Sexual health education, how much do you know about STI’s and STD’s? As a sexually active person, we are pretty confident the likelihood that you are fully educated in all forms of sexually transmitted disease or infection is pretty slim.
But it isn’t 100% your fault, so that is why we want to spend the time educating you in all the different types and what you can do to prevent them!!
Reality is, some with STI’s and STD’s don’t know they are infected. Obviously, they are passed from person to person through sexual intercourse.
As the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded, around one million people get an STI each day.
The difference between an STI and an STD
Known as sexually transmitted diseases (STI) is often also referred to as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Although they are commonly used in the same context, they are not the same. A disease is a medical issue with signs and symptoms, where an infection is something that may result in a disease.
If an STI is untreated, it can lead to an STD, a disease including cervical cancer, infertility and the like.
How do I know if I have an STI?
When it comes to having an STI, most people do not show any signs or symptoms. When people do show signs of an STI, it is usually in the genital area. For a woman, this means the vulva, vagina, urethra and anus and for males, it is the penis, scrotum, urethra and anus.
If you are sexually active, it is best to get tested every three months in case you do not show any signs.
The different types of STIs
There are many different types of STIs so let’s have a look and a few of the most common ones.
Chlamydia – the most common STI, symptoms can include burning during urination and vaginal discharge. Most women do not have any signs. This can be spread from wearing no condom during sexual intercourse. Treated by antibiotics, if left untreated can result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to infertility.
Genital Warts – can be caused by viruses. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a large group of viruses that cause warts, including genital warts. Genital HPV can be spread from skin to skin contact while taking part in vaginal, anal or oral sex. Condoms do not always prevent transmission but help.
Gonorrhoea – known as “the clap”, gonorrhoea is an STI that is transmitted through the vagina or semen. Some of the symptoms include yellow or green vaginal discharge and a burning sensation while urinating. It is spread from not using condoms during sex, but is treated with antibiotics. Just like chlamydia can cause PID if left untreated.
Herpes – is an STI which is caused by a virus that lives in a people’s nerves. The two common types of herpes include Herpes simplex type (HSV-1), which causes cold sores around the mouth and HSV-2, which are sores in the genital area. It is possible to get HSV-1 in your genital area and HVS-2 in your mouth region. The symptoms are very clear itchy or painful blisters. It is spread from skin to skin contact, and the sores come and go, but the virus is in your body for life. If you have no symptoms, it means the virus is “hiding”.
HIV – stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, it is the virus that causes AIDS. It can be spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex that is performed without condom protection. If left untreated, HIV can cause death.
Syphilis – caused by bacterium, it can also be spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex performed without a condom. It has different phases from pain-free open sores to a rash and even hair loss. If left untreated, it can cause damage to other organs in the body. It can be treated with antibiotics.
Pubic Lice – is a lice transmitted from skin to skin contact. It can cause itching to the skin and is treated with over the counter medication.
Hepatitis – although it is an inflammation of the liver, it can be found in our blood, semen, breast milk and vaginal secretions. These can be transmitted through sexual intercourse
How to stay protected
Now you have an understanding of some of the main STIs, it is important to stay protected from catching these types of infections.
Don’t be afraid, just make smart choices to help you stay protected. What you want to ensure is you have safer sex. Use Moments Condoms to keep yourself protected, use these when performing any sexual act.
Unsafe sex is not worth your health. Also, do not share needles with others.
Read our other blog – https://www.momentscondoms.com.au/2018/02/5-tips-get-sexual-health-check/
Protecting yourself from STIs will prevent any form of STD from occurring in the future. Make educated choices when it comes to sexual acts with another individual.
Not only that, get yourself checked regularly. This way, you will be able to keep up to date with your health and can manage any STIs you may interact. If you are single and sexually active, aim to get checked every three months, if you are in a relationship, we still advise you get checks every 12 months.
Be safe, it is not worth risky your health!