The bacteria Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is a newer type of STD. It is as common as chlamydia, but there is no FDA-approved test yet, and many doctors don’t even know about it, says Dr. Klausner. Like chlamydia, MG often does not have symptoms; if left untreated can cause urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage, preterm labor, and cervicitis. Symptoms of the condition include lower abdominal pain, pain with intercourse, and vaginal discharge in women and burning with urination and penal discharge in men. The bacteria spreads through sexual intercourse as well as skin-to-skin contact and can be difficult to treat with common antibiotics such as penicillin.
Facts About STDs That Could Save Your Life
Sexually transmitted diseases often have no symptoms and if left untreated can cause serious complications including cancer, blindness, birth defects, and even death—and the scary thing is, rates are increasing
More than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016—the highest number ever, according to the Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “While the reasons are complex, health officials and researchers agree that the main drivers of the STD increases have been the closure of public health clinics, the lack of funding for STD awareness and prevention efforts, and the loss of state and local health department staff during the 2008 recession that were never replaced,” says Jeffrey Klausner, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Program in Global Health at UCLA and member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s (IDSA) STD working group. “Additional reasons may include the increased use of social media, apps, and online sites (such as Tinder or Grindr) and the declining fear of AIDS now that AIDS is treatable.” Here are 8 sexual health conditions millennials aren’t talking about, but should be.
Everybody is at risk for getting HPV
Syringe and ampule, bottle, medical injection in hand, palm or fingers. Medicine plastic vaccination equipment with needle. Nurse or doctor. Liquid drug or narcotic. Health care in hospital.
Currently, there are nearly 80 million people infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) and most (about 9 in 10) will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives. One of the reasons that HPV is so common is that there are more than 100 types of the virus; plus, it can be transmitted by digital, anal, or oral sex, says Dr. Klausner. HPV can also be passed on by an infected person who has no signs or symptoms, because some people can take years to show symptoms.”While the majority of people who get HPV will clear the virus with their own immune system,” says Dr. Klausner, having the virus can cause genital warts and cancer.”
Condoms are not guaranteed to protect you from STDs
Condoms are a mantra for safe sex, but they’re not 100 percent effective when it comes to preventing the spread of STDs. “Condoms are best for retaining fluids and protecting against STDs contracted through genital fluids, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV,” says H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Washington Center for AIDS and STD. You should be tested for STDs annually
If you are young and sexually active, following the guidelines for STD screening is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health. Young, sexually active people should be screened for STDs once a year, or more often if either partner is high-risk or is changing partners more frequently, says Dr. Handsfield.
STDs often have no symptoms
There are approximately 20 million new STD infections each year, according to the CDC, and almost half of them occur in people between the ages of 15 to 25. “It’s also true that many STDs don’t come with symptoms,” warns Dr. Ferguson, “even the ones that can do serious damage to your body.” Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, and HIV can all be asymptomatic. “Eighty percent of women with chlamydia carry it with no symptoms and they won’t know unless they get tested, says Dr. Klausner. “Gonorrhea may also not have symptoms about 50 percent of the time: You can have gonorrhea of the throat or of the rectum—be a carrier—and have no idea,” he says. Research suggests that close to 90 percent of those with genital herpes don’t know they have the infection.
Story Courtesy: Reader’s Digest Picture courtesy: americanpregnancy.org