Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Symtoms, Causes & Treatments

by Cheryl Powers

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases or STD is one of the most severe clinical challenges faced by mankind. These diseases spread from person to person by means of sexual transactions.

Common awareness is one of the best tools to fight these diseases. Although many people are generally becoming aware of these with the help of government effort and NGOs, many still feel shame and are deserted when they are diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases.

One of the common names for the sexually transmitted diseases is the Gonorrhea. This disease is also known as the clap.

The word clap finds its origin in the French word ‘clapper’ meaning a brothel, as these diseases are most commonly spread by prostitutes and persons of other similar occupations. Others opine that it comes from the old French word ‘clapoir’ meaning sexual sore.

Gonorrhea, one of the leaders of sexually transmitted diseases, is a bacterial infection that infects around 700,000 people in the US a year. This disease never spread by sharing toilets and bathrooms; but from vaginal, oral and anal sexual connections with infected people and also by birth (ophthalmia neonatorum).

Although ‘the clap’ is seldom reported to spread despite safe sex, a male has 20% chance of catching it through an unsafe sex episode while a female has a risk factor of 60-80%.

Some of the cases of the clap are asymptomatic, whereas others can present in various ways. A man infected with gonorrhea can show symptoms such as yellowish discharge from the penis as well as painful urination in two to thirty days after the infection. Often it exhibits symptoms such as fever.

On the other hand, gonorrhea-infected women can produce symptoms such as discharge from the vagina, difficulty in urination, off-cycle menstrual bleeding, vomiting, fever and sometimes even bleeding after sexual intercourse.

Sexually transmitted disease the clap is often a severely feared disease whereas there is no reason to do so. It is a treatable actually curable disease. In the United States, this disease is treated with powerful antibiotics recommended by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

In the United Kingdom, most of the cases of gonorrhea are treated in dedicated sexual health clinics across the country. Only sometime this disease may be hard to fight as it comes in a drug-resistant strain.

To make the treatment more effective, PDPT (patient-delivered partner therapy) is being followed all around the world where the sexual partner of the patient is also tested and treated if diagnosed.

Although gonorrhea cannot be a hard disease to fight; if left untreated, it may lead to unexpected complications; some of them may be as severe as joint problems, sterility and even damage to heart valves.

Patient delieverd partner therapy

What Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

Contagious diseases that are spread from one partner to the other during sexual intercourse are called as sexually transmitted diseases, or by their very popular anagram, STDs. STDs can affect anybody within the sphere of the sexual population; hence it can be said that all STDs are global problems.

Some of the very common STDs that are affecting the world population today are syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes, Chlamydia infection, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and AIDS.

STDs are mainly transmitted due to penetrative sexual intercourse, i.e. when the man inserts his penis into the vagina of the female. But most of the STDs can also pass on during other types of sexual activities like oral sex and anal sex.

The microorganisms causing these diseases could be viruses, bacteria or fungi and they can generally live for most of the body fluids.

The chances of sexually transmitted diseases are very high when a person has sex with many partners or has sex with a person who has many partners. Most STDs can be prevented by using a condom during any kind of sexual contact with a person of unknown sexual history.

Since there are many STDs, there are also many symptoms. Syphilis, which is also known as the French disease is diagnosable by the presence of button-sized warts called chancres near the genital area.

These changes could also develop on the anus and in the throat region. Gonorrhea is commonly known as the clap or the drip disease.

With a gonorrheal infection, a person will have continuous mucus-like discharge from the penis or from the vulva. In people with genital herpes, there are blister-like ulcers developed around the genitals. With almost all STDs, there are urinary problems.

Prevention of STDs is mostly through abstinence. Out of all the sexually transmitted diseases in humans, only two of them – hepatitis A and hepatitis B – are preventable by vaccination, but the others aren’t.

The best way of preventing them is then to limit the number of sexual partners, and to have sex only with people whose sexual history is properly known about. Using a condom is also a good option, but if the condom is used in the wrong way, then it may lead to an infection. Also, condoms are not guaranteed protection.

Condoms can only prevent the penis from coming in touch with the skin of the other partner, but it cannot prevent the rest of the genital area from coming into contact. Syphilis sores which are present all around the genital area can be transmitted even after using a condom.

Once a person is sexually infected, it is very necessary that he/she stop all sexual activity. It is a moral responsibility of any person to check the further spread of the STD.

Also, the person must make it amply clear to his/her spouse that he/she is a victim of the infection. All STDs except AIDS are treatable and the treatment is much more effective if it is started at an early stage.

Treatment of STDs adopts several different ways depending on which is the cause of infection. In conditions like genital herpes, where there is no cure, the infection may last throughout the life of the person. Alarmingly, this disease is found among about half a million in the US alone.

Chlamydia is another issue that requires constant screening to prevent from becoming an epidemic. Doctors surreptitiously check teens for such infections. Conditions like hepatitis A and hepatitis B are thought to be self-resolving with little medication.

One bigger concern with the sexually transmitted diseases is the large number of complications they can cause. Most of the STDs can cause impotence in men and infertility in women.

