Vital Health International
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STDs 1

 

Source: American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)
Source: American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are transmitted through any type of sexual activity including oral sex. They can also be called Sexually Infections (STIs) and they are caused by bacteria and viruses. Women are way more likely than men to suffer long-term, serious consequences from sexually transmitted diseases(STDs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are several STI’s, but we will discuss the most common ones.

  1. Chlamydia
  2. Gonorrhea
  3. Genital herpes/HSV or Herpes Simplex Virus
  4. Genital warts/ Human Papillomavirus or HPV
  5. Syphilis
  6. Trichomoniasis
  7. Human Immunodeficiency Virus/HIV

Symptoms of Sexually transmitted infections include: genital itching, burning, sores, discharge. However, many STI’s do not cause any symptoms, which is why it is important to get screened. Let’s talk about each of these infections.

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea:

These are 2 different infections that cause similar symptoms. They affect the vagina and penis, the urethra, the throat and the anus (especially for men who have sex with men)

In women, both infections cause:

  • Vaginal discharge or itching
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Belly pain
  • Painful sex
  • Burning or pain during urination

In men, both infections can cause:

  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pain swelling or tenderness of the testicles
  • Rectal pain, discharge or bleeding.

Diagnosis: They are diagnosed using a urine sample or a sample from inside the vagina for women. Samples are also taken from any infected areas e.g. throat, anus.

Treatment: Main treatment for both infections is antibiotics. This could be in form of a shot or a pill. It is important to complete the dose of any antibiotics given.  If you don’t get treated long term problems can occur for both men and women. In women it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This can cause pain and infertility. In both men and women, it can lead to joint infections, arthritis, and HIV.

Prevention: Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be prevented by using a condom every time you have sex. You should also avoid sex when your partner has any symptoms of infection. The key here is early detection- you need to get tested as frequently as you can. In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you.

Get tested (STD)

Remember, do not self-medicate, seek the expert advice of your doctor to get the best treatment for these infections.

Join me again on my next blog as I discuss the other types of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Dr. JoeTakon

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