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What do you know about Sexually Transmitted Disease?

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I don’t have a vast knowledge about STD, I just know to be careful with sex, number of partners and preventive measures   but today I decided to take time to learn about STD, facts about it and its types.

And as we prepare to enjoy the valentine and other days, let it be on our minds that diseases never go on break

So as I learn you learn too.

Facts about STDs

The term sexually transmitted disease (STD) is used to refer to a disease passed from one person to another through sexual contact.

You can contract an STD by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the STD. If you have sex — oral, anal or vaginal intercourse and genital touching — you can get an STD, also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or venereal disease (VD).

Straight or gay, married or single, you’re vulnerable to STIs and STI symptoms. Thinking or hoping your partner doesn’t have an STI is no protection — you need to know for sure. And although condoms, when properly used, are highly effective for reducing transmission of some STDs, no method is foolproof. That doesn’t mean sex is the only way STDs are transmitted. Depending on the specific STD, infections may also be transmitted through sharing sharp objects and breastfeeding.

STI symptoms aren’t always obvious. If you think you have STI symptoms or have been exposed to an STI, see a doctor while Some STIs are easy to treat and cure; others require more-complicated treatment to manage them and some Specific symptoms can vary, depending on the STD

It’s essential to be evaluated, and if diagnosed with an STI, get treated. It’s also essential to inform your partner or partners so that they can be evaluated and treated.

If untreated, STIs can increase your risk of acquiring another STI such as HIV. This happens because an STI can stimulate an immune response in the genital area or cause sores, either of which might raise the risk of HIV transmission. Some untreated STIs can also lead to infertility, organ damage, and certain types of cancer or death.

Symptoms of STDs in men

It’s possible to contract an STD without developing symptoms. But some STDs cause obvious symptoms. In men, common symptoms include:

  • pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the penis, testicles, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth
  • unusual discharge or bleeding from the penis
  • painful or swollen testicles

Symptoms of STDs in women

Common STD symptoms in women include:

  • pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the vagina, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth
  • unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina
  • itchiness in or around the vagina

Types of STDs

Many different types of infections can be transmitted sexually. The most common STDs are described below.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of your genital tract. Chlamydia may be difficult to detect because early-stage infections often cause few or no signs and symptoms. When they do occur, they usually start one to three weeks after you’ve been exposed to chlamydia. Even when signs and symptoms occur, they’re often mild and passing making them easy to overlook.

Many people with chlamydia have no noticeable symptoms. When symptoms do develop, they often include:

  • pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • green or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina
  • pain in the lower abdomen

If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to:

  • infections of the urethra, prostate gland, or testicles
  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • infertility

If a pregnant woman has untreated chlamydia, she can pass it to her baby during birth. The baby may develop:

  • pneumonia
  • eye infections
  • blindness

HPV (human papillomavirus)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be passed from one person to another through intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. HPV infection is one of the most common types of STIs. Some forms put women at high risk of cervical cancer other forms cause genital warts. HPV usually has no signs or symptoms. The most common symptom of HPV is warts on the genitals, mouth, or throat.

Some strains of HPV infection can lead to cancer, including:

  • oral cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • vulvar cancer
  • penile cancer
  • rectal cancer

There’s no treatment for HPV. However, HPV infections often clear up on their own. There’s also a vaccine available to protect against some of the most dangerous strains, including HPV 16 and HPV 18.

The signs and symptoms of genital warts include:

  • Small, flesh-colored or gray swellings in your genital area
  • Several warts close together that take on a cauliflower shape
  • Itching or discomfort in your genital area
  • Bleeding with intercourse

Often, however, genital warts cause no symptoms. Genital warts may be as small as 1 millimeter in diameter or may multiply into large clusters.

In women, genital warts can grow on the vulva, the walls of the vagina, the area between the external genitals and the anus, and the cervix. In men, they may occur on the tip or shaft of the penis, the scrotum, or the anus. Genital warts can also develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person.

Genital herpes symptoms

Highly contagious, genital herpes is caused by a type of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that enters your body through small breaks in your skin or mucous membranes. Most people with HSV never know they have it, because they have no signs or symptoms or the signs and symptoms are so mild they go unnoticed.

When signs and symptoms are noticeable, the first episode is generally the worst. Some people never have a second episode. Others, however, can have recurrent episodes for decades.

