Don’t Get Burned This 4th of July
Fireworks in the bedroom could leave you with a burning STD.
The 4th of July’s summer holiday can be responsible for adding a little extra sizzle and sparkle to your bedroom behaviors. In fact, statistics show that people in general, are more inclined to have sex during warmer months. With everyone is in good spirits, relaxing, and enjoying good eats and some festive alcoholic beverages, things tend to heat up a little more between the sheets. All of the outdoor fun on the Fourth of July can be really effective foreplay.
While STDAware fully supports taking full advantage of getting your “bottle rockets” off, it’s important to take steps to ensure that your patriotic clad “bathing suit” areas don’t get burned by an STD after the fireworks light up the sky and your bedroom.
The Wrong Kind Of “Burning” Love
One of the main signs of having an STD is a burning sensation around the genitals and during urination. One might say that many people literally get “burned” by STDs.
With approximately 20 million new STD infections reported each year, it is safe to say that STDs are spreading like wildfire. Add to that the fact that the 20 million + STD infections reported to the CDC each year only accounts for STD infections that are identified and does not include the millions of undiagnosed and unreported; it’s no wonder that the STD rates in America are considered a national health hazard.
STDs go undiagnosed for a variety of reasons. Foremost amongst them is the fact that many STDs present little to no symptoms or symptoms that are confused with other, non-STD related, issues. Other reasons include access or awareness of testing and treatment services, as well as fear and stigma of being tested for an STD.
Medical experts agree that anytime you get “hot and heavy” with a new sexual partner, whose sexual health history is unknown to you, you should be tested for STDs.
Failure to identify and treat an STD does not only pose a risk of further spread of the disease to additional sexual partners, but can also result in serious health risks and complications including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, certain types of cancer, and even death. That said, any “burning” sensation “down there: should never be ignored as it could be a symptom of having an STD.
A painful burning or stinging feeling, while urinating, is a clear indication that you have an infection. The two main STDs that are associated with a fiery urine stream are Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
- Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial STD infection among sexually active people. The CDC estimates that there are just over 2.8 million chlamydia cases reported each year (CDC, 2017). Chlamydia is easily spread because it is often asymptomatic (or shows no signs or symptoms). It can infect the genitals, rectum, mouth, throat, and eyes. Individuals who do experience symptoms may attempt to self-diagnose themselves with a urinary tract infection and try to self-medicate with cranberry juice (a urinary tract infection requires antibiotics to heal). To make matters worse, symptoms of chlamydia can come and go, leading a person to believe that their “home remedy” worked. Properly diagnosed, chlamydia is curable with simple antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can cause a number of severe health complications. Early identification is crucial to the treatment of chlamydia as chlamydia has a high rate of re-infection (getting chlamydia again after being treated), and can cause lasting damage to the body during the time chlamydia is left untreated. A follow-up test to ensure that a chlamydia infection has been completely cured should be conducted between 3 weeks and four months after treatment is completed.
- Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported STD in America. It is caused by the bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), which can infect the genitals, rectum, eyes, and throat. In 2016, there were a total of 468,514 cases reported in the United States alone (CDC, 2016). This number does not include the mass of unreported, undiagnosed, and untreated instances of gonorrhea infection. Similar to chlamydia, gonorrhea often has no symptoms and can be spread in the absence of diagnosis for a long time. Once diagnosed can be treated and cured with antibiotics. However, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment of gonorrhea. Recent studies have found that individuals who have prolonged infection before treatment, do not complete treatment and follow treatment protocol correctly, and who become re-infected with gonorrhea risk becoming resistant to treatment and cannot be cured.
When it comes to feeling “the burn” while urinating it is possible that you might have only been “singed” by a urinary tract infection (UTI), but the only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested.
Feeling like your genitals are lighting off flares during urination is just one warning sign of a possible STD infection. If, after a night of popping some “Pyro Viagra,” you’re left with a continual sense of genital scorching or itching when you’re not using the toilet, there are a few more STDs to be concerned about.
- Genital Herpes (HSV-2) is one of the most prevalent STDs today. The primary symptom associated with herpes is a burning or tingling sensation at the site of infection. Burning and tingling can happen in the days leading up to an active outbreak, at which point painful blisters and sores appear on the infected skin. Herpes is easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with a mucous membrane (mucous membranes are found on the genitals, anus, mouth, eyes, and throat). Touching an infected area with your hand and immediately touching a mucous membrane could transfer the infection. The instances of HSV-2 being found on the mouth and in the throat and HSV-1 (the herpes strain associated with cold sores) located on the genitals are growing due to the popularity of oral sex in America. The CDC estimates that approximately 776,000 people new herpes infections occur each year in the United States alone (CDC, 2017). Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are sneaky viruses. They can lay dormant in the body for years without any physical symptoms but can continue to be spread and infect other people. It is estimated that 80% of the population has one or both types of herpes infection and many people do not know it. The only way to know if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2 is to get tested. To learn more about the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2 on the STDAware blog, click here.
