Sexually Transmitted Diseases (II) When to Seek Medical Care <ul><li>A medical examination may be necessary if a person believes he or she may have an STD or if he or she may have been exposed to someone with an STD. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Being seen by a doctor as soon as possible after exposure to an STD is important; </li></ul><ul><li>these infections can easily spread to others and can have serious complications. </li></ul>
Go to a hospital's emergency department in these circumstances if: * an STD problem worsens; * a fever develops with other symptoms; or * if it will be a couple of days before the individual can be evaluated by a doctor.
For additional information on STDs: * Contact a doctor, the local health department, or a family planning clinic for free information. * Contact the National Social Health Association for free information and for the names of clinics that treat STDs. * For information or to discuss personal issues concerning STDs with an information specialist, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
<ul><li>The best way to prevent STDs is to avoid sexual contact with others. If people decide to become sexually active, they can reduce the risk of developing an STD in these ways: </li></ul><ul><li>Vaccines against HPV and hepatitis B are available and effective. </li></ul>Prevention
<ul><li>Practice abstinence (refrain from sex entirely) or be in a monogamous relationship (both sexual partners are each other's only sexual partner). </li></ul><ul><li>Delay having sexual relations as long as possible. The younger people are when they become sexually active, the higher the lifetime risk for contracting an STD. </li></ul><ul><li>The risk also increases with the number of sexual partners. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Correctly and consistently use a male latex condom. </li></ul>[The spermicide nonoxynol-9, once thought to protect against STDs as well as to prevent pregnancy, has been proven to be ineffective for disease prevention. Do not rely on it. In addition, condoms are only about 90% effective in preventing STDs]
<ul><li>Have regular medical checkups even if you do not have symptoms of an STD. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn the symptoms of STDs. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid douching because it removes some of the natural protection in the vagina. </li></ul><ul><li>Vaccines against HPV and hepatitis B are available and effective. </li></ul>