Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs can pass or spread during sexual activities such as anal, oral or vaginal sex. But some STDs may transmit with sharing towels or food. Certain blood borne infections like human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B may spread through non-sexual contact with infected bodily fluids like blood. In this blogpost, we will discover common ways how STDs can be caused, kinds of STD infection which can transmit through blood and skin-to-skin contact.
Performing STI testing is a good idea for anyone who has:
The most common way to spread an STD is through anal, oral or vaginal sex. But different kinds of bodily fluids such as – blood, semen, saliva and vaginal secretions contain bacteria or viruses. There are cases when a person may contract an STI by getting in contact with a fluid that has virus or bacteria of an STD. The mothers may pass some STDs to their would-be-born babies during labour, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Some signs and symptoms of an STD may differ based on the disease you have. Many of them do not have any symptoms for months or years and STDs can go unnoticed till you or a partner receive a positive test result. Some signs include the following:
Different STDs can transmit through non-sexual contact:
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 may transmit due to skin-to-skin contact. The possibility of getting this infection is the highest when you have sex or kiss someone who is having open sores. You may catch oral herpes by sharing unwashed cutlery, drinkware and straws.
Common symptoms of oral and genital herpes are:
You need to test for HSV-1 and HSV-2 which can be done at home or at one of our clinics in the UK.
This kind of bacterial infection can spread through sexual contact with the infected individual. The disease may pass on through oral sex or sharing of sex toys. Sometimes, having oral sex with a partner can cause chlamydia in your throat.
If you are having chlamydia, then you might experience:
Pain at the time of urinating
Bleeding between periods
Abnormal vaginal or penile discharge
Pain during intercourse
Also called trich, this type of STD is caused due to a parasite. The infection may spread through non-sexual contact, which includes – genital touching or damp towels.
You will have to find these symptoms:
Itching or soreness around your genitals
Unusual discharge that may be strange in colour
Increase in discharge with unusual smell in women
Everyone comes in contact with this HPV infection during their lifetime. HPV virus may transmit easily through skin-to-skin contact though can be protected against vaccines. HPV generally do not show any symptoms.
Sometimes, you might experience:
Cervical cancer in rare cases
Skin warts which include genital warts
This is a kind of bacterial infection usually caught during sex or contact with someone who already has the infection. The condition presents sores on your mouth or genitals and will transmit through contact with these sores. Just touching syphilis sores may cause contracting the disease. If you sleep together naked with your partner, share sex toys or grind, then these can increase the risk of getting syphilis.
Early symptoms of syphilis are the following:
Both kinds of hepatitis can spread through contact with infected blood. This is possible when you share razors or needles with someone who already has the infection. Hepatitis B and C may be contracted with other bodily fluids, such as saliva or semen.
You need not have intercourse with your partner for STDs to spread. The transmission might occur due to following activities:
Mononucleosis, a kind of herpes virus, is very contagious disease. It may spread during sexual contact and called “kissing disease” as it can be passed through kissing and saliva. You may get it by drinking, sharing utensils and other types of close contact. Though herpes simplex 1 or oral herpes is not an STD, you may spread it through kissing. It may transfer to genital areas through oral-genital contact. Herpes simplex 2 can transmit easily during sexual intimacy.
Your mouth, lips and throat can get into contact through bodily fluids and menstrual blood at the time of oral sex. There is little chance of getting blood borne STD like HIV or hepatitis B when you have oral sex with someone who menstruates. This is very true when there are cuts or open sores in the mouth. Human papillomavirus, chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, genital herpes and syphilis may spread through oral sex. But the transmission of genital herpes and syphilis is more likely when there are open sores in your genital area.
Certain sexually transmitted diseases such as – HPV, herpes and syphilis may transmit through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has this infection. This may happen when your mouth or genitals touch their anal, mouth or genital area. It is possible to get an STD when you touch a sore and then touch eyes, genitals or mouth before washing hands. HPV which causes genital warts may transmit through genital-to-anal or genital-to-genital contact, even when there isn’t any contact with the wart.
Hepatitis A (HAV) can transmit through oral-fecal route. For example, you may spread HAV when you do not wash hands before preparing food or drinks. You can get HAV when sharing food with someone, if the blood gets into a cut or sore in your mouth. The blood in mouth might come from bleeding or sore gums. Though it is rare to contract HAV this way, you should not share food with others.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a kind of parasite which causes common STD called trichomoniasis. This parasite may stay on the damp fabrics for almost one hour. Crabs may spread through clothing, towels and infested bedding.
Some blood borne infections such as – hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV may spread by sharing syringes or needles. You can get it from contaminated toothbrush or razor when there is presence of blood.
Most people believe syringe or needle sharing with illegal use of drugs. It may even occur through sharing contaminated blood sugar monitoring equipment or insulin syringes and needles. Though most STDs do not stay outside the body for a long time, some may remain on the surfaces like unwashed sex toys. STDs which transmit by sharing unwashed sex toys are the following:
STDs can occur through contaminated transfusion of blood and you can transmit blood borne STDs like hepatitis or HIV. Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus and syphilis have all been transmitted by means of blood transfusion earlier. Most blood can be screened before transfusion, but when you have had a blood transfusion more than 30 years before, you can consider getting tested. This is somewhat unlikely with proper screening and testing requirements for blood as well as blood donors.
The prevention of STD begins with screening, testing and vaccinations available. There are at-home STD tests to use but you should tell your healthcare provider when getting positive result. Here are some strategies for preventing STD.
Yes, you should conduct STD test even when you did not had sex with your partner. In order to be sure you are not a carrier of an STD, it is advisable that you get tested in every six months, particularly when you have had other types of sexual contact. There are some STDs which seem to be asymptomatic and so, you might not see visible signs. However you can still pass them on to your partner.
Yes, it is possible to spread or contract an STI without having penetrative sex. The best way you can protect yourself and your partner(s) is to know your present STI status. The effective treatment may treat or suppress the infection in many cases. You may contact us for full STD screening in London and know whether you have the infection.