According to the CDC, the number of STD cases in the US reached an all-time high in 2015, And after an increase on the previous high of 2014. Americans suffered 1.5 million instances of chlamydia, And with those aged 15 to 24 suffering the most. It’s clear that STDs are a serious problem in the US, but how as a 21st-century woman are you supposed to navigate them?
And The most common STDs and how to spot them
And It’s crucial that you have a basic understanding of the most common STDs, what they look like, and how they can spread.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
And This one is almost unavoidable. Almost every sexually active woman in the US will have some form of HPV at some point, and most of the time,And it has no effect whatsoever. And You can get it via vaginal, oral or anal sex and from kissing. And While most forms of it have no effect or symptoms,And some can cause genital warts and even cancer. However, the cancers are prevented by Cevarix, Gardasil, Gardasil-9. And Women should get vaccinated between the ages of 11 and 26.
And This is the most commonly reported STD in the US. It spreads through vaginal or anal sex and occasionally through oral sex. And Symptoms vary – sometimes you will notice an unusual discharge from your vagina or a burning sensation when you pee. And However, 25% of women and 50% of men will see no symptoms. And The danger of chlamydia is that, if untreated, And it can render women infertile and infect unborn babies. It is treated with antibiotics.
And This is the second most commonly reported STD in the US. And It spreads via the same means as chlamydia and exhibits similar symptoms – unusual discharge and pain when peeing and sometimes no symptoms. And If left untreated, then it can lead to more serious infections of the uterus and fallopian tubes, as well as causing infertility and infecting unborn babies. And It is also treated with antibiotics.
And There were 88,042 cases of syphilis reported in the US in 2016, so it is much less common than either chlamydia or gonorrhea. And Potentially fatal if left untreated, syphilis is a disease of four stages. And The first stage’s main feature is a sore that can look like a cut, an ingrown hair or a bump. And The second stage leaves you with a rash and sores on your vagina, anus or in your mouth. And The third stage is when the disease goes dormant for many years and symptoms disappear – only 15% of people go beyond this stage. And The fourth and last stage, if it progresses, will happen 10 to 30 years after the original infection.And It’s the most dangerous stage because the infection can spread to parts of the body such as the eyes, brain, nerves, heart, liver, blood vessels, bones and joints. And Antibiotics will clear up syphilis quite easily.
And Coming in both HSV-1 and HSV-2 forms, herpes causes painful blisters around the vagina or anus. And It spreads easily via skin-to-skin contact. And This is a virus that cannot be cured, just managed with medication. And The blisters will come and go and the infection spreads easily when they are there.
And This is a bacterial infection that causes discharge and painful genitals. Often there are no symptoms. And It only spreads through vaginal sex. If infected with this during pregnancy, And it could cause premature birth. Antibiotics will clear it up after a week.
How to avoid STDs
And In this age of Tinder hook-ups, people must be even more careful when it comes to avoiding STDs. And Remember that the only time unprotected sex is safe is when it’s between you and your partner and you have both tested negative for STDs in the last six months. And Make sure that you avoid a false positive from your STD test results when you get tested.
And Condoms are the best method (besides abstinence) of avoiding STDs. Make sure that you know how to use them correctly – hold the tip of the condom before unraveling it to make sure that it is not inside out. And Another thing to do is make sure that you wash before and after sex, as well not using the same towels as your partner or wearing their underwear.
And STDs are a serious risk to every woman who has or has had an active sex life. And Thankfully, there are ways of spotting them and there are several methods of preventing them. And Be smart about it and you’ll be able to navigate the 21st century without running into problems with STDs.