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Sexually Transmitted Infection Health Feed

Chlamydia - Know More About It!

Chlamydia - Know More About It!

Did you know that Chlamydia is one of the most frequently occurring sexually transmitted bacterial infections across the world? Also, this disease is likely to spread fast since it doesn’t have severe symptoms which can easily pass on to others. The disease can be quite tricky as there are no initial signs or symptoms that a person experiences in the early stages. The chlamydia bacterium infects the cervix and leads symptoms as noted below.

Chlamydia Symptoms In Men:
In about 50 percent of men, chlamydia doesn’t lead to any symptoms. But in some cases, it causes an abnormal penile discharge resembling yellow-white and milk-like. It causes pain while urinating, rectal pain along with bleeding and eye inflammation. The least common symptoms of chlamydia are itchiness and burning sensation around the opening of the penis, pain in the testicles and sore throat. Sometimes, chlamydia symptoms cause pain and discharge from the anal cavity.

Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:
In about 75 percent of women affected with the disease, chlamydia leads to no signs. However, in some cases, it may cause abnormal vaginal discharge which may also have an odour, pain while urinating, eye inflammation, rectal pain and unexplained bleeding. In some rare cases, it causes bleeding in between menstrual cycles, pain in the lower belly and back portion, sore throat and pain while having intercourse. Chlamydia can also infect the eyes in the case of both sexes leading to redness, itchiness, and inflammation. Regardless of which part of the body is affected by the disease, the symptoms usually show up in the morning.

For all these reasons, men and women who are sexually active should go for chlamydia testing once every year. Also, it is advised to seek medical attention when you are affected by chlamydia infection to fend off risk and complications since it can cause different sorts of severe consequences including ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women. Untreated chlamydia can infect a man and cause an infection of the epididymitis, non-gonococcal urethritis and epididymis.

How to understand whether you are infected with the disease?
It is not possible to be precise about whether you have a chlamydia infection. This is because the signs and symptoms are not quite apparent. But the symptoms after a week become quite noticeable. There are several tests available to test whether you have been affected by the infection and in most cases, the pathologist takes a swab sample from the urethra in men and cervix in women to be eventually tested in the laboratory.

Your doctor may also recommend you undergoing a urine test to check for the presence of chlamydia bacteria. In case you or your partner has been affected by the disease, it is essential to talk to a doctor without any delay.

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STD Testing - Why Should You Never Ignore It?

STD Testing - Why Should You Never Ignore It?

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:

  1. Undiagnosed and untreated STDs can lead to damaged reproductive system, leading to sterile men and women.
  2. Chlamydia, if untreated can lead to epididymitis and shrinkage of testicles and infertility in men. It also leads to pelvic inflammatory disease. But, good news is, it can be treated easily.
  3. Syphilis can make a person blind and deaf, and can also be passed on to babies.
  4. Gonorrhea, which can also be treated easily with antibiotics, can lead to infertility or death if untreated.
  5. Even HIV/AIDS if diagnosed in early stages can enable the patient to lead a normal life and does not mean only death, contrary to conventional perceptions.  

Symptoms of STD

While, gonorrhea, chlamydia and human papilloma virus (HPV) have no symptoms, the common symptoms of STDs might vary.

  1. In women, the common symptoms are pain and burning sensation during urination, blood in vaginal discharge as also abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, blisters, warts, and swollen glands.
  2. Men often experience inflammation of the testicles, prostate, sores, feverurethral discharge and pain during urination.

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.

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HIV/AIDS - Myths & Realities Of HIV Transmission!

HIV/AIDS - Myths & Realities Of HIV Transmission!

What is HIV and AIDS?

HIV is the acronym for the human immunodeficiency virus. It is a type of virus, which causes disease by infecting and killing blood cells (known as CD4 T-cells) central to the body's defence immune system. As these cells are progressively killed, the body becomes less and less able to defend itself against otherwise common illnesses.

AIDS is the acronym for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the stage of HIV infection where a person's immune system is fully compromised, leaving the body open to a wide range of potentially serious diseases known as opportunistic infections and or non-opportunistic diseases) HIV takes about 10 to 12 years, from initial infection, to fully culminate into AIDS.

