What I Should Know About STDs?

std-treatment-andsymptoms

 

Table of Contents

  • What Are STDs?
  • What Are the Two Main Groups of STDs?
  • What Are The Symptoms of STDs?
  • What is  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)?
  • What is Chancroid?
  • What is Chlamydia?
  • What Are Genital Herpes/HSV?
  • What is Genital HPV Infection?
  • What is Gonorrhea?
  • What is Syphilis?
  • What is Trichomoniasis?
  • What is Viral Hepatitis?
  • Other Diseases that Can Be Transmitted Sexually
  • Who Is At Risk for STDs
  • Treatments and Prevention
  • What Are STDs?

 

STD definition

Another term for sexually transmitted diseases is sexually transmitted infections. Some even refer to it as a venereal disease or VD. When something is sexually transmitted, it means that it has a very significant possibility of being transmitted between animals or human beings through sexual behavior.

By sexual behavior, it does not only mean having vaginal intercourse. In fact, homosexuals can obtain this dreaded disease too through anal and oral sex.

STI

Before, this kind of illness was only regarded as VD or STD. Nowadays it has been termed as STI since it holds a much broader meaning. This is because a certain individual could be infected and has the ability to infect other people, but not manifest any signs or symptoms of disease.

Some sexually transmitted infections can also be transmitted through the sharing of intravenous needles for those who are drug addicts. Also, such infections can be transmitted from mother to neonate through breastfeeding or after giving birth to the child accordingly.

Meaning of venereal disease

Actually, it was only around the 1990’s when scientists and medical professionals decided to call sexually transmitted diseases as the venereal diseases. The word veneris is actually a Latin word derived from Venus, in its genitive form. Venus is the Roman figure who portrays goddess of love. For some, STD’s were also referred to as social diseases.

Difference between disease and infection

Public health authorities are the ones to first introduce to the world the term sexually transmitted infection. Based on the findings of the Ethiopian AIDS Resource Center, infection and disease are not always the same. This is why the term sexually transmitted disease and sexually transmitted infection must not be interchanged.

When the word infection is used, it means that there are bacteria, virus, parasite, or any other germ that causes the disease process within a particular person’s body. However, infected individuals do not always show symptoms that a pathogen is damaging them from the inside because they do not feel or look sick.

The word disease, on the other hand, means that the person affected feels very sick and knows that something is definitely wrong inside.

With this said, it can be derived that an STI or a sexually transmitted infection is a broader and more helpful term as compared to STD or sexually transmitted disease.

Via mucous membranes

Most of the STD’s are easily transmitted via the mucous membranes of the urinary tract, vulva, penis and rectum. There are also rare cases where the STD’s are transmitted through the infected individual’s eyes, throat, mouth and respiratory tract.

The head of the penis, which is medically referred to as glans penis is actually a mucous membrane, despite the fact that it does not produce any mucus. This is just the same with the lips of a person’s mouth.

Mucous membranes are much more preferred by pathogens as their point of entry to the body, as compared to skin. Pathogens can also enter the body through any abrasions or breaks on the skin, even if they are totally minute. For instance, the penile shaft is susceptible to infections because the friction obtained from penetrative sex can damage its skin.

Sex – Main means of disease transmission

Sexual intercourse can definitely transmit the bacteria more easily as compared to non-sexual activities like shaking hands, touching and hugging. Contrary to what most think about sexually transmitted disease, sex is not the only means of transmitting the disease. According to scientific and medical research, STI’s are more easily passed from an infected individual to another person with oral sex than with French kissing.

Fluids from the genitalia are much more likely to contain an increased amount of pathogens as compared to the saliva.

Presence of signs and symptoms

The infectivity of a certain person depends on the kind of STD that is obtained. For instance, a herpes infection is much more infectious if the person involved has blisters. But on the other hand, a person with HIV can transmit the virus anytime even though symptoms of AIDS has still not manifested.

Prevention

According to medical experiments, the most effective means of preventing transmission of STI’s or STD’s is to avoid having contact with the infected person’s body fluids. The correct utilization of condoms can help in reducing contact and decreasing the risk of transmission. Also there are other modes of sexual activities that do not necessitate sexual contact such as phone sex, cyber sex and masturbation.

What Are the Two Main Groups of STDs?

The two main classifications of STD’s or sexually transmitted diseases are bacterial and viral STD’s. They are both infectious and are more easily transmitted through sexual contact, such as vaginal, anal and oral sex. However, they can also be transmitted through the sharing of needles. This goes for those who share syringes for their intravenous drug addictions.

Although they have similarities, bacterial and viral STD’s also have their differences.

Bacterial: Chlamydia

Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis, bacteria that attacks cells of the mucous membranes such as those of the urethra, cervix, vagina, and endometrium, which is the medical term given to the uterine lining. The anus and the person’s rectum are also not exempted. The mouth and the throat are also susceptible for this disease, but such condition rarely occurs.

Once Chlamydia is not treated as soon as possible, the bacteria can further progress to the fallopian tubes. When this occurs, the person involved is then at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. This is a very serious medical condition because it can highly cause infertility.

Bacterial: Gonorrhea

The layman’s term for gonorrhea is “the clap”. This disease is caused by the bacteria named Neisseria Gonorrhoea. These bacteria choose to dwell and multiply in the reproductive tract because of the warm and moist environment. By reproductive tract, the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and urethra are involved. In some cases, the bacteria also develop in the person’s anus, mouth and throat.

 

Bacterial: Syphilis

 

Syphilis is a bacterial kind of sexually transmitted disease that is caused by spirochetes. These bacteria cause chancres or sores to grow on the infected individual’s genitals, rectum anus and vagina. In some cases, the sores also unfortunately appear on the person’s mouth and lips.

 

There are three phases with this STD. For the first phase or the primary stage, sores may appear in mild amounts only. On the secondary phase, the rashes start to develop all over the body. Once this stage is left untreated, the disease process can progress to the latent stage, which may show no obvious symptoms. But what makes this stage most dangerous is that despite the absence of signs and symptoms of a disease, this stage of syphilis can cause irreversible damage to the person’s internal organs.

 

Viral: Herpes

 

Herpes is a skin condition that is characterized by sores that can be found on the person’s genitals and mouth. Its causative agents are herpes simplex viruses termed HSV-1 and also HSV-2.

 

HSV-1 is the virus that causes what is called fever blisters or cold sores on the infected person’s face and mouth. On the other hand, the HSV-2 causes the sores that appear on the penis or the vulva. These two viruses may appear similar when studied under a microscope, but they are two very different viruses.