When present, genital herpes signs and symptoms may include:

  • Small red bumps, blisters (vesicles) or open sores (ulcers) in the genital, anal and nearby areas
  • Pain or itching around the genital area, buttocks and inner thighs

The most common symptom of herpes is blistery sores. In the case of genital herpes, these sores develop on or around the genitals. In oral herpes, they develop on or around the mouth (those blisters around your mouth that makes you think you got fever or escape from it)

The initial symptom of genital herpes usually is pain or itching, beginning within a few weeks after exposure to an infected sexual partner. After several days, small red bumps may appear. They then rupture, becoming ulcers that ooze or bleed. Eventually, scabs form and the ulcers heal.

Herpes sores generally crust over and heal within a few weeks. The first outbreak is usually the most painful. Outbreaks typically become less painful and frequent over time.

In women, sores can erupt in the vaginal area, external genitals, buttocks, anus or cervix. In men, sores can appear on the penis, scrotum, buttocks, anus or thighs, or inside the tube from the bladder through the penis (urethra).

Ulcers can make urination painful. You may also have pain and tenderness in your genital area until the infection clears. During an initial episode, you may have flu-like signs and symptoms, such as a headache, muscle aches and fever, as well as swollen lymph nodes in your groin.

In some cases, the infection can be active and contagious even when sores aren’t present.

If a pregnant woman has herpes, she can potentially pass it to her fetus in the womb or to her newborn infant during childbirth. This so-called congenital herpes can be very dangerous to newborns. That’s why it’s beneficial for pregnant women to become aware of their HSV status.

There’s no cure for herpes yet. But medications are available to help control outbreaks and alleviate the pain of herpes sores. The same medications can also lower your chances of passing herpes to your sexual partner.

Syphilis

Syphilis is another bacterial infection. The disease affects your genitals, skin and mucous membranes, but it can also involve many other parts of your body, including your brain and your heart, it often goes unnoticed in its early stages.

The first symptom to appear is a small round sore, known as a chancre. It can develop on your genitals, anus, or mouth. It’s painless but very infectious.

The signs and symptoms of syphilis may occur in four stages — primary, secondary, latent and tertiary. There’s also a condition known as congenital syphilis, which occurs when a pregnant woman with syphilis passes the disease to her unborn infant. Congenital syphilis can be disabling, even life-threatening, so it’s important for a pregnant woman with syphilis to be treated.

Primary syphilis

The first sign of syphilis, which may occur from 10 days to three months after exposure, may be a small, painless sore (chancre) on the part of your body where the infection was transmitted, usually your genitals, rectum, tongue or lips. A single chancre is typical, but there may be multiple sores. The sore typically heals without treatment, but the underlying disease remains and may reappear in the second (secondary) or third (tertiary) stage.

Secondary syphilis

Signs and symptoms of secondary syphilis may begin three to six weeks after the chancre appears, and may include:

  • Rash marked by red or reddish-brown, penny-sized sores over any area of your body, including your palms and soles
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fatigue and a vague feeling of discomfort
  • Soreness and aching

These signs and symptoms may disappear without treatment within a few weeks or repeatedly come and go for as long as a year.

Latent syphilis

In some people, a period called latent syphilis in which no symptoms are present may follow the secondary stage. Signs and symptoms may never return, or the disease may progress to the tertiary stage.

Tertiary syphilis

Without treatment, syphilis bacteria may spread, leading to serious internal organ damage and death years after the original infection.

Some of the signs and symptoms of tertiary syphilis include:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Numbness
  • Paralysis
  • Blindness
  • Dementia

Neurosyphilis

At any stage, syphilis can affect the nervous system. Neurosyphilis may cause no signs or symptoms, or it can cause:

  • Headache
  • Behavior changes
  • Movement problems

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection of your genital tract also known as “the clap.” It can grow in your mouth, throat, eyes and anus. The first gonorrhea symptoms generally appear within 10 days after exposure. However, some people may be infected for months before signs or symptoms occur.

Many people with gonorrhea develop no symptoms. But when present, symptoms may include:

  • a white, yellow, beige, or green-colored or Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina
  • pain, burning sensation or discomfort during sex or urination
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
  • more frequent urination than usual
  • itching around the genitals
  • sore throat
  • Painful, swollen testicles
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Anal itching

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to:

  • infections of the urethra, prostate gland, or testicles
  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • infertility

It’s possible for a mother to pass gonorrhea onto a newborn during childbirth. When that happens, gonorrhea can cause serious health problems in the baby. That’s why many doctors encourage pregnant women to get tested and treated for potential STDs.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a common STI caused by a microscopic, one-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. This organism spreads during sexual intercourse with someone who already has the infection.

