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Know Your STDs: A Primer for All Women Planning on Doing the Deed

First, you should know the only surefire way to stop any kind of STD is abstinence, i.e., not doing it at all. However, that's not what we are advising, and that’s not why you’re reading this! You’re reading this because you plan on going the whole way with someone, and would like to stay forewarned. (Forewarned is forearmed, ladies!) Birth control should be only one of the reasons you use a condom, and here’s why...


Know Your STDs



Gonorrhea


A.k.a. The Clap. And it is no round of applause. In men, it shows up as a burn when you pee or discharge; women often don’t show any symptoms at all.


How do you know you’ve got it? You may have a slight discharge. That’s pretty much it. Go to a doctor!


Why shouldn’t you ignore it? You may never be able to have babies. Think of the babies!


How is it treated? Antibiotics.


Know Your STDs



Chlamydia


A.k.a The Disease Miranda Got In Sex And The City. It is a very pretty name for a disease - it comes from the Greek word for “cloak” - but not so pretty when it shows up in your bloodwork. Again, dudes sometimes get an infection in the urethra, but often there’s no symptoms at all.


How do you know you’ve got it? The doctor will do a swab test on you to figure it out.


Why shouldn’t you ignore it? Once more, if left untreated, there will be no babies. Also, if you’re pregnant, you can pass it on to your kid. Yikes.


How is it treated? Antibiotics.


Know Your STDs



Human Papillomavirus


A.k.a HPV. It's the other STD you don’t want to get starting with “H” and ending with “V”. However, if you’ve been a little slack about protection in the past, it’s very likely you already have it.


How do you know you’ve got it? Sometimes there are warts. But usually with a pap smear.


Why shouldn’t you ignore it? The big C. Leaving this undiagnosed can lead to cervical cancer, which is the number one killer cancer for ladies.


How is it treated? The bad news is that there is no treatment. The good news is that you can get shots over an extended period to protect yourself from ever getting it in the first place.


Know Your STDs


 

Syphilis


A.k.a The Pox, at least in Victorian times. It is a very old disease that has been around pretty much ever since we started wanting to bang for pleasure.


How do you know you’ve got it? It begins with a rash around the point of contact and can go on to great weeping sores.


Why shouldn’t you ignore it? It can spread through your body and cause organ damage.


How is it treated? Antibiotics.


Know Your STDs



Hepatitis B and C


A.k.a Hep B and C. But the only thing “hep” about these viruses is how hep you’ll feel once they’re out of your system.


How do you know you’ve got it? You’ll feel a bit ill, off your game. Tired. You might vomit. It’s hard to tell without a blood test.


Why shouldn’t you ignore it? It can seriously - and we really do mean seriously - damage your liver for life. No more drinking!


How is it treated? Doctors haven’t agreed on a sure-shot treatment for this yet, so once again, your best bet is to take the preventive vaccine.


Know Your STDs



Herpes


A.k.a Herpes - there’s no real nickname. This is probably one you’re already familiar with. It’s one of the most common STDs and shows up as teeny-tiny warts on your delicates. (Ew.)


How do you know you’ve got it? Like many STDs, there are sometimes no real symptoms, but look for bumps or lesions around your unmentionables.


Why shouldn’t you ignore it? The chances of it coming back are greater if you don’t do anything about it. Do you want that for the rest of your life?


How is it treated? No cure (again), but drugs that can make the warts go away and shorten the duration of the disease exist.


Know Your STDs



HIV


A.k.a The Big One. It's probably the first one that popped into your head when we said STDs.


How do you know you’ve got it? With a blood test. It’s best to go for an annual checkup if you’ve had multiple partners.


Why shouldn’t you ignore it? Because without treatment it could become AIDS, and you don’t want that.


How is it treated? With a steady dose of medicine, you can keep the HIV in check for a long time and it is no longer the death sentence it used to be 20 or 30 years ago. Hurray for science!


Know Your STDs


MUST-READ: 8 Things Every Woman Should Know About Sexual Health


MUST-READ: 10 Things Women Wish Men Knew About Sex

Published on Nov 26, 2014
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