Sexually Transmitted Disease
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) refer to illnesses that are spread through sexual intercourse. The diseases can be spread through all forms of sexual intercourse such as vaginal, oral and anal. In this paper, different types of STDs will be discussed including how they are contracted, treated and prevented. Many STDs have mild symptoms, which may not be noticed by people around the infected person (Stanberry, & Rosenthal, 2013). There were some myths that STD are only spread and contacted by unhygienic persons, people who are immoral or bad. Others believe that STDs are form of punishment from the creator, contracted by uneducated and people living in poverty. The truth is that any person, who is sexually active, is a potential candidate of STDs.
Points to Remember
It is advisable that people get tested and not wait for the symptoms to come out before they decide on testing (“Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases”, 2011). Any sexually active person should make regular STD checkups part of their regular activities. Any individual who may suspect that he or she is exposed to these kinds of diseases should contact a doctor or any healthcare personnel in their local area and request to be tested.
When the test proves positive, one should then seek treatment as the untreated disease would mostly lead to serious complications, which would make the life of the person unbearable. These untreated STDs can be spread to other people or the expectant mothers pass it to their unborn babies (Nelson, & Woodward, 2006). Treatment is good because there is a possibility that a person can be having more than one STD and this would affect the person so badly that they may lose touch with the world around them very fast and just wallow in constant pain. The presence of STD increases chances of contracting the deadly HIV virus, which would eventually lead to AIDS. When a person with AIDS contract another STD, his condition becomes much worse than normal HIV condition.
A person with HIV should make it a point to ensure that he or she does not spread it to other people. This means that they should stop from having any form of sexual intimacy until they are treated and well again. Current sexual partners must be made aware of this fact and be advised to seek medical assistance because the chances are high that they are also infected (Stanberry, & Rosenthal, 2013). If a person does not have courage or is afraid to inform the partner, they can request the health care provider to do it on their behalf. One should never make the mistake of trying to treat themselves by using over the counter medicines, creams, douches or enemas.
There are some basic measures which individuals are expected to observe so that they reduce their chances of getting a sexually transmitted disease (“Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases”, 2011). Abstinence is considered the safest way to avoid STDs. It is also the most reliable, although it seems also to be the most difficult measure to observe to many people. One need to have good self-control in order to abstain, but the result is a peace of mind and healthy life.
Another prevention measure is to be faithful to one partner. This partner must be the one a person can trust and must also be faithful so that they don’t be the source of STD in a relationship. Use of condoms can also help prevent the spread of STDs, although they are never safe 100%. They are still considered effective; especially the latex condoms .a person would however have to learn on how to use correctly (Nelson, & Woodward, 2006). Mixing of drugs or alcohol with an intercourse is one thing that people should always avoid because alcohol and drugs always lower a person’s reasoning capacity and may lose the ability to make right decisions. A person should also avoid the use of strict drugs and must not engage in the activities of sharing needs and other sharp objects because they can easily spread some sexually transmitted diseases.
Classification of STDs
These are STDs which are mainly caused by germs (bacteria).they are treatable and antibiotics can be used to cure them. The healthcare providers are trained on the medications required and then prescribe how these medicines should be taken. A person should take all the medicines as prescribed by the health care provider and must never stop taking drugs just because they feel they are well, but continue until they finish the prescribed dosage (Stanberry, & Rosenthal, 2013). When a medicine is not taken as prescribed, it can grow stronger and even develop resistance to the drugs. During treatment, partners are advised not to engage in sexual activities as they bacteria can be passed from one partner to another. Examples of bacterial STDs include Chlamydia, which is the most common STD in USA, Gonorrhea and syphilis.
- Chlamydia: – does not have symptoms except for mild burning feeling in men during urination and abnormal pain in women. It is treated through admnistration of antibiotics.
- Gonorrhea:-this is caused by gonococcus (Nelson, & Woodward, 2006). The symptoms include pain during urination and dripping at the tip of the penis in men. No symptoms in women except yellow discharge in very few cases. Sore throat can be symptom of oral gonorrhea while itching and rectal discharges are symptoms or anal gonorrhea. Treatment is through administration of antibiotic pills or injection.
- Syphilis:-this disease has various symptoms which vary according to the stage of the disease. They are mostly presence of painless sores, rashes in the genitals. A person can be cured through an anti-biotic shot.
