STDs are sexually transmitted diseases. This means they are most often, but not exclusively- spread by sexual intercourse. Genital herpes, gonorrhoea, some forms of hepatitis, syphilis, trichomoniasis, HIV, chlamydia are STDs.
STDs used to be called venereal diseases or VD. They are among the most common contagious an incurable STD. STDs are serious illnesses that require treatment. Some STDs, such as HIV, cannot be cured and can be deadly. By learning more about STDs, you can learn ways to protect yourself.
You can get a STD from anal, oral sex or vaginal. You can also be infected with trichomoniasis through contact with damp or moist objects such as towels, wet clothing or toilet seats, although it is more commonly spread by sexual contact. You are at high risk if:
# You have sex with someone who has had may partners.
# You have more than one sex partner.
# You don't see needles when injecting intravenous drugs.
# You trade sex for money or drugs.
STDs Causes ?
STDs include just about every kind of infection. Bacterial STDs include gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia. Viral STDs include HIV, genital herpes, genitar warts (HPV) and hepatitis B. Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite.
The germs that cause STDs hide in semen, blood, vaginal secretions and sometimes saliva. Most of the organisms are spread by vaginal, anal or oral sex, but some, such as those that cause genital herpes and genital warts, may be spread through skin contact. You can get hepatitis B by sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors, with someone who has it.
STDs Symptoms ?
It's possible to contract an STD without developing symptoms. But some STDs cause obvious symptoms. In men, common symptoms include:
>> pain or discomfort during sex or urination
>> sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the penis, testicles, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth
>> unusual discharge or bleeding from the penis
>> painful or swollen testicles.
In many cases, STDs don't cause noticeable symptoms. When they do, common STD symptoms in women include:
>> pain or discomfort during sex or urination (similar to men)
>> sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the vagina, anus, buttocks, thighs or mouth
>> unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina
>> itchiness in or around the vagina.
STDs Types ?
Many different types of infections can be transmitted sexually. The most common STDs are described below.
1 - Chlamydia
A certain type of bacteria causes chlamydia. It's the most commonly reported STD among Americans, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Many people with chlamydia have no 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 in the lower abdomen.
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to:
>> infections of the urethra, prostate gland, or testicles.
>> pelvic inflammatory disease
If a pregnant woman has untreated chlamydia, she can pass it to her baby during birth. The baby may develop:
> eye infections
Antibiotics can easily treat chlamydia.
2 - Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is another common bacterial STD. It's also known as "the clap".
Many people with gonorrhoea develop no symptoms. But when present, symptoms many include:
> A white, yellow, beige, or green-colored discharge from the penis or vagina.
> Itching around the genitals.
> pain or discomfort during sex or urination.
> More frequent urination than usual
> Sore throat.
If left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to:
> Infections of the urethra, prostate gland, or testicles.
> Pelvic inflammatory disease
It's possible for a mother to pass gonorrhoea onto a newborn during childbirth. When that happens, gonorrhoea can cause serious health problems in the baby. That's why many doctors encourage pregnant women to get tested and treated for potential STDs. Gonorrhea can usually be treated with antibiotics.
3 - HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be passed from one person to another through intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. There are many different strains of the virus. Some are more dangerous than others.
The most common symptom of HPV is warts on the genitals, mouth or throat.
Some strains of HPV infection can lead to 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. According to the National Cancer Institute, most cases of HPV-related cancer in the United States are caused by HPV 16 and HPV 18. These two strains of HPV account for 70 % of all cervical cancer cases.
There's no treatment for HPV. However, HPV infections often clear up on their own. There's also a vaccine available to protect against some of the most dangerous strains, including HPV 16 and HPV 18.
4 - HIV
HIV can damage the immune system and raise the risk of contracting other viruses or bacteria and certain cancers. If left untreated, it can lead to stage 3 HIV, known as AIDs. But with today's treatment, many people living with HIV don't ever develop AIDs.
In the early or acute stages, it's easy to mistake the symptoms of HIV with those of the flu. For example, the early symptoms can include:
> Aches and pains
> Swollen lymph nodes
> Sore throat
These initial symptoms typically clear within a month or so. From that point onward, a person can carry HIV without developing serious or persistent symptoms for many years. Other people may develop nonspecific symptoms, such as:
> Recurrent fatigue
> 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.
Proper treatment can also lower your chances of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner. In fact, treatment can potentially lower the amount of HIV in your body to undetectable levels. At undetectable levels, HIV can't be transmitted to other people, reports the CDC.
Without routine testing, many people with HIV don't realize they have it. To promote early diagnosis and treatment, the CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once. People at high risk of HIV should be tested at least once a year, even if they don't have symptoms.
Free and confidential testing can be found in all major cities and many public health clinics.
5 - Pubic lice ('crabs')
"Crabs" is another name for pubic lice. They're tiny insects that can take up residence on your pubic hair. Like head lice and body lice, they feed on human blood.