 

Viral: Hepatitis B

 

This disease is a chronic condition that involves cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. The virus dwells in the person’s blood, vaginal secretions, semen, and even in breast milk. Moreover, this is the only STD to have an available vaccine. For the person to become completely protected against hepatitis B, he or she has to complete the three doses of the vaccine. These vaccines are available after consulting a health care provider.

 

Viral: HIV

 

HIV is the acronym given to human immunodeficiency virus. This virus causes the person’s immune system to become weak. Once it is weakened, it loses its ability to battle incoming infections and cancerous pathogens. Once this virus reaches a particular level within the blood, the person can then be declared as HIV-positive and diagnosed as having AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

 

Viral: HPV

 

HPV means human papillomavirus. This virus is the usual causative agent of warts that grow on the person’s genital tract. Specifically, the warts develop on the person’s urethra, anus, vagina, cervix, penis, vulva and scrotum. Most of the strains of the human papillomavirus cause the onset of cervical cancer, especially after the virus has precipitated the growth of abnormal cells within the cervix.

 

Teenagers are considered to be at increased risk for acquiring STD’s because of their lifestyle. They are more likely to engage themselves to having multiple sexual partners and unprotected sexual practices.

What Are The Symptoms of STDs?

The symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases or STD’s are easily transmitted through different methods of sexual practice, such as vaginal, oral or anal sex.

 

Those who are in doubt whether or not they have acquired the infection from someone should consult their doctor right away to be tested for STD. Most doctors are not immediately worried about their clients having STD even after the scare, but still, the symptoms they are experiencing might be the real thing. In such cases, medical advice is very significant.

 

Sexual activity must be also reported to their corresponding physicians so that their doctor has an idea of their risk for acquiring STD’s. Some symptoms of STD’s could be mistaken for mere symptoms of a simple urinary tract infection, when it could actually be Chlamydia.

 

Chlamydia

 

Speaking of Chlamydia, most of those who get this disease do not experience any symptoms. However, for those who do experience symptoms, they usually feel pain in the testicles, abnormal mucus coming out from the penis or the vagina, and burning sensation during urination.

 

Once the aforementioned symptoms are left untreated, the person infected could start feeling lower abdominal pain, presence of lesions on the skin, and inflamed eyes.

 

For women, Chlamydia can lead to the onset of PID or pelvic inflammatory disease that is usually caused by the inflammation of the pelvic area.

 

Although Chlamydia can be cured, both parties can still get the disease, especially if left untreated.

 

Genital herpes

 

For those who get genital herpes, they usually experience blisters, open sores or tiny reddish bumps on their vagina, penis and perineal area. The women also manifest abnormal vaginal discharges accompanied by intense pain during urination. The genitals also become swollen and itch a lot. There is general pain that extends up to the buttocks area.

 

The person infected even manifests symptoms that are away from the genitals such as fever and headache.

 

The aforementioned symptoms could disappear, but they tend to return after a certain amount of time. The sad thing about genital herpes is that there is no cure. The medications only reduce the severity of the underlying symptoms.

 

Gonorrhea

 

Gonorrhea is commonly manifested by pain during urination. There is serious bloody discharge coming out of the penis or the vagina that is usually a yellowish color. However, most of the men who get gonorrhea do not manifest any symptoms.

 

The good thing about gonorrhea is that it can be totally cured. However, when there is an advantage, there has to be a disadvantage because this disease recurs once more when it is not treated as soon as possible.

 

Hepatitis B

 

A mild increase in temperature is commonly associated with this disease. The person infected gets headache and pains in the muscles and joints. They usually feel immensely fatigued, with feelings of nausea.

 

Moreover, their urine becomes dark-colored and their bowels are pale. After being left untreated for a certain amount of time, the skin, including the white part of the eyes, become yellow, which is given a medical term of jaundice.

 

Thirty percent of those who get hepatitis B do no show any symptoms. This fact is actually more of a disadvantage than an advantage. Without any symptoms, the disease cannot be treated properly and the disease process cannot be slowed down. There are known medications that have already been proven to be effective against long-lasting hepatitis infections.

 

Nowadays, there is a mandatory immunization held for all children for the hepatitis B vaccine. Since this program, the numbers of those who acquire hepatitis B infections have gradually decreased.

 

HIV and AIDS

 

Most of those who have been infected by the HIV and have acquired AIDS show no symptoms for more than ten years. The symptoms involved with this deadly disease are extreme feeling of tiredness called fatigue, unexplainable weight loss, night sweats, frequent low grade fevers, yeast infections inside the mouth, and reddish blotches on the person’s mucous membranes.

 

Women can manifest the disease’s characteristic symptoms such as sudden changes in the menstrual cycle, sudden onset of PID, and yeast infections.

 

To date, there has still been no cure for AIDS. There are medications that the infected can take to keep the virus from further replicating inside them. But a modality that can cure them is yet to be found.

What is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)?

AIDS definition

 

AIDS or acquired immune deficiency syndrome is the disease that attacks the person’s immune system by the HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus.

 

When this sad condition is acquired, the person infected no longer has an effective immune system. This means he or she is left susceptible to a huge number of opportunistic pathogens and cancerous tumors.

 

HIV transmission

 

The HIV is transmitted to another person through direct contact of their mucous membranes. Of course, that particular mucous membrane must contain blood particles or infected bodily fluids like breast milk, blood, vaginal fluid, semen, and pre-seminal fluid.

 

This virus is usually transmitted from an infected person to another by means of sexual contact. With this said, this does not only mean vaginal intercourse, but also anal and oral sex.

 

However, sexual practices are not the only means for this virus to enter the human body. Drug addicts who share needles and syringes for their intravenous drug addictions are highly at risk for acquiring the virus. For all they know, the hypodermic needles they are using could already be contaminated with HIV-positive blood.

 

Even the innocent neonates are not exempted from this virus. The HIV can also be transmitted from the HIV-positive mother to the baby right after delivery, during breastfeeding, and sometimes even during the various stages of pregnancy.

 

Pandemic

 

At present, AIDS has already been regarded as a pandemic. It was actually only in 2007 that around thirty-three million people acquired AIDS in the whole world. And among this number of thirty-three million, two million died, including three hundred thirty thousand innocent children. Most of those who died came from sub-Saharan Africa where there was a retarded economic growth.

 

Treatment

 

Various treatment modalities have already been discovered to be highly effective against the further progression of this disease. However, there is still no vaccine or cure that can totally prevent its occurrence.

 

Antiretroviral therapies reduce the mortality and also the morbidity of this virus. However, these kinds of treatment are highly expensive and not every country has access to such treatment.

 

Therefore, with such difficulties in attaining what could only be an effective treatment against AIDS-related complications, the best way to prevent AIDS or the acquisition of the HIV, is to practice safe sex and use needle exchange precautions.

