Sexually transmitted diseases are communicable diseases which are transmitted from one person to another through vaginal, oral or anal sex. In addition, they may also be transmitted through the needles that are not properly sterilized. They may be transmitted from the mother to the baby during the birth as well as through breast feeding. They can be transmitted by blood as well. The transmitting agents are bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses. They can cause disease both in men and women. They can be dangerous in women, especially the pregnant ones. Most diseases are transmitted after sexual intercourse without condoms. (safe sex)

General Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

        Discharge from the female genital organ, discharge (in small or greater amounts) from the male urinary canal, ulceration on the external genital organ and burning sensation during urination are among the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.

Diagnosis in Sexually Transmitted Diseases

        A physician can diagnose most of the sexually transmitted diseases with a simple examination and treat them easily. The blood test is crucial for the diagnosis of syphilis. Some sexually transmitted diseases may be asymptomatic. For this reason, the use of condoms is critical.

What are preventive methods?

        Condom use, circumcision, and vaccination against hepatitis A-B and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Chlamydia

        Chlamydia is among the most frequently sexually transmitted diseases. They are generally asymptomatic in women. When it gives symptoms, they may be in the form of change in the vaginal discharge, cystitis and light abdominal pain. Without treatment, it may cause pain in the pelvic region (lower abdominal zones) and during sexual contact. Light bleeding may be seen in between menstrual periods.

Syphilis

        Syphilis is a bacterial disease characterized with pain in the genial zone and it is transmitted through sexually. It is common in the countries with backward healthcare systems and in the countries where sex trade is widespread. It is more common among women. It can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Pubic Louse

        These lice are found in the pubic hair that grows in the skin above the public. They cause itchiness. These lice feed on human blood. Their treatment is simple.

Genital Herpes

        This virus is found in the male and female genital skin and cervix. It has two types. It is a chronic disease. As the disease is asymptomatic, most patients do not know that they are ill. Its first type is transmitted from person to person with direct contact, or vaginal, oral and anal sex. The other type can be transmitted with commonly used materials such as handkerchief. Its rare symptoms include vaginal discharge, tiny wounds in the cervix, painful urination and lassitude. Small, red and painful pustules may be seen in the genital region.

Hepatitis B

        Hepatitis B is transmitted with the semen, blood, saliva or other body fluids of a virus infected person. It may also be transmitted through the needles that are not properly sterilized. It may further be transmitted through breastfeeding. The disease affects the liver and may create serious liver disorders, including cancer. For this reason, blood donors are always tested for Hepatitis B blood transfusion.

AIDS (HIV)

        It is a virus that attacks the immune system. It is progressive. It is transmitted via semen, blood, breast milk and vaginal discharge. It may be transmitted with vaginal, oral or anal sex or blood transfusion, breastfeeding or birth. The medical professionals who treat the patients with the AIDS must act with caution because the disease can be transmitted by blood. There is no cure for the disease; only its progress can be slowed down.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

        Human papillomavirus (HPV) is caused by a virus which lives in wet areas in the human body. There are more than 100 types of HPV. Some 40 types of it live in genital areas. These types may cause cervical cancer. The genital wart form of HPV is widespread usually in developed countries. It is spread via vaginal and anal sex. As the disease is asymptomatic, the ill person may transmit it to other person without knowing that they are ill. Vaccines provide protection against this virus.

Trichomonas

        It is transmitted via a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis via sexual contact. Its symptoms are seen generally in women. Foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain during sexual intercourse and painful urination are among the symptoms of Trichomonas. The virus spread to men during sexual contact with a woman infected with the virus. It can be treated easily with drugs.

Molluscum Contagiosum

        One of its four types is transmitted through sexual contact. It is a widespread disease. It becomes visible with small rounded pustules on the skin. Without treatment, they will disappear. But they may reappear 2 years later. These pustules are treated with chemicals, electrical current and freezing therapy. Some drugs may prove useful.

Sarcoptes scabiei

        This parasite leaves its eggs inside the skin. It is characterized with excessive itchiness. It quickly spreads around the body. It can be transmitted via body contact or sexual contact. Excessive itching may result in inflammation. It may be seen in the genital areas, armpits, and many areas in the body. Its treatment is easy.

Syphilis

        Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease. It can be transmitted from mother to baby. It may lead to pre-term birth and congenital anomalies. Symptoms are seen 21 days after the infection with the bacterium. In its early stages, it can be easily treated. It can be treated easily with antibiotics.

Gonorrhea (the clap)

        It is second most frequently sexually transmitted disease after chlamydia. The disease is asymptomatic in most women. If left untreated, they may give rise to serious disease findings in pelvic organs. In men, it may cause diseases in the urinary canal, testicles and prostate. In men, a dark, inflammatory discharge comes from the urinary canal. It causes pain in the testicles. First symptoms appear usually 2-10 days, and, in some cases, 30 days, after the sexual contact. Its treatment is simple as it is bacteria-induced.

Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

        Chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, trichomonas, sarcoptes scabiei and public louse are the diseases that can be treated. It must be noted that the other sexual partner should be treated as well. These diseases can be easily treated using antibiotics.

        Hepatitis B, herpes simplex (HSV), HIV (AIDS), human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are viral and dangerous diseases. They cannot be treated with drugs. It is crucial to use condoms in order to prevent these diseases. Circumcision has been reported to be preventive against several sexually transmitted diseases.

What happens is sexually transmitted diseases are left untreated?

        The complications include miscarriage, male and female infertility, arthritis, cardiac disease, and cervical cancer (in particular human papillomavirus).