Can People Die from STDs?

Diseases that transfer from one person to another during a sexual activity are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These diseases can be quite painful, and at times, quite serious with long term effects, especially when left untreated. Most of these diseases affect your reproductive and sexual organs. STDs are among the most common infectious diseases in the USA that affect more than 19 million men and women every year. Medical experts have identified more than 20 STDs that require serious treatments with annual treatment cost of $14 billion. Still many people wonder the severity of STDs and ask, "Can people die from STDs?" Keep reading to find your answer.

Can People Die from STDs?

While most of STDs won't kill you, you may have to deal with several life-threatening complications. Besides, you may experience serious consequences of not treating any sexually transmitted diseases in a timely manner. For example, you may become infected with HIV that will lead to AIDS. A person can die because of AIDS-related complications. Similarly, HPV virus that causes genital warts can sometimes turn into cervical cancer that's a terminal illness.

Are STDs Curable?

When you ask, "Can people die from STDs?" you have to understand a bit more about different categories of STDs. Most of these disease fall into two groups – bacterial STDs and viral STDs. Different organisms cause different types of diseases, so your doctor will have to take a different treatment approach for better results. Syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are bacterial STDs and require antibiotics for treatment. HPV, HIV, hepatitis and herpes are all viral STDs, and they have no cure. You can only treat their symptoms to avoid further complications.

How to Prevent STDs

Now that you know the answer to your question "Can people die from STDs?" it is important to understand how to prevent STDS.

  • The only surefire way of preventing STDS is to avoid engaging in sexual activities with others.
  • Limit yourself to one partner. If you two have sex with each other only, you are less likely to develop sexually transmitted diseases, especially if you go for STD screening regularly.
  • Don't engage in sexual relations when you are very young because that's when the risk of contracting an STD is usually higher.
  • Never have unprotected sex and make use of a male latex condom. Using spermicide nonoxynol-9 condom may help prevent pregnancy in 90% of cases, but they don't offer great protection against infections.
  • Improve your knowledge about the symptoms of different types of sexually transmitted diseases, so you could start a treatment as early as possible.
  • Avoid douching because it affects the natural protection in your vagina.
  • Be sure to take hepatitis B and HPV vaccines to stay protected.

Other FAQs About STDs You May Want to Know

The question "Can people die from STDs?" is definitely a common question, but there are some other frequently asked questions about STDs and STIs. Here are your answers.

1. Can I Get STDS from Oral or Anal Sex?

Yes, except sexual intercourse, you can get STDs through anal sex and oral genital sex. You can get STDs whether you're homosexual or heterosexual as long as you have unprotected sex with your partner who has STDs.

2. Is There a Window Period for Testing STDs?

A few sexually transmitted diseases have a window period. Syphilis for instance has a window period of 3 months. Similarly, the blood antibody test for herpes also has a window period of 3 months. However, hepatitis B has a 2-month window period only, but it can be up to 6 months for hepatitis A. Window periods for several other STDs such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia aren't known yet. You can call the CDC National STD hotline for further information about the window period for testing sexually transmitted diseases.

3. How Do STDs Affect Women?

STDs can cause several health problems that are usually more severe for women as compared to men. That's mainly because these problems don't have many visible symptoms and women don't seek any treatment until things get more complicated. Some women may develop an STD that spreads into the fallopian tubes as well as the uterus. This can cause pelvic inflammatory diseases that can lead to ectopic pregnancy and even infertility. Ectopic pregnancy is most often associated with cervical cancer and can be fatal in many cases. Similarly, HPV can cause genital warts and cancer in women. Some STDs can even pass from a mother to her baby during birth and not all of these newborn infections are treatable.

4. How Do STDs Affect Men?

Just like women, many infected men don't have any symptoms or they don’t understand what they are experiencing is caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Some STDs don't have any symptoms. Some will produce certain symptoms such as frequent urination, burning sensation during urination, blisters and bumps on the genitals, pain during ejaculation and abnormal discharge from the penis.

5. Can You Breastfeed with STDs?

You can continue to breastfeed your baby in case of certain STDs such as gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Similarly, you can breastfeed your baby if you have herpes or syphilis, but you need to cover your sores properly. Any contact between the skin of your baby and your sores can prove dangerous for your newborn. Don't breastfeed your baby if you have sores on your areola or nipple. You can pump your breast milk and feed it to your baby until your sores go away. Store the milk and give it to your baby in a bottle to prevent infections and to keep up your milk supply. 

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