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Symptoms of STD: Abnormal genital discharge, Burning pain while urinating, Need to urinate frequently, Pain in the testicles, Pain lower abdomen, Small red bumps, blisters, or open sores on the genitalia, A painless sore (chancre) or many sores that will heal on their own, Skin rash that usually does not itch and clears on its own, Fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, Headache, muscle aches, joint pain, Small hard painless bumps on the genitalia or around anus which progress into cauliflower like growths, Tiredness, Loss of appetite, Nausea, vomiting, Dark-colored urine, pale stool, stomach pain, jaundice (yellow discoloration of skin and whites of eye) Extreme fatigue, Rapid weight loss, Frequent low-grade fevers and night sweats
STD & Lab Tests: Laboratory tests are important in the management of Sexually transmitted diseases. Any person who had a high risk sexual contact should undergo blood, urine / swab test. Not all STDs have symptom. Or, the symptoms appear only very late when the treatment is difficult. Some STD symptoms resolve without treatment. But, the disease persists. A person may have more than one STD. Even when the symptoms are specific one STD, other diseases should be tested for. A person who is unaware of his/her STD will transmit the disease to others.
Condom & STD: Condom is recommended in all high risk sexual activity. Condom significantly reduces the risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases like Herpes, Hepatitis, HIV, Syphilis and Gonorrhea. But, the protection offered is not 100%. Thus, sex with condom on is less risky, but not completely safe. A condom acts as a barrier against body fluids like semen, vaginal secretions, blood, and saliva. These fluids harbor the pathogens causing STD.
Dos and Don’ts for Condom: Always use latex (rubber) condom. Condom made of certain natural products does not form a good barrier. Store it in a cool place. Glove compartment of the car is not an ideal place. Heat can damage the rubber. Condom kept in the pocket of a tight pant can get damaged. Open the packet gently. Do not bite it open to avoid tear. Use lubricated condom. Without lubrication, friction will damage the condom. Do not use oil based lubricants like as petroleum jelly, baby oil, body lotions, or cold cream for additional lubrication on condom, as they may weaken the latex. Do not unroll the condom to check for tear. It should be unrolled only to be worn. Condom should be worn during the entire contact. Limiting its use the final act of penetration is unwise. Disease causing agents are present in all secretions, including saliva. Put the condom on the erect penis. Uncircumcised men should pull the foreskin back before wearing the condom. Condom should cover the penis completely. Carefully unroll the condom to cover the entire organ. A reservoir tip at the end of the condom, for the collection of the semen should be left undisturbed. If the condom breaks during sex, withdraw immediately. After ejaculation and before the penis is soft, hold the rim of the condom and carefully withdraw. While pulling the condom off from the penis, be careful not to spill the semen out. Wrap the used condom carefully in a tissue and dispose. Do not flush the condom in the toilet.
Why does condom fail at times? Random checks have found about 0.5% of the condom have manufacturing defects. Also, having contact with secretions like saliva, before the condom is worn, secretions coming in contact with parts not covered by condom, e.g.: root of penis, pubis. Anal intercourse is not safe even with condom. The greater friction and trauma of anal penetration can damage the condom. Alcohol and safe sex do not mix. Improper use of condom is quite likely while drunk.
Common errors in the use of condom included not using condoms throughout sex, not leaving space at the tip, not squeezing air from the tip, putting the condom on upside down, not using water-based lubricants, and incorrect withdrawal.
Frequent problems in condom use included breakage, slippage, leakage, condom-associated erection problems, and difficulties with fit and feel.
Condoms used consistently reduced the risk of transmission of genital herpes by 30%. Condoms are only partly protective, because HSV-2 can spread by skin-to-skin contact, even in areas not covered by the condom
Lubricants should be water based. Oily lubricants damage condoms. Water based lubricants brands: KY Jelly, Astroglide, ID Glide, Pre, Elbow Grease
Consistent and correct use of condoms reduces the estimated odds of three common sexually transmitted infections by almost 60%. Crosby RA, Sexually Transmitted Infections 2012;88:484
Errors occur in 15 % of all events that involved condom use. Crosby R, Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2012, Advance online