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Indulging in sex is not a crime, whether you are married or not. However, if you do not know what are STIs and STDs and do not get regularly screened for them while having an active sexual life, then you might contract it. Though they are curable, it is important to have a good understanding about the two.
While a man may have an active sexual life, he will prefer not to open up about it, even with his doctor. Apart from that, men also tend to ignore the fact that they should regularly get screened for STIs and STDs, which becomes more important if they have multiple partners or are indulging in unprotected sex. Even if not unprotected, getting tested for these infections and diseases is a must if you are having physical contact.
Men mostly oppose the fact that they can contract an STI from their partners. They believe that it can certainly not happen to them even though they are sexually active, however, contracting an infection is highly possible for them if they are not cautious.
Hence, we decided to take matters into our hands to explain to you all about STIs as well as STDs. Have a look below:
STIs and STDs
The main difference between an STI and an STD is that an STI is a Sexually Transmitted Infection, while an STD is a Sexually Transmitted Disease. If not treated at the right time, an STI can turn into an STD. Once an infection is transmitted in a man, the virus or bacteria starts multiplying in his body which leads to severe disease.
One of the biggest issues with an STI is that it shows no symptoms or signs when you are infected. In the later stage, however, when it transforms into an STD, it starts causing health issues.
The main cause of an infection can be either bacteria, viruses or parasites. These can be contracted either through skin contact (where the infection exists) or body fluids. Apart from that, transmission of infections can also take place through non sexual activities, such as sharing needles with someone who has HIV.
However, note down that some STIs never develop into STDs. For instance, human papillomavirus or HPV goes away on its own without turning into an STD. However, it does lead to genital warts or cervical cancer.
STIs for Men
If you have an active sexual life for a while, you must have a look at some of the STIs that you might contract if you are not too careful.
A bacterial STI, chlamydia is known to be one of the most common infections in the US. The worst part about this infection is that it shows no signs or symptoms until several weeks of its transmission. Some of the most common symptoms of chlamydia in men are pain during urination, penile discharge as well as swollen testicles.
Another bacterial STI, gonorrhea can be transmitted through anal, oral or vaginal sex, affecting the throat, anus and the urethra. Although most men infected with gonorrhea do not display any symptoms, some of the most common symptoms that may occur are pain while urinating and a green, white or yellow discharge from the penis. Along with that, there are some less common symptoms as well that you may display, such as swollen or painful testicles, painful joints and rashes on your body.
Hepatitis A is an infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus and needs no treatment as it goes away on its own. However, it is known to be highly contagious. Some of the ways of contracting this infection is eating contaminated food, drinking polluted water, eating contaminated raw shellfish as well as having unprotected sex with someone who is infected with Hepatitis A. While there is no official treatment for this infection, there are treatments to reduce the symptoms of Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B is an STI caused by the Hepatitis B virus and shows some of the most obvious symptoms around the genitals of a man. Apart from that, it can lead to a dangerous inflammation of the liver. You can contract this infection by coming in contact with the blood or body fluids of someone who has Hepatitis B. While this infection does not showcase any symptoms at all, some do mistake it as a cold or a flu. If any symptoms may occur, they can be loss of appetite, feeling lethargic, low grade fever, muscle and joint pains, aches, nausea, vomiting as well as jaundice. Treating Hepatitis B is essential, even if there are no symptoms as it will continue to damage your liver if left untreated.
A viral STI, herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus and can affect the mouth or the genitals of a man. However, either way, it causes blisters on his fingers. It can be transmitted by direct contact with the mouth or genitals of a person who is infected with herpes. In men, the symptoms of herpes can occur from 2 days to 2 weeks after the transmission. Some of the most common symptoms that may occur in men are feeling unwell, fever, loss of appetite, swollen or tender lymph nodes in the groin, aching muscles in the lower back, buttocks, thighs, or knees, blisters on the lips, tongue, gums, genital area and other parts of the body, tingling, itching as well as burning where the blisters will appear.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human Papillomavirus or HPV is one of the most common STDs that can be transmitted today in men. HPV consists of low risk strains as well as high risk strains. While the low risk strains can lead to genital warts, the high risk strain might result in cancers of the anus, throat and penis. This is an STD which can be contracted through skin to skin contact during oral, anal or vaginal sex. Some of its most common symptoms in men include genital warts as well as warts in the mouth.
Syphilis is another bacterial STI which can be contracted through oral, anal or vaginal sex. Although an ancient disease, it is still quite prevalent today. For men, syphilis is quite a serious STI as it has a link to HIV. After contracting this infection, you will go through four different phases known as primary, secondary, latent as well as tertiary. Some of the most common symptoms that you may feel after contracting syphilis are a very small, firm and painless sore on the penis, anus or the lips, swollen lymph nodes around the area of the sore, a skin rash the doesn’t itch, tiredness, sore throat as well as a headache.
Prevention of STIs and STDs
Prevention of STIs and STDs is of paramount importance which men often ignore. Moreover, many also believe that abstaining from physical contact will safeguard them but that’s not true. To have safe sex condoms prove to be effectful. Although condoms do not protect you from all STIs, using it during sexual intercourse will be the best option for you to prevent contracting an infection.
Also, regular checkup is a must. It is also important that you regularly get tested for the STIs and STDs to make sure that you have not contracted any and take immediate precaution and medication if found to be infected..
While you might be too embarrassed to talk about your sex life with a doctor and might not even want to begin talking about STIs and STDs, the truth is that they exist. And if you are not too careful, you just might contract one of them and pass it over to your partner. It is important to be aware of these infections and diseases so that you are able to prevent them before they get to you. Though sex is fun and pleasurable, it is also important that you are taking the right precautions and being careful while doing so.