What are sexually transmitted diseases?
It is known as sexually transmitted diseases (STD) those that are transmitted through sex.
How can you prevent STDs?
- The more sexual partners you have, the greater your risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Most sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented by practicing safer sex, for example using a condom.
- Most STDs can be cured if diagnosed and treated in the early stages.
Briefly below describes the most common sexually transmitted diseases.
Chlamydia are among the germs, the main culprits of sexually transmitted diseases in developed countries. Chlamydia trachomatis is the representative of this group of microorganisms that have the greatest importance. These germs have intermediate properties between viruses and bacteria, and are characterized by being highly contagious.
Despite producing STDs, chlamydia in particular can also be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth and cause infections in newborns. Chlamydia infections usually start appearing 7-21 days after the infection occurs and the symptoms they cause are different in men, women and children.
In males occur:
- Urethritis (inflammation of the urethra)
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Color mucus secretion and itching in the penis
- Pain in the testicles.
In women occur:
- Pain and burning when urinating
- vaginal discharge
- Swelling and pain in the pelvis (pelvic inflammatory disease)
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- In some cases, metrorrhagia (abnormal vaginal bleeding)
- Premature birth.
In newborns occur:
- Breathing problems and, rarely, pneumonia.
These infections, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases, are usually diagnosed by a dermatologist or urologist in the case of men or a gynecologist in the case of women. Chlamydia infections are usually diagnosed by taking a sample of secretions from Organs infected organs, which are then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Treatment consists of antibiotics, which must also be given to the patient's sexual partners. Once the treatment is to repeat the analysis of the secretions from Organs affected organs to see if healing has taken place or not.
Gonorrhea is an infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that grows and multiplies quickly in areas where there is moisture in the body, such as the cervix, urethra, mouth or rectum. In women, gonorrhea mainly occurs in the cervix, but sometimes the infection spreads to the uterus itself and the fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease, which in turn can lead to infertility.
Gonorrhea is mainly transmitted through genital contact, but transmission is possible from the genitals to the throat through oral sex. In people who practice anal intercourse it can occur for gonorrhea in the rectum. Pregnant women can transmit the infection to their babies during delivery, but these babies only develop the disease if it is not treated.
Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear two to ten days after the infection occurs. However, in many cases, especially in women, the infection goes completely unnoticed or causes very little discomfort.
The following are the most common symptoms of gonorrhea in women:
- Pain and burning when urinating
- Yellowish or bloody vaginal discharge
- Metrorrhagia (uterine bleeding)
- Abdominal pain.
The main symptoms that cause gonorrhea in men include:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Yellowish-white secretions on the penis. Yellowish-white secretions on the penis.
When gonorrhea reaches the rectum, it occurs:
- Itching in the anal region
- Testimonials of purulent material
- Painful evacuations.
The diagnosis of gonorrhea is made by detecting the responsible bacteria obtained by scraping the urethra, cervix, throat or rectum. Treatment consists of antibiotics, which must also be given to the patient's sexual partners. Once the treatment is to repeat the analysis of the secretions from Organs affected organs to see if the cure is complete.
Genital herpes is a highly contagious STD caused by the herpes simplex type 2 virus. It mainly affects the skin and mucous membranes of the genitals and rectum, but it can also occur in other areas such as the mouth. It is spread mainly through physical and sexual contact.
When this infection occurs in a pregnant woman's genitals, there is a risk that her child will be infected with the virus during childbirth. The virus in the newborn can cause chronic skin infection, and more serious, such as herpetic meningitis. Symptoms of herpes simplex virus infection usually begin about a week after the infection occurs, but sometimes take longer to appear.
Initially, the skin of the affected region may be seen increased sensitivity, tingling, burning and pain. Then the area becomes red, and the same that appear multiple vesicles containing a clear yellowish fluid. Thereafter, the vesicles rupture and become painful ulcers on which a scab forms. Finally, after 7-14 days of evolution, there is no healing of injuries.
Coinciding with the rash can be other symptoms, which include:
- Swelling and pain in the lymph nodes in the groin
- In women, vaginal discharge and pain when urinating
- In men it can also cause pain when urinating if there is damage in the vicinity of the urethra.
In most cases, inspecting the skin lesions is sufficient to diagnose herpes simplex virus infection. There is no choice but to permanently cure the infection and the people who get it are still carrying a life. However, there are treatments that reduce the duration of the rash. Also, if given the antiviral acyclovir when the image is starting, that is, before the bubbles appear, the process can be aborted. To prevent the spread of infection, it is essential to avoid direct contact with injuries. People with genital herpes should avoid sexual intercourse when the disease is active.
