STDs and Women
- There are several STDs that disproportionately affect women. This is not because men are cleaner. Many STDs effect women differently than men, this is due to the unfortunate fact that women have internal genitalia. While there is nothing unclean about having a vagina, in fact the vagina cleans itself through mucus and good bacteria. The bacteria in the vagina are very sensitive and can be thrown off very easily. It is important for women to be aware of whatís going on with their bodies and seek medical attention if they notice changes. Not every unpleasant discharge or vaginal itching is a yeast infection and women should not self treat yeast infections.
- Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, when left untreated can lead to a serious infection to the uterus and reproductive organs called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID. PID is a condition where the upper parts are of the reproductive system (uterus and fallopian tubes) are harmed by bacteria leading to scar tissue and ultimately fertility issues. The CDC estimates that about one million women are affected by PID each year; most of the women affected are under 25. Unfortunately, just like the STDs and infections that cause it, the symptoms are vague and can range from no symptoms to mild pain to severe pain and irregular bleeding. The good news is that with safer sex practices and regular screening for STDs, PID can be prevented. For more information visit, http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm .
- Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a common bacterial infection in women. BV occurs when the bacteria in the vagina are altered and new bacteria take over. It is commonly spread by sexual intercourse however it can be spread in other ways such as fingering and douching. The symptoms can range from no symptoms to extra discharge to thick gray fishy discharge. BV can increase the likelihood of getting an STD, because of this it is important to practice safe sex and refrain from sex if you believe you have an infection.
- Trichomoniasis affects about 7.4 million women each year. Most of these women are under 25 years of age. It is a protozoan, and can be treated through one dose of medication. It is passed from infected men to women and woman to woman. It is harder to detect in men, and men usually get treated when they have an infected partner. In women, the symptoms can be slight or result in pain, itching, or a green frothy discharge.
- With all curable STDs there is a chance of re-infection. Even if you get treated, no matter how embarrassing it may be, it is important that your partner gets treated as well. Being treated for a bacterial infection does not make you immune. If you are given antibiotics it is very important that you finish all of them, to ensure that you are cured.
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Oral sexÖ itís safe. Right?
- Despite what many people believe or say, Oral sex is SEX.
- While cunnilingus is a fancy word for oral sex on a female and fellatio is a fancy word for oral sex on a male. There are many slang words for oral sex including head and blow job.
- Many young people treat oral sex as a causal thing. Its not!
- Just because you cannot get pregnant through oral sex (unless there is careless fluid exchange) doesnít mean itís not intimate or risky.
- Flavored condoms and oral dams were created to make oral sex both fun and safe.
- Oral sex and STDs. Sexually transmitted diseases can affect other areas than the genitals and can be spread through oral sex.
- Herpes Simplex 2 is the virus that causes genital herpes. About 1 in 3 people have some form of herpes, usually Herpes Simplex 1, oral herpes or cold sores. This means this virus is very common. It is possible, when someone has a cold sore to pass the herpes virus through oral sex. This then creates genital herpes caused by the HSV 1 virus. Genital herpes does not go away and unfortunately it can be passed to you partner at any time. To find out more about herpes and cold sores please visit www.herpes-coldsores.com.
- Gonorrhea has been associated with throat infections and severe eye infections. Many people fail to acknowledge that STDs can infect areas other than the genitals. If you have a sore throat and have been participating in oral sex it could be caused by Gonorrhea, it is important to tell you doctor (if the strep test comes back negative) so you can be properly treated, as it is treated with different antibiotics.
- Also syphilis can be spread orally. In the first stages, it creates a large painless chancre in the area it affects.
- The HPV virus has been associated with some oral and throat cancers.
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