 

Symptoms

 

The symptoms associated with AIDS are ones that do not normally occur in those who have healthy immune systems. Since with AIDS, the immune system is nearly completely shut down, opportunistic pathogens find a way to infect the human body.

 

With a weak immune system, individuals with AIDS are much more at risk for getting cervical cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma and lymphomas.

 

Pulmonary infections

 

Pneumocystis pneumonia is common among those who are infected with the HIV. This disease is abbreviated as PCP or pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. This kind of pulmonary problem is very rare in those who have healthy immune systems. The causative agent of this condition is the pneumocystis jiroyecii.

 

Tuberculosis

 

Tuberculosis or TB can be transmitted in both immunosuppressed and immunocompetent individuals through their respiratory tract. In both cases, TB remains difficult to treat.

 

According to the WHO or World Health Organization, TB that is associated with HIV is regarded as a serious problem and is actually the cause of almost half a million deaths.

 

GI infections

 

Esophagitis is the medical term given to the inflammation of the esophagus’ lower lining. The esophagus is the gullet or the tube responsible for swallowing, as it leads the food further into the stomach. In most HIV-positive cases, esophagitis is caused by fungal or viral infections that are pre-existing, such as candidiasis or herpes simplex.

 

Most of those who have HIV experience chronic diarrhea. According to medical and scientific research, common bacteria cause the diarrhea:  such as listeria, shigella, salmonella and campylobacter.

 

In some of those who are infected, the diarrhea could merely be a side effect of some of the medications they are taking to treat their HIV condition.

 

Psychiatric involvement

 

One HIV infection is left untreated; the person infected could develop a wide range of neuropsychiatric episodes.

 

An example of a neurological disease triggered by the HIV is toxoplasmosis that is basically a form of encephalitis.

 

What is Chancroid?

Chancroid definition

 

Chancroid has also been called the soft chancre or the ulcus molle. Although it may sound like an alien life form, it is actually an STI or a sexually transmitted infection. Intensely painful sores on the person’s genitals mainly manifest this STI. Moreover, it is a fact that chancroid is transmitted from an infected individual to another person through sexual contact.

 

Causes

 

Chancroid is an infection caused by a gram-negative strain of streptobacillus Haemophilus Ducreyi. These fastidious bacteria primarily harbor themselves in developing countries, especially ones that are very much involved with commercializing people as sex workers.

 

After being incubated from one day up to two weeks, the chancroid episodes start with a tiny bump that soon becomes an ulcer within one day only.

 

What is an ulcer?

 

An ulcer is commonly three to fifty millimeters; that is about two inches wide. A sore that big just has to be painful, and with chancroid, it certainly is. This bump is certainly painful, especially since it is sharply defined with ragged borders. The base of the sore is predominantly covered with yellow-gray material that easily bleeds once scraped.

 

Symptoms

 

The person infected usually manifests more than one immensely painful ulcer on his or her genitals. Adenopathy that is associated with the ulcers are characteristic of chancroid. In fact, adenopathy is chancroid’s pathognomonic sign.

 

Chancroid can only determined if an only if it has been proven that Treponema Pallidum is not the causative agent through a dark-field examination of the particular ulcer. Also, syphilis must also be ruled out through a serologic test that must be done approximately seven days before the ulcer starts to grow.

 

Where the ulcers grow

 

Almost half of the males who get chancroid develop only one ulcer. For women, they usually have around four to five ulcers but with fewer underlying symptoms. These sores do not just grow anywhere; they seem to know exactly the right places where they should grow. For instance, they grow only on the uncircumcised glans penis of men. And for the women, these chancroid ulcers choose to grow on the fourchette or the labia minora.

 

However, the most common and usual place the ulcers grow on are the labia majora. They are then referred to as kissing ulcers. When this occurs, the most common accompanying manifestations are dysuria or pain when urinating, and dyspareunia or pain when having sexual intercourse.

 

The first ulcer that grows could be mistaken as a symptom of primary syphilis. But what makes it chancroid is that it is a soft chancre, as opposed to syphilis’ hard chancre.

 

Most of those who get infected with chancroid suffer from enlarged lymph nodes in their inguinal area. This includes the folds that can be found between the infected person’s leg and the lower abdominal portion. After some time, this condition progresses to swell then ruptures, causing the abscesses to drain. They are now referred to as buboes.

 

Treatment

 

Medical professionals would prescribe a single oral dose of two tablets of Azithromycin. They could also choose Erythromycin if they like, for only a week or so. If they do not like to take the oral route and would prefer a route that has a faster peak action, they could have the single intramuscular route of Ceftriaxone.

 

Prevention

 

In order to prevent the occurrence of chancroid, people at risk have to limit their sexual partners.   The best case is to abstain from sexual relations. But for those who ignore the warnings, they should always practice safe sex and use protection such as a condom.

 

The next best thing to abstinence is sexual monogamy. This means that they only have one partner they have sexual relations with.

 

After each round, both parties should wash their genitals carefully. Now, if they think they have acquired the disease, they must avoid having sex with others at all costs and immediately seek help from the local STD clinic, the local hospital, or the family doctor. Medical professionals must be immediately notified of their sexual activities and whom they have had sex with so that they also can be examined and treated for chancroid.

 

What is Chlamydia?

 

Chlamydia is a common STD that is caused by a particular bacteria, the Chlamydia Trachomatis. This bacteria damages the reproductive organs of women.

 

Symptoms of Chlamydia are usually silent. This makes the disease all the more dangerous. Serious complications can easily attack the person without any form of detection. It can cause some irreversible damage such as infertility and some acute symptoms as well such as penile discharges.

 

Under-reporting

 

According to scientific research, Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the United States of America that is caused by certain bacteria. Some tend to under-report because those who have Chlamydia are not immediately aware of the symptoms and the infection itself. The women often undergo re-infection because their sexual partners do not get treated as soon as possible.

 

How it is transmitted

 

Chlamydia is transmitted via oral, vaginal or anal sex. Also, another mode of transmission that does not involve coitus, which is only the scientific term given to sexual intercourse, is passing the infection from the mother to her baby when delivered vaginally.

 

Anyone who is sexually active can be infected. In fact, the more sexual partners the person has, the greater the risk of acquiring the disease.

 

The cervix, which is basically the entry to a woman’s uterus, is not yet fully matured with female teenagers and young female adults. This immaturity makes it even more susceptible when it comes to having Chlamydia, particularly if they are sexually active.

 

Also, since it is a fact that Chlamydia is transmittable by having oral or anal sex, this means that male homosexuals who prefer having sexual intercourse with co-men are also at risk for the Chlamydia infection.

 

Women with symptoms

 

In women, the bacteria attack the cervix and the urethra, which is the anatomical term for the urinary canal. What usually happen is the infected woman experiences abnormal mucus discharges from her vagina and also feels a burning sensation whenever she is urinating.

