Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a common part of modern life, with roughly 20 million people contracting an STI in the US each year. While many STIs can be cured with treatment, others can have serious long-term consequences if left untreated. Meaning the sooner you get checked and treated, the better your chances of avoiding these consequences. Here we’ll explain what an STI is, how common they are, and how to stay safe from them. This article will focus on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that affect your sexual organs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV). These are called genital STIs; however, there are also throat or anal STIs which can also be contracted through sexual contact.
What is an STI?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are passed from one person to another through sex. Some STIs can be passed through sex with someone who does not have an STI, but does not know it. Some STIs can also be spread through skin-to-skin contact and oral sex, but these are less common. There are over 200 different types of STIs.
Types of STIs
There are many different types of STIs, but they all have one thing in common: they are passed through sex. The types of STIs they affect can range from a bacterial infection like gonorrhea to a viral infection like genital herpes.
How Common are STIs?
It is important to remember that STIs are common, but they are also preventable. According to the CDC, there are roughly 20 million new cases of STIs each year in the US. And while this may seem like a lot, it is important to remember that many people do not know they have an STI. That’s why it’s so important to get checked regularly. STIs are more common in some groups than others. For example, college-aged people between the ages of 18 and 24 have the highest rate of new STIs, according to the CDC. African Americans and Hispanics are also more likely to get STIs than other groups.
Which STIs Affect People During Sex?
Many of the most common STIs can be passed during sex, but there are some that are only passed during specific parts of sex. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes and syphilis are only passed during vaginal sex. Human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and hepatitis C are only passed during anal or oral sex. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus that can infect the mouth and vagina. Most people get HPV as teens, but it can cause serious health problems, including cancer. Genital herpes is a very common STI that can cause painful sores around the genitals, rectum or anus. There is no cure for herpes, but there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of a STI?
If you have an STI, you may not have symptoms. But about half of all people with an STI will have symptoms during sex, and about one in five people with an STI will have no symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, they may seem mild at first. Symptoms can include a burning sensation when you pee, discharge from your vagina or abnormal bleeding. Some people with an STI also have a fever and sore throat.
Diagnosing an STI
If you think you may have an STI, your doctor can do a few things to help diagnose it. First, they can check your blood for STIs. Your doctor may also do a physical exam of your genitals, or they may take a sample of your discharge for std testing. If you do have an STI, you may not have any symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get checked regularly.
Treating an STI
If your doctor suspects an STI, they can prescribe treatment. However, some STIs, like the HPV virus, do not respond to certain antibiotics. If your doctor can’t give you a clear diagnosis, or you want to try to get rid of an STI on your own, you may want to try some natural methods. There are many treatment options for STIs, from pills to shots, but they all have risks and side effects. Always talk to your doctor about the best treatment option for you.
Protecting Yourself From STIs
There is no 100% way to completely protect yourself from STIs. But there are things you can do to lower your chances of getting an STI. First, always use protection. If you have sex without protection, you are putting yourself at risk for pregnancy, STIs and other health problems. Protect yourself from STIs by only having sex with a new partner if you are absolutely sure they are not infected. If you are having sex with more than one partner, ask each of them if they have an STI as well. If you do have sex with a new partner, try to use a condom every time. The best way to avoid getting an STI is to be safe, not sorry.
Sexually transmitted infections are very common, and you can protect yourself from them by using protection, treating any symptoms and getting checked regularly. If you do have an STI, it is important to get treated, as some infections can be easily treated with antibiotics. If you are worried about getting an STI, talk to your doctor. They can provide advice on how to protect yourself, explain what you can do to lower your risks and provide treatment if necessary.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.