Detection and Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are those derived from having sex with someone who has them. The risk of STI increases for one who has many sex partners or has sex with someone who has had many partners. STIs are caused by bacteria or viruses, which may be passed through vaginal intercourse, anal sex or oral sex.
The sure-fire way to prevent STI is to not have sex. If ever one does have sex, it would be best to limit the number of sex partners. Wearing condoms may also reduce the risk of getting STIs. Though it may seem awkward, it would be wise to ask your partner if he/she has had an STI. This is especially true for casual relationships. Be on the lookout, at all times, for any signs of STI in your prospective sex partner.
If you have any of the following symptoms, please seek professional help:
- Vaginal itching or discharge; for men, discharge from the penis
- Pain or discomfort in the pelvic region or during sex or when urinating
- Pain or discomfort in the rectum for people who had anal sex; sore throat, for people who had oral sex
- Rashes on the palms or soles of the feet
- Loose bowel movement, dark urine or yellow skin and eyes
- Unexplained fatigue, sudden weight loss, night sweats or unusual infections
- Warts in and around the genital area
Most STIs are diagnosed through an exam conducted by a doctor. A blood, urine or genital secretions sample may be obtained to help determine the presence of bacteria or viruses that cause STIs.