Health Topics

Healthy Living

January 2012
Stay Safe from STD
Dr Ajit Saxena
It will probably come as a surprise to many that not all urinary tract infections are sexually transmitted. In fact, urinary tract infection or UTI is not sexuallytransmitted at all. The bugs that are so transmitted are different. You may well be familiar with syphilis and gonorrhoea. In the days gone by, these were the dreaded ones transmitted sexually.

Nowadays, non-gonococcal urethritis in men is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD). The other common STD seen in men is herpes and other viral infections. Among women, the most common infection that can be sexually transmitted is clamydial
infection followed by fungal infections.

Preventing STD
  • Since the infection is transmitted from one infected person to another, it is best to have a steady partner. If however, there is casual sex, one has to be careful to avoid places known for these diseases. However, that is mostly not possible. What is possible is to wear condoms. It mustbe emphasized that a condom does not guarantee protection against sexually transmitted diseases. This may be due to the slippage of the condom, bursting of the condom or due to a short condom. Further, some viruses like the HIV are known to cross the barriers of the condom.
  • Even oral sex can be a cause of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly if there is a break/ opening in the skin or the oral mucosa.
  • If one does contract STD, do not panic. Treatment is available in most of the cases. It is very natural to assume that it is HIV as soon as anything goes wrong. Let me assure you that HIV is not as common as other sexually transmitted diseases.
    So it makes sense to go to a qualified doctor such as a urologist, andrologist or skin specialist who can treat such diseases.
  • You need to consult a doctor if you experience a burning sensation in the penile tract or if there is an abnormal discharge from the penis following unprotected sexualintercourse. Sometimes there are pimple-like rashes that appear on the glans penis or it may get ulcerated or both. Do consult a specialist in this situation. 
  • Sometimes there are no signs except that when you press the penis it hurts. This is also is a sign of infection and must be treated.
  • In women, most of the STD is asymptomatic. The danger in such a case is that they then become carriers and infections are transmitted from one person to another. A burning sensation while passing urine, any ulcerated area, itching, any curdy white discharge or indeed any discharge should be examined by a gynaecologist who is experienced in treating such cases.
  • Many of these conditions are treatable following an antibiotic therapy. So my tip to any of you who seems to have contracted a sexually transmitted disease – go see adoctor immediately!
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
  • See additional information.