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It might’ve been quite a while since you heard or read about STDs, probably you came across an awareness campaign that talked about it and you now know what it stands for, (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), but don’t really know what all diseases count as sexually transmitted diseases or the gravity of any of the diseases that fall under it.

Many people do not pay much heed to understanding more about STDs because they think they can never get sexually transmitted diseases, but the truth is that statistically speaking, more than one million people acquire an STD every day, worldwide.

That is reason enough to scroll down and get an idea about the STDs.

Sexually transmitted diseases are infectious diseases that are transmitted by means of intimacy. There are close to 30 viruses, bacteria and parasites that are sexually transmissible.

While ideally, STDs should be affecting only people who engaged in unprotected sexual activity; children born and breastfed by mothers with STDs, blood transfusion or needles that came in contact with infected blood are also responsible for the transmission of the STDs.

Given below are the Sexually Transmitted Diseases that you should watch out for,

  • Chlamydia: Caused by a bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis. Symptoms of this STD include bladder infection, a change in vaginal discharge, mild lower abdominal pain. The symptoms are usually non specific.
  • Gonorrhea: This is a bacterial infection that attacks the mucous membrane, which may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and inflammation of the prostate gland, urethra, or epididymis in the men.The bacteria grows in warm and moist cavities of the body like the vagina, penis, mouth, rectum, or eyes. The infection is highly contagious even rubbing your eye with infected hands can cause the infection to spread throughout the body. They can be transmitted during sexual contact as well. Its symptoms in both men and women include:
    • Burning during urination
    • Testicular pain or swelling
    • A green, white or yellow discharge from the penis
    • Spotting after sexual intercourse
    • Swelling of the vulva or vulvitis
    • Irregular bleeding between periods
    • Pink eye or conjunctivitis
    • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Hepatitis B: Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver due to viral infection, in this case the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is spread when a person comes in contact with infected semen, blood and other bodily fluids resulting in the liver swelling up which could eventually lead to cancer. The disease can become chronic as well.
  • Herpes: Caused due to herpes simplex virus (HSV), the virus affects the skin, cervix, genitals and some other parts of the body. There are two types of herpes divided on the basis of means of transmission, type 2 HSV is transmitted through oral, anal or vaginal sex while Type 1 is the communicable type, commonly transmitted due to shared straws, utensils and surfaces.
  • HIV & AIDS: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks your immune system, and takes close to six months after contact, to actually make its presence known in the blood tests for HIV. It leaves its hosts very vulnerable to infections and diseases. HIV spreads through sexual contact, breastfeeding, childbirth, reusing equipment to inject drugs, such as needles and syringes, and, in rare instances, blood transfusions. The virus can be prevented through Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), if taken within 24 hours after initial contact. People with HIV can lead normal lives just by taking care of their CD4 count and taking in proper nutrition and medication. The disease at stage three develops AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), which makes them weak and susceptible to any infection which can become life threatening.
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus): This is a group of viruses that affect the skin and mucous membrane and there are more than 100 types of HPV out of which 40 affect the genital area that can transmit by oral route. The abnormal cell growth and alteration of the cervix due to the condition can lead to cervical cancer or genital warts.
  • Genital Warts: Contagious, fleshy growths in the anal and genital area are known as genital warts. They are a result and symptom of the the HPV disease and can be treated by vaccination for HPV. These warts appear around a man’s scrotum, anus and penis, or a woman’s vulva, cervix, vagina or anus.
  • Molluscam Contagiosum: A viral skin infection which has four types, MCV-1, MCV-2, MCV-3, MCV-4 out of which MVC 2 is the most common sexually transmitted virus. The disease shows symptoms of small, round bumps and indents on the skin which can be treated by an expert.
  • Scabies: This is a skin disease caused due to tiny mites that burrow under your skin and lay eggs. Scabies is a communicable disease, sharing clothes, holding hands, sharing a bed, or even sexual intercourse can transmit the disease. The symptoms of the disease include itchiness, rashes and sores. The condition can be treated by killing the mites through medication.
  • Syphilis: This is a bacterial infection resulting in a syphilitic lesion, with every stage the body shows signs and symptoms. Women with syphilis who are pregnant are at a high risk of giving birth to babies with congenital deformities or stillbirth.
  • Trichomoniasis: Caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite called trichomonas vaginalis, the infection develops in the vagina or the urethra. Symptoms of the disease are, vaginal odor, vaginal discharge, pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, pain when urinating.
  • Prostatitis: The condition in which the prostate gland gets inflamed due to a bacterial infection, is known as prostatitis. The prostate gland secretes a fluid that nourishes and transports the sperm. Prostatitis is very similar to UTI in men, and it often causes painful or difficult urination, pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals. It also sometimes shows flu-like symptoms. Prostatitis is sexually transmissible, and people suffering from HIV are the very likely to suffer from prostatitis.

Sexually transmitted diseases are life threatening, most often than not. It is extremely important to get it checked up and treated as soon as possible by a practitioner who can understand the underlying condition.

Dr Srinivas madhavaram is one of the leading general physicians who specialises in sexology. He is known for identifying the condition in time and treating them with exceptional skills. You can book an appointment or visit the doctor at his clinic.