If you are engaged in any sort of sexual activity with a partner or different partners, then it is vital to know about sexual health. Understanding about your sexual health and protecting it as much as you can will help you to avoid any health issues. Poor sexual health is very serious and can lead to a whole host of health problems that you do not want to be dealing with. If you are worried about your sexual health or that it may be poor, then educating yourself in this key area is crucial.

STIs and STDs – what are they?

The main signal of poor sexual health is the contraction of an STI or STD. You may have heard of these but may be unsure as to what they are exactly. STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, while STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. As each name suggests, they are infections or diseases that you can pick up from having sexual intercourse, especially if it is unprotected sex.

How do I tell if I have picked up an STI or STD?

There are various types of infections and diseases that can be passed on during intercourse, from herpes to gonorrhea and syphilis. Though they all have their own symptoms, it is not always obvious that you may have an STI or STD. Some infections or diseases don’t present clear symptoms or can take weeks to kick in. The best advice is to go and see a medical professional to be tested straight away if you are worried in any way about your sexual health.

There are some things to look for in relation to each major STI or STD:

  • Herpes – burning when urinating and bumps or rashes in the genital area.
  • Gonorrhea – pain in the lower abdomen, unpleasant odor from the genital area, and soreness in the genital area.
  • Syphilis – unusual discharge or bleeding from genital area, and itchiness or soreness in that area.
  • Chlamydia – burning or pain when urinating, unpleasant odor from genital area, and itchiness in that area.
  • Hepatitis – yellowing of eye, swollen lymph nodes, and pain in the kidney area.
  • HIV – night sweats and swollen lymph nodes.

The next step if you think that you may have an STI or STD

If you double-check these charts for STD symptoms and think that you may be showing the signs of one, then getting checked out is essential. Health centers can run the required tests on you to see if you really do have an STI or STD and how best to treat it. If you are worried about your sexual health, you must take action immediately to protect your health and the health of anyone that you may be sleeping with.

Keeping a check on your sexual health is vital

Whether you are worried about your sexual health or not, protecting it at all costs is essential. Always make sure that you use a condom or some sort of protection when having sex as this will help greatly. Keeping an eye on your body and how it is feeling is also crucial, and getting tested or treated if you think that there may be a problem is the best option.

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