The Sexually Transmitted diseases (STDs) are the diseases that are transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact. The organisms that are responsible for STDs might be bacteria, parasites, yeast or virus. At present, approximately 20 types of STDs are known to the doctors till date. The diseases affect both men and women. However, sometimes the severity of the symptoms may be more for the women. In case, the STD concurs with the pregnancy, it may lead to serious health issues for the infant.
Usually, antibiotics are the first line of treatment for conditions that are caused by bacteria, yeast or parasites. But, for a viral STD, there is no cure. The medications though can help relieve the symptoms and keep them under control. It is also essential to have correct usage of latex condoms and avoid anal, vaginal or oral sex to reduce the risk of spreading STDs.
Following are the most common types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
This condition is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. This is the microorganism that only affects human beings and the most common cause of genital and eye infection. If not treated on time, this can lead to serious issues related to pregnancy such as ectopic pregnancy and it may also pass from the mother to the infant. It has been noted that young people who are sexually active, especially women.
The symptoms are usually not too prominent and may spread from one person to another without getting noticed. There might be some non-specific symptoms that including a bladder infection, a change in vaginal discharge, or mild lower abdominal pain.
If not treated, there may also be complications such as pelvic pain, painful sexual intercourse or bleeding between the periods.
This is also known as “clap”. This is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Usually, there are no symptoms. If there are any symptoms, they will include:
Presence of a white, yellow, beige or green-colored discharge from the penis or vagina.
Pain or discomfort during the intercourse or during urination
More frequent urination than usual.
Itching around the genitals.
A sore throat.
If left untreated, it may further cause infection to the urethra, prostate gland or the testicles. It may also cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Chances of the passing of gonorrhea from mother to the fetus. Therefore, pregnant women are strongly advised to get tested and treated for potentials STDs. In the case of males, it may lead to inflammation of the prostate gland, urethra or epididymis.
The bacteria that causes the condition is highly contagious and mainly attacks the mucous membrane. The bacteria can survive in the vagina, penis, mouth, rectum, or eye. As much as it can spread to the other person, it can also easily spread to other body parts of the same person. An accidental rub on the eye may cause the infection to other parts.
This is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This affects the skin, cervix, genital area and some other parts of the body. There are two types of this virus -
HSV-1, also known as herpes type 1
HSV-2, also known as herpes type 2
This is also an easily transmissible condition from one person to another with direct contact. The most common way of transmission is vaginal, oral and anal for type 2 HSC. The type 1 HSV can also be transmitted by sharing of straws, utensils, and surfaces. Symptoms include,
Blisters and ulceration on the cervix
Pain while urinating
Cold sores around the mouth
Painful red blisters on the external genitalia, or thighs
This is known for affecting the immune system. If not treated on time, it can be fatal.
Some of the early signs of HIV include,
swollen lymph nodes
A sore throat
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be found in semen, blood, breast milk, vaginal and rectal fluids. It is likely to transmit by blood-blood contact, breastfeeding, childbirth, sexual contact, usage of used needles and syringes and blood transfusions.
HPV (HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS)
This viral infection can also be passed from one person to another through intimate contact. The most common symptoms affect genitals, mouth or the throat. Some strains of HPV infection can lead to following types of cancer such as oral cancer, cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, penile cancer, rectal cancer.
There is no known treatment for HPV. The infection clears up on its own. However, there is certain preventive vaccination available for the patients
This is caused by a bacteria called Treponema pallidum. The condition starts with a small sore known as chancre around the mouth or the genitalia. It might be painless but very infectious. Other symptoms include rash, fatigue, fever, headache, joint pain, weight loss, and hair loss.The untreated condition at a later stage can lead to loss of vision, loss of hearing, loss of memory, mental illness, infection of the brain or spinal cord, cardiac issues or even death.
However, it diagnosed early, it can be cured with antibiotics.
It is caused by a tiny protozoan organism that can be passed from one person to another the sexual contact. The symptoms noticed are rare, but include the following,
Discharge from the vagina or penis
Burning sensation around male or female genitalia
Pain or discomfort during urination or the intercourse
Vaginal discharge with fish-like smell
The untreated condition can cause urethral infection, pelvic inflammatory disease or infertility.
STEPS TO PREVENT STDs:
The top gynecologists in India have suggested some ways to prevent STDs:
The most effective way is to have only one sexual partner, who is not infected with an STD. The probability of having a sexually transmitted infection increases with the number of sexual partners.
Preventive vaccinations that protecting a person from viruses like HPV and hepatitis B, which may develop some type of cancer. The hepatitis B vaccination is given to the all the children at birth in a sequence of 3 doses in a period of several months.
Safe sexual practice is also an imperative measure to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. If there is any tear or cut in the skin during the intercourse, it can be the cause of the infection later.
The use of latex condoms is also highly recommended. There are some of the spermicides that increases the risk of having an HIV infection.
Have a regular checkup for infections for yourself and your partner for STDs.
Reduced alcohol intake.
Sexual awareness and education in schools and colleges about safe sexual practices.