The Way To Find Out For Sure If You Already Have These 3 STDs
Unpleasant as they may be, STDs exist and many come quietly with no symptoms or warning signs. Educating yourself about these diseases allows you to focus on preventing them and protect your health as needed if you do contract one. The topic can be embarrassing to discuss, but those with STD’s are not alone and need to be open with their doctors and partners so everyone can be as safe, happy and healthy as possible. Here is what you need to know about three of the most common infections.
Commonly referred to simply as trich, trichomoniasis is a disease caused by an infectious parasite. It is the most treatable STD in the United States and is easily combated with antibiotics, but many who are infected fail to receive treatment because 70 percent of them show no symptoms. Those that do will notice an itching and burning sensations in the genitals which can come and go and may be accompanied by fluid discharges.
Left untreated, trichomoniasis can make it easier to contract other STDs and increases the risk of premature birth. A simple lab test can be used to check for the bacteria and a course of antibiotics will clear the problem with no lasting effects. Latex condoms are considered to be adequate protection against trichomoniasis.
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Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the most common STD in the United States, affecting 79 million Americans at any given time. The CDC reports that almost all men and women contract the disease at some point in their lives, even if they have only one partner in their lifetime. The disease is spread through vaginal, oral and anal contact and can lie dormant within the body for years before producing symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they do so as small bumps throughout the genital area.
HPV sometimes goes away on its own and some may have the virus without ever being aware of it. Sometimes treatment is required, however, and untreated HPV can lead to cancer of the genitals or throat. There is no way to test for HPV, but you should consult a doctor right away for treatment if you develop the warts. HPV itself cannot be cured, but it can be treated to alleviate the symptoms or kill precancerous cells. To protect yourself from HPV, consider getting vaccinated against the disease and use condoms every time you have !ntercourse.
In the United States, 1 out of every 6 people is infected with genital herpes, and many are unaware they have the disease. Like HPV, the disease is spread through vaginal, anal and oral contact. Herpes may cause no symptoms or can cause blister-like sores on the genitals and around the mouth. These blisters may pop and can take several weeks to heal. Herpes may also cause body aches, chills and fevers. If left untreated, herpes can cause recurring sores, spread sores to other parts of the body, create a burning sensation during urination, result in miscarriage and cause vaginal spotting. Herpes can also be passed to babies during birth.
There is no cure for herpes, but it can be diagnosed with a lab test and then treated and managed. Always use a condom to reduce your risk of getting herpes but know that this may not protect you completely, as herpes sores can be found in areas condoms don’t cover. Never have relations during an outbreak while you have open stores as this increases your risk of spreading the infection.
If you think you may have been exposed to an STD, get help from your doctor rather than getting embarrassed. STDs are common and treatments are available. Don’t suffer in silence or worry about whether or not you could be infected. Know for sure whether or not you have a problem and let you doctor help you deal with it appropriately.