There are more than 20 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infections that are contracted through sexual contact. In general, they can be treated and cured, but the most important is to take good measures for preventing them. This prevention is important because most STDs do not always produce signs or symptoms from the contagion, that is, a person who has the disease may be transmitting to another person and without even knowing it.
How are they produced?
The most important STDs are: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), chlamydia, syphilis, trichomonas, Hepatitis C Virus and B Virus (HCV and HBV). The mode of transmission is through sexual contact, whether vaginal, anal or oral and symptoms can range from mild vaginal discharge and irritation to severe pain. Often, the symptoms only occur when the disease is in an advanced stage. In most of these diseases, it is possible to curb the evolution if detected early.
The risk of getting an STD is greater if you have or have had more than one sexual partner, or a partner who has had or has more than one sexual partner, or if relations are maintained with a person who has a sexually transmitted disease or if there is a history of sexually transmitted diseases, or by injecting drug (injected into a vein) or the couple used the same needles to inject drug while one is infected.
STDs are caused by bacteria or viruses. To treat them, we can use antibiotics, but for those caused by viruses, antibiotics will not eradicate the disease.
Who can contract them?
All sexually active people may be exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. Although no symptoms, there is evidence that can be done to diagnose the infection. Most importantly, however, it is to make a good primary prevention to avoid infection.
STDs are a cause of significant morbidity in both men and women, but its incidence is greater in women for different reasons: their symptoms are more often apparent in women, there is an important relationship with pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, abortion and poor perinatal outcomes, as well as transmission to the newborn.
To reduce the chances of contracting an STD, it is necessary to:
– Limit the number of sexual partners. The history of the sexual partner is as important as ours. The more partners you have, the greater the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
– Use a condom, which not only prevents unwanted pregnancies but also as an essential tool in preventing such infections.
– Avoid risky sexual acts: sexual acts that tear or break the skin carry a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
– Limit or avoid anal sex as it carries a higher risk because the rectal tissues tear easily.
– Note that body fluids can also transmit STDs. The unprotected sexual contact with an infected person carries a high risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
– Another measure is the HBV and HPV vaccination.