The organism usually infects the urinary tract in men, but often causes no symptoms. Trichomoniasis typically infects the vagina in women. When trichomoniasis causes symptoms, they may appear within five to 28 days of exposure and range from mild irritation to severe inflammation.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Clear, white, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Strong vaginal odor
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Itching or irritation inside the penis
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Painful urination

HIV symptoms

HIV is an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight off viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause illness, and it can lead to AIDS, a chronic, life-threatening disease.

When first infected with HIV, you may have no symptoms. Some people develop a flu-like illness, usually two to six weeks after being infected. Still, the only way you know if you have HIV is to be tested.

Early signs and symptoms

Early HIV signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Rash
  • Fatigue

These early signs and symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month and are often mistaken for those of another viral infection. During this period, you’re highly infectious. More-persistent or -severe symptoms of HIV infection may not appear for 10 years or more after the initial infection.

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Cough and shortness of breath

Late-stage HIV infection

Signs and symptoms of late-stage HIV infection include:

  • Persistent, unexplained fatigue
  • Soaking night sweats
  • Shaking chills or fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C) for several weeks
  • Swelling of lymph nodes for more than three months
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Persistent headaches
  • Unusual, opportunistic infections

Curable STDs

Many STDs are curable. For example, the following STDs can be cured with antibiotics or other treatments:

  • chlamydia
  • syphilis
  • gonorrhea
  • crabs
  • trichomoniasis

Others can’t be cured. For example, the following STDs are currently incurable:

  • HPV
  • HIV
  • Herpes

The Most Common STIs in Nigeria

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are viruses, bacteria, or parasites that are spread by sexual contact. These may be spread by contact with skin, mouth, genitals, or bodily fluids, from vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Some STIs have no cure, and only symptoms can be treated; others may be cured with a simple course of antibiotics (for bacterial infections). Contrary to popular belief, these infections cannot be transmitted from toilet seats.

Some of the most common STIs in Nigeria are:

  • Chlamydia: Caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, this STI affects both men and women and can lead to back and abdominal pain if not treated.
  • Gonorrhoea: This bacterial infection often only presents symptoms in men and is one of the easiest STIs to prevent by practising safe sex. Gonorrhoea can lead to a difficulty in becoming pregnant and even infertility if the Fallopian tubes get damaged or blocked.
  • Syphilis: As the early stages of this bacterial infection may go undetected, the prevalence of Syphilis in Nigeria has increased over the years. It is essential to get tested, as it eventually attacks your heart, brain, and internal organs.

How to prevent getting STIs:

  • Know your sexual history and that of your partner; get tested. The more partners you have, the higher your risk of contracting an STI.
  •  Always be safe; using latex condoms reduces your chance of infection.
  • You can get immunised against certain infections, such as hepatitis B or HPV.

If left untreated, some infections can lead to cancer, liver conditions, infertility, and pregnancy complications with possible birth defects.

Avoiding sexual contact is the only foolproof way to avoid STDs. But if you do have vaginal, anal, or oral sex, there are ways to make it safer.

When used properly, condoms provide effective protection against many STDs. For optimal protection, it’s important to use condoms during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Dental dams can also provide protection during oral sex.

In contrast, many other types of birth control lower the risk of unwanted pregnancy but not STDs. For example, the following forms of birth control don’t protect against STDs:

  • birth control pills
  • birth control shot
  • birth control implants
  • intrauterine devices (IUDs)

Regular STD screening is a good idea for anyone who’s sexually active. It’s particularly important for those with a new partner or multiple partners. Early diagnosis and treatment can help stop the spread of infections.

Before having sex with a new partner, it’s important to discuss your sexual history. Both of you should also be screened for STDs by a healthcare professional. Since STDs often have no symptoms, testing is the only way to know for sure if you have one.

Even if an STD can’t be cured, however, it can still be managed. It’s still important to get an early diagnosis. Treatment options are often available to help alleviate symptoms and lower your chances of transmitting the STD to someone else.

Even with no symptoms, however, you can pass the infection to your sex partners. So it’s important to use protection, such as a condom, during sex. And visit your doctor regularly for STI screening, so you can identify and treat an infection before you can pass it on.

 

 

 

 

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