An infection that is sexually transmitted is known as a sexually transmitted disease. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites cause some of these infections, which get transmitted through semen, vaginal fluid, blood, or other fluids secreted from the body. Sexually transmitted diseases are also commonly referred to as sexually transmitted infections.
Sexually transmitted diseases can also get contracted through persons who seem perfectly healthy. Some of these infections can also get transmitted non-sexually, including during pregnancy, childbirth, shared or unsterilized needles, and blood transfusions. However, the symptoms are easy to identify; hence, it is best to seek early medical intervention.
What are the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases?
Sometimes, sexually transmitted diseases may go unnoticed due to asymptomatic cases, but most commonly, below are the symptoms that you can identify sexually transmitted infections with:
- Bumps and pus-filled sores in private areas or genitals.
- Difficulty or inflammation during urinating.
- Discharge from vagina or penis.
- Pain or discomfort during sex.
- Bleeding in the vagina or penis.
- Swelling in genitals.
- Rashes and itching don’t go away.
- Unusually smelling discharge in the penis or vagina
What are the causes of sexually transmitted infections?
The causes of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are as follows:
- Bacteria, including Gonorrhea, syphilis, and Chlamydia, cause STIs
- Parasites such as Trichomoniasis causes STI
- Viruses, including HPV, genital herpes, and HIV, also lead to STIs
- Other types of infections can spread through sexual intercourse. However, a patient can also be infected with any sexual contact. Infections include hepatitis A, B, and C viruses, shigella, and giardia.
What are the different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases?
The various types of sexually transmitted diseases include the following:
- Chlamydia: When a patient is infected with Chlamydia trachomatis virus, they develop Chlamydia. It is a common STI that spreads through anal, vaginal, and oral sex. Also, a pregnant woman can spread it to her newborn child during childbirth. It does not cause symptoms but can cause infertility and other complications if the patient fails to seek medical attention. With early treatment, Chlamydia is easily curable.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV): It is a viral infection that mutates to cause several cancers, including oral, cervical, and rectal.
- Syphilis: It is an infection caused due to Treponema pallidum bacteria. Syphilis is a severe infection that requires early intervention to mitigate permanent and long-term complications. There are four stages of syphilis infections. In the first stage, the patient may notice a round, firm sore at the infection site, usually around the genital, anal, rectum, or mouth.
- HIV: This virus attacks the immune systems and spreads through either sexual contact or other ways. As HIV suppresses the immune system, it makes the patient vulnerable to other infections, such as:
- Trichomoniasis is caused due to Trichomonas vaginalis. Women are more at risk of developing this infection than men. In women, the infection develops in the vagina, whereas in men, it affects the urethra. It is easily transmitted through penetrative sex and vulva-to-vulva contact.
- Gonorrhea is another common and contagious infection developed due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. It is easily spreadable during oral, vaginal, and anal sex. It can also spread if a person touches the infected body part and their eyes, leading to pink eye.
What are the risk factors for sexually transmitted infections?
The risk factors include:
- Unprotected sex: Indulging in sex without prior protection, like condoms, may increase the risk of contracting sexual infections.
- Multiple partners: Involving in sexual activities with multiple partners can be a cause.
- History of sexual infections: Having a history of one kind of STI may increase the risk for another STI.
- Not making sure that needles are sterilized or not and not being cautious during blood transfusions.
- Shared needles.
What are the complications of sexually transmitted infections?
Untreated STIs can lead to the following complications:
- Spreading and intensifying infection
- Pelvic Inflammatory diseases.
Treatment for sexually transmitted diseases:
- Although viral sexual infections don’t have treatments available, medical intervention can mitigate symptoms.
- Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. It is essential to complete the course of antibiotics for better results.
Sexually transmitted diseases most commonly get acquired due to unsafe sexual practices. Hence, it is the person’s responsibility to ensure protected sex. And in case of any symptoms, quick medical assistance should be sought without delay.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will sexual infections go away?
Yes. Although not all of them, most sexually transmitted diseases go away with time and adequate treatment. However, a few others persist for months, years, and even a lifetime.
Can I contract STDs through public toilet seats?
No. STDs are transmitted through intercourse, and sitting on toilet seats will not transmit the disease.
Can kissing cause STDs?
Although not all sexual infections get transmitted through mere kissing, there are possibilities of contracting some STDs through kissing.