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Home > Blog > STD Prevention & Treatment

STD Prevention & Treatment

STD Prevention & Treatment

Max Lab

Sep 03, 2022

Sexuality is an essential part of a person’s life and identity. While love, warmth, and sexual intimacy are the foundation of healthy relationships, there are some health conditions and unintended consequences that affect the sexual health of an individual. Sexual health is not just about preventing unwanted pregnancies and practicing safe sex but staying away from diseases that are generally transmitted by sexual intimacy or intercourse. Sexual health is an umbrella term incorporating different aspects of a person’s physical, mental and emotional health related to sex and sexuality.

In moments of passion, we often overlook what lies ahead. This World Sexual Health Day, pledge to get awareness and take proper steps toward your sexual well-being.

STDs, which originated as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) before turning into a disease, spread from one person to another through sexual contact. Generally, these infections are transmitted through bodily fluids or skin contact via oral, vaginal, and anal sex. 

Here’s all on STDs, their types, STD tests, prevention and treatment of STDs recommended by doctors, etc.

Types of STDs

STDs can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites transmitted through sexual activity. There are different types of sexually transmitted diseases, including:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Genital herpes
  • HPV
  • Pubic lice
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Syphilis

STD Symptoms

Often, sexually transmitted infections come with mild or no symptoms at all. Thus, they go unnoticed until severe complications occur or if a partner is diagnosed with STD.

The most common symptoms of STDs include:

  • Pain and discomfort during urination or intercourse
  • Sore or swollen testicles
  • Bleeding or unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Rashes, bumps, or sores around the buttocks, testicles, penis, vagina, anus
  • Unexpected periods or bleeding after intercourse
  • Irritation or discomfort in or around the vagina
  • Painful or frequent urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever

STD Diagnosis

With early diagnosis and in-time treatment, STD can cure. But not all STDs are curable, yet many of them are treatable. If left untreated, STDs like chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, and HPV or human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause serious and long-term complications. Thus, every adult should get tested for STDs, especially those with active sexual life.

Lab tests can identify and detect sexually transmitted infections. And subsequently, support the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Some common tests are:

Blood Test

A blood sample is taken to test for HIV or later stages of syphilis.

Fluid samples

For those with genital sores, the doctors may prescribe fluid samples from the sores to detect the type of infection.

Urine Samples

A urine sample is tested to identify the type of STI or sexually transmitted infections.

In addition, a physical examination or microscopic examination of a sore in the penis, vagina, or anus, can be done to diagnose the condition.

In case a person is suspected of human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, s/he needs to get an HIV test done to confirm the condition.

HIV Test Types

There are diverse types of HIV tests, including:

Antibody tests – checks for antibodies to HIV in the blood or oral fluid of the person

HIV Antigen/antibody tests – check for both HIV antibodies and antigens, a protein (p24), which is a part of the virus and appears between 2 to 4 weeks post-infection.

Also, there is a rapid HIV test (antigen/antibody) that is done with a blood sample from a finger stick.

STD Risk Factors

Those who are sexually active are at higher risk of catching an STD in the following cases:

  • Sex with multiple partners
  • Unprotected sex
  • No or incorrect use of condoms
  • History of STIs
  • Inject drugs
  • Misuse alcohol or recreational drugs

STD Treatment

While bacterial STDs can be cured using antibiotics if treatment starts early, viral STDs cannot be completely cured. Doctors prescribe STD treatment plans, depending on the infection. It may include:

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are prescribed often for a single dose to treat many STD conditions such as chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea, and trichomoniasis. The patient must finish the prescription and treatment plan, as discussed by their health care providers. Apart from that, it is vital to avoid having sex until the treatment is completed and the sores have healed.

Antiviral Medication

Those with have herpes or HIV will be advised to take antiviral medicines. The HIV prevention and treatment plan can keep the infection under control for years, but a person may still have the virus and transmit it to his partner. The sooner a person starts with an STD treatment plan, the more effective result it gives.

Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Those who are sexually active should ensure:

  • Using a latex condom during each sex act
  • Avoiding sex with multiple partners
  • Getting tested for STDs or STIs regularly
  • Washing before and after intercourse
  • Avoid having alcohol, drugs, or any intoxicating thing before having sex as it may lead to unsafe sex
  • Understanding more about STDs and STIs and identifying early symptoms
  • Being knowledgeable about the prevention of aids
  • Opening up to your new partner freely about your sexual history before engaging in a sexual act

When visiting doctors, it is crucial to provide a complete report of symptoms and sexual history to help them decide on the best STD treatment plan.

Preventing an STI is a sureshot way to stay clear from an STD. There is no guaranteed way of ensuring this besides having no sexual contact. However, there are several ways to make your intimate moments safer, starting with proper awareness about STIs & STDs.

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