HIV infection is predominantly a sexually transmitted Infection, by far the most common mode of infection, particularly in developing countries, is heterosexual transmission.

HIV Transmission:

Despite increased public awareness about HIV, there remains a lot of confusion about how one can get infected and how one cannot. HIV has a way of spurring anxieties in even the best of us and, with it, our sense of reason.  We need to understand what conditions are required for an infection to take place and why things like hugging, touching, sneezing, or kissing simply do not satisfy those conditions.

Four Conditions Needed to Transmit HIV:

As serious an infection as HIV is, the virus itself is not all that robust, there four conditions that must take place in order for infection to occur:

1.There must be body fluids in which HIV can thrive. For HIV, this means blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk. HIV cannot survive for very long in the open air or in parts of the body where there is high acid content (such as the stomach or bladder).

2. There must be a way for the body fluids to enter the body. This happens primarily through sexual contact but can also be spread through shared needles, accidental blood exposure in health care settings, or transmission of the virus from mother to child during pregnancy.

3. The virus must be able to reach vulnerable cells and tissues inside of the body. It is not enough for a body fluid to come into contact with skin. It needs to either enter the bloodstream through a break in the skin or penetrate vulnerable mucosal tissues of the vagina or rectum. A deep cut or wound, for example, provides a more likely route of transmission than a minor scuff or scrape.

4. There must be sufficient amounts of virus in the body fluid. This is why saliva, sweat, and tears are unlikely sources of infection since the enzymes in these fluids actively break down HIV and its genetic structure.

A. Sexual Transmission.  HIV is transmitted primarily by sexual contact, both heterosexual and male to male. This can happen while having unprotected sex, vaginal and anal sex with someone infected with HIV.

 oral sex is much less efficient mode of transmission of HIV than is anal or vaginal intercourse and incidence of infection by oral sex is extremely low. However there have been well documented reports of HIV transmission that resulted from cunnilingus or fellatio. Therefore, the assumption that oral sex is completely safe is not warranted.

B. Perinatal Transmission. The mother can pass the infection on to her child during childbirth, pregnancy, and also through breastfeeding.

C. Blood Transmission. The risk of transmitting HIV through blood transfusion is nowadays extremely low, due to mandatory meticulous screening for HIV and other STIs of blood and blood products. Among injection drug users, sharing and reusing syringes contaminated with HIV-infected blood is extremely hazardous.

It’s possible to get HIV from tattooing or body piercing if the equipment used for these procedures has someone else’s blood in it or if the ink is shared. The risk of getting HIV this way is very low, but the risk increases when the person doing the procedure is unlicensed, because of the potential for unsanitary practices such as sharing needles or ink. If you get a tattoo or a body piercing, be sure that the person doing the procedure is properly licensed and that they use only new or sterilized needles, ink, and other supplies.

How HIV Cannot Be transmitted?

From both a biological and epidemiological evidence, HIV cannot and has never been shown to be passed from one person to another by the following means:

  1. Touching, hugging, closed mouth or social kissing or shaking hands
  2. Touching an object an HIV-positive person has touched
  3. Sharing utensils or cups
  4. Eating food prepared by an HIV-positive person
  5. Touching semen or vaginal fluid
  6. Using public fountains, toilet seats, or showers
  7. Through saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of an HIV-positive person
  8. By mosquitoes, ticks or other blood-sucking insects.
  9. Through the air.
  10. You can’t get HIV from consuming food handled by someone with HIV. Even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus. (Source CDC) .

How Do I know If I have HIV?

  1. The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.

 Always consult a health care provider before going for HIV testing as pre and post counselling for HIV test is vital for proper guidance. Though self-testing by rapid test kits are available in the market, it is well advisable to consult a health care provider as soon as possible after any suspected exposure. Self-testing leads to unnecessary tests performed at very high costs, at incorrect time and intervals.

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7 Ways of Averting STDs!

