Sexually Transmitted Disease

What is a Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) are transmitted through any type of sexual contact. This includes homosexual and heterosexual contact and does not necessarily have to involve penetration.

How do STD’s spread?

STDs are easily spread through person-to-person transfer of bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.

When someone suffers from a sexually transmitted disease, anyone who has sex with that person stands a good chance of becoming infected. Thus, having sex with multiple partners carries a greater risk of disease than being in a monogamous relationship with your spouse or long-term partner. However, even a monogamous relationship is not necessarily risk-free, since one partner could be carrying an infection picked up during a prior sexual encounter.

Vaginal intercourse is the classic route of STD infection. However, some other important routes include anal sex (among men or man-to-woman) and oral sex.

Sexually transmitted infections are a major cause of ill health in our population. They also carry other risks such as an ectopic pregnancy (where an egg is fertilized and becomes implanted in the fallopian tube), and may also lead to infertility in both men and women.

Some key symptoms of STD’s are:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Urethral discharge
  • Ulcer in inguinal area
  • Swelling of scrotum
  • Inguinal gland swelling

Most tests for the following STD’s are available at major labs.

Some common STD’s

Here are some of the common STDs. Click on the one you would like to know more about.

How can STDs be avoided?

  • Practice safe sex, use condoms, avoid drugs, and not have sex with someone who has a STD. It isn’t worth your life!
  • Be sure the condom is put on the correct way and covers the whole penis. If it doesn’t, it won’t provide enough protection.
  • Use only water-based lubricants like K-Y Jelly or liquid, other oil based products can cause the condom to weaken and break.
  • See your doctor or family planning clinic for an annual Pap smear and STI check-up (or as often as you are being advised). Early treatment can cure many STIs

For more information drop in a line to advice@srhmatters.org

Top tips if you have an STI?

  • Make sure your partner is checked out and cleared of infection before you have sex again.
  • Avoid sex until the STI has been treated and has gone away.
  • Always use condoms if you have sex.

If you are at all worried about having an STD or want more information write to advice@srhmatters.org

Sexual and Reproductive health checks

If you are sexually active having a regular sexual health check-up is a great idea. You don’t need to have physical symptoms to undergo a sexual health check-up.

A sexual health check-up is an opportunity for you to discuss any sexual health concerns you may have, including concerns about STDs.

What will the check up involve ?

Generally, a sexual health check-up will involve:

  1. A discussion with you about your sexual health concerns
  2. A physical examination and/or test
  3. Follow-up

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