 

When things get worse than they already are, the bacteria move on ahead to the woman’s fallopian tubes, which are the tubes that carry the fertilized egg cells right from the ovaries to her uterus. But when this happens, most women still do not feel any symptoms. However, for others, they experience low back pain, fever, lower abdominal pain, pain during intercourse, and also bleeding between menstruation dates. For some, the infection also gets more complicated as it reaches the rectum.

 

Men with symptoms

 

The men exhibit penile discharges whenever they are infected with Chlamydia. Other than this, they also experience burning sensation whenever they urinate. They can also experience itching just around their urinary meatus, which is basically the opening of their penis. The Chlamydia infection also involves the testicles, since some of them with Chlamydia have painful and swollen testicles.

 

Anal sex can also be the source of infection for some men and women because there are times that the bacteria proceed to attacking the rectum. Chlamydia infection of the rectum makes the infected experience rectal bleeding, discharges, and pain.

 

Oral sex can also be a reason for the transmission of this disease. With this said, it can be derived that throats of some men and women who engage themselves in oral sex with an infected partner can also have the infection.

 

Once it is left untreated

 

If the infection is not treated it can progress to more serious damage to the reproductive system and both long-term and short-term health problems. More often than not, Chlamydia is left untreated since it is a silent disease. This means that symptoms do not show right away, leaving the infected person unaware of an ongoing infection.

 

For women, an untreated Chlamydia infection spreads into the uterus and the fallopian tubes, causing PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease. This disease usually happens to forty percent of the female population who leave Chlamydia untreated.

 

Pelvic inflammatory disease causes further damage, which ends up as permanent damage to the uterus, fallopian tubes and surrounding tissue. This problem can further lead to infertility, chronic pelvic pain and a high risk for ectopic pregnancy, which means a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus.

 

Once women are left untreated with Chlamydia, they become highly likely of acquiring HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus.

 

What Are Genital Herpes/HSV?

 

What exactly is genital herpes?

 

Genital herpes is a very infectious disease that is caused by a certain virus. It is usually transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected individual during sexual intercourse. Those who have genital herpes experience open sores or blisters around the genitals for both men and women.

 

Up to this day, no definitive cure for genital herpes has been discovered. Still, however, it can be managed with a set of medications that are able to treat the disease’s outbreaks while some reduce the symptoms.

 

Genital herpes is a highly widespread disease, mainly because it is very contagious. Those who carry the disease can transmit the virus to another person even though there is no active infection.

 

There is a minimum of forty-five million American citizens who are carries of the genital herpes virus. Every year there are also at least one million new infections. The infected increase in number because eighty to ninety percent of those infected are not initially aware that there is an ongoing infection because they are not able to immediately recognize symptoms of genital herpes or they do not exhibit any symptoms right away.

 

Usual victims

 

The ones who usually get infected with the genital herpes virus are the poor, those who are addicts with cocaine, those with multiple sexual mates, and also those who are uneducated.

 

Causes

 

The virus that causes genital herpes is HSV, or the herpes simplex virus. This virus has two types, namely, HSV-1 and also HSV-2. Commonly, the latter type causes genital herpes.

 

HSV-1 usually causes what is more commonly known as fever blisters. These blisters are usually found around the infected individual’s mouth. This means that the disease can be transmitted even by just the act of kissing. Although HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes, this kind of situation rarely happens.

 

The disease can be easily transmitted through direct contact with someone who has the infection. The most common methods are sexual intercourse and oral sex. But then again, any form of skin-to-skin contact is capable of disease transmission.

 

Symptoms

 

Genital herpes symptoms develop from three up to seven days with skin-to-skin contact with someone who is infected. The blisters with genital herpes looks like round shapes made up of broken skin right on the genitals. One blister, or ulcer, measures one to three millimeters in size. Also, these blisters are usually grouped with one another. When such grouping occurs, they become crops.

 

After the blisters form, they soon open up, forming ulcers. Genital herpes is sometimes tender while for some the infection is generally painless. But for some, however, the ulcers and the blisters tend to be very painful.

 

Where it occurs

 

For the men, the sores that come with genital herpes can be found on the penis. For the women, however, the lesions are found just outside the vagina, but that does not necessarily mean that they do not grow inside the vagina. Whether they occur inside or outside the vagina, they are always able to cause discomfort and vaginal discharges. Such symptoms can only be seen and determined by a doctor’s examination.

 

Such blisters also grow around the genitals, which is called the perineal area or the perineum and just around the anus.

 

First outbreak

 

The first outbreak is almost always the most painful one. Also, it tends to last longer as compared to outbreaks that occur later. Symptoms of the first outbreak may last for at least two up to four weeks.

 

People with the first outbreak of genital herpes experience fever, severe headaches; muscle aches, burning sensation upon urination, vaginal discharges, tender and swollen lymph nodes inside the groin.

 

Later outbreaks

 

When the disease returns, there are even lesser and more milder symptoms. Whenever people experience the recurrence of this disease, they experience pain or a tingling sensation in the area where the infection is bound to occur, even before the blisters or ulcers make themselves visible. This annoying tingling sensation is because of the irritation and the inflammation of the nerves that are located by the infected area.

 

The aforementioned signs are signs that a particular outbreak is about to start. It is during this period that the disease is highly contagious, despite the fact that skin look very much normal.

What is Genital HPV Infection?

Genital HPV definition

 

The genital HPV or the genital human papillomavirus is a very common STI or sexually transmitted infection. Actually, there are more than forty types of HPV’s out there which are all individually infectious to the genital parts of both men and women. They can infect the throat and the mouth.

 

What makes this infectious disease even more deadly is that those who have it cannot immediately know that they have an ongoing infection.

 

Not the same with herpes

 

Contrary to what many might think, the HPV is not at all similar with the HIV, which is the virus that is the causative agent of AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Although they are both transmitted via sexual intercourse, they cause different signs, symptoms and complications.

 

Usually, those with HPV do not get complicated symptoms. In fact, according to scientific and medical research, ninety percent of those who have HPV have their immune systems naturally battle the HPV by clearing the virus in only two years.

 

Types of HPV

 

Oftentimes, though, there are particular strains of HPV that can cause genital warts in both women and men. In rare cases, however, these types are also able to cause warts that grow inside the throat, an illness that is termed RRP or recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

 

On the other hand, there are also other types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. If in the case that such type does not cause cervical cancer, then it causes other serious cancers such as cancers of the anus, head, neck, penis, vagina, throat, tonsils and tongue.

 

The HPV types that are capable of causing genital warts are not similar as the ones that cause different types of cancer. Up to date, there is still no way of determining which people infected with HPV progress into a debilitating state of having cancer and other ultra complicated health conditions.

