SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES OR INFECTIONS

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES OR INFECTIONS


The term sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or infections are generally defined as a condition passed from one person to another through sexual contact by having unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who has STD. However, STD can also be transmitted without sexual contact such as sharing needles, mother to child during pregnancy or during parturition or breastfeeding, or through blood transfusion. Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by disease causing vectors is agents like bacteria, viruses or parasites which could be passed through blood, semen , vagina or other body fluids.
Concise medical dictionary defined STD as any disease transmitted by sexual intercourse, formerly known as venereal disease. STDs include AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, some Chlamydia infections, genital herpes, and soft sore. The medical specialty concerned with STDs is genitourinary medicine.

 

Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms and signs are not always manifested by infected individuals, healthy person may be the one transmitting STDs to another person. However, there are range of signs and symptoms which may indicate STD or STI and may appear after few days of exposure or take years before manifestation. They include;
• Sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area
• Painful or burning urination
• Discharge from the penis
• Unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge
• Unusual vaginal bleeding
• Pain during sex
• Sore and swollen lymph nodes
• Lower abdominal pain
• Fever
• Rash over the trunk, hands or feet
• Unusual bleeding from the penis
• Painful or swollen testicles
• Rashes around the penis, testicles and other genital parts
• Genital warts
• Pruritus around the genitalia

Causes
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be caused by:
• Bacteria as seen in syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia and others
• Parasites
• Viruses such as genital herpes, human immunodeficiency virus, human papillomavirus and others

 

Risk factors

Unprotected Sex: This is the most commonest risk factor. Coitus without preventive measures like latex condom significantly increases the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection or diseases.
• Multiple Sexual Partners: Having more than one sexual partner is a major risk of getting infected with any of the STDs.
• Previous history of STIs. Anyone with previous history of any tyoe of sexually transmitted infections could easily get infected to other STIs die to their immune compression status. one STI makes it much easier for another STI to take hold.
• Rape or Assault: It’s always a general advice for victims of rape or sexual assault, to visit a doctor immediately after the event, for screening.
• Heavy Alcohol: Drug abuse like alcohol could make you irrational and participate in risky behaviors, this exposing you to infections like STIs.
• Over the counter drugs: Men who ask their doctors for prescriptions for drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio), tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca) and vardenafil (Levitra) have higher rates of STIs.

 

Complications
Possible complications include:
• Pelvic pain
• Pregnancy complications
• Eye inflammation
• Arthritis
• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Infertility
• Heart disease
• Certain cancers, such as HPV-associated cervical and rectal cancers

 

TYPES of STDs / STIs
There are various types of STDs. The following are some types and written as defined by the Concise Medical Dictionary

Chlamydia:
a genus of Gram-negative bacteria that are obligate intracellular parasites in humans and other animals, in which they cause disease. Chlamydia psittaci causes psittacosis, and C. trachomatis is the causative agent of the eye disease trachoma. Some strains of Chlamydia, especially C. trachomatis, are a common cause of sexually transmitted infections, being responsible for nonspecific urethritis in men, pelvic inflammatory disease in women, and inclusion conjunctivitis in the newborn.

Syphilis:
A sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, resulting in the formation of lesions throughout the body. Bacteria usually enter the body during sexual intercourse, through the mucous membranes of the vagina or urethra, but they may rarely be transmitted through wounds in the skin or scratches. Bacteria may also pass from an infected pregnant woman across the placenta to the developing fetus, resulting in the disease being present at birth (congenital syphilis).

HIV
(human immunodeficiency virus) a retrovirus responsible for AIDS. There are two varieties, HIV-1 and HIV-2; the latter is most common in Africa.

Human Papillomavirus
(HPV) a virus – a member of the papovavirus group – that causes warts, including genital warts. There are over 50 strains of HPV: certain strains are considered to be causative factors in the development of anal and genital cancers, especially cervical cancer, but additional factors are necessary before the cells become malignant. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. In women the presence of HPV may be detected on colposcopic examination, although techniques using DNA amplification (see polymerase chain reaction) give more accurate results and suggest that up to 40% of a normal, apparently healthy, female population may harbor these viruses.

Other types include, herpes virus, Trichomoniasis, scabies, chancroid, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma and others.

 

 

PREVENTION
Includes;
• Abstinence from unprotected sex
• Avoid multiple Sexual Partners
• Get vaccinated
• Know your status

TREATMENT:
Fortunately, there are treatment for many transmitted sexual diseases. Some like HPV and HIV are yet curable but could be managed. For more management or treatment, visit your physician as soon as possible. Early diagnosis has high prognosis.

GET TESTED AND KNOW YOUR STATUS TODAY !!!