Sexually transmitted diseases, also called sexually transmitted infections or venereal diseases are common diseases that may be transmitted from one person to other through sexual contact. STDs may be life-threatening diseases that are quite common among teenagers and adults. These infections can be spread by more than 30 different microorganisms that might be bacteria, parasites, viruses or yeast.
What are sexually transmitted diseases?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or venereal diseases are common infections that can spread from one person to other through sexual contact. Most STDs are passed during anal, oral and vaginal sex. STDs may also spread through blood transfusions from the mother to the baby at the time of pregnancy or through unsterilized needles. You may visit a private GP practice in London and conduct necessary tests to stay protected.
The presence of moisture around the genital area allows microorganisms to grow easily on your skin or mucous membranes near the genital area. These microorganisms may be transmitted easily through the semen or vaginal secretions at the time of sexual intercourse.
Some sexually transmitted diseases consist of the following:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Genital Herpes
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Causes of Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs
Sexually transmitted diseases are usually caused due to infectious agents, such as – bacteria, yeast, viruses and other parasites. Gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are some bacterial STDs, while viruses may lead to infections like HPV, hepatitis B, HIV, genital herpes and genital warts. Trichomonas vaginalis is actually a sexually transmitted infection caused due to a parasite. Candidiasis is a form of STD that occurs from yeast. Some of these infectious agents or microorganisms may even be transmitted without having any sexual contact.
Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs:
Common signs and symptoms of STDs in females include the following:
- Painful urination
- Vaginal discharge
- Blisters in your genital area
- Pain at the time of intercourse
- Bleeding or spotting in between the periods
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pelvic pain
- Strong vaginal odor
- Sores or rashes in the genital area
The following are common signs and symptoms of STDs in males:
- Severe pain during ejaculation
- Blisters around the genitals
- Rashes on the testicles or penis
- Testicular pain
- Painful urination
- Genital sores or lesions
- Itching at the tip of your penis
- Cloudy bleeding or discharge from the penis
Risk factors for Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs:
While performing STD check up in London, the following are some factors that can increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs:
- Enjoy unsafe sex: Individuals who have had sexual intercourse with an infected partner are highly prone to different STDs.
- Use of drugs: People who are highly addicted to drugs are at greater risks of getting STDs.
- Different sex partners: Individuals who have multiple sex partners or are involved in polygamous sexual relationships are at higher risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases.
- Past record of STD: People who are having a history of sexually transmitted infection are highly prone to the risk of developing another STD.
- Certain medications: Some prescription medications that can be used for treating erectile dysfunction such as – tadalafil, sildenafil, and vardenafil may increase the chances of developing STDs.
- Young individuals: People who are in the age group of 15-24 years may attain these sexually transmitted infections easily.
- Take birth control pills: Females who usebirth control pills as their only source of contraception are at greater risk of suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.
Complications with Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs:
A sexually transmitted infection may be transmitted easily and also lead to certain long-term complications. Most STDs may not cause health damage immediately, but can produce specific uncomfortable symptoms. The following are some probable complications associated with STDs:
- Damage to your reproductive organs
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage
- Eye inflammation
- Rectal and cervical cancers
- Epididymitis which is inflammation of the epididymis
- Heart diseases
Diagnosis of Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs:
If you want to diagnose a sexually transmitted disease, then the doctor would initially conduct a physical examination and assess the past as well as present medical history of patients. Most sexually transmitted infections require performing laboratory test to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor would suggest you to have the following tests for verifying the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs:
- Blood Tests: The healthcare provider collects your blood sample to diagnose sexually transmitted infections. STDs such as herpes, hepatitis, HIV, syphilis etc. can be detected easily by performing a blood test.
- Urine Tests: The sample of urine is then collected to confirm diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea and syphilis.
- Swab Tests: In case of a female patient, the doctor may be using urethral or vaginal swabs to detect sexually transmitted infections. Urethral swabs can be tested for males too.
- Pap Smears: A Pap smear test checks for early signs of anal or cervical cancer. Most women having HPV infections can be diagnosed with cervical cancer. However, abnormal pap smears do not always signify anal or cervical cancer. The doctor would further suggest HPV testing to verify the risks of developing anal or cervical cancer.
- Fluid Analysis: The doctor will suggest fluid analysis test for patients who are having active genital sores. Fluid analysis testing from genital discharge or sores can diagnose some sexually transmitted infections.
Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs:
Early diagnosis and instant treatment of sexually transmitted infections may lessen the risk of complications. Depending on the kind and screening of sexually transmitted infection, the doctor would suggest the following treatment:
- Antibiotics: The doctor prescribes antibiotic medications to treat bacterial and parasitic STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. One has to follow complete treatment plan till the infection gets fully cured. It is not advised to get involved in sexual activities till the infection is healed completely.
- Antivirals: STDs occurred due to viruses cannot be treated. However, the doctor would prescribe antiviral medications in order to lessen the symptoms of this infection. Antivirals cannot decrease the risk of transmission of this disease. But, these antiviral drugs show effective results when the treatment starts at an early stage of infection.
Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs:
One of the suitable ways to avoid getting sexually transmitted diseases is to stay away from different sexual activities with an infected person who already has the symptoms such as – discharge, rash, genital sores, etc. Some preventive measures of STDs include the following:
- Using latex condom may lessen the chances of getting STDs
- Avoid having sexual contact when you take excessive drugs or alcohol
- Always wash your genital area before and after enjoying sexual contact
- Do not have sexual contact with several partners
- Do not share your inner garments and towels with others
- On time immunizations can help against human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B
Common search strings like, “search for private doctor near you” will enable you to contact one in your area and get treated before it is too late.