SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDs)
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDs) They are also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or (VD) venereal diseases. They are infections that are passed from one person to another via sexual contact. Some of the STDs, however, can be spread from mother to infant at childbirth or breastfeeding, sharing unsterilized drug needles, and through blood transfusions. People transmit microorganisms that live in the skin or genitals mucous membranes. This is because the genital areas are mostly moist and always warm hence makes it ideal for inhibition of viruses, bacteria, and growth of yeasts. These infectious organisms move between people via semen, blood or vaginal secretions during unprotected sexual intercourse. THE MOST COMMON STDs1. Chlamydia Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis). Chlamydia is the most frequent bacterial STD. Chlamydia is a very common bacterial infection and is most common among the ages of 14-25. Chlamydia spreads among people through vaginal, oral, and anal sex. It infects the penis, urethra, vagina, anus, cervix, eyes, and throat. The symptoms of chlamydia do not show in most people. It can go without being treated hence get regular STD testing. If it is not treated it can be a major problem and lead to more health problems. Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics.
Symptoms in Men:
-Burning sensation and itching at the tip of the penis
-Pain during urination
-Mild pain in the lower abdomen
Symptoms in Women:
-Vaginal discharge with an odor
-Pain during sex
-Pain when urinating
-Changes in vaginal discharge
-Mild pain in the lower abdomen
Symptoms chlamydia is not treated:
-Pain in the pelvis for both
-Pain during sexual intercourse in both cases
-Causes bleeding in between periods for women
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The chlamydia symptoms
Chancroid is caused by bacteria called streptobacillus Haemophilus ducreyi. Chancroid is also called Ulcus Molle and soft chancre. Chancroid causes painful genital sores. It is spread only through sexual contact.
Chancroid infection increases the risk of a person getting other STDs like HIV. The infection is cured with antibiotics. Chancroid is treated with erythromycin; a 7-day course or azithromycin; single oral dose, or ceftriaxone; single dose.
Chancroid open sores
Symptoms -Painful pus-filled bumps on the penis
-Pus-filled open sores -Painful ulcer and with a yellowish and gray material -Painful pus-filled bumps in the woman’s genital area -Swollen lymph nodes -Pain in the groin -Painful ulcer and with a yellowish and gray material -Bleeding ulcer if the base is grazed -Women may have at least four ulcers and men have just one
-Males who are uncircumcised have the ulcer at the back of the glans penis -Females have the ulcers on the labia minora 3. Genital herpes
Genital herpes is as a result of a virus called Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). The virus is of two types.
Known as herpes type 1, the virus spreads easily through kissing and is not usually an STD. it can, however, be spread to the genitals when there is contact with someone who is infected either through oral or genital.
Painful and cold sores on lips occasionally may be because of HSV-1. There is no cure but there are preventive measures and use of antiviral drugs to clear the symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
-Cold sores or blisters on the lips
-Small blisters or sores on the genitals
It is known as herpes type 2, causes the most cases of genital herpes. It is highly contagious. It spreads through sexual intercourse or directly getting in contact with a herpes sore. As is the case with HSV-1, there is also no cure. Antiviral drugs are used to curb outbreaks aid in clearing up symptoms.
-Painful fluid-filled blisters
-Crusted genital sores
-Sores on anus, thighs, and buttocks
-Sores on the lips through oral contact Herpes is a very chronic condition. HSV-2 occurs through oral, vaginal, or anal sex while HSV-1 is commonly transmitted through kissing or from sharing straws or utensils. The virus may remain dormant in most cases after infection and not show symptoms.
Genital herpes symptoms include:
-Blisters and ulcers on the cervix
-Pain when urinating
Syphilis is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. It is transmitted through sexual contact. A pregnant woman infected with syphilis can pass it on to her baby. In most cases, this results in stillbirths or congenital deformities.
After initial infection, the symptoms syphilis manifests in stages after an incubation period. The average incubation period is about 21 days but can take between 9 and 90 days. Every stage of syphilis has distinctive characteristic signs and symptoms. The manifestation of syphilis symptoms is different in people; some may show no symptoms while others will experience them mildly.
The bacterium can still remain in the body after clearing the symptoms and can cause extreme health problems like paralysis and blindness. Syphilis is cured with antibiotics.
Signs and Symptoms
The first common sign of syphilis is a painless, round sore on the genitals or the anus.
-Rash on soles and palms or other body parts
-The late stages of syphilis, the symptoms arise due to damages to vital organs like the heart, liver, brain, nerves, and eyes. Image: “Examples Of Syphilis” [https://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/std_overview_slideshow/werbmd_rm_photo_of_syphilis_infections.jpg]
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterial infection that usually attacks mucous membranes. The bacterium is known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhea is also called the clap or the drip. The bacterium inhibits the warmer and moist body cavities and it is highly contagious.
Any contract with gonorrhea is risky because of the ease of spreading the bacteria to other parts of the body. An accidental rub of the eyes can spread the infection to the eyes and prolong period the treatment. If gonorrhea is left untreated it can lead to infertility to both men and women. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection. Image: “Collage Of Gonorrhea Infections” [https://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/std_overview_slideshow/webmd_rm_photo_of_gonorrhea_infections.jpg]
The symptoms of gonorrhea manifest in between 2 to 10 days after the initial infection. It can be easily mistaken for other diseases like a yeast infection because of the mild symptoms.
