What You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

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What You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

As long as you are having sex, you are at risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

 

This is going to be a surprise to you, but condoms do not protect you from all sexually transmitted diseases.

In fact, research has shown that a condom only reduces the risk of transmission of HIV by 85 to 94% only. Therefore, regular testing is essential especially if you are not in a monogamous relationship.

Here we will provide a list of some of the most common STDs and how they typically present.

Keep in mind, a lot of the STDs may not produce any symptoms all the time.

 

Types of STDs

  1. Genital warts/Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  2. Gonorrhoea
  3. Chlamydia/Lymphogranuloma venereum
  4. Mycoplasma genitaliae
  5. Ureaplasma urealyticum
  6. Trichomonas vaginalis
  7. Bacterial vaginosis/Gardnerella
  8. Hepatitis A/B/C
  9. Syphillis
  10. Candidia
  11. Herpes simplex type I/II
  12. Molluscum contagiosm
  13. Crab lice
  14. Scabies
  15. Chancroid
  16. Granuloma inguinale
  17. Tinea cruris
  18. Gardnerella vaginalis

 

STD Syndromes

  1. Penile discharges
  2. Vaginal discharges
  3. Pain during urination
  4. Lymph nodes
  5. Lumps and bumps
  6. Pain when having sex/Vaginitis
  7. Itch in the genital area
  8. Genital sores (painful/painless)

 

Chlamydia
This is the most common STD in developed countries. Unfortunately, 40% to 60% of men and up to 80% of women may not have any symptom while they have the infection. Sometimes, the symptoms can be very subtle that it is easily brushed off by patients and even some doctors if a detail sexual history is not taken.

Some of the ways chlamydia presents is pain when passing urine, discharge from the penis and vagina. Besides this, it can also present as sore throat and anal discharge if you are the receptive (Giving) partner in oral sex and receptive partner in anal sex respectively.

The common symptoms are pain passing urine, discharge from the penis or vagina.

 

Gonorrhea
Similar to chlamydia they can present with pain when passing urine, discharge from the penis or vagina and anal discharge. The symptoms typically occur within a couple of days after and exposure but there are reported cases of symptoms appearing a few months after an exposure. However, it has been reported that approximately 10% of the people may not have any symptoms at all.

 

NSU
These are typically caused by bugs such as Mycoplasma sp, Ureaplasma sp and many more.

Unfortunately most of these infections may not show any symptoms. When they do show symptoms they are typically mild discomfort passing urine or a mild discharge.

 

HIV
The perception most people have of patients infected with HIV are patients who are already in the AIDS phase of the infection.

In the initial phase of HIV infection, most people do not show any symptoms. Even when they do present, which is more commonly about 3 to 4 weeks after an exposure, they present as fever, sore throat, rash and swollen lymph nodes. As you can see these symptoms are very common in infections such as the common cold.

 

Herpes
This is one of the most common infections in the world. Most of the people are not aware that they have been infected by this virus which transmits through skin to skin contact. This is because a lot of people may not show symptoms or the symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed.

However, for patients who do experience symptoms, their first episode is usually the worse and may last up to 3 weeks without treatment. The flairs tend to be less frequent and severe over time. They may present commonly as painful blisters that burst to form painful ulcers. These symptoms are usually preceded by itching, tingling or mild pain in the infected area just before a flair.

 

Hepatitis AB and C
A lot of patients usually develop symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed. These include nausea, fever, itching, loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes and skin.
However, some people may never develop any symptoms and are usually diagnosed after further investigation on a patient who presents with an abnormal liver function test.

 

Syphilis
The symptoms of syphilis varies depending on the phase of infection the patient is in and may present between 9 to 90 days after an exposure. This include a painless ulcer at the infected site, which will disappear without any treatment. This is why it may go unnoticed. If not treated, it will appear years later with a rash all over the body. If it goes untreated after this phase, it may spread to other parts of the body such as brain and major blood vessels causing detrimental effects.

 

Molluscum Contagiosum
This is caused by a virus called Pox virus and usually appears as separate pearly round painless bumps/lesions on the skin.

 

HPV
A lot of the time, HPV may not show symptoms. It can infect the skin, mucosal surfaces and cervix. Most commonly it appears as a skin colored cauliflower like lumps on the skin. However, this virus is known to cause cancers of the cervix, anus, penis and many more. The good thing is that vaccination is now available for this virus.

 

Scabies and Lice

These are caused by translucent tiny insects and that can be seen under good lighting and magnification.

They usually present with a lot of itching in the groin region, which is worse at night.

Note: Please remember that you can catch an STD and show no symptoms. If you feel you are at risk, go for STD screening.

 

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Comment on "What You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)"

  1. John

    Hello Doctor,
    I had a non protective sex a week ago. HIV doesn’t show a symptom in earlier stage right? but if I get tested and treatment will I be able to avoid it ?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      HIV ARS is not likely to show immediately but you can start having non specific symptoms starting from a week till about a month from period of potential exposure.
      Testing at this stage is not going to help you avoid contracting the disease. It is unreliable for one, and you have already passed the period to start taking Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

  2. Julie

    Hi Doctor,
    Can I get STDs from sitting on a toilet?

  3. Morgan

    Hi Doctor,
    If I have children, will my STDs infect them ? Should I not kiss them or hug them?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      No sir,

      The infections rarely spread through hugging or kissing your children. I assume though that you do not french kiss your children.

  4. Jenny

    Hi Doc,
    Can I get STDs with oral sex ?

  5. Herman

    Hi Doctor,
    Is there a cure for Herpes?

  6. Vern

    Hi,
    Is it true that STD can be transfer from intimate skin to skin ? Just curious.

  7. Jess

    Hi Doctor,
    Is there anything I need to know before going to the test ?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      A well educated patient is better to deal with as this means you’ll be better prepared. So likely, we’d like you to know everything about it before the actual test.

  8. Lee

    Hi Doctor,
    Is there a way I can avoid contracting STDs ?

  9. Megan

    Hello Doctor,
    Can STD being transmitted through saliva, like during kissing ?

  10. supernakal

    Is negative result from alere 4th gen combo test at 14, 28, 91day post exposure conclusive? Did i need to test again in 6 month?

  11. Nick

    hi Dr,
    I have did two 4th generation Elisa ag b test at 29 days and 54 days and laboratory HIV antibodies test at 80 days all come back negative. Do u think it is conclusive and how much is the anonymous test at your clinic?

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