Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): Several studies have proven that sex keeps you living longer and pretty much happy too. This could probably be the same reason why one night stands have evolved from a taboo now into a perfectly casual trend. A lot of men and women enjoy one night stands for several reasons- mainly because it is commitment-free. You get what you want, with very little task, and then you can be on your way. As fun and easy as it sounds, do bear in mind that you are also putting your sexual health at stake.
Every time you have a one night stand, you are 36% likely to get a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Allow us to explain further.
What is STD – Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is an infection that spreads through genital contact, an intercourse or even oral sex. Most of the times, they are treatable when detected at an early stage. However, if left untreated, the infection may cause HIV or infertility. Also, take note that STDs such as HIV, HPV, Hepatitis B and C are hard to cure, and even if cured, easily recurs and becomes highly resistant to medications.
The pesky part is that for most people, STDs are asymptomatic-meaning – the symptoms are not at all obvious. Hence it is essential that you go for regular STI screening to ensure you’re free from sexual infection, or begin an early treatment if found infected.
When Are You Prone To STDs?
- Sexual activity at a young age
- Unprotected sex
- Different sex partners
- History of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
- Transmission from mother to infant (during pregnancy or delivery)
What Are The Different Types of STDs?
Chlamydia is a type of bacterial infection on your genital tract. It is often transmitted through vaginal or anal intercourse, and sometimes oral sex with someone who has been infected by Chlamydia. The symptoms are obvious only after a few weeks:
- Painful urination
- Lower abdominal pain
- Swollen testicles
- Penile discharge
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain during intercourse in women
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This is a doing of the Trichomonas vaginalis, a type of microscopic parasite that often affects the urinary tract. Similar to any other STDs, Trichomonosiasis generally appears 3 weeks after intercourse. The symptoms include:
- Clear, white or yellowish vaginal discharge
- Pain during intercourse
- Vaginal itching and odor
- Painful urination
- Penile discharge
- Itching of penis
It is another type of bacterial infection that affects the genitals, throat, eyes and anus. The symptoms usually take 10-15 days to appear in some, whereas up to months for the rest. Following are the symptoms of Gonorrhea:
- Painful urination
- Painful bowel movements
- Swollen and painful testicles
- Cloudy discharge or discharge streaked with blood
- Bleeding between periods
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4. Hepatitis B
Whereas most STDs trigger symptoms around the genital area, Hepatitis B generally affects the liver. You may be infected with Hepatitis B by contact with the bodily fluids or blood of the person infected by this virus. This STD is more of a silent killer-rarely displays symptoms and may completely damage the liver if left untreated. Symptoms are as following:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain and joint ache
- Nausea and vomiting
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that is capable of killing all the cells that are responsible for fighting against infection in your body. It can stay up to years in your body without showing any symptoms or making you ill. However, during its stay, it slowly spreads to other parts of your body and kills all your defensive cells- which in turn makes you prone to illness and many other infection. The only way to detect HIV is to have yourself tested. Its early signs include:
- Swollen lymph glands
- Headache and sore throat
Its advancement triggers symptoms such as:
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
At the chronic stage of HIV infection, you are likely to have:
- Continuous fatigue and fever
- Swelling of lymph nodes for more than three months
- Night sweats
- Consistent diarrhea
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6. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
It is said that there are more than 100 types of HPV, and only some of it are linked with occurrence of genital warts. While for the rest, it is associated with cancer of commonly the cervical or anus ( cancer is likely to occur without the presence of warts at the early stage of infection). This virus can be easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or vaginal, oral and anal sex with those who have already been infected. Fortunately, HPV can be prevented with vaccines. Following are some of the common symptoms of HPV:
- Warts in the genital
- Warts in the throat or mouth
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Herpes is a STD caused by a virus, namely the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes can be divided into two types; genital and oral, though genital herpes is the most common these days. Herpes occurs when HSV breaks through your skin and mucous membranes, thus shows symptoms on the skin- often mistaken for skin conditions like pimples and acne. Herpes can be transmitted through sexual contact or oral sex and kissing with an infected person. Symptoms include:
- Sores, red bumps and blisters in the genital or nearby areas
- Pain and itching in the inner thighs, genital and anal area
- Blisters and ulcers on the lips, gums and tongue ( for mouth herpes)
- Painful urination ( due to the ulcers)
- Flu, fever and muscle ache
- Loss of appetite
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Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is commonly related to the genitals, skin, brain and heart. Occurring in four different stages; primary, secondary, latent and tertiary, Syphilis is considered to be one of the most serious STDs especially in men, because it increases the risk of developing HIV too. This STD is transmitted through oral, vaginal and anal sex. Following are the signs of four different stages of Syphilis:
- Primary syphilis
After about 10 days to three months of infection, sores begin to develop on the part of the body where infection was transmitted; genitals, mouth, lips, rectum, tongue. The sore usually heals on its own. Though the bacteria continue infecting your body, which leads to the symptoms of the secondary stage.
- Secondary syphilis
The secondary stage begins after 3 to 6 weeks of the occurrence of sores. Symptoms include reddish-brown rash, fever, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes, soreness and aching.
- Latent syphilis
Usually no new symptoms occur at this stage, symptoms may follow from the secondary stage. However, as the bacteria continue to infect your body, the disease progresses to the final stage.
- Tertiary syphilis
Without proper treatment, tertiary syphilis may cause severe organ damages and even death. Symptoms include numbness, blindness, dementia, paralysis and lack of coordination.
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How To Prevent STDs?
First and foremost, do not practice unprotected sex until your partner and you have been tested negative for STD. Also, use latex condoms, though we have to remind you that it does not guarantee a 100% safety. Avoid sharing towels and undergarments and make it a point to get vaccination for Hepatitis and HPV. Make sure to wash before and after intercourse. And most importantly, avoid one night stands. This is because you cannot say for sure if your date has been infected with STD, unless there are visible sores present around his or her genital area.
Should you notice any of the symptoms above, immediately seek for a medical assistance. That’s all from us on STDs. Thank you!