Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – Conditions

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Overview

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sometimes called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are disorders transferred via sexual contact. Organisms including viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause STDs may be passed from person to person via the interchange of sperm, blood, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.

STDs, previously known as venereal disease, are not always accompanied by symptoms. In certain instances, these infections may be acquired from people who seem to be in good health and are unaware that they are infected.

They are very prevalent, and many of the individuals who have them do not show any signs of illness. In the absence of treatment, STDs may result in severe health issues. It is important to note, however, that being tested is not a huge issue, and that the majority of STDs are easily treatable. Some of them can be prevented with vaccines, such as  the HPV vaccine. 

STDs are severe diseases that require medical attention. Some STDs, like HIV, are incurable and may be fatal if left untreated. By knowing more about sexually transmitted diseases, you can learn how to protect yourself. The majority of STDs may be avoided by wearing a condom correctly every time someone has sex.

Some of the types of STDs include HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Causes

STDs or STIs may be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

·Bacteria such as syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea

·Parasites like trichomoniasis

·Viruses such as HIV, genital herpes and human papillomavirus

Many additional types of diseases are transmitted via sexual activity, but it is possible to get sick without having had sexual contact with another person. Viruses such as the hepatitis A, B, and C, Giardia intestinalis and shigella are also examples of this.

Anyone who participates in sexual activity increases his or her risk of contracting disease. Several factors may increase the chance of getting STD, including the following:

Sexual activity in an unsafe setting: The risk of contracting an infection increases by twofold when an infected partner penetrates the vaginal or anal canal when the infected partner is not using a condom. Additionally, ineffective or irregular condom use may raise your risk.

Sexual interaction with a variety of partners: Your risk increases in direct proportion to the number of people with whom you have sexual contact.

Having a STI history: Being infected with one STI facilitates the spread of another STI.

Alcoholic drinks and drugs: Substance addiction may decrease your capacity to make good judgments, increasing your likelihood of engaging in potentially hazardous behavior.

Intravenous administration of medicines: Numerous serious illnesses, including HIV and hepatitis are spread via needle sharing.

Certain STIs like HIV and syphilis may be passed from a pregnant mother to her child. STIs in infants may have serious implications, including death. Pregnant women should be examined and treated immediately for these diseases.

Symptoms

STDs may manifest themselves in a variety of ways, sometimes with no symptoms at all. That is why they may go undetected until problems develop. Among the signs and symptoms that may suggest a STI are the following:

·Genital, rectal, or oral sores, bumps, and pimples. ·Urination that is painful or scorching

·Penis discharge

·Vaginal discharge that is unusual or has a strange odor

·Vaginal bleeding

·Sore, swollen lymph nodes, most often in the groin but sometimes more widely distributed

·Pain in the lower abdomen

·Fever

·Rash that spreads from the trunk to the hands and feet

Symptoms of STDs in men include an excessive amount of discharge or bleeding from the penis or from the testicles, uncomfortable or enlarged testicles, rashes or sores on or around the penis, testicles, buttocks, thighs, or mouth in case of HPV in men. STD symptoms in women are herpes bumps, blisters, lumps, or rashes on or around the vaginal area, unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina and itching in or around the vaginal area.

Depending on the organism, you may detect signs and symptoms as soon as a few days after exposure, or you may not notice any symptoms for years before experiencing any significant issues.

Diagnosis

Based on your sexual history and present indications and symptoms, laboratory testing may be performed to figure out the cause of a disease or infection. Furthermore, laboratory tests may reveal any possible coinfections.

·Blood tests. In the latter stages of HIV or syphilis, blood tests may be performed to confirm their presence.

·It will be necessary to collect urine samples. Some sexually transmitted infections may be detected via a urine sample.

·Liquid samples are collected. To identify the kind of infection in open genital wounds, your doctor may do tests on the fluid and samples obtained from the sores to be sure they are not contagious.

Treatment

STDs or infections  caused by bacteria are often simpler to cure than the viral ones. In spite of the fact that viral infections may be treated, they are not always healed. You should get treatment for an STI as soon as possible if you are pregnant and have the infection since it may help decrease or avoid the chance of your baby acquiring the disease.

When it comes to STIs, the most common treatments include one or more of the following:

·Antibiotics: Numerous sexually transmitted bacterial as well as parasitic infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis, may be treated with antibiotics administered in a single dose.

·Antiviral drugs: In case of diagnosis of herpes or HIV, you will be prescribed antiviral medicine. When combined with a prescription antiviral drug, daily suppressive therapy results in fewer herpes recurrences. Antiviral medications have the ability to suppress HIV infection for an extended period of time. However, you will remain infected and capable of spreading the virus, although at a decreased risk.

The sooner you begin treatment, the higher the chance of success. If you take your medications exactly as recommended, it is feasible to reduce your virus count to an undetectable level using diagnostic techniques.

When to see a doctor

If you are pregnant and have symptoms of an STD, you should visit a doctor immediately. STDs should be treated immediately upon detection during pregnancy. If you see any symptoms of an STD or believe you may be at danger of transmitting the illness, test yourself for STIs. Consult your physician immediately to avoid any pain or potential consequences.