Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

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?

 

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.

 

 

 

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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…
dandelion weight loss
Caralluma Fimbriata: How to eat this cactus to lose weight Caralluma fimbriata is a miracle cactus that can be safely consumed by most for losing weight and boosting…
Is it possible to achieve full body detox with Master Cleanse? Master cleanse is a diet consisting of a lemonade based beverage, a salt water drink and a herbal…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
Miracle extract from the root of maca: 10 ways it can help you! Maca root has been used for years in herbal medicine. Today scientific research is unearthing fresh evidence in…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various types of poops…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
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…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
xylitol gum
Xylitol : Is this the right sugar substitute for you? Discovered during World War 2 owing to sugar shortage, xylitol has become a common name in pharamaceutical industry.…
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…
Shilajit: A miracle Himalayan herb for an active and happy life The Himalayas contain more wonders than you thought. Shilajit is a miracle herb that is widely used in…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
leptospira Igm test
Leptospira-IgM Test A Leptospira-IgM test is a blood test which is carried out to detect anti-Leptospira IgM antibody. Leptospirosis is…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
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…
DHEA wrinkles
DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
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…
The complete “what to eat” guide for gluten intolerance Does eating breads and pastas often makes you nauseous? Gluten intolerance is a common reason why you might…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
Vitamin-D-blood-test
25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test is a blood test used to measure the level of vitamin D in the…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
rosacea-treatment--before-_-after
The best and safest ways to treat rosacea Rosacea is a skin disease that is characterized by reddish hives and rashes on the face. Read more…
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…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
Gua sha: Scraping away layers of pain with this ancient healing tool Gua sha is an ancient oriental healing method which focuses on scraping the body with specific tools to…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
sodium chloride
Halotherapy: How inhaling salt can work wonders for your body Halotherapy is quickly gaining popularity amongst those with respiratory diseases. It has shown promise in its treatment.
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
Burpees: World’s most challenging fitness routine now made simple for you The majority of the fitness regimens mainly concentrate on a particular muscle group whereas Burpees is s whole…
Beginner to Tai Chi? Find the right way to perform this exercise for best results According to the Chinese tradition, it is believed that practicing Tai chi helps in promoting self awareness and…
CT-scan-machine
CT – Computed Tomography Scan CT scan or computed tomography scan is an diagnostic imaging technique where cross-sectional images of body are obtained…
valproic acid test
Valproic Acid Test Valproic acid test is performed to generally check for psychiatric and even neurological conditions such as bipolar disease…
cardioliin antibody iga
Cardiolipin Antibody (ACL) – IgA test Cardiolipins are phospholipids that are constituents of the platelets and the cell membranes. The IgA test detects the…
antihepatitis core antigent
Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antigen (AHBc) Total Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (AHBC ) is a blood examination and the only serological marker of infectious blood…
iron deficiency profile
Iron Deficiency Profile An iron deficiency profile is a battery of blood tests which are performed in order to determine the…

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