Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are commonly spread by sex, especially vaginal intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex. More than thirty different types of bacteria, viruses and parasites can cause STI. Sexually transmitted diseases include chlamydia, chancroid, genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis B, HIV (human immunodeficiency) and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), HPV (human papillomavirus), trichomoniasis, syphilis, gonorrhoea, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some of these diseases can be treated with antibiotics like azithromycin, cefixime and metronidazole. Treatments can reduce the symptoms and progression of most of these infections.
Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can be treated with antibiotics. Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sex for seven days after the single dose of antibiotics or until the completion of a seven day course of antibiotics. Genital herpes cannot be cured but can be controlled with medications, HPV cannot be cured but can be prevented with vaccines and controlled with medications. Regular screening with a Pap smear Test can prevent or detect most cases of early stage HPV caused cervical cancer. Syphilis can be treated with a single injection of antibiotic if recognized during the early stages, usually within one year of infection. If not it could not be recognized during early stages, then syphilis may need longer period treatment with antibiotics. Trichomoniasis can be treated with a single dose of antibiotics, usually either metronidazole or tinidazole, taken by mouth. Hepatitis B can be treated with antiviral medications and can be prevented with vaccination. Persons who may have a higher risk of HIV infection can obtain HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP which consist of HIV medication known as Truvada from their doctors and should take this consistently to prevent HIV. AIDS can be prevented in those who are suffering from HIV by early initiation of antiretroviral therapy.
All STDs do not show symptoms so treatments can sometimes get delayed. But some infections come with some symptoms. Persons who are suffering from symptoms like poor apetite, vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of eyes and skin, small red bumps which turn into blister like sores on genitals, rear ends, thighs, fingers, abnormal vaginal bleeding, whitish vaginal or penile discharge, painful inter course, burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, painless sore around vagina or penis, heavy greenish discharge with a foul odour, abdominal pain, vaginal itching or burning, warts on the genital and anal area should seek a doctor’s help. There is a chance of them getting infected with one of the STDs.
Before starting any treatment it is always recommended to consult a doctor because effectiveness of a treatment depends on the health condition of the patient and the stage of the infection. As most of the medicines have one or the other side effects so it is healthy to seek a doctor’s suggestion whether he/she is eligible for the treatment. Non-eligibility will vary from person to person.
Medicines for the treatment or control of sexually transmitted diseases may cause some side effects such as an allergic reaction, have itching, redness and swelling in the skin. Some kind of germs may even cause development of cancer. Some viral infections like hepatitis B and HIV can cause serious illness and may result in death. Medications for chlamydia can cause nausea and vomiting, belly pain or cramps, vaginal itching or discharge. After the treatment with antibiotics, patient who was suffering from syphilis can experience fever, headaches, joint or muscle pain and nausea and chills. Side effects of HIV medication are- hypersensitivity reaction, anemia, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, neuropathy, rash, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite etc. like this many other medications for other STDs may have side effects.
Even if the symptoms go away during the treatment patients must continue their course of medication. Doctors will generally prescribe blood tests to ensure that the patients are responding to the medications given. Sex partners must be get tested too if they need. It is suggested to avoid unsafe sex and to use condoms while having sexual intercourse as the person has a chance of getting re-infected with the disease. For some infections, it is suggested to get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases.
HIV is not curable but the treatment can prolong a patient’s life. Medications should be continued as per the health condition of the patient. Hepatitis B is curable. It does not take long to get treated. Genital herpes is not curable. Medications can reduce pain and frequency and lengths of herpes. If the treatment is early it can be effective otherwise it would take a long time of treatment, chlamydia is curable and requires some time to get cured, syphilis and gonorrhoea can also be cured and will not require much time. Recovery time depends on the stage of the infection and health condition of the patients and their response to the medications given.
Cost of treatment will be determined by fees of doctor and the type of STD a patient is affected with, stage of the disease and medications chosen for a particular patient. Many low cost STD checking packages are also available. Cost of treatment will vary.
Permanency cannot be guaranteed in many cases because infections can return or the symptoms or infection may not have disappeared with the treatment. But there have been many cases where the curable diseases have been effectively cured.
Amongst many home remedies, Echinacea is highly appreciated as this herb is used to treat many infections including STDs as it boosts immune system and stimulate hormone secretion in the body, garlic can prevent the risks of STDs as garlics contain antiviral and germ killing power that may effectively purify the whole system,. Yogurt is very well known for its natural probiotics which make it ideal for fighting with the infections throughout the body. Probiotics can help in the growth of good bacteria in the body. Other herbs which can be proved to be beneficial for STD treatment are- lemon juice which can reduce the pain associated with the STDs through its astringent properties, lemon balm, aloe vera gel, neem leaves, milk thistle, cranberry juice, tea tree oil etc.HIV AIDS
In most diseases, early detection of the disease is the key to control the symptoms, cure, reduce progression and improve prognosis. This holds true for sexually transmitted diseases too. As soon as there is a mild degree of suspicious of having contracted a sexually transmitted disease, it is advisable to go for a test. Most of the STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can develop into serious complications over a period of time, ranging from infertility to even death.
Complications: Why early diagnosis is important: When left undiagnosed and untreated, most STDs progress to cause severe damage from sterility to cancer to even death. Listed below are some complications associated with each of the common STDs.
Symptoms of Sexually transmitted diseases: If there is a doubt of having contracted an STD, then it is very important to get tested for the same. Some of the most common symptoms are listed below.