Those who have genital herpes, although the infection is inactive, must inform their sexual partners, in the process, to suffer. This is likely to promote condom use and thus reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Another helpful measure to avoid passing on herpes simplex virus infection is to avoid sharing towels.
HIV and AIDS
AIDS is the most serious STD, and it is produced by HIV. This virus infects and destroys the cells of the immune system, which are responsible for defending the body against infections.
Therefore, people with HIV are predisposed to many illnesses, including infections due to a damaged immune system. These illnesses can lead to death. People addicted to parenteral (injectable) drugs and those who are promiscuous in their sexual relationships are at higher risk of contracting HIV. AIDS is particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Caribbean islands. HIV is found primarily in blood and some other biological fluids such as semen or vaginal secretions, and is able to pass from one person to another through small lesions of the skin or mucous membranes, such as those normally produced during intercourse.
Symptoms that can occur in patients with HIV infection are varied, and include:
- night sweats
- Weight loss
- Lymphadenopathy (lymph nodes)
Diagnosis of HIV infection is usually made by detecting the virus antibody in the blood. Its detection is possible 2-8 weeks after infection. In case of exposure to HIV a determination of such antibodies is recommended as soon as possible. If the result is positive since then, it means that the patient had already been infected. If negative, repeat testing is recommended at three and six months. If either of the two occasions the result is positive, further analysis must be performed to confirm the infection and, if in both cases it is negative, the infection can be ruled out. To make the diagnosis more quickly after exposure to the virus can be the determination of RNA (ribonucleic acid) of HIV in the blood, since its onset is earlier than antibodies.
When there is exposure to HIV, and until it is completely ruled out by the same infection, it is essential to use condoms during sexual intercourse. There is no treatment to completely cure HIV infection, but there are drugs now starting to alleviate the virus so that patients who take it correctly will not develop AIDS-associated illnesses. All HIV-infected patients must use condoms during sex, and they must report their HIV status to all sexual partners they have had.
- Genital warts or condylomas acuminata are caused by the human papilloma virus. After this infection occurs, it can take up to nine months to develop.
- In women, the human papilloma virus can also cause cervical cancer, so it is very important for proper diagnosis and treatment of this infection.
- Genital warts appear as rough skin growths. There may be a single wart, or many.
- In men they usually appear on the tip of the penis.
- In women normally present in the vagina or vulva, although its extension to the anus is possible. They can also occur on the cervix, although at this location they generally look flat and are whitish, and their diagnosis is only possible by colposcopy (examination which modality allows for direct visualization of the cervix).
- In both men and women these warts can also develop in the mouth and throat.
- These warts are very contagious, so sufferers should have protected sex with a condom.
- Diagnosis of this disease is made simply by inspecting the warts. When the lesions are not clearly visible, its diagnosis is also possible, through the application of 5% acetic acid, which affected the skin to turn white.
- Genital warts can be treated with podophyllin (resin extract) applied directly to the wart, with surgical excision, cryotherapy (freezing wart destruction) and other ways. Generally, these treatments the dermatologist applies.
- It should be noted that the cure for genital warts is not always easy, and it is often not possible to completely eliminate it.
Syphilis is an STD caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. The manifestations of this disease can be severe in some cases, as it occurs after the infection from the bacteria enters the bloodstream and can affect vital organs such as the heart, brain or spinal cord. Syphilis manifestations are classified into three stages:
- It occurs within the first 12 weeks after infection occurs.
- One or more red sores appear on the penis, lips, anus or, more rarely, the mouth or lips.
- Wounds heal without treatment within a week.
- Occurs within the first 6 months after infection occurs.
- A rash on the chest, back, legs, palms and soles of the feet.
- High fever
- Muscle aches
If you have this set of symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If a patient with secondary syphilis is left untreated, the disease may initially resolve, but the infection continues to attenuate in the body and may reappear later, sometimes even 20 years later, in the manner described below, such as higher education syphilis.
Late or tertiary syphilis
- Involvement of the aorta (syphilitic aortitis), such as aneurysms (bulges in the artery balloon that can rupture leading to massive and fatal hemorrhage)
- Aortic valve involvement (aortic insufficiency)
- Cardiac insufficiency
- The death.
The diagnosis of syphilis is made by detecting the responsible germ in the secretions obtained from skin lesions, or by detecting antibodies against the pathogen in the blood. In the early stages, syphilis is easily treated with antibiotics.
Prevention of STDs
ETS is effectively prevented by avoiding exposure to risks and having sex with proper precautions. The following recommendations apply in all cases:
- While it’s obvious to say, and not always desirable behavior, abstinence is the only sure way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
- It is very desirable to avoid having sex with too many different people.
- It is very advisable to use a condom every time you have sex.