STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are various infectious diseases that are most often transmitted sexually.
In total, there are more than twenty different sexually transmitted diseases in the world. STDs include classic (venereal) diseases:
- venereal lymphogranulomatosis,
- inguinal granuloma;
as well as “new” infections, the causative agents of which were discovered relatively recently. The main ones are:
- cytomegalovirus infection
In addition, STDs include skin diseases that can be sexually transmitted:
- pubic pediculosis,
- molluscum contagiosum.
Read about the features of various STDs in the material “Shameful Diseases”.
Venereal diseases have an ancient history. Even Hippocrates described ailments that are very reminiscent of the manifestations of syphilis and gonorrhea. These diseases were incurable and, once striking a family, were passed down from generation to generation.
Protracted wars and a low standard of living contributed to the widespread distribution. In addition, all venereal diseases are very insidious and may not show their presence for a long time. During this time, an infected person can infect their loved ones.
Venereal diseases were fatal for many years and took the lives of many people. However, with the advent of the era of antibiotics, the problem of sexually transmitted diseases has receded, but only in part. On the one hand, doctors have learned to cure syphilis and gonorrhea, on the other hand, other infections have occupied the resulting ecological niche, imperceptible, difficult, and sometimes completely incurable (HIV infection, genital herpes, HPV, etc.).
Read more: How do STDs work?
Common manifestations of STDs
STDs can occur without any changes in well-being. Sometimes general symptoms may appear: fever, weakness and malaise. But the most specific are complaints from the genitourinary system.
What changes in well-being should alert in terms of the development of STDs:
- The presence of pain, itching, burning, cramps in the vagina or urethra
- Discharge from the genitals, the appearance of a sharp, unpleasant odor
Difficulty, frequent, or painful urination (especially in men)
Premature or prolonged ejaculation, which was not observed before
- Violation of the menstrual cycle, which was not observed before
Heaviness, tingling, aching pain in the abdomen, perineum
Rashes on the skin of the genital organs, as well as on the body, mucous membranes
- The appearance of redness, ulcers, pustules, erosions on the skin of the genital organs
- Casual unprotected sexual contact (traditional, anal, oral), even in the absence of the above complaints
- Identification of STDs in a sexual partner
Read more about the symptoms of certain types of STDs in women in the article “Discharge – a sign of a problem?”.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis and treatment is carried out by a dermatovenereologist. After the examination, a laboratory study of various materials from the patient is prescribed: blood, urine, secretions, swabs from the genitals and other things.
Before going to the doctor, do not take any medication, do not smear the elements of the rash on the body with anything. All this can blur the clinical picture, complicate laboratory diagnosis, masking the signs of the disease.
In case of suspected sexual infection, examination and examination of all sexual partners is necessary.
Patients who fail to isolate the pathogen in the usual way, if there are complaints, a provocation is prescribed. As a result of provocation, the infectious process in the body is exacerbated, which allows you to correctly diagnose and prescribe adequate therapy. Provocation can be: food (spicy food, alcohol), physiological (menstruation in women is a provocation; it is recommended to take the material for analysis on the 4-5th day of the cycle), medicinal (special medications are administered to the patient).
Vivid sexual contact can provoke an exacerbation of the disease. It is after him that patients often turn to the doctor with complaints that have appeared, although before that for many years they were chronically ill with one of the types of STDs and did not know about it.
Read more: Treatment and prevention
All sexual partners should be treated. If the partner does not have an infection, sometimes they resort to prophylactic drug therapy.
It is prescribed as a general treatment (antibiotics, depending on the sensitivity of microbes, antiviral drugs, immune stimulants, general strengthening agents, vitamins), as well as local drug treatment and physiotherapy.
Self-medication is unacceptable. In such cases, STDs often become chronic and almost incurable.
Prevention of STDs
The most reliable prevention of STDs is the use of a condom for any type of sexual contact (traditional, anal, oral) and remaining faithful to one partner.
In case of unprotected sexual intercourse, the genitals should be thoroughly washed with soap and water as soon as possible, the vagina or rectum should be douched with warm water or an antiseptic solution (Gibitan, Miramistin). After that, you need to see a doctor for medical prophylaxis of STDs. Drug prophylaxis is more effective than “home” prophylaxis, but it is not 100% reliable. Therefore, after 3-4 weeks, it is necessary to undergo a laboratory diagnosis of STDs.
The problem of sexually transmitted diseases is very common, and most often associated with accidental infidelity in the family. According to statistics, about 97% of all STDs in the family are the result of the infidelity of one of the spouses.
In the family, STDs are more often brought by a man, but among unmarried people, carriers of the infection are usually women who have a large number of sexual partners.
STDs destroy families, relationships with loved ones can deteriorate even due to lack of information and myths that exist to this day. Read about it in the article “10 Myths About Sexual Infections”.