Sexually transmitted disease

What is STD and How it is Treated?

Sexually transmitted disease

The term sexually transmitted disease (STD) is used to explain a condition that is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. You can contract an STD by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the STD.

An STD can also be called a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or venereal disease (VD).

That doesn’t mean sex is that the only way STDs are transmitted. Based on their types, STDs can also be transmitted through sharing needles and breastfeeding.

What are the types Of STDs?

Many different sorts of infections are often transmitted sexually. The most common STDs are described below.

Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and it is the most commonly reported STD among Americans.

Many people with chlamydia do not report any noticeable symptoms. When symptoms do develop, they often include:

  • pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • green or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina
  • pain within the lower abdomen

If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to:

  • infections of the urethra, prostate or testicles
  • pelvic disease
  • infertility

If a pregnant woman has untreated chlamydia, she can pass it on to her baby during birth. The baby may develop further complications because of it like:

  • pneumonia
  • eye infections
  • blindness

Antibiotics can easily treat chlamydia.

HPV

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus which can pass on from one person to another through intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. There are various strains of the virus. Some are more dangerous than others.

The most common symptom of HPV is warts on genitals, mouth or throat.

Some strains of HPV infection can cause cancer including:

  • oral cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • vulvar cancer
  • penile cancer
  • rectal cancer

While most cases of HPV don’t become cancerous, some strains of the virus are more likely to cause cancer than others.

The warts can be treated through medication but there is no treatment for HPV. However, there is a vaccine available to guard against a number of most dangerous strains, including HPV 16 and HPV 18.

If you contract HPV, proper testing and screenings can help your doctor assess and manage your risk of complications. Doctors can also diagnose HPV by examining warts. If warts are internal, different tests are available to diagnose the disease.

Syphilis
Syphilis is another bacterial infection. It often goes unnoticed in its early stages.

The first symptom to be noticed is a small round sore, referred to as a chancre. It can develop on your genitals, anus, or mouth. It is painless but very infectious.

Later symptoms of syphilis can include:

  • rash
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • weight loss
  • hair loss

A tensed woman

If left untreated, late-stage syphilis can lead to:

  • loss of vision
  • loss of hearing
  • loss of memory
  • mental illness
  • infections of the brain or medulla spinalis
  • heart disease
  • death

Fortunately, if caught early enough, syphilis can successfully be treated with antibiotics. However, syphilis infection in a newborn is often fatal. That’s why it is important for all pregnant women to be screened for syphilis.

The earlier syphilis is diagnosed and treated, the less damage it causes.

HIV

HIV can damage the immune system and increases the danger of contracting other viruses or bacteria and certain cancers. If left untreated, it can become stage 3 HIV which is referred to as AIDS. New developments in treatment have many living with HIV without ever developing AIDS.

In the early stages, it’s easy to mistake the symptoms of HIV with those of the flu. For instance, the first symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • body pains

sn unwell person

  • swollen lymph nodes
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • nausea
  • rashes

These initial symptoms typically clear within a month. From that time onward, an individual can carry HIV without developing serious or persistent symptoms for several years. People may develop nonspecific symptoms such as:

  • recurrent fatigue
  • fevers
  • headaches
  • stomach issues

There’s no cure for HIV yet, but treatment options are available to manage it. Early and effective treatment can help people with HIV live as long as those without HIV.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another common bacterial STD. It is also referred to as “the clap.”

Many people with gonorrhea develop no symptoms but when present, symptoms may include:

  • a white, yellow, beige, or green-colored discharge from the penis or vagina
  • pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • more frequent urination than usual
  • itching round the genitals
  • sore throat

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to:

  • infections of the urethra, prostate or testicles
  • pelvic disease
  • infertility

It’s possible for a mother to pass gonorrhea onto a newborn during childbirth. When that happens, gonorrhea can cause serious health problems in the baby. That’s why many doctors encourage pregnant women to be tested and treated for potential stds.

Gonorrhea can usually be treated with antibiotics.

Pubic lice (‘crabs’)

“Crabs” is another name for pubic lice. They are tiny insects which take up residence in pubic hair . Like head lice and body lice, they prey on human blood.

Common symptoms of pubic lice include:

  • itching round the genitals or anus
  • small pink or red bumps round the genitals or anus
  • low-grade fever
  • lack of energy
  • irritability

pubic disease

You might even see the lice or their tiny white eggs around the roots of your pubic hair. A hand glass can assist you to spot them.

If left untreated, pubic lice can spread to people through skin-to-skin contact or shared clothing, bedding, or towels. Scratched bites can also become infected. It is best to treat pubic lice infestations immediately.

If you’ve got pubic lice, you should use over-the-counter topical treatments and tweezers to get rid of them from your body. It is also important to wash your clothes, bedding, towels and home.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is also referred to as “trich.” It is caused by a small protozoan organism which can be passed on from one person to another through genital contact.

