Did you throw caution to the wind on Valentine’s Day?

Did you throw caution to the wind on Valentine’s Day?

  • STD on Valentine's Day

Did you throw caution to the wind on Valentine’s Day? A tongue-in-cheek question to bring up a serious discussion about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); i.e. the infections you get from another person through sexual contact.

There are more than 20 known types of STDs/STIs and, each year, over 20 million people in the United States are infected.

They are spread through fluids in the body, during vaginal, oral or anal sex; however, some STDs can be transmitted through infected blood, such as among people sharing infected drug needles, or a mother may infect her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or while nursing.

The good news is that most STDs can be treated and cured; but, in many cases, there are no symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, they can show up in a variety of ways…

Men may experience the following symptoms:

  • Burning or itching in the penis
  • A drip (discharge) from the penis
  • Pain around pelvis
  • Sores, bumps or blisters on penis, anus, or mouth
  • Burning and pain with urine or with bowel movements
  • Having to go to the bathroom often

Women may experience the following symptoms:

  • Burning or itching in the vagina
  • A discharge or odor from the vagina
  • Pain around the pelvis
  • Bleeding from the vagina that is not normal
  • Pain deep inside during sex
  • Sores, bumps or blisters in the vagina, anus, or mouth
  • Burning and pain with urine or with bowel movements
  • Having to go to the bathroom often

The only way to avoid an STI/STD is to avoid sexual contact with an infected person. Other protections include:

  • Always using a condom, and using it correctly, during sex
  • Limiting sexual relations to only one, infection-free, long-term partner
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Using clean needles if you are injecting drugs

If you have reason to believe you have an STI/STD, or think you may have been exposed to one, please call the Urology Group of Princeton to schedule an appointment. Most STIs/STDs can be completely cured with antibiotics; however, some are incurable but can be controlled through the lifelong use of antiviral medications.