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What is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as venereal diseases, are diseases that develop when infections are transmitted during sexual intercourse. According to the World Health Organization, it is found that greater than 1 million people are diagnosed with STDs each day worldwide. In India, 30-35 million STDs are reported annually.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Most of the time, symptoms of STDs are not evident. Common clinical signs and symptoms of STDs include:

  • Abnormal discharge through genital organs
  • Sores or warts around the genital region
  • Discomfort with urination
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Raised body temperature
  • Discomfort with sexual intercourse

What are the main causes?

STDs are mainly caused by the following:

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The physician may order a physical examination, medical history, and laboratory tests. Depending on the type of infections, additional tests may be ordered such as:

  • Rapid HIV test
  • ELISA
  • Evaluation of vaginal/penile secretions

The treatment for STDs includes treating the underlying infection. Medicines such as antibiotics, antivirals or antifungals as required will be used to treat the STD depending upon the bacterial, viral or fungal origin of the STD.

Prevention of an STD is easier than treating it. An STD can be prevented by the following methods:

  • Use of condoms helps prevent the spread of the STD.
  • Avoiding sexual intercourse is advisable until the STD is cured.
  • Women must avoid douching as it hampers the normal vaginal environment that protects it from infections.
  • Some vaccines such as the HPV vaccine can help prevent such infections.
  • Sexual intercourse with multiple partners can increase the risk of an STD and should be avoided. Mutual monogamy, that is having sex with only one partner, can help prevent such infections.
  • It is recommended that both the partners be tested for any STDs.

STDs are transferable between partners if proper care is not taken. These are preventable diseases that can be avoided by having proper awareness regarding the disease.

  1. Doctors for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Dr. Abdul Haseeb Sheikh

Dr. Abdul Haseeb Sheikh

सेक्सोलोजी

Dr. Srikanth Varma

Dr. Srikanth Varma

सेक्सोलोजी

Dr. Pranay Gandhi

Dr. Pranay Gandhi

सेक्सोलोजी

और पढ़ें ...

References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  2. Office on women's health [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Sexually transmitted infections
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; How You Can Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  4. American Academy of Pediatrics. Diagnostic Testing For Sexually Transmitted Infections. Committee on Infectious Diseases Pediatrics [internet]
  5. Centre for Health Informatics. [Internet]. National Institute of Health and Family Welfare Sexually transmitted infections
  6. National institute of child health and human development [internet]. US Department of Health and Human Services; What causes sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
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