7 Ways of Averting STDs!

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major cause of concern. This is not only because of the health hazards they pose, but also due to their psychologically shattering effects on the self-esteem, and social implications. Various awareness programs and campaigns have been spread both by the government and NGOs for promoting safer sex practices. Here are a few ways to avoid contracting sexually transmitted infections.

1. Selective Abstinence: Selective abstinence is when people indulge in select sexual activities and limit in what they do, to avoid the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. A prior knowledge of which sexual activities put you to higher risk of STD transmission and which have very low risks helps you choose safer sexual activities. If you do not know which sexual activities are relatively safe, ask an STD specialist or a sexologist knowledgeable in STDs.

2. Using condoms: Using latex condoms decreases the chances of contracting many (but not all) sexually transmitted diseases. If you use lubricants, make sure that they are water-based. Condoms are however not 100% effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases but they reduce the chances of infection to a great extent. It is essential to learn how to correctly and consistently use condoms.

3. Mutual monogamy: Another way to avoid getting infected by STDs is to practice mutual monogamy. If you and your partner do not have sex with anyone else, you have almost no chance of getting sexually transmitted diseases.

4. Getting tested: When a STD is suspected, get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and ask your partner to do so too, as soon as possible. Doing so decreases the chances spreading it to the partner. Refrain from sex until cured, if either of you tests positive.

5. Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs: Avoiding the usage of recreational drugs and alcohol reduces the chances of contracting STDs. Indulging in sexual activities while intoxicated can make you neglect practicing safe sex.

6. Practicing healthy habits: Practicing certain healthy habits also reduces the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. These include avoiding sharing towels and undergarments, washing before and after sexual intercourse and getting a vaccination for hepatitis B.

7. Low risk and high-risk activities: Certain sexual activities such as open mouth kissing and hand to genital contact have a lower risk of some infections. Other activities such as oral sex, vaginal /anal intercourse, and genital-genital contact have a higher chance of infection. Understanding the risks better would allow you to avoid contracting diseases easily.

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STD Checkup - Why Not To Skip It?

STD Checkup - Why Not To Skip It?

A 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 a 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 a 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:

- Undiagnosed and untreated STDs can lead to damaged reproductive system leading to sterile men and women. 
- Chlamydia, if untreated can lead to epididymitis and shrinkage of testicles and infertility in men. It also leads to pelvic inflammatory disease. But good news is, it can be treated easily.
- Syphillis can make a person blind and deaf, and can also be passed on to babies. 
- Gonorrhea which can also be treated easily with antibiotics, can lead to infertility or death if untreated. 
- Even HIV/AIDS if diagnosed in early stages, can enable the patient to lead a normal life and does not mean only death, contrary to conventional perceptions.  

Symptoms of STD

While, gonorrhea, chlamydia and human papilloma virus (HPV) have no symptoms, the common symptoms of STDs might vary. 

-  In women, the common symptoms are pain and burning sensation during urination, bloody and abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, blisters, warts, and swollen glands. 
-  Men often experience inflammation of the testicles, prostate, sores, fever, urethral discharge and pain during urination.
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.

6311 people found this helpful

The Relation Between STD & HIV!

The Relation Between STD & HIV!

The general acceptance is that, when someone suffers from Sexually Transmitted Disease or STD, the risk of getting affected by HIV increases for that particular person. This is true for both biological as well as for behavioral reasons.
HIV is one of the diseases which are caused as a result of sexual transmission. Before knowing the exact link between HIV and STD, understanding what the two concepts exactly are, would be beneficial.

Let us now look at the two concepts in detail:

STD - 

  • As already mentioned earlier, STD basically stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. This is used to refer to a condition that gets passed from one person to another by way of sexual contact. 
  • A person can develop a Sexually Transmitted Disease if anyone has unprotected sex either in the vagina, anal or orally with someone, who is already carrying a STD.
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease can also be sometimes called as a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or even as Venereal Disease.
  • Still, this does not mean that sex is the only medium through which sexually transmitted diseases get transmitted from one person to another. On the basis of specific diseases under this, one can also get plagued by infections while sharing needles as well as breastfeeding.

