STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are bacterial or infectious diseases that are transmitted and spread during sexual contact or intercourse for example, oral, vaginal, or anal sex, sharing sexual products and devices, and skin-to-skin contact. Some of the STDs are curable, while others are manageable with a proper treatment regimen, however many STDs are asymptomatic or difficult to diagnose. STDs that are incurable like HIV, HHV-8, HPV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, are often effectively managed with retroviral medications, and men infected with these diseases can often lead normal and comfortable lives. Because many STDs are difficult to diagnose with the naked eye, it is crucial that you get a diagnostic test as soon as you experience any discomfort or symptom. At the end of the day, nothing short of abstinence will be 100% effective in preventing the spread of STDs, however exercising proper barrier methods, using condoms, and testing regularly all help in the prevention of STDs.
Time is of the Essence
If you suspect or are experiencing what seems to be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease, you must get tested or seek help from a medical professional in order to receive treatment and prevent spreading it further. Informing your partner about a suspected STD is also very important, in some states it is actually illegal to engage in sexual intercourse without full disclosure of a known STD. Time is of the essence when you suspect that you might have been exposed to an STD, if diagnosed promptly, proper treatment may be applied to help prevent further complications. Many STDs are asymptomatic, which means a person does not show any visible signs or symptoms but is still infected. You might not have experienced or detected any symptoms, but you are still vulnerable to spreading the disease to your sexual partner. There are few types of STDs, like, hepatitis, which are not caused because of sexual intercourse or sexual contact. However, there are some that are transmitted solely via sexual contact, like, gonorrhea.
Facts related to STDs
- STDs can be transmitted via oral, vaginal or anal intercourse or by sharing sexual devices
- Although condoms are not 100% effective, it is one of the best ways to prevent the transmission of STDs
- Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be spread together or by themselves. They cause urethritis, which means inflammation of a man’s urethra. A man will often experience a burning sensation during urination and penile dripping or discharge
- Syphilis is often asymptomatic, however it can cause genital ulcers, oral ulcers, fever, rash, and certain neurological illnesses like strokes
STD symptoms in men
STDs symptoms are categorized into 4 parts. They are:
- The early symptoms are – Fever, sore throat, headache, rash, swelling of your lymph glands and fatigue. Early symptoms very much resemble the common cold experienced by most people.
- Once the spreading of the virus aggravates and they begin to multiply, the immune cells are destroyed in the process. This causes the development of mild to chronic symptoms – diarrhea, fever, loss of weight, swelling of the lymph nodes, shortness of breath and coughing
- The symptoms that occur during the later stages of HIV are soaking night sweats, chronic diarrhea, persistent fatigue, unusual infections, chronic headaches, high fever and swollen lymph nodes
- Penile discharge is most often experienced with this condition
- Pain may be experienced during urination
- Pain experienced during sexual intercourse
With gonorrhea, the initial symptoms are usually detected within 10 days of the diagnosis.
- Burning sensation or aching is usually experienced during urination
- Bloody, cloudy or thick penile discharge
- Swollen and/or painful testicles
- Anal itching
- Bowel movements are painful and uncomfortable
- Pain felt in the lower abdominal region
- Pain experienced during urination
- Penile discharge
- Pain experienced in the testicles
The above are specific STD symptoms detected amongst men diagnosed with an STD. There are several STDs however that exhibit very similar symptoms; they are genital herpes, HPV infections or genital warts symptoms, hepatitis symptoms, and syphilis symptoms.
Prevention of STD in men
As it has been mentioned above, some STDs are curable, while others are not. However, there are definitely ways to prevent the risk of getting and spreading STDs.
- The most foolproof method of STD prevention is abstinence from sex.
- Getting vaccinated prior to sexual exposure, will aid in the prevention of STDs. STIs like, hepatitis B and C, along with HPV are preventable through prior vaccination.
- Evaluate your sexual partner. It might sound conservative and orthodox but having a single sexual partner or limiting to monogamous sexual relationship will prevent the development of sexual infections.
- Make use of protection. Men should always use condoms. Let go of prejudices and use condoms (though not 100% effective) during sex, even if you are having oral or anal sex. If you are using a latex condom, do make sure to avoid lubricants that are oil based.
- Limit casual sex activities.
- Make sure to test for STDs frequently, this will not only help you diagnose a problem in a timely manner but also prevent the further spread of STDs.