STDs & STIs: What are they?
(Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections)
STDs are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact. They can have a negative impact on your sexual health. They are common, CDC estimates 20 Million new infections occur every year. For documentation CLICK HERE. Several of which are chronic, life long infections. Many might not show signs & symptoms. They can cause a great deal of damage and be transmitted to you or your partner without your knowledge. If you are sexually active then it is important to get tested. Many can be treated and managed with medicine and some can be cured. For STD & HIV Screening Recommendations according to the CDC CLICK HERE.
Below are some common infections that will impact your sexual health:
Caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and often doesn’t have signs or symptoms. It can cause permanent and lasting damage to a woman’s reproductive organs. Damage done is often discovered years later when the infected woman tries to become pregnant and is unable to. Can affect men or women and spreads through body fluids during vaginal, anal or oral sex. Can be found in the throats of those who have had oral sex with an infected partner.
Both partners must be treated at the same time to prevent passing the infection back and forth, and both partners need to abstain from unprotected intercourse until the infection is gone. Possible consequences: Increased risk for infection of other STDs including HIV. In women, Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to infertility and tubal ectopic pregnancies. Babies born to infected women can develop eye or lung infections, and infected men uncommonly develop pain and swelling in the testicles. For CDC pdf fact sheet CLICK HERE.
Caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea. It can be spread through unprotected contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, anus and mother to baby during delivery. About 650,000 new cases a year. The highest rates are among women aged 15-19 and men aged 20-24. Most people infected don’t have any symptoms. Some may experience burning sensation while urinating. Some may see yellowish or greenish vaginal or penile discharge, even abnormal vaginal bleeding and/or pelvic pain. Antibiotics can cure the infection.
Both partners must be treated at the same time to prevent passing the infection back and forth, and both partners need to abstain from unprotected intercourse until the infection is gone. Possible consequences: Increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. In women the infection can spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to infertility and tubal (ectopic) pregnancies. CLICK HERE for CDC pdf fact sheet. Some forms of gonorrhea have developed resistance to nearly every drug for treatment. CLICK HERE.
HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV) or genital warts.
Is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Transmitted through unprotected vaginal, oral, or/and anal sex, can also be passed on from skin to skin contact. According to the CDC, approx. 79 million Americans are infected mostly in their late teens and early 20s.There are multiple types of HPVs, some can cause cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile or anal cancers (Small bumps in and around the genitals). For documentation CLICK HERE .
There is no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems. There is no cure for the virus itself, but warts can be treated through topical medicines or methods to remove or freeze them. Even with such treatments, the virus may still be present and can cause recurrences. It is not known how long a person remains contagious after warts are treated. People with weak immune systems may be less able to fight off the HPV.
A systemic disease cause by the Treponema palladium bacterium and often refered to as “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms are sometimes very similar to the symptoms of other diseases. About 37,000 new cases each year. Contracted through the ulcer or chancre at the infection site. Syphilis in women can seriously harm a developing fetus during pregnancy. It occurs in three stages: CLICK HERE.
- Primary syphilis infection or first stage (ulcers or chancre on the genitals or mouth) Antibiotic treatment can cure the disease if it is caught early, but medication can’t undo damage already done. Both partners must be treated at the same time. Increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. If left untreated, the infection can progress into the second and third stage.
- Secondary syphilis (manifestations that include, but not limited to, skin rash, mucous membrane lesions, and lymph node disease),
- Tertiary syphilis (cardiac, swelling in the liver, brain, ect). Latent infections not showing clinical manifestations are detected by blood tests) For further info. CLICK HERE.
A parasitic infection of the genital area. As many as 5 million new cases each year. Symptoms: Often there are no symptoms. Women may notice a frothy, smelly, yellowish-green vaginal discharge. Genital area discomfort, usually within four days to one month after exposure to the parasite. Men may notice a discharge from the penis. It spreads through unprotected vaginal sex. Antibiotics can cure the infection but both partners must be treated at the same time to prevent passing the infection back and forth, and both partners need to abstain from unprotected intercourse until the infection is gone.
Possible consequences may be increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. In women trich can cause complications during pregnancy and possible for this infection to reoccur.
A viral infection of the genital area and may also infect the area around the mouth. Approximately one million new infections each year and an estimated 45 million people are infected in the USA. Most people do not have any symptoms. Herpes type 1 usually causes cold sores and fever blisters on the mouth. Herpes type 2 usually causes sores or blisters on the genitals. Both viruses can cause sores in other areas. The sores or blisters may be painful, stinging or itching. May experience fever, headaches and the virus may remain in the body for ever and may cause recurrent outbreaks. Spreads most commonly through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, but can also be passed on during skin to skin contact.
There is no cure, but medications can help reduce the pain and itching as well as the frequency of recurrent outbreaks. Daily medication can also reduce the likelihood of spreading the infections to sex partners. Possible consequences: Increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. Passing Herpes from mother to newborn is rare, however, an infant who gets herpes can become very ill.
HEPATITIS B VIRUS:
A viral infection affecting the liver can be acute or chronic. Approximately 46,000 new cases a year, some acquired through sexual transmission. Many people do not have any symptoms, especially adults with a chronic infection. Others may experience tiredness, aches, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, darkening of urine is common, or tenderness in the stomach, usually within 6 months of exposure. Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice) can occur later.
Spreads through unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex, or any behavior in which a person’s mucus membranes are exposed to an infected person’s blood, semen, vaginal secretions, saliva, as well as through sharing contaminated needles. Possible consequences: Increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. Chronic, persistent inflammation of the liver and later cirrhosis or possible cancer of the liver.
Contact us today if you are worried about your sexual health and would like learn more about these diseases and infections.