 

Symptoms: Genital warts

 

The genital warts appear initially as a minute bump or clusters of bumps that can be found inside the genital area. These bumps can be big or small, flat or elevated, and some are even shaped like cauliflowers.

 

These warts can only be diagnosed by medical experts. They appear in weeks, and some even within months, after having sexual intercourse with an infected person, even if that person is not exhibiting genital warts.

 

If these warts are left untreated, three things can happen. First, they might go away, which is quite fortunate for the infected individual. Secondly, the warts could retain their form and not change. But the worse case scenario is that some warts could increase in its size or its number. When such growth and multiplication happens, this means that cancer is underway.

 

Symptoms: Cervical cancer

 

When cervical cancer starts, the symptoms are not immediately advanced. But as time goes by, such symptoms could get out of hand and can become uncontrollable almost all the time. This is the main reason why women who are at risk for this disease have to get themselves a regular screening for cancer of the cervix.

 

This screening test can detect early signs of this disorder, making this particular health problem much easier to treat, way before they develop into complicated cancers.

 

Most cancers might not have some noticeable signs and symptoms when they are still in their early stages. Oftentimes, they can only be detected after the disease process of the cancer has developed into an advanced and complicated form, thus a very difficult to treat condition.

 

The RRP

 

The RRP causes the warts to develop inside the throat. Once they keep growing, they tend to block the person’s airway, further causing hoarseness in the person’s voice and difficulty of breathing.

 

A particular person can still have HPV even if the sexual intercourse occurred years ago. The illness oftentimes is not reported right away because the symptoms do not show themselves immediately. Also, it is very possible to acquire more than one kind of HPV.

 

Rarely do infants develop HPV from being born from a mother with genital HPV. But what is quite common, however, is that such infants develop nasty cases of RRP.

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea definition

 

Gonorrhea is a common STI or sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the infamous Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, or the Gonococcus strain, oftentimes abbreviated by scientists as GC. In the entire United States of America, gonorrhea ranks second as the most dangerous STD’s caused by bacteria. The first one is Chlamydia.

 

Symptoms

 

In males, gonorrhea is exhibited penile discharges colored yellow. These mucus discharges are associated with frequent painful urination, medically termed as dysuria. Such symptoms start from two up to thirty days right after acquiring the infection.

 

A huge percentage of the men who have acquired the infection do not exhibit symptoms. And since the disease is not detected, the infection finds a loophole and progresses to the person’s seminal vesicles, prostate, and epididymis. When the bacteria reach these internal organs, the person experiences fever and pain, and then further progress into sterility.

 

Early symptoms are vaginal discharges, lower abdominal discomfort, and burning sensation upon urination, genital inflammation and abnormal bleeding. For most cases, unfortunately, women leave such symptoms untreated. Once this happens, the infection spreads further into the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries, which further causes PID or pelvic inflammatory disease.

 

Leaving gonorrhea untreated will only affect the infected person’s joints and heart valves. When this happens, it only means that the infection has already spread.

 

The incubation period

 

The incubation period for gonorrhea takes two up to thirty days. The symptoms only start occurring in four to six days after the moment of infection. But for some people, they may forever remain asymptomatic.

 

When the infection progresses into something worse, it involves the infection of the urethra, or urethritis. The combination of urethritis and the other symptoms of gonorrhea that predominantly involve the cervix are the symptoms that support the diagnosis of gonorrhea.

 

Women are more at risk.

 

Men have a smaller percentage of acquiring gonorrhea from just one vaginal intercourse with an infected woman. The percentage is a whopping twenty percent risk. On the other hand, women are at a bigger risk, with sixty to eighty percent possibility of having the infection, even with just a single act of sexual intercourse with a man who carries the disease.

 

When the mother unfortunately transmits the disease to her newborn child via delivery, it is a condition called ophthalmia neonatorum.

 

Medications

 

For most bacteria, tetracycline might be very effective. But for gonorrhea’s bacteria, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, its resistance to tetracycline has become too strong for words. The medicine has been rendered ultimately ineffective for treatment of this particular disease.

 

Although scientific and medical findings indicate that fluoroquinolones are effective against gonorrhea, they still cannot be used for women who are pregnant. Such medications under fluoroquinolones are levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin.

 

And since complete treatment is not as possible as it is wished to be, people start to reminisce and doubt whether or not they have mated with someone who has the disease. When they finally found out the answer, they feel the urgent need to consult a physician for screening.

 

Perfect combination becomes the imperfect combination.

 

Oftentimes, a co-infection occurs with Chlamydia. And during the times that such condition does happen, physicians prescribe their patients with ceftriaxone and doxycycline or azithromycin and are known to be powerful in battling the two sexually transmitted diseases.

 

For rectal gonorrhea, penicillin is already ineffective. This is because the other bacteria that are located in the rectal area give out B-Lactamases, which are capable of destroying penicillin.

 

Actually, all regular treatments for gonorrhea are less effective nowadays, especially the ones used for treating the kind that affects the throat. When the throat is affected, the infected individual must undergo tests like swabbing the throat for seventy-two hours or more after being started on the certain treatment. When the swab registers as positive, then the person must undergo re-treatment.

 

Follow-up

 

In most cases, gonorrhea does not require having the person have a follow-up schedule, except for the pharyngeal and rectal types, of course. After they are diagnosed, they are asked by doctors to call for reporting results in five to seven days. They have to confirm whether or not the antibiotic initially prescribed actually work.

 

Moreover, during the follow-up period, infected people are strongly advised to avoid having sexual intercourse with either infected or uninfected individuals.

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis definition

 

Syphilis is an STD or sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a spirochete kind of bacteria, the Treponema Pallidum, with a subspecies of pallidum. As an STD, this disease is always transmitted by sexual contact.

 

But then again, there are cases wherein sexual contact does not occur yet the disease is still transmitted to another. When this happens, it is congenital syphilis. This means the disease was transmitted by the mother to her unborn child “in utero” while the infant was still inside her womb.

 

Syphilis has very many signs and symptoms. There must be a precise diagnosis before everything else. But diagnosing syphilis is not an easy task to do, especially in the past when serological testing was still not available.

 

Moreover, syphilis has been given a name by experts “great imitator” because it was very skilled in masking itself with symptoms of other diseases, especially when it is already in its tertiary phase.

 

Generally, attacks of syphilis can be treated with antibiotics, such as penicillin. However, once syphilis is left untreated, major organs can be damaged, such as the bones, eyes, brain, aorta, and the heart. Usually, once the sickness reaches the aforementioned organs, the conditions becomes even worse than it is, oftentimes even fatal.

