Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Why it’s Important to Get Tested

Did you know that only 12-14% of the general population get tested for STDs annually? Specialists explain why it is important to do these tests.


Sexually transmitted diseases: What are they?

Sexually transmitted diseases are infections caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites that are transmitted mainly through oral, vaginal or anal sexual contact. There are over 20 types of sexually transmitted diseases, and the most common are: chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV / AIDS, HPV, syphilis, trichomoniasis and hepatitis.


Most sexually transmitted diseases affect both men and women, but many of them can cause more serious problems in women. Also, transmitting the disease to the fetus during pregnancy and delivery can have damaging effects on the baby.


STDs caused by fungal or parasitic bacteria can be treated and healed with antibiotics. There are no treatments for viral infections, but there are therapies that control the symptoms and prevent complications.

You may have a sexually transmitted disease even if you have only one partner; the more partners you have, the higher the risk.


Sexually transmitted diseases: Risks

The risk of having a sexually transmitted disease depends on several factors:

  • type of infection
  • type of sexual contact
  • number of sexual contacts


You must know that:

  • One in two sexually active people gets a sexually transmitted infection until the age of 25.
  • Only 12-14% of the population is tested for STDs annually
  • The CDC (US Disease Control Center) says that over 24,000 women become infertile each year due to a sexually transmitted infection
  • You may have a sexually transmitted disease in multiple areas at the same time
  • Sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted even if the infected partner has no symptoms
  • Proper condom use prevents STDs
  • Women get infected faster than men


Sexually transmitted diseases: Herpes

Areas that can become infected are: the genital area, anus, rectum, lips, mouth, throat. Signs and symptoms may be absent. Infected individuals can transmit the disease, even if they have no symptoms. Due to the infections ulcerations produced, herpes increases the risk of contracting HIV.


Sexually transmitted diseases: gonorrhea

Areas that may become infection at first are: the genital area, the urinary tract, the rectum, the throat.


Signs and Symptoms:

  • Symptoms in the genital area may include a burning sensation while urinating, inflamed and painful testicles.
  • Throat infections may not show any symptoms. In some cases they manifest through a swollen neck.


Treatment of throat infection may be more difficult than genital infection. The treatment consists of administering antibiotics that cure the infection.

The sex partners of the infected person should be tested and there should be no sexual intercourse until the treatment is complete.


Untreated, throat infections can spread through oral sex to uninfected partners, can chronicle and cause joint pain and skin lesions – disseminated gonococcal infection.


Untreated genital infection in women can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease with corneal pain, infertility and extrauterine pregnancies, and can spread to the fetus during pregnancy and cause blindness, joint pain or sepsis.

In men, it can lead to epididymitis, a painful condition that can cause infertility.



Sexually transmitted diseases: syphilis

Syphilis infection may not have any symptoms initially. Painless ulcers may occur in the genital area but also on the lips, mouth, throat or skin.


The treatment consists of antibiotic administration. All sex partners of the infected person should be treated.


Untreated, syphilis can evolve and affect internal organs, may cause blindness, dementia and even death. Pregnant women can transmit the illness during pregnancy or during delivery, and untreated children may have growth delays, seizures, and even face the risk of death.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.