Men could suffer from erectile dysfunctions, while both men and women can suffer from pain during urination and/or several abnormalities in the flow of urine.

Add to that, there could be severe itching, pain, tenderness and blisters on the affected area. This could indeed make life miserable for the person as long as the STD lasts.

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can cause severe liver problems in the long run. There could be cirrhosis of the liver, or liver cancer, both of which are fatal conditions.

AIDS is the most dangerous of all sexual infections. It has no treatment yet, and the only option with this disease is death.

Sexually transmitted diseases are found more commonly among the sexually teen population of the developed countries. This population is generally ignorant about the repercussions of unsafe sex and therefore indulges in it till it is too late.

With age comes experience, and hence STDs are found to a lesser extent in the older population. Tourists are responsible for carrying STDs from one part of the globe to the other, and so also people who visit commercial sex workers are very much accountable.

Only proper education can control the problem of STDs. Governments of various nations are taking serious steps in eradicating the problem.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) – Treatment Or Cure?

STD Treatment
Nowadays the incidences of sexually transmitted diseases have increased quite a few folds. This is mainly because the youngsters of today’s world have turned quite sexually active. Sexually transmitted infection can spread through vaginal, oral and anal sex, from an infected person to another healthy person.

As soon you see the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases surfacing, it should be brought to medical attention immediately.

It should be borne in mind that treatment of such diseases may not necessarily result in its cure completely. Though the focus should always be on getting cured, for that, you have to pass through the steps of treatment first.

You should have a brief idea about the symptoms involved with sexually transmitted diseases so as to identify them and bring about relief. Some of the common symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases in both men and women are appearances of rashes or warts, redness in the genital areas and burning sensation along with itching during urination.

Apart from these, there may be some exclusive symptoms found in both the genders like vaginal discharge, fishy odor in women and tenderness in the penis of men and pain in the epididymis.

Before you get to arrive the stage of treatment if you can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases by avoiding involvement in sexual activities with multiple partners, nothing can be like it. Always use condoms and avoid having sex with a person whose previous sexual activities are not known.

At times the fetus gets infected with pathogens of sexually transmitted diseases from its mother. Thus pregnant mothers should be more careful, as it not only encompasses her life but also the life of her child which is completely dependent on her activities.

When in initial stages, certain home treatments can be opted to get relief. If the problems are overcome with natural methods then it is needless to consult a doctor.

As such BV or bacterial vaginosis can be completely cured at its initial stages with simple home remedies and treatment, like consumption of yogurt or application of apple cider vinegar to the affected areas of women.

But when left untreated for quite some time it may invite more dangerous diseases in your body which can complicate the case drastically. In that case, you have no option but to consult your doctor as soon as possible to start off with your treatment without any delay.

In any case, to get completely cured of sexually transmitted diseases, attention has to be given on the paths and procedures of treatment brought about by the specialists.

In many unfortunate cases, even from the initial stages, it becomes quite impossible to cure the patient completely in spite of full-fledged treatments, like the HIV AIDS. In these cases, you have to concentrate more on the treatment to cure the disease to some extent and reductions of symptoms to a certain level so as to make you lead a normal life for some time at least.

How To Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Protect From STD
Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs are venereal diseases which occur when you have sexual contact or sexual intercourse with an infected person. In women, sexually transmitted diseases can lead to infertility, miscarriage, premature birth of the child or infection in the newborn baby.

Sexually transmitted diseases spread through the transfer of body fluids like semen, vaginal secretions, and blood. However, there are ways to protect yourself from STDs provided you know all the facts pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Avoid having multiple sex partners. You never know whether one of your sex partners has STD, and if he does, you will surely end up getting it.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases are extremely contagious and even if you are in a monogamous relationship and your partner has STD from a previous relationship, there is 80 to 90 percent chance that you will get infected. Make sure your partner gets treated before having sex with him or her.
  • You can also get sexually transmitted diseases through anal sex, and oral sex.
  • A mother can pass on STD to her child during childbirth if she is infected with STD.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases weaken the immune system and you are susceptible to catch other infections because of this.
  • Many times STDs in women are misdiagnosed because the symptoms are not very clear. When this happens, a woman can easily end up infecting her partner.
  • Lesbians are less likely to get STDs as sexually transmitted diseases are not easily spread from one woman to another.
  • Bisexual men can contract STDs from their homosexual partner and pass it on to their heterosexual partner.

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Practice safe sex. Talk to your partner(s) regarding each other’s health status before engaging in a sexual relationship.

If you notice any rash, bumps or sores on your body, or experience any unusual bodily discharge (from the vagina in the female, or the penis in the male), stop having sex immediately, and make an appointment for an examination with your doctor or local health care provider.

If you have been diagnosed with any form of a Sexually Transmitted Disease or STD, notify all partners immediately; take all medications as prescribed, and do not have sex again until you and your partner(s) are physically cleared to resume sexual activity.

The best way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases is to use protection and condoms are the most effective method till date.

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