 

It was such a fortunate event that the genetic sequence of the bacteria that causes syphilis was determined back in 1998. This way, physicians and scientists can now more fully understand the disease process of syphilis.

 

“Syphilis”

 

The name “syphilis” actually came from a doctor and poet from Italy named Girolamo Fracastoro. In fact, he wrote about it in one of his poems entitled Syphilis Sive Morbus Gallicus, which is Latin for Syphilis or the French Disease, which he published in 1530.

 

The protagonist in this story is in a character of a shepherd named Syphilus, which is just another spelling of Sipylus; a famous character in one of Ovid’s famous stories Metamorphoses.

 

In this epic poem, Syphilus was the first man ever to have contracted syphilis, since he received the wrath of Apollo as punishment for defiance.

 

It was from this character that the doctor who discovered syphilis derived a newfound label for this contagious disease that he included in his medical writings De Contagionibus, or On Contagious Diseases.

 

In Italy and Germany, syphilis was regarded as the French Disease, while it was called the Italian Disease in France. This just goes to show that in every country, they had a name for this contagious disease, which always links another country to it. Perhaps this is because foreign seafarers and soldiers from the times that they had frequent unprotected sexual intercourse with some local prostitutes almost always transmitted this disease.

 

The great pox

 

This name was given to syphilis in the sixteenth century so that it is much easier to distinguish from smallpox. During its early phase, syphilis provides rashes that are quite similar to smallpox, but not exactly alike.

 

But then again, most people think that this label is quite misleading since according to findings, smallpox is a much more fatal illness.

 

Primary syphilis

 

This type of syphilis is obtained from direct contact with contagious legions through sexual intercourse with someone who has this particular infection.

 

These lesions come out in ten to ninety days after being exposed. They usually grow on the genitals of the infected, but they can actually develop on any other part of the body. These lesions are not merely lesions. They are much worse, and they are called chancres.

 

Chancre

 

A chancre is a firm ulceration that is made up of skin. Although this kind of lesion is painless, it is still very annoying and disrupting to the self-concept and body image. After being exposed to the deadly spirochete, these chancres grow on the vagina or the penis and the rectum.

 

There are some cases, although rarely, that multiple lesions develop. What usually happens is that there is one single, but awfully huge, lesion that is immediately visible. This lesion may stay for about four to six weeks, and oftentimes heals spontaneously.

 

The local lymph nodes also swell when the chancres start showing up. But otherwise, the infected persons remain void of showing symptoms during the initial incubation duration. This is the reason why most patients with such illness do not consult help from their doctors as soon as possible.

What is Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis definition

 

A popular term for trichomoniasis is “trich”, which is a common case of vaginitis. Also, it is one of the many STD’s or sexually transmitted diseases in the entire world. What makes it different though, is that it is caused by a single-celled parasite, specifically protozoa, called Trichomonas Vaginalis.

 

This STD predominantly causes an infection in the person’s urogenital tract. This makes the woman’s urethra and vagina the usual habitats of the bacteria. It is very unfortunate for women because only the women can experience symptoms that tag along with a trichomonas infection.

 

Symptoms

 

The symptoms include inflammation of the vagina, cervix and urethra, which are all manifested by burning, itching, and yellow-green frothy malodorous vaginal discharges.

 

This disease causes a lot of discomfort during urination or sexual intercourse, especially once the symptoms recently mentioned are fully manifested. In some cases, the woman also experiences pain in the lower abdomen.

 

Incubation

 

After being exposed to the protozoa, the symptoms start to appear around five to twenty-eight days. In fact, some take years because they cannot immediately detect the presence of the parasite since it only remains dormant inside the body.

 

This is why women have to extra careful since they are not particularly sure whether the parasite is living inside them or not. With this said, it is best to prevent getting involved in activities that could be the parasite’s mode of transmission, such as anal or oral sex.

 

How is it diagnosed?

 

The physicians can diagnose trichomoniasis by the medical observation of the parasite’s trichomonads through a microscope. The woman has to undergo a pelvic examination so that the doctor can collect the needed specimen.

 

A speculum is inserted into the woman’s vagina. Once the speculum is in place, the doctor uses a cotton-tipped applicator for collecting the sample. After the sample has been obtained, it is placed on top of a microscopic slide before being sent to the hospitals’ laboratory for analysis.

 

If, in case, trichomoniasis is present, then the cervix or the wall of the vagina may exhibit tiny red ulcerations.

 

Treatment

 

For most disease, the treatment aimed for non-pregnant and pregnant women differ. However, for trichomoniasis, the treatment remains the same. This treatment is within the form of Flagyl or metronidazole.

 

The other people the infected individual has had sexual relations with must be immediately notified and treated concurrently.

 

Complications

 

According to scientific and medical research, trichomoniasis is highly associated with the magnified risk of actually transmitting HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus. This disease may also cause a low birth weight for pregnant mothers, if not complete prematurity.

 

For males, evidence has been found that this particular STD increases the risk of acquiring prostate cancer. This is due to the constantly spreading inflammation.

 

The great thing about this disease is that it is the number one most curable sexually transmitted disease in the whole world. In fact, more or less one hundred seventy-four million individuals get this parasite every year, but with proper treatment, hygiene and lifestyle modification, its cure is very possible.

 

Trichomonads are never visible to the naked eye. This means that in order to actually see them, a microscope must be used. After using a microscope, it can be determined that they measure up to fifteen mm.

 

These parasites reproduce as quickly as every eight to twelve hours. This means that the infected have to act fast if they do not want the parasites to outnumber them.

 

According to research findings, women have a much higher likeliness of having trichomoniasis because men have prostatic fluid that contains zinc. It is, indeed, a fact that parasites are easily harmed by zinc. This is why the trichomonads try to avoid harmful natural body secretions as much as possible.

 

Self-care

 

When the physician prescribes antibiotics, the infected person must make sure that he or she really follows it. Although some doctors could instruct their patients about a few methods for home treatment, home therapy must never be substituted for a visit to the doctor.

 

Douching

 

Many believe that performing a natural douche once in a day while having a warm bath is very helpful. Actually, they are right. But this method will be much more effective is the juice of a single lemon is added as it increases the liquid’s parasite-killing power.

What is Viral Hepatitis?

Hepatitis definition

 

It is called hepatitis when the liver is inflamed. There are many factors that can turn out as causative agents for inflaming the liver. For instance, drugs, certain chemicals, alcohol intake, and autoimmune diseases can cause hepatitis.

 

Viruses can also inflame the liver. An example of such virus is the cytomegalovirus, which is the infamous virus of mononucleosis. But most of the viruses in the world do not have the liver as number one on their list of priority organs to attack. It is just very unfortunate that it is affected by the consequences most of the time.

