What Does STD Mean?

Her Smart Choice Women’s Health Center Educational Series Presents ‘What Does STD Mean?’

What Does STD Mean? – It’s sexually transmitted disease.
If you have sex, oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse and or genital touching, you can get an STD, also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
You’re straight or gay, married or single, and vulnerable to STIs symptoms.
Thinking or hoping your partner doesn’t have an STI is no protection; you need to know.

What are the causes of STDs?
The causes of STDs are viral or bacterial infections. STDs that are caused due to bacterial infections are treated using antibiotics.
There is no cure for STDs caused by viral infections, but you can take measures to treat their symptoms.

What factors increase your risk of contracting an STD?
The below-mentioned factors can increase your risk of contracting an STD:
⚹ Having sex with greater than one partner
⚹ Having a sexual partner who themselves has sex with greater than one partner either currently or in the past
⚹ Having sex with a person who has an STD or STI
⚹ Having a personal history of STDs/STIs
⚹ Using intravenous drugs or if your partner uses intravenous drugs

What are the most commonly occurring STDs?
Some of the commonly occurring STDs are:
⚹ Chlamydia
⚹ Genital herpes
⚹ Gonorrhea
⚹ HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection
⚹ Syphilis
⚹ HPV (human papillomavirus) infection
⚹ Hepatitis B
⚹ Trichomoniasis

How can you prevent STDs?
The following are the top five methods to prevent STDs:

Abstinence
Abstaining from having all types of sexual contact, i.e., vaginal, oral, or anal, is the most efficient and reliable method to avoid contracting an STD. However, most individuals don’t find abstinence a practical way of dealing with the situation.

Vaccination
Getting a vaccine is a safe and effective method recommended to prevent HPV and hepatitis B. The HPV vaccine for both females and males may protect against certain common forms of HPV. It is recommended that you get all three shots (doses) before engaging in sexual activity. However, an HPV vaccine is recommended for all teen girls and females after the age of 26 and all teen boys and males after the age of 21 who were not given the three shots or doses of HPV vaccine before (at a younger age). You must also get a hepatitis B vaccine if you have not received the vaccine before (at a younger age).

Reduce the number of your sex partners
Reducing the number of sex partners can also decrease contracting an STD. It is also essential to know about the sexual history of your partner. The more significant number of partners you have, the greater your risk of getting an STD. The same is also true for your sexual partners, i.e., if they have more partners, it still increases your risk. You and your sexual partner should get tested for STDs. Moreover, both of you should share the results of your tests with each other.

Mutual monogamy
The meaning of mutual monogamy is that you have agreed to have sex with only one individual who has also decided to have sex with you. Having a long-term relationship that is mutually monogamous is among the most effective and reliable methods to prevent STDs.

Use condoms
Using male condoms made of latex correctly and consistently is incredibly effective in reducing the transmission of STDs. You must use a latex condom each time you are involved in vaginal, oral, or anal sex. You can also use a female condom while having vaginal intercourse. You should use dental dams or condoms while having oral sex and gloves during manual penetration.

In case of using a lubricant, be sure to use a water-based lubricant. It is essential to use condoms during the entire sexual act. Though condoms aren’t 100% effective in preventing STDs, they are still highly effective.

For additional information, please visit www.HerSmartChoice.com or call
323-250-9360

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