Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections which are transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex. STIs are serious and painful and can cause major health problems.
STI symptoms aren’t always obvious. Some STIs are easy to treat and cure while others require more-complicated treatment to manage them. It’s essential to be evaluated, and — if diagnosed with an STI — get treated. It’s also essential to inform your partner or partners so that they can be evaluated and treated.
If untreated, STIs can increase your risk of acquiring another STI such as HIV. This happens because an STI can stimulate an immune response in the genital area or cause sores, either of which might raise the risk of HIV transmission.
Some untreated STIs can also lead to infertility, organ damage, certain types of cancer or death.
STIs that cause discharge
The following STIs may cause genital discharge:
Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Bacterial Vaginosis, Trichomoniasis
STIs can cause genital sores
The following STIs may cause genital sores:
Chancroid, Genital Herpes, Syphilis, Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV), Granuloma Inguinale (GI)
The following common symptoms may occur in infected men and women and here is how to recognize Sexually Transmitted Infections:
- A drip or unusual discharge from the sex organ
- Sores, bumps or blisters on or near the sex organs anus or mouth
- Burning pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement
- A swelling or redness in your throat
- Swelling in your groin, the area around your sex organs.
Additionally, women may have the following symptoms:
- Pain in the area between your belly bottom and sex organs
- Burning or itching around your vagina
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Pain deep inside the vagina when you have sex
Here are some basic steps that you can take to protect yourself from STDs:
Consider abstinence, use a latex condom every time you have sex, limit your number of sexual partners, Practice monogamy, this means having sex with only one person, that person must also have sex with only you to reduce your risk, choose your sex partners with care. Don’t have sex with someone whom you suspect may have an STD. in mind that you can’t always tell by looking if your partner has an STD.
Get checked for STDs. Don’t risk passing the infection to someone else.
Don’t use alcohol or drugs before you have sex. Know the signs and symptoms of STDs. Look for them in yourself and your sex partners.
How Can I Avoid Spreading an STD?
- If you have an STD, stop having sex until you see a doctor and are treated.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment.
- Use condoms whenever you have sex, especially with new partners.
- Don’t resume having sex unless your doctor says it’s okay.
- Return to your doctor to get rechecked.
- Be sure your sex partner or partners also are treated.
Many STDs are treated with antibiotics.
If you are given an antibiotic to treat an STD, it’s important that you take all of the drug, even if the symptoms go away. Also, never take someone else’s medicine to treat your illness. By doing so, you may make it more difficult to diagnose and treat the infection. Likewise, you should not share your medicine with others. Some doctors, however, may provide additional antibiotics to be given to your partner so that you can be treated at the same time.
Learn about STDs. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.
If you think you have STI symptoms or have been exposed to an STI, see a doctor. Timely diagnosis and treatment are important to avoid or delay more-severe, potentially life-threatening health problems and to avoid infecting others.