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What are STDs?
STDs or STIs are infections that are caused by intimate contact that involves exchange of bodily fluids. These are also called venereal diseases and can be caused by vaginal, anal or oral sex. Most of these infections do not show any symptom initially, but they develop over time. The causative organisms can include viruses, bacteria or parasites. The signs and symptoms can be in the form of unnatural vaginal discharges, or penile discharges, or warts and ulcers in the pelvic area.
It is a very serious disease as some of those are not curable, such as HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis-B. Other diseases may include gonorrhoea, syphilis, Chlamydia etc. While there surrounds a stigma around STDs and people may feel ashamed to even go forward to ask for any help, there is nothing to be ashamed of and it is the best to seek medical attention when you feel you may have contracted a STD.
But as we know, prevention is always better than cure. Here is a list of tips that might help you prevent it in the first place:
- Prevention: It is actually the cure to some diseases such as HIV and herpes
- Vaccines: It can prevent you from concurring diseases such as Hepatitis- A and Hepatitis-B. It is advised to get yourself vaccinated before sexual contact to prevent the disease.
- Anti-microbials: Anti-microbials such as Nonoxynol-9 can be used in the vagina to prevent any sort of venereal disease. However, the efficacy of the anti-microbials may vary depending on the efficiency in application and the type of micro-organism.
- Condoms: Female or male condoms can help to prevent venereal diseases tremendously. They help to prevent the interaction of body fluids by keeping a barrier between if used properly. Otherwise the uncovered will still be susceptible to infection.
Ways to use a male condom properly:
- Never reuse a condom
- Always keep a certain space on the tip of the condom for the ejaculation, as it may reduce the incidence of it bursting
- Be careful with the condom, if your nails are long
- Flavoured condoms should only be used for oral sex as the sugar in the condoms can cause yeast infections, if used in the vagina
- Do not wear the condom if it is too loose, it can come off
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.