Sexually Transmitted Diseases
If you’ve had unprotected sex and think you might be pregnant, there’s also a chance that you could have contracted a sexually transmitted infection, often called an STD. A sexually transmitted infection or disease can cause severe medical problems to a pregnant woman, especially if left untreated. Abundant Life PRC can provide you with information about common STDs and refer you to a medical professional for testing and treatment.
How can I get an STD?
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs are spread through sexual contact with an infected individual. Any sexual activity that involves the vagina, penis, mouth, or anus can put you at risk for contracting a STD. The American Sexual Health Organization has reported that by the age of 25, one-half of sexually active adults in the United States will be an infected with a STD. Additionally, one in four teenagers in the United States becomes infected with an STD every year.
What are the most common types of STDs?
While many STD’s can be treated or managed with medication, other infections can be more serious.
As one of the most common STDs in the United States, the clear majority of sexually active individuals will contract HPV at some point in their lives. There are more than 40 strains of HPV that exist, although most have no symptoms and go away on their own. Still, some can cause genital warts, or cancer in the cervix, penis, mouth, or throat.
There are vaccines that protect against these cancers, and a pap smear can indicate cervical cancer caused by the virus from its beginning stages.
Chlamydia & Gonorrhea
The most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States, Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Gonorrhea is another very common bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Because both infections can be contracted without showing symptoms, it’s important to get tested right away. Complications can occur if the infection progresses.
There are two strains of herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both can cause genital herpes, but usually the HSV-2 strain is the cause. Blisters around the penis, anus, or vagina are the main symptom of herpes, but are not always present.
Herpes can be transmitted through any skin-to-skin contact, and is not always preventable by condoms. Viral infections such as herpes cannot be cured, but medication can be taken to reduce the symptoms.
The HIV infection often is associated with flu-like symptoms including muscle aches, fatigues, weight loss, etc. The infection works to eventually weaken your immune system to a level where it can no longer fight off disease. Although HIV/AIDS is not curable, medications are available to help manage HIV and AIDS to lengthen one’s life.
There are several other STDs that are less common, but still prevalent in young adults including syphilis, trichomoniasis and pubic lice. If you have had oral, anal or vaginal sex, it’s important that you get tested right away.