STI is an abbreviation for sexually transmitted infection. It is a term used to describe diseases or infections that can be passed on from one person to another through sexual intercourse. Examples include gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes etc. STI is the same as STD (Disease).
There are a large number of people who have one STI or another, and are passing it on to their partners because they are unaware of their health condition, and consequently adding to the number of infected persons.
STIs, like most health conditions, show symptoms of their presence in the body; noticing them early can help minimize the damage it can cause to the body, and of course, control their spread.
The purpose of this post is to sensitize and inform as many people as possible while also saving them from contracting an STI. If you or your partner have any of the following symptoms, I advice that you (they) book an appointment with a health expert.
1. ITCHING AROUND THE GENITALS
Bacteria often carry toxins with them. Once in the body, these toxins take their toll on cells around parts of the body that are affected the most— in this case, the genitals. The harmful effect it has on these cells is what causes irritation and itching. So if you (or your partner) have incessant itching around your genitals, do not ignore it, as it could be a symptom of an STI like Herpes.
2. OFFENSIVE VAGINAL ODOUR
The female sexual organ has a natural smell, but it is very mild, and not offensive in any way. If a woman has strong or offensive vaginal odour, it is not normal, and could be a pointer to the presence of bacterial vaginosis in the body; a condition caused by the buildup of harmful organisms in the female reproductive organ.
3. PAINFUL URINATION
Pain during urination is a common symptom of many STIs. Like I mentioned earlier, bacteria releases toxins into the body once they’re there. Some of these toxins can find their way into the bladder from the genitals, thereby leading to irritation. The irritation is what causes burning and pain when you try to pass urine. Gonorrhea is notorious for causing such discomfort.
4. GENITAL DISCHARGE
An STI like Gonorrhea, amongst other things, usually causes a mucus discharge to come out from the reproductive organs. This may seem harmless and temporary at first, but it’s very dangerous, and so, shouldn’t be ignored. If you or your partner have had a symptom like this, you should go for proper diagnosis.
5. ABNORMAL MENSTRUATION
Most STIs can affect your menstrual flow, but a lot of people are not aware of this. If you suffer a painful menstruation, heavy menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding in between monthly periods, it may be indicative of an STI in your system.
6. PAINFUL SEX
This is especially true for women. The toxins released by bacteria can cause harmful changes in the female genitals, like dryness, and sores, leading to pain and great discomfort during sexual intercourse. It’s very abnormal. Unless a woman isn’t well stimulated before sex, it shouldn’t be painful.
7. SORES AROUND THE MOUTH AND GENITALS
Herpes and Syphilis are known to cause sores to crop up around the genitals, and mouth if you or your partner engage in oral sex.
Those were the commonest symptoms associated with STIs. If you or your partner experience any of them (or have in the past), I recommend that you see a doctor for proper examination and treatment, if need be.