-Burning sensation when urinating and during discharge
-Skin rashes that can spread to the joints
-Anal itching if the rectum is infected
-Painful bowel movements
-A burning sensation in the throat
-A green, yellow or white discharge from the penis
-Inflammation of the urethra, prostate gland, or epididymis
-A discharge from the vagina and pelvic pain
-Causes the (PID) pelvic inflammatory disease in females if left untreated
-Spotting in females after sexual intercourse
-The vulva or vulvitis swelling
-Bleeding in between periods
Scabies is caused by Sarcoptes Scabiei. It is mite that burrows into the human skin and lay eggs there and then causes scabby a contagious skin condition. It is highlighted in the human body by skin rashes and extreme itching. Scabies rate of spread is very high. Mostly lack of proper personal hygiene is linked causing scabies. It is transmitted through body contact not only contact during sexual intercourse but even holding hands for long with a person with scabies. It is also transmitted through sharing clothes or a bed with an infected person.
-Skin rash – red spots, called burrow marks from the mites. They mostly appear around the elbows, wrists, and in between fingers and toes.
-Women may have the rash around the nipples
-Men may have the rash near the genitals.
-Intense itching that worsens at night or after a hot shower.
-Crusty sores when the rash is scratched
-It is not common but the rash can appear on the ankles, buttocks, armpits, groin, neck, waist, and knees.
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- HIV and AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is one of the leading killers when it comes to STDs. The virus attacks the body immune system and weakness it. This leaves the body vulnerable to other infections and diseases.
HIV can be transmitted through semen, blood, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, and breast milk. HIV is therefore transmitted through sexual contact that in any way leads to sharing fluids, blood to blood contact, breastfeeding, childbirth, sharing needles, razor blades and syringes and blood transfusions.
There is no cure but continued treatment reduces the amount of the virus in the body to extremely low levels that are undetectable during blood tests. If HIV goes without being treated, it reaches stage 3 which is called AIDS which is fatal. AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is the condition caused by HIV after it has caused extreme damage to the body immune system. The AIDS condition is complex and its symptoms vary with different people.
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HIV symptoms can take months or years to reveal. Getting tested is the sure way to determine your status.
The symptoms after two-three months after infection
-Swollen Lymph glands
- Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is one of the most dangerous STDs. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B transmitted through contact with infected semen, blood or body fluids. HBV is passed on among humans through unprotected sex, sharing unsterilized syringe, needles and blades, infected breast milk and getting bitten by an infected person.
It damages the liver permanently if left untreated. The liver swells can even lead to cancer, Hepatitis B can sometimes be chronic.
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-Pain in the belly
-Urine that is dark in color
Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite; a protozoan known as Trichomonas vaginalis. It affects both sexes but women are likely to experience more symptoms. Image: “Trichomonas vaginalis, Viewed Under SEM” [https://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/std_overview_slideshow/princ_rm_photo_of_trichomoniasis_parasite.jpg]
Mostly for women, it affects the vagina and for men, it is the urethra. It is transmitted through sexual intercourse or vulva to vulva contact.
-Vaginal discharge and odor
-Pain when having sexual intercourse
-Pain during urination
- Molluscum contagiosum
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that is highly contagious. The disease manifests through bumps the skin. They clear up if left untreated but can take up to 2 years. Clinically the bumps are removed with chemicals, by freezing them or an electrical current. Also, there are prescription medicines that will get rid of the growths. There are four types of this infection:
MCV-1 is the most common type MCV-2 is the type most commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse MCV-3 MCV-4
Small and round bumps on the skin
11.Human papillomavirus (HPV) or Genital Warts
The spread HPV can be through any skin contact not only sex. Human Papillomavirus is a group of viruses. It affects the skin and mucous membranes, like the throat, anus, cervix, and mouth. The virus can lead to abnormal cell growth and in extreme cases cause anal or cervical cancer.
There are more than 100 types of HPV, and about 40 affect the genitalia. Vaccines are used to protect against the most dangerous virus. HPV is commonly transmitted via vaginal, anal sex or oral sex. Can be transmitted also through mother to child.
Signs and Symptoms
Genital warts have no symptoms however the sign that manifest it is pink or flesh-colored warts
- Pubic lice
Pubic lice mainly spread through sexual contact. It is also known as crabs. It manifests as small parasites that attach to the skin and the hair near the genitals. It is not dangerous, is easily treated. They are transmitted through skin contact.
The lice mostly attach to the pubic hair. Sometimes they can also be found attached in the armpits, beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows. The lice feed on human blood.
Signs and Symptoms
-Eggs on pubic hair
Prevention of STDs
The spread of STDs infections can be prevented through the following ways;
-Safe sex using condoms
-Practicing monogamy to one uninfected partner
-Vaccinations to protect you from those caused by HPV and hepatitis B
-Testing before sexual intercourse with a new partner
-sex education and creating awareness
-Abstaining from sex
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeast. There are over 20 types of STDs and mostly they are transmitted among persons through sexual contact. They can also be transmitted through other means so it is possible to be infected with STD without engaging in sexual intercourse. STDs affect both men and women but in some, the effects can be more severe on women than men. Those caused by bacteria, yeast, and parasites are treated using antibiotics. The STDs caused by viruses have no cure but they can be prevented and managed.