Gaining Insight into STIs
The dangers of sexually transmitted infections, commonly referred to as STIs, are widely recognized. Since your earliest sex education lessons, you’ve been informed about the significance of practicing safe sex to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of infections and diseases. However, you may not have been explicitly taught the mechanisms behind the spread of STIs between individuals; you were simply informed that it can happen.
Understanding the processes involved in the transmission of STIs is crucial, as this knowledge can empower you to take better precautions in the future. In this article, we will delve into the precise ways in which STIs are transmitted, addressing any other queries you may have about these infections.
Sexually transmitted infections, also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections that are primarily transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse or activity. However, it’s important to note that they can also be transmitted through other means, such as from a mother to her baby during childbirth. STIs encompass a wide range of infections caused by various factors, and each requires its own unique treatment approach.
Types of STIs
Refer to the table below for an overview of the most prevalent STIs, including their symptoms and treatment options.
|Chlamydia||Pain when urinating Unusual discharge Pain during sex||Azithromycin Doxycycline|
|Gonorrhea||Unusual discharge Pain when urinating Discomfort in private parts||Antibiotics|
|Genital Warts||Itching or bleeding from private parts Painless lumps on penis, anus or vagina||Condyline Aldara Warticon|
|Genital Herpes||Blistering on private parts Burning or itching genitals Pain when urinating||Aciclovir Valtrex|
|Pubic Lice||Small insects in pubic hair Itching, mostly at night White/yellow dots in pubic hair (eggs)||Medicated shampoos Medicated creams|
|Syphilis||Sores on private parts Rashes on hands and other body parts White patches in the mouth||Antibiotics|
|HIV and AIDS||Raised temperature Sore throat Body rashes||Emtricitabine/Tenofovir (Preventative) Antiretroviral medicines|
Transmission of STIs
The transmission of different types of sexually transmitted infections can occur through various routes. However, the most common mode of transmission is through unprotected sexual intercourse or activity between individuals, with one person already infected, regardless of their awareness of the infection. It is crucial that individuals who know they are infected with an STI refrain from engaging in any sexual activity until they have received treatment or can engage in protected sex without the risk of transmitting the infection. If someone contracts an STI, it is important to notify recent sexual partners so that they can get tested as well. Depending on the infection, it may be necessary to inform all previous partners, and your doctor can provide guidance on this matter.
Can STIs be transmitted through condoms?
The primary advice for practicing safe sex is to use condoms. When used correctly, condoms offer excellent protection against the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. However, it is important to note that condoms do not provide an absolute guarantee against STI transmission, similar to how someone can still become pregnant despite using a condom.
Can you transmit an STI through kissing?
While the majority of sexually transmitted infections cannot be transmitted through kissing alone, there are a few exceptions. Herpes, when present in or around the mouth, and cytomegalovirus are among the most common STIs that can be transmitted through kissing.
Can STIs be transmitted through toilets?
Concerns about STI transmission from toilet seats are generally unfounded. Bacterial STIs such as chlamydia or syphilis cannot survive on surfaces and cannot be contracted from toilet seats. Some viral STIs can theoretically survive outside the body and may persist on a toilet seat, but the likelihood of contracting an STI from a toilet seat is extremely low.
Can you transmit STIs without ejaculating?
Almost all sexually transmitted infections are transmitted through the physical act of sex rather than solely through ejaculation. While certain infections may be present in a man’s ejaculate, the act of ejaculation itself does not transmit the disease.
Can STIs be transmitted through breastfeeding?
In most cases, breastfeeding can still be done when a person has certain STIs. However, there are exceptions. If a person has HIV or AIDS, breastfeeding should be avoided. In the case of trichomoniasis, breastfeeding may require the individual to take an antibiotic called metronidazole. If a person has herpes, breastfeeding is generally safe unless there is a sore in the breast area.
Can STIs be transmitted through oral sex?
Oral sex is one of the common ways in which sexually transmitted infections are transmitted. STIs commonly transmitted through oral sex include gonorrhea, genital herpes, syphilis, and human papillomavirus. Although less common, other infections such as chlamydia, HIV, genital warts, pubic lice, and hepatitis A, B, and C can also be transmitted through oral sex.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most commonly transmitted STIs?
Whilst there are many different sexually transmitted infections, there are some that are much more common than others. The most commonly transmitted STIs include:
- Chlamydia: Accounting for approximately 46% of all recorded cases of STIs.
- Genital warts
How can I prevent STIs?
There are several ways to prevent STIs, and one of the most effective methods is using a condom as it acts as a barrier between partners, significantly reducing the risk of infection. Other preventive measures include keeping track of your sexual partners, as the more partners you have, the higher the risk of infection. It’s also important to practice safe sex during activities that carry a higher risk, such as anal sex.
How can I treat STIs?
Treatment for each sexually transmitted infection varies. Some STIs require specialized treatments, such as chlamydia, herpes, and genital warts. Others can be treated with antibiotics, such as syphilis and gonorrhea.
Getting Your Medication
Do I need a prescription for STI medication?
Usually you need to go and see a doctor wait in queue, get a prescription to be able to get it or you can order it from MedsBase without the prescription and long queue.