- Syphilis infections have a lifecycle of four stages. Bumps, rash, and slight burning due to inflammation at the site of infection can be experienced primary and secondary stages of a syphilis infection. Syphilis is transmitted through direct contact with an infected syphilis chancre or sore, which can be found on and around the genitals, mouth, eyes. Syphilis is an increasingly common STD. In 2016, there were 88,042 reported newly diagnoses of syphilis (CDC, 2017). This is mainly because symptoms of syphilis can be short-lived and mistaken as another skin issue. Once diagnosed, treatment of syphilis is relatively simple, but failure to recognize and treat a syphilis infection will result in very serious long-term and potentially life-threatening health issues. Men who have sex with other men (MSM), individuals living with or preventatively being treated for HIV are at a higher risk of syphilis infection.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) comes in hundreds of different strains. An estimated 79 million Americans infected are, or have been, infected with some variation of HPV (CDC, 2017). Most HPV infections are easily fought off by the human immune system, but some of these strains cause both genital warts and certain types of cancers, including cervical cancer. HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact and is highly contagious. Genital warts are characterized by abnormal growths on and around the genitals that can range in size, color, and variation. It is common for a burning or itching sensation to accompany these genital warts. Fortunately, most genital warts are caused by the “low risk” (non-cancer forming) types of HPV and can be treated or removed in most cases. However, while HPV warts and legions can be removed the HPV viral strain that causes genital warts cannot always be cured. HPV can persist in the body, the warts can return, and the virus can continue to be spread even after treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no standard HPV test for men or women. An annual pap smear for women is recommended to screen for the types of HPV that leads to cervical cancer but does not identify other strains of HPV. In the absence of an actual wart, there is no methodology for identifying HPV. Additionally, many other conditions can be mistaken for HPV warts. These facts should serve to further emphasize the need for safe sex practices and routine STD screening as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
- Trichomoniasis also known as “trich” is a very common STD that is caused by the parasite Trichomonas Vaginalis. It is transmitted from penis to vagina, or vagina to penis during sex and does not tend to infect the anus or other parts of the body. The most common symptoms of “trich” in both men and women are burning, itching, redness, and irritation of the genitals, painful urination, painful ejaculation (in men), and abnormal discharge. But it can also exhibit no symptoms, and therefore be spread, quickly, from one unknowing partner to another. Once diagnosed, Trich is easily treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, trichomoniasis can lead to serious genital inflammation, which increases an individual’s risk for contracting HIV, and it can cause complications in pregnancy. Although it is the most common curable STD, there are still an estimated 3.7 million people with the infection (CDC, 2017).
Get Answer To That Burning Question
“Do I have an STD?”
The only way to find out is to get tested. As previously mentioned, many STDs can exist in the body, infect other people, and cause irreparable damage to internal organs without any physical or obvious symptoms. The asymptomatic nature of so many STDs is a leading factor in the ongoing and widespread nature of STDs, in addition to lack of education and awareness of what STDs are or how to prevent and treat them. There is also a strong stigma associated with getting tested for STDs when the opposite should be the case. Getting tested for STDs shows a level of respect for yourself and your sexual partner(s).
STDAware knows how anxious waiting for test results can be and offers the fastest turn around time for results, in the industry.
Only You Can Prevent [STDs From Spreading Like] Wildfire
According to the director the CDC, the widespread nature of STDs in America today is a “…is a clear warning of a growing threat.” And the growing number of infections “is outpacing our ability to respond.” (CDC, 2017)
ROUTINE STD TESTING SHOULD BE A STANDARDIZED PART OF AN OVERALL HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.
Routine STD testing is one of the strongest defenses against STD infection. Being tested (at the same time as your sexual partner) for STDs before engaging in sexual activity will ensure that any STD condition is adequately treated and addressed before moving forward. Should one or both partners test positive for having an STD, STDAware offers free post-test consultations to discuss treatment and solutions. Some patients will qualify for free prescriptive treatment. .
Individuals who are diagnosed with any STD should also be tested for HIV. Having an STD infection of any kind can increase the risk of HIV infection. This is because HIV attacks the cells in the human body that respond to infection. When someone has an STD infection the amount of the cells that HIV “targets” increases and therefore makes an individual’s body more susceptible to and HIV infection.
If you are in an “informed consent” relationship (meaning an STD-free partner is aware and consensually has sex with an STD infected partner), there are ways to avoid the spreading of STDs. Proper condom use, avoiding sex while physical symptoms are present (herpes sores, genital warts, HIV viral load increases) combined with mature and open conversations with your sexual partner(s) and medical care providers can allow you to have a fulfilling sexual relationship. STDs don’t have to derail your holidays or your life.
With over 4,000 testing laboratories, nationwide, an STDAware testing location is available in any of the 50 great States you might have chosen to engage in some “American Intensity,” even if you are just visiting for the holiday. To find an STDAware testing location near you, click here.
Aside from abstinence, being in a long-term, mutually monogamous, STD-free relationship, or routine STD screening, the next strongest defense is consistent and correct condom use. To learn more about correct condom use visit the STDAware blog on Condoms and STDs by clicking here.
You might also be interested in our no-cost resource on “What To Do If The Condom Breaks,” the STDAware blog on “Types of Condoms,” and “Female Condoms.”
When the embers fade, and the smoke clears, no one wants to have or be responsible for transmitting an STD. This 4th of July take steps to ensure you don’t get burned by an STD. STDAware makes getting tested and getting answers a quick and painless process.
STDAware advise counselors are happy to speak with you about your testing options and STD questions. Contact us toll free: 1-855-588-6958 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org