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Most Common STDs for Women and Men

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What are STDs?

STDs are the short form of sexually transmitted diseases. STDs are also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the beginning.

Specifically, STDs refer to those diseases or infections that get transferred from one individual to another through sexual contact.

These diseases are spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Though, occasionally they can be transmitted by close physical contact.

What are the types of STDs?

Usually, the common types of STDs for men include:

  • Chlamydia
  • HIV
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Genital herpes
  • Genital warts
  • Hepatitis C and B
  • Syphilis

The common types of STDs for women include:

  • Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs)
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Chancroid
  • Chlamydia
  • Scabies and pubic lice
  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • AIDS
  • Genital herpes

What are the symptoms of STDs?

Often, men and women don’t experience the symptoms of STDs for a long time.

When they do experience STDs symptoms, they manifest in different ways for both of them. So, let’s discuss their symptoms separately.

Symptoms of STDs for men

  • Unusual penile discharge
  • Swollen testicles
  • Fever
  • Sores on the genital area
  • Painful urination
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue and nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Symptoms of STDs for women

  • Abnormal spotting (discharge of blood)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful urination
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal itching
  • Pain while having sex
  • Rashes

What are the causes of STDs?

An STI lies at the root of all STDs causes. These infections are typically caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites and spread when bodily fluids are exchanged during sexual intercourse.

Sometimes, these infections can also spread through skin-to-skin contact. For instance, genital warts and herpes are STIs spread through skin-to-skin contact.

Besides this, certain infections (hepatitis B) can also spread due to sharing personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, etc.

Many times, an STI usually goes away on its own. However, when it doesn’t, the pathogens which caused it in the first place can end up harming your body cells and impairing their activities.

At this stage, symptoms start appearing for most people, and the infection becomes a disease.

Other than these causes, some risk factors, such as the ones mentioned below, can also cause you to have STDs:

  • Having unprotected sex
  • Having a family history of STIs
  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Using recreational drugs
  • Injecting drugs through needles

Which doctor should you seek for STDs?

To check for the diagnosis of STDs, you should go to a general practitioner or, even better, to an experienced gynaecologists.

How to diagnose STDs?

For the diagnosis, a gynaecologist will ask you about your sexual history in detail and check your health history.

During this time, you may feel a bit hesitant to share details. That’s completely fine. Take your time and remember to be as honest as possible while giving the details about your sexual history.

The gynaecologist will also recommend that you undergo the following tests:

  • Blood test: In this test, your blood sample is taken to check for the presence of HIV and syphilis in your blood.
  • Urine sample: This test involves taking a sample of your urine in a test tube to check for the presence of STDs caused by bacteria.
  • Discharge test: This test involves taking a sample of discharge from your vagina or penis to check for the presence of STIs.
  • Fluid sample: This test involves taking a fluid sample from open sores with a swab to check for the type of infection you are suffering.
  • Physical examination: In this test, the doctor looks at and examines your genital area to check for the presence of warts, rashes, irritation, etc.

What are the treatments for STDs?

STDs caused by bacteria can be treated easily, while STDs caused by viruses can be managed but not completely cured.

Usually, the treatment for STDs involves:

Antibiotics

Sexually transmitted diseases caused by bacteria and parasites, such as Gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis, etc., can often be cured with a single dose of antibiotics.

Gonorrhoea and chlamydia are typically treated together because these two STDs frequently co-occur.

For antibiotic treatment to be effective, you must complete the course of the treatment. Moreover, you must refrain from having sex for a week after the treatment is over to avoid getting reinfected.

Antiviral drugs

Antiviral drugs are prescribed to manage STDs like HIV or herpes.

However, antivirals cannot completely treat HIV or herpes. They can only lower their risk to your health and reduce your chances of spreading it to others.

Having said that, the effectiveness of HIV treatment increases with time. It is possible to lower the viral load in the blood to the point where it is hardly detectable if you take your drugs exactly as prescribed.

Additionally, if you take suppressive therapy daily along with prescribed antiviral medication, you will see fewer herpes recurrences.

The above STD treatments are very effective. But just in case they fail to treat STDs, the last resort for treatment remains surgery or abstinence from sex.

How to prevent STDs?

If you are sexually active, it can be tricky for you to avoid contracting STDs. Fortunately, some methods of preventing STDs still exist.

For STD prevention, you can keep the following in mind:

  • Abstain from having sex
  • Have sex with just one partner who does not have any STDs
  • Get tested for STIs regularly
  • Don’t use recreational drugs
  • Use dental dams and condoms whenever you have sex
  • Get vaccinated for STIs before you have sex

Conclusion

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) usually spread through bodily fluids during sexual intercourse. Sometimes, they can spread through other kinds of skin contact and even through sharing personal things.

If you experience symptoms like unusual penile or vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, swelling up of testicles, etc., you should immediately reach out to a gynaecologist and not hesitate to talk about it.

The experienced gynaecologists at the CK Birla Hospital understand what you are going through and emphatically try to discuss and diagnose STDs through state-of-the-art tests. We also prescribe personalized treatments for you.

For comprehensive STDs diagnosis and treatment, visit the CK Birla Hospital or book an appointment with Dr. Deepika Aggarwal.

FAQs

Q. Who gets STDs more: men or women?

Ans. Women get STDs more than men because a women’s vagina lining is more delicate and vulnerable and thus easily penetrable by bacteria and viruses.

Another reason is that more women are getting intrauterine devices implanted to avoid pregnancy. However, these devices don’t shield or prevent them from getting STDs.

Q. Are STDs worse for men or women?

Ans. Since women are more susceptible to STDs than men, STDs for women are far worse than for men. With STDs, women need to deal with their long-term effects and the serious health consequences they impose even after treatment.

Q. What STDs can a guy get from a girl?

Ans. The STDs that a guy can get from a girl are chlamydia, herpes, Gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV, etc.

Q. Do STDs go away on their own?

Ans. Some STDs do go away on their own with time. However, some don’t go away by themselves and require treatment.

Q. Which STD causes death?

Ans. STDs like syphilis, HIV, human papillomavirus, and hepatitis B can cause death if you don’t seek treatment in time.

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