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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Facts:


Sexually transmitted disease (STD) also called sexually transmitted infection (STI) or venereal disease (VD), is a term used to refer to a condition passed from one person to another through sexual exposure. You can develop an STD by having unsafe vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who already has STD. It is a misconception that STD is transmitted only through sex. It can also be transmitted through one person’s genitals to another person’s mouth or throat, and also through needles and breastfeeding.  

Symptoms of STD in Men/Women:  
Normally STD doesn’t cause significant symptoms, but some of the common symptoms include   

  • Discomfort or pain during urination or sex ‘
  • Abnormal discharge or bleeding from penis/vagina 
  • IItching in & around vagina 
  • Swelling/pain  in testicles 
  • Sores, bumps or rashes around penis, testicles, anus, buttocks, thighs, vagina or mouth.  


Common types of STDs:   

  • Chalmydia 
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Syphilis
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Gonorrhea 
  • Crabs ( Pubic lice)
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Herpes Simplex Virus  


Other uncommon STDs:   

  • Chancroid 
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum 
  • Granuloma Inguinale 
  • Molluscum Contagiosum 
  • Scabies
  • lymphogranuloma venereum  


Curable and Incurable STDs:  

Following STDs can be cured with antibiotics and other safe treatments  

  • Chlamydia 
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea 
  • Crabs
  • Trichomoniasis   


Unfortunately there is no cure for following STDs; however it can still be managed. It is important to get an early diagnosis. Treatment options are often available to help alleviate symptoms and lower your chances of transmitting the STD to others.    

  • HIV
  • HPV
  • Herpes  


STD during pregnancy:    
Pregnant women can transmit STDs to the fetus or newborn during childbirth. It can cause further complications which can be life-threatening also.   

Doctors often motivate pregnant women to get tested and treated for potential STDs to prevent its transmission to newborns even if there are no symptoms. Doctor might prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications or other treatments if tested positive during pregnancy. Doctor might also encourage for cesarean delivery to lower the risk of transmission during childbirth.    

Diagnosis of STDs:  
Doctors can’t diagnose STDs based on symptoms alone. Depending on the sexual background, healthcare provider can recommend tests in case of suspicion even if you don’t have symptoms. Symptom free STDs can cause damage and can be passed to other people. Most STDs can be diagnosed through urine or blood test. They can take swab of your genitals, if developed any sores they can swab of those too. Home testing kits are also available but they are not reliable. You can get tested at doctor’s clinic or any of the reputed sexual health clinics.   

Treatment of STDs:  
Treatment depends on the type of STD one has. It is advised both the partners be tested and successfully treated for STDs before indulging in sexual activity. Otherwise there is every chance for passing an infection between both the partners.  
 
Bacterial STDs - Antibiotics can easily treat bacterial infections. However it is necessary to consume all the prescribed antibiotics.  
 
Viral STDs - Antibiotics cannot treat viral STDs, however they can cure on their own. There are various treatment options available to ensure relief and reduce the risk of transmission.   

Other STDs – Some STDs namely pubic lice, trichomoniasis & scabies are caused neither by virus nor bacteria. They are caused by other small organisms. These are treated with oral or topical medications. Please consult doctor or sexual healthcare clinic for more information about your condition and treatment options.  

Prevention of STDs:   
Avoiding sexual contact is the only safest way to avoid STDs.  There are ways to make vaginal, anal or oral sex safer.   

  • Condoms if properly used, provide effective protection against all STDs and also unwanted pregnancy.
  • Dental dams can also provide protection while having oral sex.
  • Many birth control methods like birth control pills, shots, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) lower the risk of unwanted pregnancy but not STDs
  • Regular screening of STD for those who are sexually active.
  • Discussing sexual history with your partner before having sex.   


Living with STDs:  
If tested positive for STDs, it is also necessary to get treated timely. It can increase chances of contracting. Untreated cases of STDs may often prove fatal.  

Most STDs are treatable and some cases it can be completely cured. Early and effective treatment can help relieve symptoms, lower risk of complications and protect sexual partners.   

Your doctor may advise you to adjust sexual habits along with prescribed medications in order to protect yourself from others.   

Following your doctor’s recommended treatment and prevention plan can help improve your long-term outlook with STDs.    For more on the diagnosis and treatment of STDs – Please consult online at  Vivan Hospital.

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