodily fluids.
In small cases, the infection occurs through non-sexual ways; for example, from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth. It can also develop from contact with infectious agents through blood transfusions or the use of shared needles. Do you know how to prevent them? We tell you.
Types of sexually transmitted diseases
It is important to know that the severity with which they occur varies according to the type of infection and the stage of detection. Therefore, it is necessary to inform yourself and know the security measures to avoid them.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are more than 30 bacteria, viruses and parasites that are transmitted through sexual contact (including vaginal, anal and oral sex). Of these, 8 are related to sexually transmitted diseases. The best known and most feared are the following:
- Genital herpes.
- Human papilloma virus (HPV).
- Hepatitis C.
Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) They can pass asymptomatically until they have some kind of complication. For this reason, they often go unnoticed and spread very easily when no measures are taken to prevent them.
The symptoms that may indicate an infection of this type may vary in each person, depending on the resistance of their immune system and the type of microorganism it attacks. Second a Mayo Clinic publicationSome signs of these problems are:
- Blisters or sores in the genital or oral area.
- Pain and burning when urinating.
- Vaginal and penile secretions.
- Bad odors in the intimate area.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Enlarged and painful lymph nodes, particularly in the groin.
- Fever and chills.
- Pain in the lower abdomen.
All people whose sex life is active are at risk of suffering from any type of sexually transmitted disease. However, the aforementioned publication indicates this There are some risk factors that can increase your chances of contracting them:
- Having unprotected sex.
- Anyone who is coerced into a sexual relationship or sexual activity.
- Having had a sexually transmitted disease.
- Needle sharing.
- Being misinformed about sexually transmitted diseases.
- Abuse of alcohol and drugs (because they predispose to risky behavior).
- Have sex with multiple partners.
Tips to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
The only way to prevent STDs is abstinence. However, as this is not usually an option for many, there are some important measures that can help reduce the risk considerably. We examine them in detail below.
1. Use preventive barrier methods
One of the most effective ways to prevent STDs is the proper use of latex condoms and mouthguards. These popular “barrier methods” They avoid contagion, both in oral intercourse and in vaginal and anal intercourse.
It is worth mentioning that the use of condoms made with natural membranes is discouraged, as they are not as effective at preventing these infections. It’s also best to avoid oil-based lubricants, such as petroleum jelly.
2. Limit the number of sexual partners
Having healthy sexual behaviors is another way to minimize the risk of contracting these diseases. Here because, the general recommendation is to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship. The more sexual partners there are, the higher the risk.
3. Request STD testing
Regular screening for STDs is something few people consider. Although it seems irrelevant when the state of health is normal, it is actually very important to request them from time to time.
This is because many STDs do not present with strong symptoms and can be ignored until they get worse.
What else can you do to prevent STDs?
In addition to what has been said before, There are other recommendations that can reduce the chances of these infections. Although some are already evident, it is essential to mention them to make sure you take them into account.
- Avoid sharing personal items, such as undergarments, sex toys, towels, etc.
- Refrain from having sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Be honest with your partner about your health.
- Get vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis.
- Do not have sex if there are visible sores in the mouth or genital area.
Finally, remember that STDs don’t appear by magic and can affect anyone. Therefore, it is essential to apply all these preventive measures and be alert to any symptoms. The faster they are detected, the better the prognosis of their treatment.
The post 3 tips to prevent STDs appeared first in research-school.