Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs are diseases that are generally transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact and are amongst the most common transmittable diseases in the world. There are more than 20 known STDs and, according to health statistics, they affect about 20 million men and women in the United States alone every year. It is estimated that the country uses well over $14,000,000,000 just for treatment of STDs annually.
STDs can affect anyone at any age as long as they are sexually active. These diseases generally attack a person’s reproductive and sexual organs and could also affect other parts of the body if left untreated. The good thing is that most, if not all STDs, can be treated or managed – allowing the infected person to continue living a healthy life. However, you don’t get an STD test, some STDs can permanently hurt one’s health. It is therefore advisable that you consider getting medical help once you see or experience any symptoms that are associated with such diseases as these.
Common STD infection symptoms include:
• A discharge or drip from the vagina, penis, anus or urethra
• Anal and/or genital irritation or itching
• The appearance of rashes, blisters, lumps, sores or warts around or on the anus, mouth or anus
• A burning sensation when urinating
• Swollen lymph glands around the pelvic region
• Loose stools, weight loss, night sweats
• Pain when having sex
• Amongst many others
Permanent Health Effects Untreated STDs Will Cause
When some STDs like Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are left untreated, they could lead to infertility in men. For instance, when untreated, Chlamydia could lead to a condition known as epididymitis – this is where the tubes where a man’s sperms mature while in the testicles are infected. When experiencing epididymitis, a man may experience shrinking or atrophy of the testicle that’s infected. The same is with case in women if they leave it untreated.
STDs affect women more adversely than men. When left untreated, most STDs like Chlamydia, syphilis and Trichomoniasis amongst others could lead to pregnancy complications as they affect the reproductive system altering its proper function. If left untreated for a long time, the infected woman could end becoming impotent. At the same time, untreated STDs will end up affecting unborn babies and may lead to ectopic pregnancies.
Impaired Brain Function and Heart Disease
STDs like syphilis, if left untreated could affect brain function and could lead to heart disease. Over prolonged periods, the infected person may end completely impaired mentally; these infections could even lead to death.
Development of Cancer
When left untreated, some STD’s could lead to the growth of cancerous cells. Some of the cancers that are linked to untreated STD infections are like rectal cancer, penile cancer and HPV-associated cervical cancer.
Weakened Immune Function
When left in the body for long enough, STD viruses will affect weaken the immune system, affecting the body’s ability to fight against other foreign objects and diseases – and the patient is left susceptible to new attacks and with no defence to protect the body.
As you can see, untreated STDs can adversely affect your health permanently. Hope you now have a better understanding of why it is important that you visit a doctor as soon as you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. To prevent or lower chances of getting infected with an STD, it is advisable that you use a condom every time you have sex.