When symptoms do develop, they’ll include:

  • discharge from the vagina or penis
  • burning or itching round the vagina or penis
  • pain or discomfort during urination or sex
  • frequent urination

In women, trich-related discharge often has an unpleasant or “fishy” smell.

If left untreated, trich can lead to:

  • infections of the urethra
  • pelvic disease
  • infertility

Trich are often treated with antibiotics.

Herpes
Herpes is  the shortened name for the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two main strains of the virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both are often transmitted sexually. It’s a really common STD.

HSV-1 primarily causes herpes labialis, which is liable for cold sores. However, HSV-1 can also be passed from one person’s mouth to another person’s genitals during oral sex. When this happens, HSV-1 can cause herpes genitalis .

HSV-2 primarily causes herpes genitalis .

The most common symptom of herpes is blistery sores. In the case of herpes genitalis, these sores develop on or around the genitals. In herpes labialis, they develop on or around the mouth.

Herpes sores generally crust over and heal within a couple of weeks. The primary outbreak is typically the most painful. Outbreaks typically subside in pain and frequency over time.

If a pregnant woman has herpes, she can potentially pass it to on to her fetus within the womb or to her neonate during childbirth. This so-called congenital herpes are often very dangerous to newborns. That’s why it is beneficial for pregnant women to become conscious of their HSV status.

There’s no cure for herpes yet. But medications are available to control outbreaks and alleviate the pain of herpes sores. Medications can also lower your chances of passing herpes to your sexual partner.

Effective treatment and safe sexual practices can assist you to lead life with herpes and protect others from the virus.

Curable STDs

Many STDs are curable. The following STDs are often cured with antibiotics or other treatments:

  1. chlamydia
  2. syphilis
  3. gonorrhea
  4. crabs
  5. trichomoniasis

Others can’t be cured including:

  1. HPV
  2. HIV
  3. herpes

What is the relationship of STDs and Pregnancy?

pregnant woman

It’s possible for pregnant women to transmit STDs to their fetus during pregnancy or newborn during childbirth. In newborns, STDs can cause complications. In some cases, they can be life-threatening.

To help prevent STDs in newborns, doctors often encourage pregnant women to be tested and treated for potential STDs. Your doctor might recommend STD testing even if you don’t have symptoms.

If you test positive for one or more STDs while pregnant, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications, or other treatments. In some cases, they might advise you to give birth via a cesarean delivery to lower the danger of transmission during childbirth.

How are STDs diagnosed?

In most cases, doctors can’t diagnose STDs supported by symptoms alone. If your doctor or other healthcare provider suspects you with a possibility of an STD, they’ll likely recommend tests to confirm.

Depending on your sexual history, your healthcare provider might recommend STD testing even if you don’t have symptoms. This is often because STDs don’t cause noticeable symptoms in many cases. But even symptom-free STDs can cause damage and/or pass on to people.

Healthcare providers can diagnose most STDs employing a urine or biopsy. They can also take a swab test of your genitals. If you’ve developed any sores, they’ll take swabs of those too.

What is the treatment of STDs?

The recommended treatment for STDs varies depending on what STD you’ve got. It is vital that you and your sexual partner should successfully be treated for STDs before resuming sexual intercourse. Otherwise, you can pass an infection back and forth between you.

Is it possible to prevent contracting STDs?

Avoiding sexual contact is the only fool proof way to avoid STDs. There are safer ways to engage in sexual activity in order to avoid contracting and spreading it.

When used properly, condoms provide effective protection against many STDs. For optimal protection, it is important to use condoms during vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Condoms are generally effective at preventing STDs that spread through fluids, like semen or blood. But they can’t fully protect against STDs that spread from skin to skin. If your condom doesn’t cover the infected area of the skin, you can contract an STD or pass it on to your partner.

If your partner tests positive for an STD, it is important for them to follow their healthcare provider’s recommended treatment plan. You can also ask your doctor about strategies to guard yourself from contracting that STD from your partner.

For instance, if your partner has HIV, your doctor will likely encourage you to require pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). If you’re eligible, you and your partner should also consider getting vaccinated for HPV.

By following these strategies, you’ll lower your chances of getting STDs and passing them to others. Learn more about the importance of sexual activity and STD prevention.

consulting a doctor

Is it possible to live with STDs?

If you test positive for an STD, it’s important to start treatment as soon as possible. If you’ve got an STD, it can often increase your chances of contracting another. Some STDs can also cause severe consequences if left untreated. In rare cases, untreated STDs may even be fatal.

Fortunately, most STDs are highly treatable. In some cases, they will be cured entirely. In other cases, early and effective treatment can help relieve symptoms, lower your risk of complications, and protect sexual partners.

Following your doctor’s recommended treatment and prevention plan can help improve your long-term outlook on life with STDs.

 

 

 

 

 

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