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Sexually transmitted infections Frequently Asked Questions

What are sexually transmitted infections?

Sexually transmitted infections, previously known as sexually transmitted diseases or venereal diseases, are physical conditions that have a high probability of being transmitted among other people due to sexual activity of a person who is already infected. These infections can be viral, bacterial, protozoan, parasitic and fungal in nature. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are generally highly contagious in nature and can be transmitted from one partner to the other through a single unprotected sexual contact.

Are sexually transmitted infections common?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unfortunately, are very common throughout Europe. According to the recent estimation (2010), almost half a million (424,782) new cases of STIs have been diagnosed in the UK alone. In addition, it has also been found by the UK health department that almost 70% of the nation’s adult population haven’t taken any STI test. So, it is more likely that the number of infected person is more and more common than it actually appears. It is a matter of further concern that a great part of the young population is increasingly becoming victim to these infections.

How are sexually transmitted infections spread?

Unprotected sexual intimacy or sexual contact is the basic reason for spreading of the diseases. Please don’t remain under the popular misconception that an unprotected vaginal intercourse only transfers germs of these diseases to your partner’s body. Indulgence in unprotected oral sex, anal sex and sharing sex toys among partners may also help these infections to spread. Furthermore, if a person shares a syringe or receives blood from an already infected person then he/she might also be infected. A newborn can be a carrier of these infections if his/her mother is infected and the germs can pass on during delivery or breastfeeding.

What types of sexually transmitted infections are there?

There are mainly five types of sexually transmitted infections:

  • Bacterial
  • Protozoan
  • Viral
  • Fungal and
  • Parasitic

However, in the UK and rest of Europe, sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria and virus are most common. The most common complications caused by these diseases are pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, infertility, weakening of the natural immunity and finally making an infected person susceptible to life threatening infections. Due to this reason it is always advised that people should get their infection diagnosed at the earliest and start the right treatment after consulting an expert in this field.

How do I know I have a sexually transmitted infection?

It is very difficult to find out that you have already become the carrier of a sexually transmitted infection. In most cases, both male and females’ symptoms of an infection may take several days to appear. In certain cases these symptoms do appear but they are so mild at the initial stage that most people choose to ignore them. The best way to find out, whether you are already infected or not, is to take an STI test at any GUM clinic or by purchasing STI test kits from authentic online pharmacies of the UK.

Are sexually transmitted infections dangerous?

Major sexually transmitted infections, caused by virus or bacteria, are dangerous and they can lead to life threatening situations, if not treated properly. Infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV/AIDS actually keep weakening your natural immune system. They not only make you susceptible to infections but also jeopardise your healthy existence by affecting the vital organs of your physical system.

Can sexually transmitted infections affect my baby if I get pregnant?

If you are pregnant and already affected by a STI then your baby can get affected. The infected blood of the mother can pass the germs of an infection in the baby. Moreover, your baby is at the highest risk of being infected when it has to be delivered from the womb. After birth also, you may infect your new born during breastfeeding.

How are sexually transmitted infections treated?

There is an expansive range of medications available in the market to treat different types of STIs. If your STI report shows positive results you should immediately consult your physician and let him/her decide the best medication that would help you. Afterwards, take the medication according to your physician’s instruction.

Are sexually transmitted infections curable?

The sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and bacterial vaginosis can be cured completely by taking the right medications. Unfortunately, STIs like genital herpes and genital warts cannot be completely cured. People infected with HIV cannot cure themselves but with the use of right medications they can delay spread of the infection.

Can sexually transmitted infections be prevented?

STIs can be prevented but they need proper caution and faithfulness among partners. Experts always opine that people shouldn’t indulge in any form of sexual intimacy without taking proper protection, such as using a condom. Moreover, people with the habit of changing partners are under greater risk of being infected by a STI, compared to those who don’t change their partners.