Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Overview of sexually transmitted diseases

Unprotected sexual activities can lead to numerous clinical complications within the human body. Several diseases may occur under these conditions, which may eventually lead to death. The most common disorders of the aforementioned category are “Sexually Transmitted Diseases” which may affect both men and women (engaging in sexual activities) equally. These diseases mainly arise due to unguarded sexual interactions with an infected partner or having multiple sexual partners. At present, the global burden of sexually transmitted diseases is very high. According to epidemiological studies by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 498 million people within the age bracket of 15-49 are affected with different types of sexually transmitted diseases annually. This is contributing to the global morbidity and mortality rates in the recent years.

 

What are sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases condomsSexually transmitted diseases, also called venereal diseases are a class of clinical syndromes and infections that are mediated by pathogens (viral, bacterial or fungal) pathogens residing on the skin, in the body fluids such as vaginal fluid, semen or blood. These pathogens can be transmitted from one person to another via sexual contact, blood transfer or placental connections. These diseases usually affect the reproductive and urinary systems and in extreme cases, the lymphatic system as well. These diseases often progress within the body and may affect different vital organs, leading to death. The commonly observed sexually transmitted diseases are – AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome), Syphilis, Chancroid, Gonorrhoea, and Bacterial vaginosis. It is to be noted that sexually transmitted diseases may spread due to both consensual and non-consensual sexual intercourse.

 

Causes and risk factors of sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are induced via different infectious pathogens (viral, bacterial or fungal). The general causes of sexually transmitted diseases are described below-

  • Bacterial agents such as Neisseria, Hemophilus, Salmonella, Shigella, Chlamydia and Mycoplasma
  • Viral pathogens such as HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), Herpes Simplex virus and Hepatitis B virus.
  • Protozoal species such as Trichomonas, Entamoeba and Giardia.
  • Fungal pathogens like Candida
  • Parasitic agents like Sarcoptes or Phthirus
  • The peak age of sexual activities, mainly between 15 to 24 years of age
  • Sexual abuse
  • Polygamous sexual activities (multiple sex partners)
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Sexual intercourse with an infected partner
  • Blood transfusion (being injected with the blood of a donor infected with sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Placental connection or breastfeeding by an infected mother (mother to child transmission or vertical transmission)
  • Sharing of contaminated needles (mainly for drug injection)
  • Gender may be responsible to a certain extent (men are more prone to Gonorrhoea than women)
  • Few ethnic groups are more susceptible (African Americans) to sexually transmitted diseases than others ( Hispanics and Asians)

 

Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually Transmitted DiseasesSexually transmitted diseases are manifested through the following symptoms-

  • Burning sensation during urinating
  • Itchy skin with blisters ( Pruritis)
  • Formation of sores, blisters, ulcers or lumps on the genital organs
  • Abnormal genital discharge with obnoxious odor
  • Warts on the skin or genitals
  • Infections (mostodorngal) in nails
  • Inflammation of skin around the lips (Cheilitis)
  • Pain in the lower abdomen (mainly in women) and pelvic region
  • Formation of reddish patches on the gums accompanied by secretions (Gingival Erythema)
  • Vaginal bleeding after sex
  • Painful intercourse
  • Dilated blood capillaries
  • Swelling of parotid glands and tonsils
  • Malnutrition and anemia
  • Pneumonia and associated respiratory problems
  • Tumor growths (can progress to sarcoma)
  • Skin eruptions and dermatitis
  • Shingles (due to inflammation of nerve ganglia)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Rough whitened patches on the tongue surface and inner linings of the mouth (Leukoplakia)
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases

 

Types of sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are mainly categorized into the following types-

  • AIDS: It is mediated by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which is present in the blood, vaginal fluid or semen of the infected person. It is spread through anal, vaginal or oral sexual interactions. The HIV virus mainly invades the human body through breaks in the skin and attacks the white blood cells responsible for fighting diseases. AIDS may also spread through sharing of infected needles, transfusion of contaminated blood or organ (infected) transplants.
  • Chlamydia: Chlamydia infection can affect the reproductive capacity of both men and women (infertility) and may also lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases.
  • Gonorrhea: It is caused by the Gonococcus species and can transmit via vaginal, anal or oral sex activities. It may be manifested as the discharge of pus from genitals in men (few days after sex). A sore throat, rectal discharge, and irritation may also be observed.
  • Syphilis: It is usually transmitted through sores of an infected person. In the early stages, canker sores appear on the anus, penis, cervix or mouth. In the later stages, sores develop on the hands and feet also.
  • Genital Herpes: It is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV1 or HSV2). Formation of sores occurs along with flu-like symptoms, within 2-21 days of sex with an infected person. After 1-3 weeks the scabs are formed and the sores heal slowly, but the virus remains in a latent state within the patient’s body.
  • Candidiasis: Candidiasis occurs due to yeast infection in the penis, vagina and anal portion, due to abnormalities in the functions of bacteria that control the quantity of yeast in these regions. It is characterized by thick discharge, itchy rashes, and painful intercourse.
  • Bacterial vaginosis: It occurs due to loss of balance between harmful and helpful bacteria which reside in the vagina. Sticky foul-smelling vaginal discharge results accompanied by pain during urination.

 

Diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases need to be diagnosed in the early stages in order to prevent death. The following diagnostic tests are usually recommended-

  • Genital swabs
  • Urine test
  • Blood tests
  • Pap tests

Treatment and prevention

Sexually Transmitted Diseases typesAIDS 

Treatment – Since there is no cure for this STD, there are medications that can help block the virus from spreading. These medications come under antiretroviral therapy (ART).