Prevention: Always practice safe sexual practices. When in doubt, refrain from sex until diagnosis and treatment is complete.
Testing for STDs: Some of the standard tests include:
It is understandable that getting tested for STDs is an embarrassing situation. However, there are options available where anonymity can be maintained when getting tested for STDs. This is a wise choice to make as the risk is not just for the person affected but for the partner and in some cases even for the fetus. Early testing can help prevent complications like infertility and cancer. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
STDs are nothing but those diseases that are usually invited by sexual intimacy or intercourse. Some of these diseases are even life threatening at times, and if you want to prevent them, then you have to adopt a few preventive measures.
Best preventive measures for preventing STDs:
- Using latex condoms: Latex condoms need to be used during sex every time, and these condoms are the safest of all condom varieties available in the market. Both pregnancy and STDs can be easily and efficiently prevented by means of these condoms, and this is the reason everybody is using the same. But you should have the knowledge of correct usage of these condoms.
- Keeping intimate areas clean: Do not ever forget to wash your genitals after or before making intercourse with your partner and this is needed for preventing sexual diseases. Sometimes, excessive lubrication during sexual intercourse brings infectious diseases, and thus your genitals get exposed to sexual diseases.
- Stop sharing items: Sharing under-garments or towels with your friends or close mates can be very much dangerous as you might develop STDs. Even if you have allowed somebody using these personal items of yours, you have to wash them carefully before using the same.
- Avoid multiple sex-partners: Both the sex partners should be loyal to each other and should not make sex with multiple partners as that will invite STDs. Having sex with more than one partner can be quite dangerous as a result of which your genital organs get infected and this infection later on turns into serious sexual diseases that cannot be easily treated.
- Avoiding unhealthy lifestyle: If you are exposed to excessive smoking, drugs and alcohol, then you might develop different kinds of STDs. Therefore, you are highly recommended to lead a completely healthy lifestyle so that a healthy sexual life can be enjoyed. You will never be able to have safe sex if you are so very addicted to alcohol, smoking and drugs.
- Have vaccination: Vaccination is now considered as one of the safest methods for preventing STDs. HPV vaccines are the popular, and the most recommended ones and thus teenagers can take them before getting sexually active. Hepatitis-B vaccinations are also required for getting increased protection against serious sexual diseases, especially AIDS and others. HIV testing is also very much essential in this regard, and you should not avoid the same.
Though sexually transmitted diseases affect a number of people, it is considered a taboo subject and not often talked about. This has given rise to a lot of misinformation and myths about it. Let's clear up a few of these myths.
Herpes virus can be transmitted through a toilet seat.
Using the same toilet as a person infected with herpes will not increase your risk of contacting the virus. Herpes spreads only through direct skin-to-skin contact. However, it is a good idea not to share personal care items like towels, soaps etc with a person suffering from an STD.
STDs are transmitted only through vaginal sex.
If you are in direct contact with any kind of body fluid of the person suffering from an STD, you can get infected too. STDs can be transmitted through any form of intercourse including oral, vaginal and anal sex. Thus, always use a condom for any kind of sexual act.
Baby oil can be used to lubricate a condom
In some situations, you may need to lubricate a condom before use. Oil based lubricants like baby oil, Vaseline and hand creams should never be used to lubricate a condom. This is because they can break down latex and allow STDs to pass through. Instead use water soluble lubricants like contraceptive jellies. You could also use saliva.
You can't get an STD if you've had sex only once
Two condoms are better than one
Condoms are not designed to be layered and used. Using two condoms instead of one may result in the condoms breaking due to the frictions between them. A condom must also be never reused. It should be put on as soon as there is n erection to protect against early ejaculation.
You can catch an STD only once
Some STDs like HIV and herpes are infections that last a lifetime. Others can be treated with antibiotics and antivirals. However, once you have recovered from an STD you are at the same risk of catching it again as you were the first time. When it comes to STDs like Chlamydia, a second attack can be worse than the first time and cause lasting damage to your reproductive organs.
The only way to protect yourself from STDs is to abstain from unprotected sex. Always use a condom for any kind of intercourse.
An STD or sexually transmitted disease is usually an infection which spreads from one person to another during sexual contact. Some STDs can also be transferred through touch, since they spread by skin contact. People hardly like to talk or discuss about STDs, but it is very important to rule out the possibilities of STD. Whether one likes it or not, if STD testing is ignored, then it can lead to long-term consequences.
Why STD Testing is Important?
Often STDs have no signs and symptoms, and the only way to know that are you suffering from an STD is to get tested for it. So it is a good idea to get yourself tested, as you never know if you might have STD even though you don't show symptoms. Also, when STDs are diagnosed, most of them can be cured.
Consequences of not Getting Tested
If one has STD and is not getting tested for the same, then it could lead to health problems which can cause permanent damages or might prove to be fatal. Some of the problems are:
Symptoms of STD
While, gonorrhea, chlamydia and human papilloma virus (HPV) have no symptoms, the common symptoms of STDs might vary.
If these symptoms are observed, it is vital to get tested for STDs. Also, the best way to protect your partner is not to practice unsafe sex and to refrain from the same until diagnosed and treatment is complete.
Getting yourself tested for STD is also beneficial, as it can prevent against complications like cancers and infertility. The standard STD panel of tests consists of Herpes IgG antibody and HIV antibody blood tests, along with a blood test for syphilis antibody and DNA urine test for gonorrhea and Chlamydia.