What are STDs/STIs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are illnesses and infections that people get from engaging in sexual activities or sharing needles with someone who already has the infection. There are two types of STDs, bacterial and viral. Bacterial is usually curable while viral is not. Examples of bacterial STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis (commonly called Trich). Examples of viral STDs include HPV (warts), Herpes, Hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS.
People can get STDs from Oral, Anal, and Vaginal sex. Oral sex is when an individual’s mouth goes on another person’s penis, anus, or vulva. Anal sex is when an individual’s penis enters in or around another individual’s Anus. Vaginal sex is when a penis enters in or around another individual’s vagina.
Unfortunately, STDs are super common among teens. And often, they have no symptoms or outward signs. This makes it hard to know if you have one. Most STDs are curable, meaning people can get rid of them with medications. Some STDs are not curable, but medication can help people who have them feel better. Some STDs are tranmistted by just skin-to-skin contact.
Hormonal Birth Control (Pills, Patch, IUD, Implant, Shot, etc) do not protect or prevent any STD.
When should you get tested?
If you have ever had sex, it’s a good idea to get tested. Testing is super easy to do, confidential, and free or discounted at our clinics.
Other times testing would be a good idea is if you think your sexual partner has cheated on you, or if you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted.
What are the most common STD symptoms?
Often the most common sign, or symptom, is nothing. Sometimes, when there are signs, they might include the following:
- Pain or burning while peeing
- Rashes, lumps, or bumps on the penis, inside the vagina, or on the outside parts of the vagina. If someone has had anal sex, or penis-in-anus sex, then they might have these signs around their anus.
- A fluid coming out of the vagina or penis that is not normal for your body—it’s green or yellow, clumpy, or smelly.
Remember, even if there are no signs, you want to get tested if you’ve ever had anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Getting tested is one of the best ways to prevent spreading the disease.
For more information contact us. You can also learn more about STDs here.
How do you protect yourself from STDs?
All STDs are preventable. The best way to prevent an STD is by not having sex and not sharing needles with someone else. If you decide to have sex, using a condom for oral sex (on a penis), anal sex, and vaginal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
To keep the condom from breaking during anal sex, it’s a good idea to use lube. Also, make sure to use a condom-safe lubricant and not anything like Vaseline or lotion, since oil can damage the condom.
We have FREE CONDOMS at these locations.
Get to know your partner
It’s best to find out if the person you’re going to have sex with has ever been tested, too. Here are some good ways to get that conversation going with your partner.
There are vaccines, or shots that prevent diseases, for two STDs—HPV and Hepatitis B. More information about vaccines can be found at our clinics.
Birth control will not prevent you from getting an STD; it can only help to prevent unplanned pregnancy. To avoid getting an STD, you must use a condom.