Dr Ankita S
MBBS, MS, DNB OBGY
Welcome to our candid conversation about sexually transmitted infections (STIs)! In this blog, we’ll get real, put aside the embarrassment, and discuss everything you need to know about STIs. So grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and let’s dive in!
What Are STIs, Anyway?
STIs, also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections that spread through sexual contact. Yep, that means vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Some common STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV). WHO estimated that nearly 1 million people become infected every day with any of four curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs): chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
Let's Break the Ice: How Do You Get STIs?
Infections that are transferred largely through sexual contact are referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sometimes known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). People can get STIs for a number of reasons:
- Sexual Activity Without Protection: Having sex without using condoms or other types of protection increases the chance of STI transmission.
- Multiple Sexual Partners: The likelihood of coming into touch with an infected person increases if you have multiple sexual partners or engage in high-risk sexual behaviour.
- Lack of Communication: Engaging in sexual activity unwittingly with someone who has a STI might result from failing to discuss sexual history and STI testing with partners.
- Incorrect or Inconsistent Condom Use: The efficacy of condoms in preventing STIs might be diminished by improper or inconsistent condom use.
- Breaks in Skin or Mucous Membranes: In the vaginal or oral region, small wounds, ulcers, or abrasions can serve as STI entrance sites.
- Poor cleanliness: Certain illnesses can become more likely as a result of poor genital cleanliness.
- Lack of Access to Healthcare: The spread of infections may be facilitated by a lack of access to healthcare services, particularly STI testing and treatment.
- Unprotected Oral and Anal Sex: Having oral or anal sex without protection increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
- Sex business: Due to the nature of their business and the possibility of several partners, sex workers may be at an increased risk.
- Age: Certain age groups, especially teenagers and young adults, may engage in hazardous sexual behaviours and may not have the knowledge or resources to avoid
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are responsible for an enormous burden of morbidity and mortality in many developing countries because of their effects on reproductive and child health and their role in facilitating the transmission of HIV infection
Who Can Get STDs?
Anyone who’s sexually active can be at risk. There’s no shame in being sexually active, but there is in neglecting your sexual health. Whether you’re straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or somewhere in between, practising safe sex is something we should all embrace.
Here’s the tricky part – not all STIs show symptoms immediately. Some might not even know they’re infected, which can lead to unknowingly passing it on to others.
- Clear, white, greenish or yellowish discharge with foul odour
- Pain while urinating
- lumps or skin growths around the genitals or bottom (anus)
- a rash.
- itchy genitals or anus.
- blisters and sores around your genitals or anus.
It’s time to bust some myths. STDs can’t be transmitted through casual contact like hugging, sharing food or drinks, or using public toilets. So don’t freak out if you’ve accidentally brushed against someone. STDs need intimate activities to hitch a ride.
Prevention Power: The Great Condom Crusade!
Condoms act as a barrier, keeping those pesky infections at bay. When used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective. So, folks, let’s make condoms a normal thing and let’s not be afraid to buy one, because it is the superhero to protect from STIs. Just like condoms for vaginal and anal sex, dental dams are a fantastic tool for reducing the risk of STI transmission during oral sex. Let’s embrace these protective measures and prioritise our sexual health.
Breaking the Stigma: Let's Normalise It!
One of the biggest challenges with STIs is the stigma surrounding them. Remember, STIs are infections, and nobody deserves to be judged or shamed because of their health. Let’s create a supportive environment where people can talk openly, get tested without fear, and access accurate information without judgement.
Open conversations about STIs and sexual health will lead us to a healthier, happier future. Stay safe, stay responsible, and stay empowered!
2.Fuchs, W., & Brockmeyer, N. H. (2014). Sexually transmitted infections. JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft, 12(6), 451-464.
3.Aral, S. O., Over, M., Manhart, L., & Holmes, K. K. (2011). Sexually transmitted infections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, having slightly uneven breasts is considered normal for many women and is generally not a cause for concern. It is more common than having perfectly symmetrical breasts.
In most cases, having uneven breasts does not affect breastfeeding. Both breasts can produce milk, and a baby can still latch onto both nipples. If you have concerns about breastfeeding, consulting a lactation consultant can be helpful.
In some cases, wearing a properly fitted bra or using breast inserts can help create the appearance of more symmetrical breasts. However, non-surgical methods may have limitations in correcting significant size differences.
While it may not be possible to prevent saggy breasts entirely, wearing a supportive bra, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking (which can decrease skin elasticity), and practising good posture can help minimise sagging.
While exercise can strengthen the chest muscles and improve overall breast appearance, it may not significantly lift saggy breasts. However, it is still beneficial for overall health and may improve the breasts' overall appearance.
Dr Ankita S
MBBS, MS, DNB OBGY