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Sexually transmitted diseases you should know

Health
 Some of these STDs are not known to most couples (Photo: iStock)

Having an STD can change your life forever. Physically, they can make you more susceptible to other types of infections, they can affect your pregnancy and cause birth defects as well.

Psychologically, there is also a huge impact. There is the possibility of the stigma once people know that you’ve been infected and this also damages your self-esteem.

Some of the best ways to protect yourself from all this include abstinence, regular testing, especially before getting intimate with a new partner and practising safe sex.

The common STDs that we hear about are gonorrhoea, herpes, cancroid and chlamydia, but there are others that aren’t commonly known which you still need to be aware of:

Scabies

The name of this STD sounds scary and in fact, it is. It is spread by microscopic mites through sexual contact with someone who has them.

These mites can also spread to other people who you’re not having sex with because they can attach themselves to beddings and other areas you’ve been to.

When you’ve been infected you will see red rashes and bumps on areas like your waistline and genitals but treatment is available and you can fully recover.

Pubic lice

This is another type of disease that is spread by tiny parasites. This is slightly different from scabies because they’re caused by lice. These lice aren’t the same ones that attach themselves on the hair on your head or lashes. They are a different species that are spread through sexual contact.

The major symptom is severe itching and they can be very hard to get rid of without proper treatment.

 Couples should test for STDs before getting intimate (Photo: iStock)
Molluscum contagiosum

This is a rare but highly contagious viral disease that causes the growth of raised bumps on your skin. These bumps are mostly painless and they appear in intimate areas like the groin, inner thighs and genitals.

These bumps might be painless but they can spread to other parts of the body. Once they heal they rarely come back, except in those who have a weak immunity and treatment options include laser therapy and chemical treatments.

Granuloma inguinale

This disease often causes gradual symptoms that start with a small pimple or rash. As time progresses, these pimples develop into painful ulcers.

Like other STDs, these ulcers can be found in the genital and anal areas. The best way to get a confirmed diagnosis is to go for testing where fluid in these scores can be examined.

This infection is most common in people who live in tropical regions. It is treatable and you might be prescribed some antibiotics to help get rid of the infection.

Lymphogranuloma venereum

Lymphogranuloma venereum, also known as LGV is a bacterial infection. It’s not widely known but it usually occurs in people who practice anal sex.

When infected you will notice blood and puss stains after a long call and it can even cause you to experience constipation and pain while going for long calls.

If you spot any of these symptoms you have to go and seek medical help immediately because if left untreated, it can lead to permanent complications.

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