In our society, the sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are quite spread, and therefore they are always in the attention of the specialists.
Sexually transmitted diseases were once called venereal diseases and are among the most common infectious diseases in the world today. More than 20 STDs have now been identified, and they affect more people than we could imagine, each year.
Understanding the basic facts about STDs – the ways in which they are spread, their common symptoms, and how they can be treated – is the first step toward prevention.
It is important to understand some key points about all STDs today:
– STDs affect men and women of all backgrounds and economic levels. They are most prevalent among teenagers and young adults, from twenty to thirty years. Nearly two-thirds of all STDs occur in people younger than 25 years of age. It is no shame, if this were the case, to check with your health care provider on the issue of a STD.
– The occurrence of STDs is rising, partly because in the last few decades, young people have become sexually active earlier although they are marrying later. In addition, divorce is more common.
The result is that sexually active people today are more likely to have multiple sex lovers during their lives and consequently they are potentially at a greater risk for developing STDs than the people two hundred years ago.
– Most of the time, STDs cause no symptoms, particularly in women. When and if symptoms develop, they may be confused with those of other diseases not transmitted through sexual contact. Even when an STD causes no symptoms, however, a person who is infected may be able to pass the disease on to a sex lover.
That is why many doctors recommend periodic testing or screening for people who have more than one sex partner. However, even if there is only one sex lover, you should also get tested and screened periodically.
– Health problems caused by STDs tend to be more severe and more frequent for women than for men, in part because the frequency of asymptomatic infection means that many women do not seek care until serious problems have developed.
– Some STDs can spread into the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes to cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which in turn is a major cause of both infertility and ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. The latter can be fatal.
– STDs in women also may be associated with cervical cancer. One STD, human papillomavirus infection (HPV), causes genital warts and cervical and other genital cancers.
– STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby before, during, or immediately after birth; some of these infections of the newborn can be cured easily, but others may cause a baby to be permanently disabled or even die.
– When diagnosed and treated early, many STDs can be treated effectively. Some infections have become resistant to the drugs used to treat them and now require newer types of antibiotics. Experts believe that having STDs other than AIDS increases one’s risk for becoming infected with the AIDS virus.