Definition

Sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs/ STIs) are commonly developed through sexual contact. It is a contagious disease that can be sexually transmitted from one person to another in semen, blood, vaginal discharge, or other types of bodily fluids. At times, this venereal disease can be transferred non-sexually, for instance, an infant may acquire this infection from the mother during pregnancy, or through shared needles and blood transfusions, etc.

Causes

The infection may be instigated by:

  • Bacteria (such as, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or syphilis)
  • Virus (such as, HIV, human papillomavirus, or genital herpes)
  • Parasite (including, trichomoniasis)

Besides, unsafe sexual intercourse plays a significant role in dissemination of various infectious agents.

Sexually Transmitted Disease Symptoms

The disease may indicate various signs and symptoms, or at times, signify no symptom at all. For this reason, the infections remain unnoticed until an individual is diagnosed with serious complications. Yet, some of the common symptoms of STDs include:

  • Bumps or soreness visible on the genitals/ oral/rectal area
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Unusual odour in the vaginal discharge
  • Discharge from the male’s penis
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Swollen/ sore lymph nodes (mainly seen in the groin)
  • Recurrent Fever
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Rashes in hands/feet/trunk

These symptoms may be visible a few days post exposure. There are, however, cases that may take several years to indicate noticeable problems.

The late stage infection symptoms include:

  • Unexplained & persistent fatigue
  • High Fever & Chills
  • Night Sweats
  • Chronic Diarrhoea
  • Prolonged headaches
  • Unusual infections

Diagnosis

A doctor may recommend following laboratory tests to identify and detect STIs:

Blood Test: This is commonly suggested by a doctor to confirm the development of HIV or syphilis

Urine Sample: At times, urine sample test is proposed by a doctor to confirm STI

Fluid Sample: For an individual experiencing genital soreness, fluid sample is collected to diagnose the kind of infection.

IS STD/STI Curable?

Various research reports have corroborated that bacterial infections may be cured through a regular antibiotic dosage, but, viral STDs like HPV/HIV, hepatitis, and herpes cannot be cured. Nevertheless, doctors can alleviate the symptoms of these diseases with treatment.

Treatment

The treatment of sexually transmitted diseases in men and women comprises of:

Antibiotics: An antibiotic dosage is often recommended by doctors to cure various sexually transmitted parasitic and bacterial infections, such as trichomoniasis, syphilis, gonorrhoea, and chlamydia. Furthermore, it is frequently advised by doctors to abstain from having sexual intercourse until the treatment is completed.

Antiviral Drugs: These drugs minimize the risk of developing herpes during a regular suppressive therapy. Many studies have validated that antiviral drugs tend to repress HIV infection for many years. Nevertheless, the virus can still be transferred; however the risk of transmission is lower.

 

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