Now, we will discuss the symptoms of STD in men and women, which would give a clear picture as to how do they differ between the two sexes:
Symptoms in Men -

  • Though there is a possibility that Sexually Transmitted Diseases may not come up with any kind of symptoms, still certain diseases under this do have some obvious symptoms. 
  • Among men, some of the common symptoms include:
  • Discomfort or Pain experienced while having sex or at the time of urination.
  • Men could also notice sores, bumps or rashes on or close to the penis, testicles, anus, buttocks, thighs and even mouth.
  • There could be unusual discharge or even bleeding from the penis.
  • Testicles might get swollen or they could cause a lot of pain.

Symptoms in Women -
Some of the common symptoms of STD among women include:

  • Discomfort or pain suffered at the time of having sex or while urinating.
  • Rashes or sores around the vagina, thighs, anus or mouth.
  • Unusual kind of discharge or bleeding from the vagina
  • Itchy feeling in or just around the vagina.

Types of STDs
HIV happens to be one of the STDs. Other diseases include:

Now, let us talk about HIV in detail:
HIV is a kind of virus that tends to damage the immune system. The immune system primarily helps the human body in fighting against infections and different kinds of diseases. HIV that is untreated causes infection and also goes on to kill CD4 cells, which are a kind of immune cell known as T cells.

Some of the early symptoms include:

Though these symptoms getaway within a month people can even carry HIV without having serious or any kind of symptoms that persist and live for many years.

Some of those symptoms are:

The relation between STD and HIV

Research suggests that Sexually Transmitted Diseases like Gonorrhea and Syphilis not only look to provide HIV very easy access to cells and tissues of the body that are vulnerable but also STD co-infection can actually lead to an increase in the infections of the person with HIV, hence making them more probable towards transmitting the virus to others.

People, who are already suffering from Sexually Transmitted Diseases, can increase their susceptibility towards HIV through a number of ways. They are as follows:

  • Some kind of Sexually Transmitted Diseases can lead to open wounds or ulcers to get formed in the genital area. These kinds of wounds can provide the virus called HIV, direct entry into a person’s blood.
  • Certain diseases that are sexually transmitted, do not result in having open wounds but the presence of the infection itself can cause one’s body to have an increase in the concentration of CD4 T-cells in the genital region. 
  • The fact has been well established that increase in the concentration of these CD4 T-cells can give HIV with quite a favorable target for spreading the infection.
  • People, who are infected with a Sexually Transmitted Disease or STD, also have quite heavy concentrations of HIV in the liquids of semen and also in the vaginal fluid. This leads to an increase in the possibility of HIV transmission.
  • A study has even proved that Men having got infected with HIV and Gonorrhea, have HIV, at least 10 times more in their seminal fluid than those who are only infected with HIV.

Some of the major concerns are Sexually Transmitted Diseases like Infective Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Herpes, with the strong evidence getting established regarding the fact that Chlamydia can also lead to an increased risk of HIV among women.

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Chlamydia - Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

Chlamydia - Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

As many as 75% of infections in women and 50% of infections in men have no symptoms associated with the Chlamydia whatsoever. Chlamydia is a type of STI. STIs are sexually transmitted infections or diseases. It is extremely common due to the ease with which it spreads. Also, the fact that there are often no symptoms associated with Chlamydia makes it even harder to diagnose and deal with. However, there may be a few observable symptoms such as:

Symptoms in men:

1. There is a little discharge from the penis which tends to be clear or cloudy
2. Urination becomes painful
3. The opening of the penis begins to burn and itch
4. Your testicles begin to swell and pain

Symptoms in women:

1. Similar to men, women have a discharge from the vagina, which has a bad odor
2. Between periods, bleeding may occur
3. Periods become painful
4. Fever and abnormal pain
5. Sex becomes painful
6. Similar to men, urinating becomes painful
7. Around the vagina, there is an itching or burning sensation

Treatment for Chlamydia:

The following steps are taken for the treatment of Chlamydia:

  1. Antibiotic prescription: The first step is prescribing antibiotics to the person suffering from the infection. These antibiotics tend to be oral, in nature. Usually, azithromycin or doxycycline is prescribed.
  2. Checking and treating the partner of the patient: Once the doctor has diagnosed Chlamydia, he will immediately check your partner to make sure that he or she is not infected and if he or she is then the doctor will treat your partner as well.
  3. Treatment for severe infections: This infection mostly occurs in women. The treatment given to women with severe infections includes intravenous antibiotics, pain medicine and hospitalization.
  4. Follow up visits: These are usually scheduled three months later to make sure that there is no reinfection or further complication related to sexual infections.
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STD Checkup - Why It Is Important?

STD Checkup - Why It Is Important?

A 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 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 a 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 a 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:

- Undiagnosed and untreated STDs can lead to damaged reproductive system leading to sterile men and women. 
- Chlamydia, if untreated can lead to epididymitis and shrinkage of testicles and infertility in men. It also leads to pelvic inflammatory disease. But the good news is, it can be treated easily.
- Syphillis can make a person blind and deaf, and can also be passed on to babies. 
- Gonorrhea which can also be treated easily with antibiotics, can lead to infertility or death if untreated. 
- Even HIV/AIDS is diagnosed in early stages, can enable the patient to lead a normal life and does not mean only death, contrary to conventional perceptions.  

Symptoms of STD

While, gonorrhea, chlamydia and human papilloma virus (HPV) have no symptoms, the common symptoms of STDs might vary. 

- In women, the common symptoms are pain and burning sensation during urination, bloody and abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, blisters, warts, and swollen glands. 
- Men often experience inflammation of the testicles, prostate, sores, fever, urethral discharge and pain during urination.

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. For more information, make an appointment with us. 

3752 people found this helpful

Genital Sores - Ways To Treat Them Effectively!

Genital Sores - Ways To Treat Them Effectively!

The red and itchy sores in genital area, which can cause immense pain are genital sores. They usually spread through infection that has occurred during sexual contact. There may also be bleeding if rubbed or scratched. This is usually a form of sexually transmitted infection which can be caused due to dermatitis or other allergies. Genital herpes and syphilis, as well as bacterial diseases like chancroid, can also cause the occurrence of this condition. 

Here are a few ways in which this may be treated:

  • Medication: The general physician or gynaecologist can prescribe a number of drugs that can help in treating this ailment. To begin with, you may have to ingest oral antibiotics or antiviral medication that can ensure that the bacteria do not get a chance to fester, grow and spread. Corticosteroids can also be prescribed for particularly severe cases. Pain relievers can help in soothing the area and the blisters in the genitals, while anti-itching drugs like hydrocortisone can ensure that you do not scratch the area which can also lead to bleeding.
  • Surgical Removal: A particularly troublesome bout or sores can be removed with the help of non-invasive and surgical procedures depending on the severity of the situation. You may be required to go under medical observation for a few hours or days after the procedure to ensure that there are no complications or further cases of infection.
  • Intermittent Treatment: After the initial treatment where you will most likely go through a week long course of antiviral medication or three weeks of antibiotic therapy, you may have to go through antiviral therapy every now and then. This is especially recommended if yours is a recurring case. Doctors usually recommend the ingestion of pills for two or three days as soon as you start to experience the painful symptoms and eruptions.
  • Suppressive Treatment: Very frequent outbreaks can make the doctors prescribe an antiviral pill a day, which will basically act towards suppressing an attack. This kind of treatment is especially helpful if you have had more than six outbreaks in a span of twelve months. This can bring down the risk of outbreaks by about 80%, as per medical studies. This can also reduce the risk of passing on the infection to a partner. If you are taking this kind of treatment, you should see your doctor at least once or twice a year too.

Taking home remedies like a warm compress or sitting in a warm tub of water with a few drops of antibacterial can also help. But you must see a doctor before treating these sores at home. You can also prevent the same by practising safe sex.

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Detection Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Know How To Do It!

Detection Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Know How To Do It!
Birth control pills can help prevent STDs. True or false? Take the quiz to find out!
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