Common symptoms of pubic lice include:
> Itching around the genitals or anus
> Small pink or red bumps around the genitals or anus
> Low-grade fever
> lack of energy
You might also be able to see the lice or their tiny white eggs around the roots of pubic hair. A magnifying glass can help you spot them.
If left untreated, pubic lice can spread to other people through skin-to-skin contact or shared clothing, bedding, or towels. Scratched bites can also become infected. It's best to treat pubic lice infestations immediately.
If you have pubic lice, you can used over-the-counter topical treatments and tweezers to remove them from your body. It's also important to clean your clothes, bedding, towels and home.
6 - Trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is also known as "trich". It's caused by a tiny protozoan organism that can be passed from one person to another through genital contact.
According to the CDC, less than one-third of people with trich develop symptoms. When symptoms do develop, they may include:
> Discharge from the vagina or penis
> Burning or itching around 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 inflammatory disease
Trich can be treated with antibiotics.
7 - 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 can be transmitted sexually. It's a very common STD. The CDC estimates more than 1 out of 6 people ages 14 to 49 have herpes in the United States.
HSV-1 primarily causes oral herpes, which is responsible 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 cause genital herpes.
HSV-2 primarily causes genital herpes.
The most common symptom of herpes is blistery sores. In the case of genital herpes, these sores develop on or around the genitals. In oral herpes, they develop on or around the mouth.
Herpes sores generally crust over and heal within a few weeks. The first outbreak is usually the most painful. Outbreaks typically become less painful and frequent over time.
If a pregnant woman has herpes, she can potentially pass it to her fetus in the womb or to her newborn infant during childbirth. This so-called congenital herpes can be very dangerous to newborns. That's why it's beneficial for pregnant women to become aware of their HSV status.
There's no cure for herpes yet. But medications are available to help control outbreaks and alleviate the pain of herpes sores. The same medications can also lower your chances of passing herpes to your sexual partner.
Effective treatment and safe sexual practices can help you lead a comfortable life with herpes and protect others from the virus.
Other, less common STDs include:
> Lymphogranuloma venereum
> Granuloma inguinale
> Molluscum contagiosum
STDs Diagnosis ?
In most cases, doctor can't diagnose STDs based on symptoms alone. If your doctor or other healthcare provider suspects you might have an STD, they'll likely recommend tests to check.
Depending on your sexual history, your healthcare provider might recommend STD testing even if you don't have symptoms. This is because STDs don't cause noticeable symptoms in many cases. But even symptom-free STDs can cause damage or be passed to other people.
Healthcare providers can diagnose most STDs using a urine or blood test. They may also take a swab of your genitals. If you've developed any sores, they may take swabs of those, too.
You can get tested for STDs at your doctor's office or a sexual health clinic.
Home testing kits are also available for some STDs, but they may not always be reliable. Use them with caution. Check to see if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the testing kit before buying it.
It's important to know that a Pap smear isn't an STD test. A Pap smear checks for the presence of precancerous cells on the cervix. While it may also be combined with an HPV test, a negative Pap smear doesn't mean you don't have any STDs.
If you've had any type of sex, it's a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about STD testing. Some people may benefit from more frequent testing than others.
The recommended treatment for STDs varies, depending on what STD you have. It's very important that you and your sexual partner be successfully treated for STDs before resuming sexual activity. Otherwise, you can pass an infection back and forth between you.
Usually, antibiotics can easily treat bacterial infections.
It's important to take all your antibiotics as prescribed. Continue taking them even if you feel better before you finish taking all of them. let your doctor know if your symptoms don't go away or return after you've taken all of your prescribed medication.
Antibiotics can't treat viral STDs. While most viral infections have no cure, some can clear on their own. And in many cases, treatment options are available to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of transmissions.
For example, medications are available to reduce the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks. Likewise, treatment can help stop the progression of HIV. Furthermore, antiviral drugs can lower your risk of transmitting HIV to someone else.
Other STDs Types ?
Some STDs are caused by neither viruses nor bacteria. Instead, they're caused by other small organisms. Examples include:
> Pubic lice
These STDs are usually treatable with oral or topical medications. Ask your doctor or other healthcare provider for more information about your condition and treatment options.
STD Prevention !
According sexual contact is the only fool proof way to avoid STDs. But if you do have vaginal, anal or oral se, there are ways to make it safer.
When used properly, condoms provide effective protection against many STDs. For optimal protection, it's important to use condoms during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Dental dams can also provide protection during oral sex.
Condoms are generally effective at preventing STDs that spread through fluids, such as 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 skin, you can still contract an STD or pass it to your partner.
Condoms can help protect against not only STDs, but also unwanted pregnancy.
In contrast, many other types of birth control lower the risk of unwanted pregnancy but not STDs. For example, the following forms of birth control don't protect against STDs:
> Birth control pills
> Birth control shot
> Birth control implants
> Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
@ Jackie San