Whether you and your wife/partner are trying to have a baby, are pregnant or just trying to stay safe and in good health, understanding sexually transmitted diseases is critical.

Always communicate openly with your partner. Should either of you experience any of the symptoms or suspect an infection, make sure to see a qualified medical professional at the earliest. When it comes to sexually transmitted infections, it is better to be safe than sorry.

STD’s and STI’s can be contracted from sexual contact or non-sexual contact (mother to infant during pregnancy/childbirth, blood transfusions or shared needles).

The disease may be passed from person to person through bodily fluids like blood, semen or vaginal fluids.

Symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Fever
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Rashes
  • Genital, oral or rectal sores or bumps.
  • Sore or swollen lymph nodes.

It is possible to experience no symptoms at all and still have an infection. You and your partner may be at risk of complications (certain types of cancer, heart disease, infertility etc.) if you aren’t checked in time.

Viral infections (HIV, HPV, genital herpes) can be managed with antiviral medications but not always cured.

Parasitic (trichomoniasis) and Bacterial (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis) infections are easier to treat and require antibiotics.

You may be at risk of an infection if:

  • You engage in unprotected sex.
  • Have had multiple sexual partners.
  • Have been a victim of sexual assault or abuse.
  • You’ve already had an STI.
  • Require blood transfusions.
  • Inject drugs and share needles.
  • Your medical care provider uses the same needles with multiple patients.

A blood test, fluid sample and/or urine sample can help determine if you are infected or not. Under certain circumstances, you may be required to undergo an STD/STI screening to rule out infections.

It is possible to prevent and safeguard against STD/STI’s by:

  • Abstaining from sexual activity
  • Getting vaccinations to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
  • Exercising Caution (avoiding sexual activity till test results come back)
  • Staying in a monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner
  • Using male or female condoms or dental dams appropriately

Always consult with a qualified medical care professional to evaluate your birth control options. Never take a decision without the opinion and guidance of your trusted doctor.

Here is an overview of Birth Control and Contraception and the Sex Positions to Help Conceive and Get Pregnant.

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