Common STDs and How to Prevent Them

Common STDs and How to Prevent Them

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 million new STD cases are diagnosed each year. The good news is that, even though they’re common, you can reduce your risk of contracting an STD with a few precautionary steps.

In this blog, Dr. Essam Taymour and the team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group in Long Beach, California, zero in on the most common sexually transmitted diseases, describe how you can prevent them, and explain when you should get tested for STDs.

Common STDs

There are more than 20 different STDs, and they can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. The most common STDs are:

Although this list seems daunting, it’s important to remember that STDs are manageable and many of them are curable. Even better news: You can take proactive steps to reduce your risk of STD transmission.

How to prevent STDs

There are many ways you can prevent the spread of STDs.

1. Practice abstinence

The best way to prevent any STD is to practice abstinence until you know you and your sexual partner are infection-free. This means refraining from vaginal, oral, and anal contact. 

2. Use a condom every time you have sexual intercourse

Diligently using condoms can reduce your risk of contracting STDs, especially gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. These three STDS spread through urethral or vaginal secretions, which is why condoms are particularly beneficial.

Always wear the correctly sized condom, and avoid lotions, baby oil, or oil-based lubricants. The oil in lotions or lubes can damage the latex in the condom and compromise its integrity.

Note: Some STDs are spread even if you use a condom. For example, herpes can spread through skin contact (oral or genital) with someone who has an active infection, saliva contact with someone who has oral herpes, or contact with a herpes sore.

3. Engage in a monogamous relationship

When you and your partner agree to have sex only with each other, you reduce your risk of contracting an STD. Before you have sexual intercourse (including oral intercourse) with a new partner, talk with your partner about STDs.

Getting tested before engaging in sex with a new partner can prevent the unintentional spread of STDs. This is important because it’s possible to have an infection and not realize it.

4. Get vaccinated

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus linked to both STDs and potential cancer risks. The HPV vaccine protects against the strains that are linked to cervical cancer. It also protects against the HPV types that cause most genital warts.

The importance of testing

Even if you’re careful, you can get an STD. You may not have any symptoms, however, so the only way to know for sure if you have an STD is through testing. 

We recommend the following groups receive testing even if they don’t experience STD symptoms:

You may benefit from additional testing if you have a new partner or develop any STD symptoms. Although it’s possible to have an STD without symptoms, the most common signs of an STD are changes in vaginal odor or discharge, itching, pain during intercourse, genital skin growths or bumps, and fever.

We know it isn’t always easy to talk about your sex life or any symptoms you’re experiencing, but our compassionate and nonjudgemental team is here to help you get the testing and treatment you need. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, call us at 562-247-3038 or use our online portal.

You Might Also Enjoy...

8 Telltale Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful condition that happens when tissue that normally lines your uterus grows in other parts of your body. But how do you know if you have it? Read on to learn eight telltale signs.

Are Fibroids Affecting Your Quality of Life?

Uterine fibroids don’t always cause noticeable symptoms, but when they do, they can take a toll on your quality of life. In this blog, we explore the top signs that fibroids are affecting your quality of life 一 and what we can do to help.

How Age Affects Your Fertility

Even if you have a period every month, does that mean your fertility is the same? Not necessarily. Your age affects your fertility, and if you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to know how your fertility and age are connected.

How Long Is a "Normal" Period?

Menstrual cycles vary from woman to woman, especially depending on which phase of life you’re in, but how do you know what’s “normal”? The answer might surprise you! Read on to explore what’s normal 一 and what’s not.

5 Ways to Manage Menopausal Hot Flashes

If you’ve had a hot flash, you know that the quick rush of heat can interrupt the flow of your day. You might feel embarrassed, sweaty, and more than a little annoyed. The good news is that there’s help for managing menopausal hot flashes. Read on.

The Link Between Early Menstruation and Fibroids

Uterine fibroids can affect your menstrual cycles each month, leading to painful, heavy, and longer-than-usual periods. But did you know that starting menstruation early can increase your risk of developing fibroids? Learn more about the link here.