Sexually transmitted diseases are the major public health problems affecting a large number of people, not only in developed countries but also in undeveloped countries. The term sexually transmitted disease refers to various clinical syndromes and infections that are caused by pathogens and can be transmitted from person to person through sexual intercourse. There are many sexually transmitted diseases and causes various symptoms but some sexually transmitted diseases occur symptom free and can be passed on unaware through sexual intercourse. Some of the sexually transmitted diseases that are common are as follows:
1. Human Papillomavirus Infection
In the United States, human papillomavirus infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Papillomavirus is defined as small, non-enveloped and double stranded DNA viruses that infect mucosal and cutaneous epithelia. There are more than 100 types of papillomavirus and most virus types infect the cutaneous epithelium and can cause common skin warts. Numerous studies suggest that the human papillomavirus replication cycle begins with the entry of virus in the cells of the basal layer of the epithelium. Transmission of this virus primarily occurs by skin to skin contact. This virus can also be spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex, but sexual intercourse is not necessarily required for an infection to occur.
2. Genital herpes
Genital herpes is caused by the virus known as herpes simplex and this disease is characterized by painful blisters on the thighs, buttocks or the genitals. Soon the blisters break open and turn into sores and when these sores form, it is known as an outbreak. The risk of transmission is at peak during lesional recurrences or prodrome. The transmission can also occur in the absence of lesional recurrences due to subclinical viral shedding. Genital herpes is spread through close contact with an infected person. It can be spread by having a oral sex with someone who has cold sores and it can also be spread from one part of the body to another. The symptoms of genital herpes are followed by fever, headache, tiredness, swollen gland, aches, pain and it is accompanied by itching in the genital areas or anal, discharge from the vagina, pain while passing urine, and discharge from the urethra.
It is a serious health problem and it is not as common as other sexually transmitted diseases. It is caused by the bacteria known as treponema and can easily be passed on from person to person through sexual contact. The symptoms of syphilis occur in three stages - the early stage, the latent stage, and the late stage. It begins with the occurrence of ulcers that are often painless and can be occurred anywhere on the body. It can appear on the penis and foreskin, opening of the urethra and it less commonly appears on the areas like lips, fingers, buttocks, and mouth. The first stage also includes a painless rash that spreads all over the body and white patches on the tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth. If syphilis remains untreated it can cause serious damage to the heart, brain, bone and nervous system.
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases which is easy to treat but if it is left untreated, it can cause various complications and some serious health problems. Chlamydia is caused by the virus known as Chlamydia trachomatis and it is most commonly spread through unprotected sex or using sex toys that are not washed. It is common in both men and women and some symptoms that occur in women include heavier periods, pain during sexual activity, an unusual vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, and pain while urinating. Symptoms that occur in men include watery discharge from the tip of the penis, painful swelling of the testicles, pain while urinating and discomfort in the rectum.
Gonorrhoea can infect both men and women and it is caused by the bacteria known as neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacteria is found in the semen and vaginal fluid of men and women who are infected and it easily spread from person to person through sexual contact. This disease can also be transferred from a pregnant woman to her baby. The signs and symptoms of this disease begin 1 to 14 days after an exposure to the bacteria. The symptoms that can be experienced by women include unusual vaginal discharge, pain while urinating, lower abdominal pain and tenderness. Symptoms that are experienced by men having gonorrhoea include, unusual discharge from the tip of the penis, pain, and tenderness in the testicles and while in passing urine.