Sexually transmitted (venereal) diseases are infections that are typically, but not exclusively, transmitted from man to man through sexual contact.
Sexually transmitted diseases can be bacterial, viral, or caused by protozoa.
Some infections can be spread through kissing or close physical contact.
Some infections can spread to other parts of the body, sometimes with serious consequences.
Using condoms can prevent these infections.
Most sexually transmitted diseases can be treated effectively with medication.
Sexually intercourse promotes the transmission of microorganisms from person to person because during intercourse there is close contact and transfer of genital body fluids or other fluids.
Several factors make preventing STDs difficult. To know :
Unprotected sex with multiple partners (whose names may not be known and therefore may be difficult to find)
Reluctance to talk about sexuality issues with a healthcare professional
The need for additional funding to identify and treat as many infected people as possible, as well as to develop better diagnostic tests and treatments for STDs
The need to treat both sexual partners simultaneously if one of them is infected
Interrupted treatment, which may lead to the development of drug-resistant organisms
Travel abroad, facilitating the rapid spread of STDs around the world
Different types of sexually transmitted diseases icon, Many infectious microorganisms, ranging from tiny viruses, bacteria, and parasites to visible insects (such as lice), can be transmitted through sexual contact. Some infections can be transmitted during sex, but are more often transmitted through other routes. So they are not considered to be STDs. These infections include hepatitis A, B and C and infections of the digestive tract (which cause diarrhea), such as Salmonella infections, Campylobacter infections, shigellosis, giardiasis and amebiasis.
Although STDs usually occur after vaginal, oral or rectal sex with infected partners, genital penetration is not necessary to spread the infection. Some STDs can be transmitted through other routes, including:
Kissing or close physical contact, for pubic infestations with lice, scabies and molluscum contagiosum
From mother to child before birth or at the time of childbirth for syphilis, herpes, chlamydia infections, gonorrhea, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
Breastfeeding, for HIV infection
Contaminated medical devices, for HIV infection.
Symptoms of STDs vary widely, but the first symptoms usually appear in the area where the organisms have entered the body. For example, ulcers can develop in the genitals or in the mouth. There may be a discharge from the penis or vagina, and urination may be painful.
A genital lesion
IMAGE PUBLISHED BY COURTESY OF DR PIROZZI VIA THE PUBLIC HEALTH IMAGE LIBRARY DES CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION.
Symptoms increase the risk of getting other infection (such as HIV). For example, having skin irritation (due to inflammation, or sores (as in herpes, syphilis or chancroid) makes it easier for other infectious organisms to enter the body.
AIDS due to HIV
- Cancers of the cervix, rectum, anus, and throat due to HPV.
In women, certain microorganisms can enter the vagina and infect other reproductive organs. Microorganisms can travel up to the cervix (the lower part of the uterus at the end of the vagina), enter the uterus and reach the fallopian tubes and sometimes the ovaries ( vagina to the ovaries).
- Damage to the uterus and fallopian tubes can cause infertility or an ectopic (ectopic) pregnancy. The infection can spread to the membrane that covers the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum), causing peritonitis. Infections of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and / or peritoneum are called pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Development of a fistula (abnormal duct) between the urethra and the skin of the penis
Sometimes, in men, microorganisms travel up the urethra to the tube that carries sperm from the testes (ejaculatory duct and vas deferens) to infect the epididymis (a tube that is folded back on itself above the body. each testicle, Pathway from the penis to the epididymis).
Pathway from the penis to the epididymis
Some STDs in both sexes can cause swelling of the genital tissues or an infection of the rectum (proctitis).
- Examining a blood, urine, or discharge sample
The doctor often suspects an STD based on the symptoms.
- To identify the organism involved and thus confirm the diagnosis, a sample of blood, urine or discharge from the penis or vagina can be taken and examined. The sample can be sent to the laboratory for culture to facilitate identification.
- If the person has an STD, such as gonorrhea, the doctor will test for other STDs, such as chlamydia infection, syphilis, and HIV infection. The other tests are done because a person who has an STD is quite likely to have another.
The following preventive measures can prevent STDs:
Using a condom correctly and regularly
Avoiding unsafe sex practices, such as changing partners frequently or having sex with prostitutes or with partners who have other sex partners
Circumcision (which can reduce the transmission of HIV from woman to man)
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of STDs (to prevent the disease from spreading to others)
Identification of the infected person’s sexual partners, followed by consultation or treatment of partners
Refraining from sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) is the most reliable way to avoid STDs, but it is often unrealistic.