Although sexually transmitted diseases are more difficult to contract than other types of diseases, they are becoming more and more common. This phenomenon is because people do not know how to properly protect themselves from exposure. STD’s are spread through sexual contact, including oral, anal and vaginal sex. The list of sexually transmitted diseases includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, HPV, HIV/Aids, Herpes (HSV) and genital warts. If you think you may have contracted an STD it is important to get tested immediately. Some of these diseases have very obvious symptoms while others are much more difficult to decipher. The biggest problem with sexually transmitted diseases is that some may not show symptoms for years or at all. This means that a person who has contracted an STD can not even be aware that they have it and continue having sexual intercourse that will infect their partners. If you are sexually active, it is best to have regular screenings for these diseases to ensure that you have not contracted one.
With a quick diagnosis and proper treatment, many STD’s can be cured. The most common curable STD is Chlamydia. This disease affects the cervix in women and penile urethra in men. Symptoms of Chlamydia include vaginal or penile discharge and burning during urination. In women, if the disease spreads to the fallopian tubes they can experience lower back pain, abdominal pain, bleeding between periods and pain during intercourse. Many refer to Chlamydia as the “silent disease” because people that are infected can not show any symptoms. Chlamydia can also be spread through anal and oral sex. If this disease if left untreated in a woman, it can cause long-term health problems including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.
Other diseases such as HIV/AIDS and genital herpes can not be cured. Treatments can help to slow the progression of HIV and lessen the number or outbreaks of herpes, but these diseases will be with you for the rest of your life. Some of these STD’s can even result in cancer, if left untreated. They bring with them not only physical pain, but the patient can show signs of emotional distress, as well. While it is obvious that seeking out healthcare is extremely important, doctors also need to provide psychological information and services to their patients. It is estimated that in the United States there are approximately 19 million new cases of STD’s per year. I think this number shows the importance of being tested before you engage in sexual activity with any new partners.
Many sexually transmitted diseases can be avoided by properly using condoms. All of these diseases can be prevented by abstaining from intercourse with people that are infected. If you do feel you have been exposed to one of these diseases, it is critical to get immediate medical care and treatment. The longer you put this off the more severe and life threatening the disease can become. Many can be easily treated and cured with the proper medications. Once you are diagnosed, it is your moral duty to inform all of your sexual partners so that they can be tested and treated.