Sexually Transmitted Disease - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Sexually transmitted diseases are the ones that spread through sexual contact. They can spread through anal, vaginal, or oral sex and are amongst the most contagious diseases. It is also called sexually transmitted infections or venereal diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases do not always cause symptoms. It may be possible that your partner seems healthy and has no signs and symptoms. They may not even know about their health condition. But they can still transmit it to you through anal, vaginal, or oral sex. 

It can spread to your sexual partner if you have had unprotected sex. Not only they spread through sex. But they can also be transmitted through breast milk, blood transfusions, and sharing of needles. Therefore, to prevent their spread, infected mothers should not breastfeed their infants. 


Moreover, needle sharing should not be done in any case. There should be always a separate needle used for each person. Screening of blood prior to transfusion can help reduce the incidence of transmitting STDs from one person to another through the blood. The organisms that cause STIs are viruses, bacteria, and parasites. They can be transmitted to one another through semen, blood, vaginal fluids, or other body fluids.


Symptoms 


Sexually transmitted diseases do not always cause symptoms. It may be possible that your partner seems healthy and has no signs and symptoms. They may not even know about their health condition. But they can still transmit it to you through anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Their signs and symptoms can have a wide range including no symptoms. Therefore it is hard to know about it sometimes until they cause bothersome symptoms. The common signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections are;


  • Sores or bumps on the genitals 

  • Sores or bumps in the oral cavity 

  • Sores or bumps in the rectal area

  • Pain or burning sensation during urination

  • Foul, white discharge from the penis

  • Unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge

  • Unusual, unexplained vaginal bleeding

  • Pain during sex- dyspareunia

  • Sore and swollen lymph nodes (especially that of the groin but sometimes others as well)

  • Lower abdominal pain

  • Fever

  • A rash over the trunk, hands, or feet



The signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections may take days to years to show up. Mostly it depends upon the organism causing it. 


Causes 


The main causes of sexually transmitted infections are the organisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The most common example of each organism is;


  • Bacteria cause gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia

  • Parasites cause trichomoniasis

  • Viruses cause human papillomavirus, genital herpes, and HIV


Risk Factors 


It can spread to your sexual partner if you have had unprotected sex. Not only they spread through sex. But they can also be transmitted through breast milk, blood transfusions, and sharing of needles. Therefore, to prevent their spread, infected mothers should not breastfeed their infants. Moreover, needle sharing should not be done in any case. There should be always a separate needle used for each person. Screening of blood prior to transfusion can help reduce the incidence of transmitting STDs from one person to another through the blood. They can be transmitted to one another through semen, blood, vaginal fluids, or other body fluids.


Other risk factors for STIs are:


  • You have had unprotected sex with multiple partners

  • You have had another sexually transmitted infection

  • You have had sex with a partner whose sexual history you don't know

  • If you become sexually active at a young age

  • Having a compromised immune system, such as from HIV or drugs from an organ transplant

  • Misuse of alcohol or use of recreational drugs

  • Injecting needles and their sharing

  • Men who request prescriptions for drugs to treat erectile dysfunction


Treatment 


For the treatment of STDs, treating the underlying infection is the goal. Antibiotics are given for bacterial infection and antiviral drugs are given for a viral infection. 


Conclusion 


Sexually transmitted diseases are the ones that spread through sexual contact. They can spread through anal, vaginal, or oral sex and the amongst the most contagious diseases. It is also called sexually transmitted infections or venereal diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases do not always cause symptoms. It may be possible that your partner seems healthy and has no signs and symptoms. They may not even know about their health condition. But they can still transmit it to you through anal, vaginal, or oral sex.


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