All sexually active individuals are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Although having sex with new partners frequently may increase your risk of STDs, anyone can get them.
Board-certified gynecologist Lillian Schapiro, MD, FACOG, and our team here at Ideal Gynecology are here to give informed, non-judgmental support for any of your STD needs. Our staff provides STD testing and treatment, as well as advice on safer sex practices to lower your chance of developing an STD.
You can protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections and avoid passing them to partners with regular testing and treatment. Here are some of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and how to avoid getting infected.
Viral sexually transmitted diseases
Viral STDs are viruses that can be transmitted through sexual contact. Hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes, and human immunodeficiency virus are examples of the most common viral STDs.
Some viral STDs, such as hepatitis B and HPV, can be prevented with vaccination. Condoms are also highly effective at preventing the spread of viral STDs.
If you are concerned about hepatitis B, an injection of antibodies within 12 hours of exposure may be useful for disease prevention. Hepatitis B can become chronic, requiring continued treatment to maintain your health and limit the risk of transmission.
Infection with HIV can result in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The specialists at Ideal Gynecology can advise you on HIV prevention drugs. Having multiple sex partners increases the risk of getting infected with HIV.
Bacterial and parasitic sexually transmitted diseases
Common bacterial STDs are syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Like viral STDs, bacterial STIs are spread through sexual contact.
Because vaccines for certain STDs are not available, barrier techniques such as condoms are the best way to reduce the risk of infection. If you become infected, antibiotic treatment can treat most bacterial STDs.
Common parasitic STDs include trichomoniasis, giardia, and crabs (pubic lice). Parasitic STDs are frequently unpleasant but do not pose a major health risk. As with viral and bacterial STDs, barrier methods offer the best protection.
Get tested regularly
Open communication with your partner about sexual health, limiting sexual partners, and using barrier measures and protective drugs can reduce your risk of STDs. The more you know about your sexual partners the better.
Know that certain sexual activities increase your risk of infection than others. Anal sex can put you at higher risk of STD infection because the skin of the anus is thin and breaks easily.
Additionally, getting tested on a regular basis is also an important component of your sexual health.
Contact us right away if you develop STD symptoms. Here’s what to look out for:
- Painful or burning urination
- Genital discomfort
- Genital sores
- Abnormal discharge
- Anal itching
- Foul-smelling urine
Regular STD testing helps to keep viral, bacterial, and parasitic STDs from spreading. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, it’s a good idea to arrange to have an STD test, especially if you have recently met a new partner or partners.
We’re here to answer your questions and concerns about your sexual health. To learn more about how to prevent STDs, schedule a visit with Dr. Schapiro. Call our Atlanta or McDonough office, and one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members will be happy to help you get scheduled.