How to Identify STIs in Your Man

Discovering that a partner suffers from a sexually transmitted disease can create significant stress in a relationship.

You may not only be affected emotionally by the discovery but physically too as in the event of contracting the infection.

No one wants to admit having it. But you have to be careful. Some men wouldn't want you to find out even when wearing condoms, they tend to hide it but you have to be smart. Be wise as the serpent.

The disease, syphilis, begins by causing crusty sores in private places. After hiding out in the body for years, it can emerge to drive people insane and then kill them.

Syphilis is just one of more than a dozen nasty Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), that take advantage of the joy of sex to spread their special misery. Along with gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), and HIV/AIDS, syphilis is one of the six most common STDs.

In spite of tremendous claims of finding cure to it by some individuals, STDs or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are out there still spoiling the show.

Here’s the latest information on some of the most common or worrisome STDs -- and on the effectiveness of condoms to prevent them.

Early signs of HIV/AIDS infection can include flu-like symptoms, unexplained rashes, fungal infections in the throat, and unusual tiredness. As the disease progresses and the immune system is compromised, cancers and life-threatening infections such as cytomegalovirus can occur. Often, however, early infection with HIV/AIDS has no symptoms.

How to Identify STIs in Your Man
HIV/AIDS
Anyway, it is important to be tested of the virus so as to know how to take good care of yourself, manage it and prevent the spread.

GONORRHEA
Gonorrhea is an STD that just won’t go away.
In men, the symptoms of gonorrhea include pus-like discharge from the urethra, with frequent, burning urination. Untreated, gonorrhea can lead to epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicles that can cause infertility. In women, gonorrhea is a major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease and, like chlamydia, can lead to infertility. Having a case of gonorrhea makes you three to five times more likely to acquire HIV if you’re exposed to the HIV virus.

Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics. But researchers at the CDC are tracking a worrisome rise in drug-resistant strains. As a result, the treatment options are becoming more limited than in the past -- one more good reason to avoid this bug.

However, to simplify this, you have to take the following steps:

KNOW THE FACTS
Read up on the basics of sexually transmitted diseases like their types, symptoms, modes of transmission and consequences, both immediate and long-term. For instance while you may be aware from before that genital contact is the most common way of acquiring an STD, going through scientific information will enable you to know that STDs can also spread through non-genital means like contact with infected skin or mucous membranes in case of sores in the mouth.

Endeavour to read through relevant resources to gather information on sexually transmitted diseases. Knowing about them will not only help you to spot or suspect an infection in your partner but also be aware of safe-sex methods which can prevent you from getting infected with an STD.

BE SMART TO BE OBSERVANT OF SYMPTOMS
A few sexually transmitted diseases may show symptoms on an infected person. However, you need not be told. Be observant, if you happen to notice your partner having sores or blisters in the genital area, don’t hesitate to ask questions since they may be symptoms of herpes, an especially virulent kind of STD. Again if your partner complains of experiencing pain or a burning sensation while passing urine, it could also mean an STD infection.

Other symptoms associated with STDs like gonorrhea may be foul smelling discharge from the penis or vagina as well as increased redness or swelling at the head of the penis or in the vaginal area. Though many of these symptoms may also occur due to common bladder or fungal infections, being forewarned is being forearmed.

Meanwhile, the problem with sexually transmitted diseases is that the symptoms may not remain confined to the genital area.

Sometimes an STD may spread to regions adjoining the genital area like the anus and rectum, in which case the infected person will experience pain and bleeding while passing stool. Sometimes STDs which have been left untreated for a long while can also spread to other organs like the throat, eyes, liver, lungs, joints and even the heart. In the first two cases at least, there may be symptoms like burning or irritation of the eyes or the throat accompanied by blisters in the latter.

Note that, not all STDs display symptoms. The greatest danger, perhaps, posed by sexually transmitted diseases is that an infected person may not display any symptoms at all, thus not only delaying necessary treatment for themselves but also putting their partners at risk through unprotected sex.

Infections like Chlamydia in fact have been called the ‘silent STD’ because in many cases people infected with Chlamydia may not reveal any symptoms at all or if they do, may be very mild so as to be mistaken for some other less serious cause like a yeast infection in women. This, however does not make STDs like Chlamydia any less dangerous since long-term infection in women can cause infection of the cervix or the fallopian tubes while in men it may lead to urethritis or inflammation of the urethra, conditions which are much harder to treat than the initial stages of Chlamydia.

Syphilis, herpes and human papillomavirus (genital warts) can be passed on even if your partner is using a condom through skin to skin contact. Also, tests do not detect the sexually transmitted infections right away. Syphilis for example can take up to 3 months to be detected.

ASK QUESTIONS WITH LOVE
If you have the slightest suspicion of your partner suffering from sexual ill-health, the first thing you need to do is ask him/her to be honest with you. This may mean asking whether he/she has an STD, been exposed to one or has experienced any physical sign of an STD.

For this you need to develop a strong relationship with your partner so that you can discuss sexually transmitted diseases and its risks without getting either accusatory or defensive. Thrashing out matters may not only save valuable time in getting yourselves tested and, if required, treated for STD but also help in preparing the groundwork for practicing safe sex. Also, if you are considering having sex with a new partner, ask if they have been screened for STDs and if yes, for which ones. It may not seem very romantic bringing up these issues on the threshold of an exciting night, but then there is little that is worth more than your health and well-being.

GET TESTED
Getting tested is the only way you can know with a degree of certainty that your partner has an STD. You can ask your partner to visit any of your local health centres or a neighbouring Planned Parenthood clinic to get tested for a sexually transmitted infection and best of all it can be done with utmost privacy and confidentiality. In most cases they also provided excellent resources for counselling and treatment, all within very affordable means. However if your partner has greater resources at his/her disposal, they can visit a specialist physician like a gynecologist. The main thing is to get tested as soon as possible not only to start treatment if necessary but also to prevent the disease from spreading around.

Sexually transmitted diseases are one of the greatest dangers of an active sex life. While this does not mean that you embrace celibacy, being aware of risk factors and knowing how to suspect and talk about an STD with a sexual partner will go a long way in ensuring your safety and well-being.
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