6 easy ways to avoid sexually transmitted diseases


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be defined as diseases transmitted during sexual intercourse or as a result of sexual contact. Some of these infections can be passed through the placenta during pregnancy or to the baby while breastfeeding. On the other hand, these infections can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected surgical instruments. However, this is extremely rare. Contrary to popular belief, the spread of STDs through toilets is very rare. According to experts, sexually transmitted diseases have reached record levels for six years in a row. While many STDs are treatable, they can cause serious health problems and even death if treated late. So what can you do to avoid these infections? Let’s figure out together what are the ways to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Why has the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases increased?

Many viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites can cause STDs. In addition, there are various reasons for the rapid increase in the incidence. Causes such as inadequacy of sex education programs, lower age at first intercourse, having more than one sexual partner, the spread of disease among citizens of different countries due to the wide opportunities for travel, changes in sexual behavior, the emergence of countless newborn methods of control other than condoms , and antibiotic resistance can be listed especially in underdeveloped and developing countries.

According to experts, there are more than 25 microorganisms that can be sexually transmitted. Some agents, such as the hepatitis B virus and HIV (AIDS), can be sexually transmitted due to their high concentrations in the blood, but these organisms can also enter the body during certain skin-breaking applications, such as tattoos and piercings.

Although in recent years, sexually transmitted diseases have become common, their diagnosis is associated with some difficulties. Therefore, some untreated diseases can cause serious complications. The most important complications of these diseases are narrowing of the fallopian tubes, infertility, ectopic pregnancy. Infections caused by certain microorganisms can lead to various cancers in the genital area. For example, the human papillomavirus is one of the main causes of squamous cell carcinoma of the anus and genital organs. The most common sexually transmitted diseases are as follows:

  • chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis
  • genital herpes
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • warts

What are the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases?

venereal diseases

Venereal diseases; It can be transmitted through the vaginal, anal and oral routes through contact with body fluids such as semen, vaginal discharge and blood. Most of these diseases are transmitted to a partner through unprotected sexual intercourse. On the other hand, although rare, it can be transmitted by injection, transfusion of blood products, or there is a possibility of transmission from a pregnant mother to her child. Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases vary depending on the type of infection. It most often manifests as blisters in the genital and anal area or in the mouth with the appearance of a watery sac. This can cause symptoms such as pain and burning when urinating, discharge from the genitals, diarrhea and nausea. The duration of symptoms depends on the type of disease. Sometimes symptoms appear within 3 days, and in some diseases, symptoms can appear for 3 months or more. As we mentioned earlier, although symptoms may vary, some of the signs listed below may indicate that you have a sexually transmitted disease.

  • discharge from the penis
  • Bumps, warts, or sores near the vagina, penis, or anus
  • redness, severe itching, pain, or swelling near the vagina, penis, or anus
  • painful sex
  • Vaginal discharge that is foul-smelling or different in quantity or color from normal discharge.
  • Vaginal bleeding when you don’t have a period
  • painful or frequent urination
  • skin rash
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Signs of infection such as chills, fever
  • weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • night sweats
  • Unexplained sore throat or sores/lesions in the mouth

How to prevent sexually transmitted diseases?

venereal diseases

When it comes to protection against sexually transmitted diseases, we can say that the most effective method is monogamy. Apart from this, the use of condoms is also vital. However, there are also diseases such as warts and herpes that cannot be prevented even with the use of condoms. On the other hand, it is important to follow instructions when using condoms. For example, check if a condom has expired, or never remove and insert a condom again. Let’s see how to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Monogamy: The most effective and inexpensive way to prevent STDs is to have no sexual experience with anyone other than your partner, whose sexual health you are sure of. On the other hand, experts also recommend checking with your partner before having sex.
  • Get vaccinated: Always check with your doctor about whether you should be vaccinated against HPV or hepatitis B. Be sure to get vaccinated if necessary.
  • Talk honestly with your partner about your sexual history. If you think a suspicious situation has arisen, you can get tested.
  • Use latex condoms during sex. If you are using a lubricant, make sure it is water based. Do not remove the condom during sex. Condoms are not 100% effective in preventing disease or pregnancy. However, they can minimize the risk if used correctly.
  • Avoid sharing towels or underwear.
  • Wash the genital area before and after intercourse.

Who should be tested?

If you are sexually active or think you will be sexually active soon, you may want to consult your doctor about STDs. After listening to your sexual history or your symptoms, if any, your doctor will order the necessary tests. If, according to the results of the tests, it turns out that you have a sexually transmitted disease, the necessary treatment will be started, and the diseases can be cured in a short time.

Why is testing important?

Undiagnosed and untreated sexually transmitted diseases; This can cause serious life-threatening complications such as infertility, neurological damage, and cancer. If you feel embarrassed or embarrassed to ask questions about the test, know that your doctor has heard it all and is ready to help keep you healthy. Testing can definitely be frustrating if you have any doubts about STDs. However, it is important to get tested and get accurate information about your health status, because early diagnosis and treatment always save lives.

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