 

There are actually seven known hepatitis viruses, namely, A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. The list may look short now, but after time goes by, many assume that this list will be longer, especially with a deadly disease like hepatitis. The types that are most commonly acquired by the population are types A, B and C.

 

Anatomy: Liver

 

The liver can be found at the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. This organ cannot be easily palpated through the skin since most of it is protected behind the ribcage. For adults, the liver weights almost three pounds. But despite the fact that it may not be as heavy as the other organs, it is still very important in the major functioning of the entire body.

 

Functions of the liver: Blood purifier

 

For one thing, the liver is the one purifying the blood. It turns harmful and foreign chemicals into ones that are harmless. These foreign chemicals that pose danger to the liver are usually external, such as from, medications and alcohol. They can also be internal like bilirubin or ammonia.

 

The liver breaks down these substances or attaches them to the body’s excreta to be eliminated from the body through stool or urine.

 

Functions of the liver: Protein producer

 

The liver is also capable of producing lots of essential substances, which the body needs in order to continue functioning well. In fact, the liver is responsible for the release of the proteins.

 

The liver is the one that gives out albumin, which is a protein-building block, and other sorts of protein that have the ability to form blood clots when needed.

 

Functions of the liver: Storage

 

The liver can also store important substances such as vitamins, sugars, and fats. It puts them away for storage, until the time that the body needs them most. This way, the body never goes to battle unarmed, because there are always needed items that have been predetermined and reserved.

 

Once the liver is not able to function properly, then the aforementioned functions will also not be done properly. When this happens, the symptoms of hepatitis start to gradually break out.

 

Common types of viral hepatitis

 

Hepatitis A

 

Viral hepatitis A is seen in one hundred fifty thousand cases among the six hundred thousand reports of viral hepatitis annually in the United States of America.

 

The illness caused by HAV is an acute disease that has never turned chronic. Many experts also call it as infectious hepatitis because it is easily spread from person to person just like other infections that are caused by viruses. More specifically, HAV infection is transmitted from ingesting contaminated food or water.

 

How it is transmitted

 

Unsanitary conditions usually provide a possible contamination of the food or water source because the waste of the humans could easily be involved, thus, the fecal-oral MOT, or mode of transmission.

 

It can also be transmitted to someone else after having such close contact with an infected family member. This means that lovers have to avoid intimate kissing at all costs. What they should totally practice, however, is to wash hands frequently.

 

Hepatitis B

 

Each year, there are about three hundred thousand who obtain the new cases of HBV or hepatitis B virus. This kind of hepatitis was actually termed as serum hepatitis since, before, it was determined that this type can only be transmitted by rural areas.

 

This disease can also be contracted from having sexual contact with an infected person. Once it collects a person’s serum, which is the liquid part of the blood, the HBV is now a much more dangerous virus.

 

HBV infection, unlike the first type can be transmitted with sexual contact or with the transfer of blood or serum with shared syringes. Apart from that, it can also be transmitted from an infected mother to its unknowing newborn.

Other Diseases that Can Be Transmitted Sexually

Bacterial vaginosis

 

This disease is the most common cause of a vaginal infection. Another term for it is vaginal bacteriosis. It is not primarily regarded as a sexually transmitted infection because of a few factors.

 

Bacterial vaginosis is actually caused by the imbalanced natural bacterial flora. However, this disease must not be mistaken with yeast infection or candidiasis and trichomoniasis, because bacteria do not cause them.

 

Symptoms

 

Bacterial vaginosis’ most usual symptom is the abnormal white discharge from the woman’s vagina, most especially after she has undergone sexual intercourse. This discharge has a malodorous fishy odor, as it coats the vaginal wall. This symptom is usually present without any form of pain, irritation or erythema.

 

Diagnosing BV

 

In order to conclude diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis, a speculum needs to be inserted into the vagina and swabs must also be taken from inside it. The swabs will undergo the whiff test, which is basically done by adding a little potassium hydroxide to the discharge under a microscopic slide. If the discharge releases a very fishy smell, then it means the whiff test is positive for BV.

 

The vagina is normally acidic in order to counteract bacterial growth. The swab is also put on litmus paper to check for its acidity. If the determined pH is higher than 4.5, then it means the discharge is very alkaline, a characteristic of bacterial vaginosis.

 

Another test the swab will have to undergo is the clue cell tests. Just like the whiff test, a new substance will be slightly added to the discharge, only this time it is sodium chloride. These clue cells only show up whenever epithelial cells make themselves visible under the microscope.

 

Scabies

 

Scabies is much more popular with the tag “the itch”. This disease is a very contagious infection of the skin that involves an ectoparasite. This kind of parasite burrows into the skin, and causes intense itching, otherwise known as pruritus. The mite Sarcoptes Scabiei causes scabies.

 

Symptoms

 

When patients exhibit certain symptoms, the doctor can immediately proceed to diagnosing the condition with scabies. Such symptoms include intense itching, superficial burrows, signs of secondary infection, and generalized rash.

 

Adults characterize these, while infants show their version of scabies differently. For infants, they exhibit blisters or pustules on both the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, a condition medically referred to as acropustulosis.

 

The skin shows markings that are in the form of the letter S. These tracks are oftentimes with some tiny bite-like marks that are called nodules, which initially look like pimples. These symptoms are usually found in the buttocks, interdigital spaces of the fingers and toes, waist portion, axillary area, crevices of the abdomen, genitals and also under the breasts for the women.

 

The itching, on the other hand, is brought about by the allergic reaction of the body to the burrows the mites create. These rashes are usually increased for people who are immuno-compromised, like those who are HIV-positive or the elderly.

 

Pubic lice

 

Pubic lice are called, in slang language, crabs. They are referred to by many as such because of their crab-like look when looked under a microscope. Actually, just like any other louse, public lice are six-legged insects that are microscopic and usually choose to live in the pubic hair.

 

In most cases, this illness is transmitted via sexual intercourse, but it can actually be spread with other methods too. With this in mind, people, both male and female, should be extra careful when handling the clothes, bed sheets and towels that have been used by the infected person.

 

Luckily, however, public lice usually disappear with home treatment. But then again, if a single person inside the house has pubic lice, then certain precautions must be taken to avoid its spread.

 

Symptoms

 

For many, pubic lice exhibit very little symptoms. But what is perhaps the most present and definitive symptom with pubic lice is the underlying itchiness. The pruritus tends to get a lot worse at night because the lice are nocturnal creatures. They seem to be a lot more active at night. They bury themselves inside the follicles of the pubic hair so that they could feed on the blood.

Who Is At Risk for STDs

Although it is nice to know that people nowadays are equal in this world, the same cannot be said when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases. Actually, the truth is, not every person is at an equal risk when it comes to getting STD’s simply because different individuals live their lives differently.