This refers to the STDs, which are spread through viruses. Viral STDs are not curable and are only managed by the use of anti-viral drugs. There are a small number of viral STDs, which can be prevented through vaccination (Stanberry, & Rosenthal, 2013). The immune system of human being gets rid of many various naturally, while others can remain a person’s body for a long period, for example HIV. Examples of viral diseases include human papilloma virus (HPV), which is also referred to as the genital warts, genital herpes, Hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS
- Human papilloma virus: – causes warts in a person’s skin. These warts can be treated but the diseases cannot be cured. The warts would reappear again and in some cases disappear without treatment. Warts are treated by burning or freezing them, through use of lasers or surgery.
- Genital herpes: – can infect the genitals and mouth. Sores that burn, tingle, and itch are the major signs. These sores are painful and last for a short period before they disappear and reappear again (Nelson, & Woodward, 2006). It can only be managed by use of medicines to minimize seriousness of outbreaks; the medicine is not to be taken by a pregnant woman.
- Hepatitis B: – this results to an inflammation of the liver and leads to yellow eyes, skins, vomiting, nausea, pain and fatigue. Cannot be cured but is preventable through vaccination.
- HIV/AIDS: – has many symptoms which vary according to the level of the infection. The disease has no cure and is only managed by anti-retroviral drugs.
Some STDs are parasites that live under or on the skin of their hosts. Most of them prefer the warm and moist areas like in the genital areas. This group of STDs is very common and spread easily through sexual intercourse of through sharing of infected beddings. They mostly annoying more than they are harmful and treating them sometimes prove to be very tricky (Stanberry, & Rosenthal, 2013). It is important to note that persons with STD parasites are more vulnerable to other serious sexually transmitted disease. Examples of parasites include pubis lice, also known as crabs, scabies, and trichomoniasis (trichomonas vaginalis).
- Pubis lice: – these are small insects, which are found in the genitals. They are spread through sexual contact with an infected person and are common all over the world. They can also be spread when a person comes into contact with infected beddings, clothing or even towels. The common signs and symptoms include itching, presence of eggs and lice on the pubic hair. They are treated through use of medicated shampoos, lotions and rinses (“Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases”, 2011).
- Scabies: – are also common all over the world. A person experiences rashes and itching and are treated by use of designed lotions and maintaining proper hygiene.
- Trichomoniasis: – leads to inflammation in the genitals and are treated by prescribed anti-biotic.
Other Related Conditions
There are some health conditions which are not spread through sexual intercourse but they also affect the sexual organs of individuals, especially women. These conditions are not easy to diagnose their cause but are generally curable (Nelson, & Woodward, 2006). Examples include candidiasis (monilia, yeast infection) and bacterial vaginosis (normally lives in the vagina).
- Candidiasis:-results when a body grows too much yeast due to the absence of the enzymes responsible for controlling amount of yeast in a person’s body. Such infections are not spread through sexual contact but can be spread by the use of antibiotic, which may upset the normal yeast balance in the genital areas and lead to overgrowth. In women, the use of pills for birth control and the menstrual cycle can easily lead to too much growth of yeast in the vaginal area(“Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases”, 2011). Signs include discharge that looks like cottage, burning, itching and redness and painful or dry sex. To the males, they may experience itching on their penis.
Treatment mainly involves correcting the yeast balance in the body. One is given oral pills or some medicine put inside the vagina for treatment purposes.
- Bacterial vaginosis: -usually results due to the imbalance existing between two types of bacteria in the body (Stanberry, & Rosenthal, 2013). Some bacteria are considered good and others bad. This balance is interfered with when a woman takes antibiotics, which kill some of these bacteria. This condition usually set stage for things like low birth weight, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Infected women have discharges of unpleasant odor, especially after sex, burning feeling during urination and itching feeling.
Treatment involves prescription of antibiotics by a doctor. Females must be treated to avoid developing other complications, while males can heal without seeking treatment.
Nelson, A. L., & Woodward, J. A. (2006). Sexually transmitted diseases: A practical guide for primary care. Totowa, N.J.
Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. (2011). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Stanberry, L. R., & Rosenthal, S. N. (2013). Sexually transmitted diseases: Vaccines, prevention and control. London: Academic Press.