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'What are STDs or STIs?'

Q. What are STDs or STIs? How does one get it? What are its symptoms?
A. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are spread by minute germs or organisms during unprotected sex. Sexual activity includes:-

Rubbing genital regions together without penis penetration.
Insertion of fingers or sex toys into the vagina or anus.
Vaginal sex.
Anal sex.
Oral sex.
Oral-anal sex (tongue in or around the anus).

The common symptoms are sores/ ulcers, discharge, itching, swelling, unusual smell, pain in and around genitals or the urinary passage. These diseases need to be treated early and adequately to prevent local and systemic complications.
Note: It is important to treat both the partners to prevent recurrence.

Q. I am 34, and my boyfriend is 30. We have sex 3-4 times a month. My question is that will we have any issues in our sex life in the longer run due to our age difference?
A. No; not at all! Such an Age difference does not lead to any sexual problem in later life. Age is the matter of least concern happy sexual life; what is more important is love, affection, satisfaction and understanding and general physical fitness.

Q. I am 20 years old and have been masturbating for the last four years. Are there any side effects of masturbating? Will I lose my sperm count? Please tell me what do I do?
A. Masturbating is a normal practice. It is not a disease and there are no side effects. Using your hand to please yourself is just as similar as when the penis is inside a vagina. The effect is the same. There will be no effects on your sperm count. There is no need for any medication or treatment.

You can ask your most intimate questions to Dr Prakash Kothari. Send an email to sexologist@mid-day.com. India’s top sexologist will answer them right here.

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