Satisfying your sexual urges may seem natural to you. You meet a random stranger, and if you have a physical and sexual connection, you engage in casual sex. Once you can satisfy your needs, you move on to the next one. Have you ever thought about the consequences of your lustful quests? Did it ever occur to you that you are at risk of getting infected?
Sexually transmitted diseases are quite standard; however, people do not seem to take them seriously. People need to be aware of the risks involved in their actions so they can protect themselves while having intercourse.
How Can You Get STDs?
Generally, sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted when one has sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse includes oral, anal, and vaginal sex. However, you can also get affected in other ways:
- If you have an STD while you are pregnant, you may directly pass the disease on to your unborn child.
- If you are breastfeeding and you have an STD, you may pass the disease to your nursing child.
- If you share needles used for drug abuse or intravenous drugs with an infected person, you have a high chance of getting infected as well.
- If you touch the infected part of a person with STD (in the case of herpes simplex), you can get infected.
One of the most common myths about STDs that needs to be debunked is you get infected when you shake the hands of an infected person. This is not true in most cases. Unless the person is infected with the Herpes Simplex Virus, skin-to-skin contact does not infect you with an STD.
Most Common STD Symptoms You Should Watch Out For
Sexually transmitted diseases are usually asymptomatic. It means that you may already have an STD, but you cannot see the symptoms. Even without the noticeable symptoms, you can transmit the infection to your sex partner. Therefore, if engaging in casual sex, it is essential to use protection or a condom.
Whether you are straight, married, gay, lesbian, man, or a woman, you are at risk of getting infected with STDs when you are sexually active. These are the most common symptoms you should watch out for:
- STD Symptoms in Men. Some STD symptoms are attributed to the common flu, which is why it can be difficult to determine if it is indeed an STD. For men, you should watch out for:
- Blisters on the penis
- Bumps, lesions or spots on the penis
- Clear, yellow, or white discharge from the penis
- Difficulty or pain in urination
- Itching tip of the penis
- Pain during ejaculation
- Rectal discharge, bleeding or pain
- Swelling testicles
- STD Symptoms in Women. Women should also be aware of the different symptoms of STDs. Some may be asymptomatic, but these warning signs can help detect STDs early:
- Burning sensation during urination
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal blisters
- Vaginal discharge – milky white, green, or yellowish vaginal leakage
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal rash
Some may attribute these symptoms to Urinary Tract Infection or UTI. However, it is still best to consult with your doctor to receive some form of treatment.
Specific Symptoms To Look Out For
Different diseases have a different set of symptoms. It is essential to consult with your doctor if you notice these telltale signs:
- Gonorrhoea. This STD is a bacterial infection that affects the genital tract. However, bacteria can also grow in the anus, eyes, throat, and mouth. Symptoms usually appear in the first ten days after the initial exposure. The symptoms include:
- Anal itching
- Heavy bleeding in between periods
- Thick, bloody, or cloudy discharge from the genitals
- Pain when urinating
- Trichomoniasis. A one-celled parasite, Trichomonas Vaginalis is the primary cause of Trichomoniasis. It spreads through having sexual intercourse with someone who is already infected. It infects the male’s urinary tract and exhibits little to no symptoms. It also infects the women’s vagina. The signs typically show within five up to 28 days. The symptoms include:
- Itching in the penis region
- Pain during urination
- Penis discharge
- Vaginal irritation
- Vaginal odor
- Chlamydia. Chlamydia is also a bacterial infection that infects the genital tract. It is one of those sexually transmitted diseases that is difficult to diagnose early because it shows minimal or zero symptoms. However, within three weeks, you may notice the following signs:
- Bleeding between menstrual periods
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain while having sex (for women)
- Testicular pain
- Vaginal or penis discharge
- HPV. Human Papilloma Virus is also referred to as genital warts. It is one of the most common STDs today. Sexually active men and women are prone to getting at least one kind of HPV during their lifetime. This kind of disease is spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Even if your partner has no symptoms, but they are already infected, you are at risk as well. If left untreated, they can develop and lead to cancer.
Knowing the health risks and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases are essential to protect yourself from getting infected. Early detection is the key to avoiding these STDs from getting worse. Sex may come naturally to every person, but practicing safe sex is also important. If you want to research more on the common symptoms of STDs, you can click here for more information.
Angie is a health enthusiast who specialises in spreading STD education across the country. She enjoys what she does and loves to travel to different areas. She loves to write for websites and is a family girl at heart.