  • Medications to block a protein that is required by the HIV virus to duplicate itself are prescribed.
  • Medications to make defected building block on which HIV virus needs to duplicate itself are prescribed.
  • Protease is a protein that HIV virus needs to make copies of itself. Medications to inhibit these proteins are prescribed.
  • Medications to block the HIV virus from entering the CD4 T cells (immune system cell that is affected by STDs) are prescribed.

Prevention 

  • Use protection while partaking in intercourse.
  • If you are a drug user, use a sterile and clean needle.

Chlamydia 

Treatment 

  • Antibiotics are prescribed to those who have been diagnosed with chlamydia.
  • The infection generally takes 2-3 days to go away.
  • Abstaining from sexual intercourse upon being diagnosed is advised, as engaging in sexual intercourse will spread the infection.

Prevention 

  • Practice safe sexual intercourse.
  • Get an STD screening done regularly.
  • Limit the number of sexual partners.

Gonorrhea 

Treatment 

  • Antibiotics are prescribed to those who have been diagnosed with gonorrhea.
  • In case, one partner has gonorrhea, the other partner needs to get tested and treated as well. The treatment method for both the partners will be the same.
  • Pregnant women with gonorrhea can pass on their STD to their babies. Upon being born, babies will be given medication in their eyes, to help prevent gonorrhea.

Prevention 

  • Use protection while having sexual intercourse.
  • Ensure that you and your partner get tested for gonorrhea.
  • Do not have sexual intercourse with someone if they have the symptoms of an STD.

Bacterial vaginosis 

Treatment 

  • Medications may be prescribed in the form of a cream, gel, or tablets.
  • These medications help in relieving the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.

Prevention 

  • Avoid vaginal irritants.
  • Avoid sexually transmitted infections.

 

 


TL;DR?

sexually transmitted diseases infographic

Facts

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were originally known as venereal diseases (VDs), the name being derived from Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
  • 20 million cases of STDs are reported each year in the United States.

Facts

  • Women have a higher chance of developing STDs due to their anatomy as compared to men.
  • Colored and Caucasian women have a higher risk of developing STDs than other ethnicities.
  • There are more than 25 known STDs.

Facts

  • STDs that can spread through unprotected oral sex are gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes and hepatitis B.
  • STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are common among the 15-25 age group.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Use protection while indulging in any sexual encounter (vaginal, oral or anal), using birth control can help prevent men and women from getting an STD.
  • Limit sexual partners, doing so reduces the risks of developing STDs.
  • Get a check-up done regularly, as some STDs do not have any symptoms.
Don'ts
  • Let bodily fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluids or any discharge from sores) come in contact with open skin.
  • Touch cold sores or growth caused due to STDs, doing so can increase the risk of developing the condition.
  • Stop practicing safe sex if you or your partner has an STD. Practicing safe sex helps reduce the chances of developing new STDs or redeveloping the old one.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal sex: Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga over them? Are…
Glutathione: Probably the strongest antioxidant known to mankind An antioxidant with ample potential to transform your body, glutathione is one of the most critical substances secreted…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
Panera bread steak arugula
Panera Bread: The truth behind this “healthy” restaurant chain What to order and what to avoid when dining at Panera Bread ? Know more about this popular…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Paleo diet man
Paleo Diet: Is eating like the Caveman the right way to go? Paleo diet is the world's oldest diet; dating back to 2.5 million years ago. Why is this prehistoric…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigous superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken the world by…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You will never believe…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out how you can…
stevia side effects
Stevia: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another risky additive? Stevia is a plant native to South America.  It has been used as a natural sugar substitute and…
Pomegranate: Why are they called ruby red pearls of health? The shrub Punicagranatum yields a red fruit which is what you normally call pomegranate. The fruit is round…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
BCAAs powder
BCAA: Now get more out of your workouts with this miracle protein BCAAs are counted as one of the best supplements for increasing your physical endurance. Find out what are…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
Low carb diet
8 appetizing and mouth-watering recipes that every low-carb dieter should try Looking for delicious recipes that will fix your hunger pang without adding those pesky carbs? Look no further…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure countless ailments and…
Serotonin happiness
Serotonin : What you didn’t know about this “feel-good” chemical Serotonin : Did you know that this "feel-good" hormone could well impact your sleep cycle, sex drive, appetite,…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too! Read on to…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How you can use…
low carb diet meal
Low carb diet : Go high on fats and low on carbs for a leaner body! Did you know that sugar is the new fat? Going low on carbs and high on fats &…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
ADHD forgetful
ADD versus ADHD: What are the fundamental differences? Is every hyperactive child a patient of ADHD? Do adults display symptoms of ADHD as well? What is…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss. How much should…
kale
Kale: With more iron than beef, this superfood is the ultimate way to lose weight Checkmate meat-eaters; with kale, vegans now have the ultimate iron-rich superfood as their ally that can protect from…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
How to make the apple cider vinegar diet work for you? Apple cider vinegar diet is a popular choice among health enthusiasts.Find out why nutritionists believe this could be…
How much protein
Proteins: What is the right protein-intake for your specific needs? As we all know protein is an essential macronutrient indispensible to good health and body. But how much…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by a key weight…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar from the flowers…
Healthy pregnancy tips
How to have a healthy pregnancy: Essential tips to remember What to expect when growing a life within you? How important are prenatal vitamins anyway? Don't make these…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats to burn fats…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…