Understanding and Treating STIs
Sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, are a global health issue, with approximately 357 million people being infected in 2016. STIs can lead to several health concerns and can even be fatal in certain cases. It is important to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatments for STIs in order to help prevent and protect against them.
Causes of STIs
STIs are caused by many different viruses and bacteria, and can be contracted through sexual contact, including vaginal, oral, or anal sex. They can also be passed through sharing needles, or through non-sexual contact with the anus, genitals, or mouth, such as self-touching with a contaminated finger.
Symptoms of STIs
The symptoms of STIs vary depending on the virus or bacteria. Some STIs do not show any physical symptoms at all and may only be detected through testing. Common symptoms of STIs include:
- Painful urination
- Itching, burning, or pain around the genitals
- Sores, bumps, blisters, or rash on the genitals or in the mouth
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Fever or flu-like symptoms
- Pain during intercourse
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Treating an STI typically involves taking medication prescribed by a doctor. This can involve antibiotics depending on the type of STI. In some cases, a vaccine may also be available to help prevent the virus or bacteria from spreading.
In addition to taking medication, it is important to practice safe sex to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. This includes using condoms and dental dams, avoiding sharing sex toys, and being tested if you suspect that you have been exposed to an STI. It is also important to let all of your sexual partners know that you have an STI so that they can be tested and treated if necessary.
STIs can be a serious health concern. However, understanding the causes and symptoms, as well as practicing safe sex, can help reduce the risk of infection. If you suspect that you may have an STI, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to receive a proper diagnosis and the proper treatment.