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Sexually Transmitted Disease

Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that can be transferred from one person to another through sexual contact.

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect millions of men and women each year.
  • Anyone can become infected through sexual intercourse with an infected person.
  • Many of those infected are teenagers or young adults.
  • Changing sexual partners adds to the risk of becoming infected.
  • Sometimes, early in the infection, there may be no symptoms, or symptoms may be easily confused with other illnesses.

Symptoms

Several symptoms can indicate the possibility of a sexually transmitted disease. If you experience any of these symptoms see your health care provider as soon as possible.

  • Unusual vaginal discharge, or any discharge from the rectum or penis.
  • Painful intercourse.
  • Burning or discomfort during urination.
  • Unusual pain or discomfort in the abdomen in women or the testicles in men. Also be aware of any unusual pain in both the buttocks and legs.
  • Swelling, blisters, open sores, warts, or a rash in the genital area, on the sexual organs, or in the mouth.
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headach, aching muscles, or swollen glands.

Although just having these symptoms does not mean they are caused by a sexually transmitted disease, these symptoms do indicate a potential infection.

Risks

Several potential health risks are associated with sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. These include:

  • Ectopic or tubal pregnancies which can be fatal to the mother and are always fatal to the unborn baby.
  • Babies born to women with sexually transmitted diseases may suffer death or severe damage as a result of the mother's STD.
  • Cervical cancer is almost always caused by an STD called the human pappilloma virus or HPV.
  • Sometimes sexually transmitted diseases cause damage to other organs including the heart, kidneys, and brain.
  • The sad fact is that certain STDS such as HIV or AIDS are eventually fatal.

A partial listing of sexually transmitted diseases

  • Chlamydia - Chlamydia is a very dangerous STD as it usually has no symptoms; 75 per cent of infected women and 25 per cent of infected men have no symptoms at all.
  • Gonorrhea - Gonorrhea is one of the most frequently reported STD. 40 per cent of it's victims contract PID if not treated, and it can cause sterility.
  • Hepatitis B - A vaccine exists, but there's no cure; can cause cancer of the liver. · Herpes - Painful and episodic; can be treated but there's no cure.
  • HIV/AIDS - First recognized in 1984, AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death among young men and women. The virus is fatal involving a long, painful death.
  • Human Papalloma Virus (HPV) and Genital Warts - The most common STD, 33 per cent of all women have this virus, which can cause cervical or penile cancer and genital pain.
  • Syphilis - Untreated, can lead to serious damage of the brain or heart.
  • Trichomoniasis - Can cause foamy vaginal discharge or no symptoms at all. Can cause premature birth in pregnant women.
  • Other STDs and related conditions.
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