DHAKA: When it comes to STDs or Sexually Transmitted Diseases, it often becomes difficult to separate fact from fiction.
Right from risk factors to the mode of infection and treatment; lack of proper knowledge has led to an ever-increasing number of STD cases, globally. If left untreated or undiagnosed and if proper protection isn`t used, this can lead to hazardous health conditions including cervical cancer, abscess formation, infertility and birth defects. Take a look at these common myths associated with Sexually Transmitted Diseases and find out the truth behind each of them.
Oral Contraceptives provide protection against STDs
Fact : Oral contraceptives or birth control pills are primarily used to prevent pregnancy in women and treat menstrual problems. But, if you believe that using these pills will decrease the possibility of contacting any kind of sexually transmitted disease, then you could not be more wrong. To protect against conditions like HIV or STDs, women should use condoms in addition to the pills.
All STD signs can be seen clearly
Fact: All forms of STDs may not exhibit any kind of visible signs and symptoms in a patient. Many times, an infected person may not even know that they have such conditions till a very late stage or unless they opt for blood checkup, microscopic or DNA detecting methods. Moreover, there are certain individuals who act as carriers without having any inkling on how they did it.
All STDs are curable
Fact: All sexually transmitted diseases are not curable. While the STDs caused by bacterial infection like Syphilis or Gonorrhea can be treated using antibiotics, those caused by virus are mostly incurable. Some of the major non-curable STDs are Genital Herpes, Hepatitis B and Human Immunodeficiency virus or AIDS. Medications to cure these ailments only make them easier to live with as the causative agents will always remain in the body.
You cannot get an STD from oral sex
Fact: Apart from vaginal sex, STDs can also spread by having oral or anal sex. In fact, there are certain viruses and bacteria that can cause such infections by mere skin contact. Such agents can enter the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin. Moreover, wounds and open sores either in the genitals or mouth can pose an increased risk of STD transmission. Some of the conditions that can be transmitted through oral sex are Chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis and gonorrhea.
Only Trashy and cheating people get STDs
Fact: Irrespective of your social status, caste and creed, you can contact these infections any time if you are not careful. Any form of unprotected sexual act, be it vaginal, oral or anal, can put a person at risk from contracting STDs. Currently, more than 19 million people are diagnosed every year with such infections. Hence, STDs can occur to some of the most loyal and straight individuals.
Using two condoms provide better protection
Fact: This is completely untrue. "Double bagging" or using two condoms at one time does not provide any kind of "double-protection" against STDs or, for that matter, pregnancies. Condoms are designed in such a manner that you can use only one at a time. The use of two condoms may cause them to rub against each other to create friction between them. This may even cause them to break or slip off.
STDs can never occur more than once
Fact: Where there is any kind of unprotected sexual activity, there will be a risk of developing or contracting STDs. Even if you had the condition/s before, you can still get them again if you have contact with an infected person. Apart from this, you can also get more than one STD at a time. There are also certain conditions like HIV and herpes where you will remain infected for the rest of your lives.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are self-regulatory
Fact: Although, both these conditions are curable with antibiotics, they should never be ignored or deemed unserious. If left untreated, Chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory diseases and even infertility. Besides this, these conditions can also affect the Fallopian tubes in women and cause a hazardous condition known as tubal pregnancy.
BDST: 0830 HRS, MAY 22, 2012
Edited by: Tania Afrin, Newsroom Editor