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What are Reproductive System Infections?

Reproductive system infections affect the genital tract in both men and women. These may be caused by the microbes usually residing in the body or those introduced from the surrounding. The infections can be classified as sexually transmitted or non-sexually transmitted. The latter is more common among women.

What are the main signs and symptoms?

The burden of infections is higher in women because it is mostly asymptomatic or the symptoms are unidentifiable. However, vaginal discharge is the most typical symptom among women. The other signs of reproductive system infections in women are:

The following are the symptoms of infections in the male reproductive system:

  • Fishy smelling discharge from the penis.
  • Inflammation and itching.
  • Pain.
  • Skin lesions.

What are the main causes?

These infections are classified on the basis of their cause:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases, such as chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
  • Endogenous infections, which are caused due to excessive growth of organisms usually residing in the genital tract of women, e.g., vulvovaginal candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis.
  • Iatrogenic infections, which are caused due to faulty medical procedures, such as poor delivery practices and unsafe abortion.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The diagnosis is based on the symptoms of the condition. Physical examination is a common step in the diagnosis of reproductive tract infections in both men and women.

Apart from physical examination, the doctor may recommend microscopic examinations of the vaginal discharge, a urine test, and sonography of the lower abdomen and pelvis in women to identify the exact cause of the symptoms.

The doctor may recommend urine analysis, microscopic examination of the penile discharge and sonography of the abdomen and pelvic region in men to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms.

The treatment may vary depending upon the exact cause of the infection. It generally involves symptomatic management of the condition. Antimicrobial medications, such as ceftriaxone, erythromycin, and amoxicillin, are prescribed by the doctor.

Certain preventive measures are:

  • Avoidance of multiple sexual partners.
  • Maintenance of good personal hygiene.
  • Community education about sexually transmitted disease and the use of condoms.
  1. Medicines for Reproductive System Infection

Medicines for Reproductive System Infection

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References

  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Reproductive Tract Infections.
  2. World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Infections of the male and female reproductive tract and their consequences.
  3. Rabiu KA, Adewunmi AA, Akinlusi FM, Akinola OI. Female reproductive tract infections: understandings and care seeking behaviour among women of reproductive age in Lagos, Nigeria. BMC Womens Health. 2010 Mar 23;10:8. PMID: 20331888
  4. Morris BJ, Krieger JN. Penile Inflammatory Skin Disorders and the Preventive Role of Circumcision. Int J Prev Med. 2017 May 4;8:32. PMID: 28567234
  5. Am Fam Physician. 2011 Apr 1;83(7):807-815. [Internet] American Academy of Family Physicians; Vaginitis: Diagnosis and Treatment.
  6. Cleveland Clinic. [Internet]. Cleveland, Ohio. Penile, Urethral, Testes & Scrotum Infections.
  7. Science Direct (Elsevier) [Internet]; Gynecological pelvic infection: What is the role of imaging?
  8. World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Prevention and management of sexually transmitted and reproductive tract infections.
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