Early STD testing is recommended for those planning to have children. Delayed treatment of persons who are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases may cause infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
STDs are sexually transmitted diseases which are generally contracted during sexual activities. HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, condyloma, herpes, and trichomonas, are commonly known forms of STDs.
Although both men and women are at risk of contracting STD, females are more susceptible than males.
Women need to pay closer attention to their reproductive health as STDs may cause infertility, miscarriage, and premature birth. Having STDs can cause fever, swelling of the lymph gland, (lower) abdominal pain, sore throat, discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse, abnormal vaginal discharge (i.e. color, odor, amount, etc.), vaginal pain and itching. It may also cause ulcers, blisters, rashes, warts, and lumps to appear.
The following passage contains more information about common STDs. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned below, please consult with your health care provider immediately.
Chlamydia is a type of bacterial infection. It can cause UTI (urinary tract infection) accompanied by urination pain in men. However, women infected with this type of STD tend to show fewer signs or symptoms.
When infected and symptoms progress, it may lead to cervicitis. Further progress of the conditions may cause salpingitis or peritonitis.
This STD is curable if it is treated during its early stage. Chlamydia testing is administered by an immunological testing method using a vaginal discharge sample. Oral antibiotics are used in treating Chlamydia.
Gonorrhea is a type of bacterial infection, which in men can cause urethritis. This comes with the excretion of pus accompanied by severe pain.
Although symptoms of Gonorrhea in women may not show, pus-like vaginal discharges may appear as its condition worsens. Currently, it is a curable STD if treated in its early stage. Delayed treatment may cause infertility or possibly require surgery.
A culture test by sampling vaginal discharge is used to detect gonorrhea.
Herpes is a type of viral infection. Upon initial infection, fluid-filled blisters will appear. After some time, these blisters will burst and form into ulcers, followed by severe pain.
Antiviral medications are used to treat this STD such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and topical acyclovir ointment. Herpes has a possibility of recurrence. Additional treatment is required every time it reoccurs.
If a woman has an active outbreak at the time of giving birth, a caesarian delivery may be required to prevent the baby from getting infected with the virus in the birth canal. Herpes can be diagnosed by physical / visual examination and by observation of its symptoms.
A 5 day course of antiviral medication is usually prescribed to treat herpes infection. If the symptoms continue and have not been cured after the course medication, another 5 day-course will be added, followed with a topical antiviral agent.
If you are experiencing episodes of recurrences, you may continue taking antiviral medicine to prevent future outbreaks.
Condyloma Acuminatum is a type of viral infection. Symptoms may include single or multiple warts. It is followed by some itching which may form into a cauliflower-like growth.
As this STD may be transmitted from mother to child during birth, treatment will be necessary before the baby’s delivery.
Condyloma Acuminatum can be diagnosed by physical / visual examination and symptoms.
Treatments available for this STD include laser treatment, cryosurgery, medication therapy (BESELNA topical agent), and surgical excision.
Condyloma may reoccur even after treatment and additional treatment would be required each time.
Trichomonas is a type of sexually transmitted disease caused by the trichomonas protozoan parasite.
This STD in men may be asymptomatic, but in women, common symptoms include yellowish-frothy vaginal discharges, unpleasant odor, and genital itching.
If recognized in its early stage, it can be cured with proper treatment.
Trichomonas diagnosis and testing is done by microscopic evaluation of vaginal discharge.
An Anti-protozoal vaginal suppository medicine is used to treat this STD.
HIV (AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
Approximately 2-4 weeks after getting infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), people may develop cold-like symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, rashes, and joint pain.
These symptoms however quickly dissipate. HIV has a long incubation period. It can take anywhere between a few years to decades to incubate.
During this time, HIV replicates throughout the body and gradually starts to destroy the immune system. Eventually, other symptoms such as fever, weight loss, and diarrhea start to appear as the immune system deteriorates.
When common complications of HIV such as Pneumoconiosis pneumonia, tuberculosis (caused by various pathogens), Kaposi’s sarcoma, and malignant tumors occur, the infection has reached the stage called AIDS.
There is no cure for HIV in current medicine; however, it is possible to suppress the onset of the illness with various medications.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacterium bacteria. In its primary stage, hard red chancres appear. After 3 months, these chancres spread throughout the body.
In further progression, symptoms such as gumma lesions on the skin may surface. In current medicine, syphilis is a curable disease with early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
Syphilis testing is most often done using a blood sample. The results will be available by the following day. In treating syphilis, oral penicillin pills have been used for therapy with duration of 2-4 weeks. It may take up to 6 weeks to complete the treatment in some cases.