Older People Make A Good Portion Of Those Diagnosed With STDs

Older People Make A Good Portion Of Those Diagnosed With STDs

Most people cannot fathom the idea of people of a certain age having sex, let alone suffering from an STD. However, more and more older people are doing just that and suffering from a sexually transmitted infection. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are; an STD can occur to anyone.

Most people cannot fathom the idea of people of a certain age having sex, let alone suffering from an STD. However, more and more older people are doing just that and suffering from a sexually transmitted infection. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are; an STD can occur to anyone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the STD rate in people 65 and older has doubled in the last 10 years. Why? It stems from the fact that people are living longer and are actively engaging in sexual activity since medications for vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction have become available.

This is also the age group unlikely to use a condom because they’re not worried about pregnancy.

Doctors have said older people are lured into a false sense of security because they think being a grandmother/father means they cannot get an STD. However, if you are not married or having sex with someone new, there is always a chance to get an STD.

STDs and Health Risks

Since the older generation is not having the all-important talk about sex with their partners, they are often shocked to learn they have an STD. A big reason STDs in older people go undiagnosed is that doctors tend not to task their older patients about their sexual activity. It’s not the first thing on a doctor’s mind when a patient is talking about STD symptoms.

Another problem is that most people who have an STD don’t even know since the symptoms may never be exhibited, or they mistake the symptoms for other health reasons.

An STD disease left untreated could lead to long-term health problems like cancer, HIV, neurological issues and cardiovascular issues. You could also spread the disease to someone else.

Doctors suggest testing for STDs when you start a new relationship and have your partner do the same even if they are not signs of a disease. What are the most common signs that you have an STD and should seek treatment right away?

Sores/Bumps

If you find a blister, wart, sore, or bump on your genitalia, you should seek treatment right away, regardless of whether it goes away on its own. For example, syphilis can produce multiple, painless sores. Herpes can cause bubble-like blisters to appear. With HPV and chancroid, you can have bumps in the private region.

These sores can also appear in the anal and mouth region.

Odd Discharge

Genitalia discharge should be a concern, as it’s a sign that you have an STD like chlamydia, gonorrhea or trichomoniasis. If a man sees oozing or penile dripping, he needs to see a doctor right away. Women typically have discharge, but if they notice an abnormal discharge with a yellowish or greenish tint, they need to see a doctor.

Irritation and Itchiness

Most women assume that vaginal discharge is a yeast infection, but not always so. Trichomoniasis is a parasite that can these issues as well but can be easily treated by antibiotics. When it’s accompanied by itchiness, you need to see your doctor to determine its cause. It could actually be a parasite disease.

Men infected with trichomoniasis will experience irritation and itchiness inside their penis. Extreme itchiness may be the result of scabies or pubic lice too.

Vaginal Bleeding

It is possible to experience postmenopausal bleeding that can occur after intercourse. However, it can also be a sign of chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes sores. If you regularly have anal sex, it can lead to rectal bleeding caused by an STD.

Burning While Urinating

When you pee and have a burning sensation, you could assume it’s a urinary tract infection. However, if you’re sexually active, it could also be an STD such as trichomoniasis, herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Pelvic Pain

If you experience pelvic pain, you could have pelvic inflammatory disease, which the root cause could be gonorrhea or chlamydia that has not been treated. Several STDs that cause this pain can also make sexual intercourse hard to continue with.

Mark Riegel, MD
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