Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are a group of infections that are passed on during a sexual intercourse. Almost everybody has ever faced this problem personally. Nowadays, we know at least 30 STDs. Each disease type can have its own peculiarities, symptoms, and treatment methods, but they all have one thing in common: the infection is transmitted during vaginal, oral as well as anal sex. The harm, that they may do to the body, varies greatly from a light discomfort to more serious consequences, like immune system breakdown or even death. The STDs affect both men and women, with more severe consequences for women.
Most STDs are curable. However, some of them are never eliminated completely. For example, the treatment for genital herpes only improves the symptoms and reduces frequency of a relapse, but the infection itself remains in the body. In the meantime, herpes can have a harmful impact on male sperm, or can cause baby’s congenial abnormalities if a pregnant woman gets infected. Human papilomavirus (HPV) can be treated only in people under 25. In older people the treatment can stop the disease-related changes, but not kill the virus.
The treatment can be considered successful if it is started timely. Various modern tests can give quite accurate information to make a diagnosis. There are some signs that show the need of visiting a doctor. The following symptoms should be on your radar screen:
- itching and burning in the genitals;
- genital redness, pimples, sores, or other abnormalities;
- abnormal genital discharge;
- specific smell of the discharge;
- frequent and painful urination;
- lymphatic nodes’ enlargement, especially in the pelvic area;
- pain in the lower stomach, vagina;
- discomfort during sex.
Unfortunately, some STDs are symptomless, or can show up only much later after catching the virus. Thus, Syphilis or Chlamydiosis cause symptoms only several weeks later, after a person has been exposed to the virus. Some other diseases take a latent course and after a while get a chronic form.
The most effective way to avoid the STDs is to use latex condoms correctly. In some cases, an urgent use of certain antibacterial medicines may eliminate the risk of infection. However, such medical drugs can be prescribed by a doctor only.