Sexually transmitted diseases are viruses and infections that can be passed from an infected person through unprotected sex. Unfortunately, many people don’t think that STDs are dangerous. Additionally, many of them think that it is not so easy to get STDs. In this article, we have gathered seven facts about sexually transmitted diseases you should know.
1. STDs are quite common
There is a common misconception that STDs are quite rare and the chances to get them are low. But the reality is that more than 1 million sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted every day. Moreover, about 376 million people are infected with 1 in 4 STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis every year. Almost 68 million people in the US had sexually transmitted diseases on any given day in 2018, according to a CDC report.
2. STDs can develop asymptomatically
Another common myth is that STDs always cause severe symptoms like pain in the pelvic area, abnormal discharge, and rush. The reality is that STDs can develop asymptomatically for years. As a result, infected people may not know about their condition and pass STDs to other people. If you are a sexually active person, it is better to undergo STD testing especially if you have had unprotected sex.
3. Some STDs can’t be cured
Even though most STDs can be treated with the help of antibiotics, there are certain sexually transmitted viruses that can’t be cured. These STDs are herpes and human papillomavirus. If you were diagnosed with these conditions, you may treat only their symptoms. Additionally, there is a vaccine that can help prevent the infection with human papillomavirus.
4. Women are more susceptible to STDs than men
It is essential to understand that women are more vulnerable to STDs than men due to their anatomical structure. The point is that it is easier for men to transmit infections to women than vice versa. The negative effects of untreated STDs for women are worse than for men. Additionally, men are much less likely to have long-term health problems associated with chlamydia. However, women can reduce their risk of getting STDs by using a female condom every time they have sex or by insisting that their male partners use male condoms.
5. STDs can be passed not only through vaginal sex
Many people think that STDs can be passed only through unprotected vaginal sex. But the reality is that you can also get STDs during unprotected oral and anal sex. You should understand that STDs can be passed through body fluids (like semen, blood, vaginal discharges, and sometimes saliva). Additionally, the aforementioned uncurable viruses (herpes and human papillomavirus) can be passed through skin-to-skin contact even if you have sex with a condom.
6. Condoms aren’t a guarantee against STDs
It is important to understand that besides sexual abstinence, condoms are the best protection against STDs. But they can’t guarantee complete protection from all STDs. As mentioned above, some viruses can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. This means that you can get herpes and human papillomavirus even if you use condoms during sex if the affected area is not covered. Nevertheless, it is still better to use condoms during sex to reduce your risk of getting STDs.
7. STDs can cause severe complications in women
As mentioned above, women are more susceptible to STDs and can have more severe complications. For example, untreated chlamydia and/or gonorrhea can lead to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition can cause severe pelvic pain, fever, abnormal vaginal discharge, and even infertility. Additionally, some curtains of human papillomavirus can lead to cervical cancer.