 

Those who choose to remain virgins until their date of marriage are at a low risk of having STD, while those who have had a rate of five varied sexual partners a night will have an incredible high percentage of getting one.

 

Having sex with no protection

 

It is a fact that condoms are not 100% guarantees that the person who will have sexual intercourse will not have STD. However, they are very effective when it comes to the avoidance of getting infected, since there is a rubber sheath protecting both genitalia from each other.

 

Condoms do not entirely prevent occurrence of STD’s, but they have certainly reduced the transmission rate. With this said, the use of condoms must be done as a habit.

 

Having sex with multiple partners

 

The more people a person has sex with, the higher the possibility of acquiring an STD. Another sad part of this scenario is that sociologically, those who choose to have sexual intercourse with multiple partners know that each of their multiple partners have multiple partners as well, and the cycle goes on and on. Basically, the infection is being passed from one partner to another.

 

The best solution to this dilemma is to remain monogamous.

 

Having sex at an early age

 

The youth are more at risk for having an STD, as compared to adults. First of all, young ladies are more susceptible to STD’s biologically because they have a smaller body, which means they usually experience a lot of tearing during sexual intercourse. Also, their cervixes are not yet fully developed. This makes them at risk for gonorrhea and Chlamydia specifically.

 

Another reason is perhaps the curiosity of the teenagers. Their curiosity pushes them to sexual risk-taking, which makes them less likely to use condoms, especially when drunk and with lots of sexual partners.

 

Getting drunk

 

Contrary to what many might think, drinking of alcohol is actually a bad thing for someone’s sex life. First of all, those who tend to get high drunk usually end up in bed with someone they do not know. This is the result of the fact that alcohol certainly does lower inhibitions.

 

Using of illegal drugs

 

Since practicing safe sexual practices relies greatly on the decision-making ability of the person’s brain, this activity will then be difficult, if not impossible, for someone who has become addicted to illegal drugs.

 

Those who are under the influence of illegal drugs tend to get risky with their sexual behavior. Aside from losing inhibitions, the injection part of the drug use also increases the risk of the transmission of HIV and hepatitis.

 

Having sex for money

 

Examples of those who allow themselves to be used sexually in exchange for money are prostitutes. With this said, it is very unlikely that they have the will and the empowerment to actually set some rules when it comes to condom use and other preventive measures.

 

Living inside a community with high occurrence of STD’s

 

Those who reside in villages or towns that have a high prevalence of any form of STD’s, makes the residents more at risk of being exposed to a specific type of STD.

 

Serial monogamy

 

As opposed to those who have multiple sex partners, some only see one individual at a time, but still seeing an awfully large number of people when added every year. What is much more dangerous with this kind situation is that both parties tend to let go of practicing safer sex, thinking that they are in an exclusive sexual relationship.

 

Present STD infection

 

There are different types of STD’s and having just one of them makes the person even more susceptible to acquiring the other types. When the skin is blistered, irritated or inflamed, pathogens find it a lot easier to infect.

 

Using of birth control pills

 

There are lots of different kinds of contraceptive measures. However, choosing only one as the sole method of contraception is not much of a good idea. For instance, pills might prevent the terrifying pregnancy scare, but the couple tends to choose not to use condoms anymore.

 

Although pregnancy is avoided, the risk for getting an STD is increased.

Treatments and Prevention

Prevention is better than the cure.

 

Just like any other disease, prevention is most definitely the key as it is a lot better than the cure. Basically, it is much easier and simpler to prevent the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases or STD’s, as compared to actually treating them. The only 100% guaranteed method of STD prevention is complete abstinence from all the different kinds of sexual contact.

 

However, for those who think that abstaining is close to impossible for them, they should always have condoms with them wherever they go.

 

Regular medical exams

 

For those who are very active with their sex lives, they must get themselves examined gynecologically at regular intervals for women. For men, on the other hand, they should also have their regular male genitalia exams.

 

These must be done simply because it gives the physicians an opportunity to teach their patients about the different forms of STD’s and also about self-protection. The exams also give the doctors the opportunity to check for the presence of STD’s, especially if they are still in their treatable phase.

 

If they really want such doctor-patient relationship to work and be productive, they have to be extremely honest with their physicians. For instance, they have to tell their doctor whether or not they are thinking of sleeping with someone or if they have long been having sexual intercourse in the past. And this goes with all kinds of sexual contact, namely, anal, vaginal and oral.

 

Do not get embarrassed.

 

One of the main reasons why most STD’s are left unreported is the fact that those who are infected get embarrassed and opt not to seek medical care. This is a wrong perception. Not seeing a physician immediately allows the specific STD to progress to a more debilitating state and cause further damaging complications.

 

However, if the infected individual does not have a doctor in mind or family doctor, then he or she can always go to a local clinic where she can have some tests done with confidentiality.

 

In most national and local organizations, there are STD hotline operators who are very knowledgeable with almost every case. Simply call them and ask them, and they will be glad to be of service by answering questions and providing referrals.

 

Do not be mistaken.

 

When the genitals are infected, this does not necessarily mean the individual already has a particular type of STD. For instance, some women have yeast infections, which is not an STD. However, with its symptoms, it can be easily mistaken as an STD. This is why seeing and consulting medical help is the best answer in such situations.

 

For the men, most get close to hysterical after palpating a few bumps on their penis, thinking that they have acquired an STD. But actually, it is only a nasty case of irritated hair follicles or pimples growing on the most unlikely places.

 

Still, however, if an STD still develops after every precaution has been taken, then it must be treated right away with the right medications and surgical procedures.

 

Antibiotics or Antimicrobials

 

Most of the time, pathogens develop their ability to outsmart today’s antibiotics. When this happens, a different medication is then prescribed. To counteract the rising resistance of many strains of bacteria to medications, pharmaceutical manufacturers are doing their best in creating new and more effective antibiotics.

 

Medications: Metronidazole

 

Metronidazole is not a common type of antibiotic. It battles sexually transmitted diseases that are caused by non-oxygen-dependent bacteria, otherwise known as anaerobic pathogens. Aside from the bacteria, it also kills protozoa.

 

Surgical procedures

 

Completely curing the HPV is somewhat close to impossible at the moment. But still, the underlying symptoms of an HPV infection can be treated and cured. For instance, the lesions and the warts that come along with HPV can be frozen via cold cautery (cauterization.) With cold cautery, the tissues that surround the specific are frozen.

 

Laser surgery can also be performed. Instead of freezing the tissue, it is burned using light that has very high intensity. Another surgical procedure is the LEEP or the loop electrosurgical excision procedures. With this procedure, the tissue is completely removed by using a hot wire loop.

Filed under: List of Diseases

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