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Sexually Transmitted Diseases: What are they, Types, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention Ways

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases: What are they, Types, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention Ways

Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that occur as a result of sexual contact. Early diagnosis and treatment of these diseases is very important for both individual and public health.

Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that occur as a result of sexual contact. Early diagnosis and treatment of these diseases is very important for both individual and public health.

Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that occur as a result of sexual contact. Early diagnosis and treatment of these diseases is very important for both individual and public health.

What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases are a definition used for diseases that are passed from one person to another as a result of sexual contact. This group of diseases is also called sexually transmitted infections. Bacteria, viruses, or fungi that cause sexually transmitted diseases can be passed from one person to another through blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or other body fluids.

Sexually transmitted diseases can spread between people without sexual contact. For example, these infections can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or birth. Situations such as blood transfusion and sharing needles, especially among drug users, are among the ways of spreading sexually transmitted diseases.

What are the Types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

There are many sexually transmitted infections. To list the most common infections:

chlamydia

Chlamydia is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. Chlamydia is among the most common sexually transmitted diseases. People infected with this bacterium may not experience any symptoms. Conditions seen in people showing symptoms:

  • Pain during sexual intercourse or urination
  • Yellow-green discharge from penis or vagina
  • It can be listed as pain in the lower abdomen.

Infection when chlamydia is left untreated; It can spread to the urethra, prostate gland and testicles. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Additionally, untreated chlamydia can lead to infertility.

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If a pregnant woman has an untreated chlamydia infection, the infection can be passed from the mother to the baby during birth. In such a case, the baby may experience problems such as pneumonia, eye infection and vision loss.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

HPV is a virus that is passed from person to person through close skin contact involving the genital areas or through sexual intercourse. Some subtypes of this virus, which has many subtypes, carry a high risk of cancer.

The most common problem resulting from HPV infection is warts in the genital area, mouth or throat. However, the most serious problem resulting from HPV infection is cancer. HPV; It causes the development of cervical cancer, mouth or penis cancer, vulvar or rectal cancer. Especially HPV 16 and 18, which are HPV subtypes, carry a high risk of cancer development.

HPV infection is quite common in sexually active people. In most people, this infection goes away on its own without causing any signs or symptoms. However, in some people, the infection continues for a long time and causes conditions such as warts or cancer that recur over the years.

Syphilis (Syphilis)

Syphilis, also known as syphilis, is a disease caused by a bacterial infection called Treponema pallidum. Infection may not be noticed in the early stages. The first symptom of syphilis is usually a red round sore in the genital area, mouth or anus. This wound, called chancre, is painless, but the wound is highly contagious.

In syphilis after chancre formation

  • Debris
  • Fire
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • weight loss
  • Symptoms such as hair loss may be observed.

If syphilis is left untreated, it can cause many serious consequences in the long term, such as vision or hearing loss, memory problems, heart diseases, and mental disorders.

Syphilis is an infection that can be passed from mother to baby. Syphilis in a newborn can lead to fatal consequences. Therefore, it would be useful to screen pregnant women for syphilis.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Infection with the virus called HIV causes a weakening of the immune system. Therefore, HIV infection increases the risk of infection by other bacteria or viruses in the body.

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HIV infection causes a person to develop flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can be listed as fever, chills, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, nausea and vomiting.

HIV infection eventually causes AIDS, in which the person suffers from serious immune deficiency. However, thanks to the treatments developed today, HIV infection has been largely prevented from causing the development of AIDS.

Gonorrhea (Gonorrhea)

Gonorrhea, also known as gonorrhea, is a disease caused by the bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This disease, which is common among sexually transmitted diseases, does not cause any symptoms in many people. In patients showing symptoms of gonorrhea, frequently;

  • White-yellow-green discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Pain during sexual intercourse or urination
  • frequent urination
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Symptoms such as sore throat are observed.

Gonorrhea

It can be passed from mother to baby and this can cause serious health problems in the baby. For this reason, it would be beneficial for pregnant women who suspect gonorrhea to have the necessary check-ups and to receive the necessary treatment in case of disease.

trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis caused by parasitic infection; It is one of the sexually transmitted diseases. Many people with this infection do not have any symptoms. However, in some women, discharge from the vagina that smells like rotten fish is very characteristic of the disease.

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Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a common cause of sexually transmitted diseases. HSV-1 causes herpes on the mouth and lips. HSV-1 can pass from one person’s mouth to another person’s genital area during oral sexual intercourse, causing genital herpes.

HSV-2 causes herpes in the genital area. These cold sores, which appear as blister lesions, heal by crusting over within a few weeks. However, herpes formation is recurrent.

What are the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases?

Symptoms of sexually transmitted infections vary from disease to disease.

Vaginal discharge, pain and bleeding during sexual intercourse, and vaginal itching are among the common symptoms in women.

In men, symptoms such as discharge from the penis, burning during urination, swelling and pain in the testicles are common.

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What Causes Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases; It may occur as a result of bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infection.

To protect from sexually transmitted diseases;

  • Limiting the number of sexual partners and knowing whether the partner has a history of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Vaccination against diseases that can be protected by vaccination, such as the HPV vaccine
  • Using a condom during sexual intercourse
  • If possible, methods such as having sexual partners tested for sexually transmitted diseases and sharing the test results with each other can be used.

How to Diagnose Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

The symptoms seen in the patient can be quite guiding in the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases. For this, patients must share the symptoms they notice with the healthcare professional. In addition to the symptoms, examination of the genital area and the patient’s history also provide very important information for diagnosis. Blood and urine tests and examination of a sample of penile or vaginal discharge also help make the diagnosis.

There are also various screening tests used for sexually transmitted diseases. People who suspect the disease or want to have regular check-ups can be screened for various diseases with these tests.

What are the symptoms that occur with sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases cause a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms seen in patients generally include lesion formation in the genital, anal or oral area, discharge and itching.

In diseases that are transmitted from mother to baby, different symptoms may occur in babies. These infections in the baby; It can cause many health problems, from pneumonia to vision loss, from jaundice to seizures, from anemia to deformity.

How are Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treated?

Treatment of sexually transmitted infections varies depending on the causative microorganism.

Bacterial infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are treated with antibiotics. By choosing the appropriate antibiotic for these bacteria, it is possible to successfully treat the disease.

Trichomoniasis, which occurs due to parasitic infection, can also be eliminated with antiparasitic drugs.

HIV, Herpes and HPV infections cannot be completely cured. In these diseases, the infection is tried to be kept under control with antiviral drugs. However, treatment does not provide a complete cure.

People diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease should inform their partners with whom they have had sexual intercourse recently. In this way, partners can be treated in case of a possible disease and the spread of the infection in the society can be reduced.

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