Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Common Types and Prevention Strategies

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are the cause of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The main way that they are spread is through sexual interaction. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites can all cause STIs. Blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and other body fluids can all be used to spread these illnesses from one person to another. 

STIs can occasionally spread non-sexually. For example, they can spread to babies through sharing needles or blood transfusions, as well as during pregnancy and childbirth. A person can get an STI from someone who seems healthy and may not be aware they are sick because STIs frequently do not cause symptoms. To get the best treatment, contact the Best gynecologist in Delhi: Dr. Rita Bakshi.

Symptoms 

There are many different symptoms that STDs might have, or sometimes none at all. Because of this, sexually transmitted illnesses may go undiagnosed until they cause problems or a partner gets tested. 

STI symptoms can include: 

Chlamydia Symptoms

A bacterial infection of the genital tract is called chlamydia. Chlamydia frequently exhibits few or no symptoms at first. When symptoms do arise, they usually do so five to fourteen days following exposure, and they might be minor. Among the symptoms and indicators are: 

  1. Urinating with pain and burning  
  2. Pain in the lower abdomen 
  3. Pain in the lower back 
  4. Vaginal discharge 
  5. Fever 
  6. Diaphoresis 
  7. Testicular discomfort or swelling 
  8. Vaginal sex pain 
  9. Intermittent bleeding 
  10. Rectal pain, discharge, or blood

Gonorrhea Symptoms

Another bacterial genital tract infection, gonorrhoea usually manifests symptoms in females after 10 days and in males after 5 days of exposure. 

Symptoms of gonorrhoea may include: 

  • Excessive menstrual flow or bleeding in between periods 
  • Pain or burning when urinating 
  • Thick, hazy, or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina 
  • Swollen, painful testicles 
  • Excruciating bowel motions Anal itching;
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain;
  • Discharge, soreness, or bleeding from the rectal area In addition, gonorrhoea can infect the joints, eyes, throat, and mouth. 

In these regions, symptoms could include:

  • Itching, discharge, light sensitivity, and eye pain 
  • Sore throat or enlarged glands in the neck 
  • Pain, swelling, or warmth in the joints

Trichomoniasis Symptoms

Trichomonas vaginalis is the parasite that causes trichomoniasis, a common sexually transmitted infection. The cervix, urethra, vulva, and vagina are frequently impacted by this infection. Within five to twenty-eight days following exposure, symptoms ranging from minor irritation to severe inflammation may manifest. 

Symptoms of trichomoniasis can include: 

  • Vaginal discharge that is clear, white, greenish, or yellowish 
  • Diaphoresis 
  • A strong, fishy smell coming from the vagina; 
  • Itching, burning, soreness, or irritation inside the penis; 
  • ache during intercourse; 
  • Painful urination; 
  • Periodically, lower stomach ache

HIV Symptoms

The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, weakens the immune system’s capacity to fend against illnesses. It can develop into AIDS, a persistent and potentially fatal illness, if treatment is not received. The severity of the infection and the state of treatment affect the symptoms. Initial Symptoms HIV often manifests as flu-like symptoms two to four weeks post-infection, lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The virus multiplies quickly during this time, raising the possibility of transmission. 

Early signs of HIV may include: 

  1. High temperature 
  2. Cold feeling 
  3. Sore throat; 
  4. Headache or muscular aches; 
  5. Swollen lymph glands 
  6. Rash 
  7. Exhaustion Sweating at night 
  8. Mouth ulcers Middle-stage or chronic symptoms 

During the chronic phase, the virus frequently reproduces at low levels without causing any symptoms. Antiretroviral medication can assist in keeping this period going forever.

Symptoms of chronic HIV infection can include: 

  • Weight loss 
  • Fever 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Cough and shortness of breath 

AIDS Signs and Symptoms:

In roughly ten years, untreated chronic HIV can develop into AIDS. 

Life-threatening symptoms of AIDS include: 

  • Fever 
  • Weakness  
  • Quick weight loss 
  • Excessive exhaustion 
  • Night sweats; 
  • Recurrent fever; 
  • Persistent enlargement of lymph nodes 
  • More than a week’s worth of diarrhoea 
  • Mouth, anus, or genital sores Blotches of discoloured skin; 
  • memory loss; 
  • depression; infections, such as pneumonia

Genital Herpes Symptoms

The herpes simplex virus (HSV), which causes genital herpes, spreads quickly through microscopic tears in the skin or mucous membranes. Many HSV patients exhibit negligible or no symptoms at all. When symptoms do manifest, they usually do so 12 days after exposure. 

Symptoms of genital herpes may include: 

  • Pain or itching in the area surrounding the genitals, buttocks, and inner thighs; 
  • Small red lumps, blisters, or open sores around the mouth, rectum, or genitals 
  • An abdominal pressure sensation 
  • Vaginal discharge 
  • Urination that hurts because of ulcers 
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, sore muscles, and enlarged lymph nodes in the groin, during the initial epidemic 

Even in cases where lesions are invisible, herpes can still spread.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection and Genital Warts Symptoms

Common STIs include HPV, of which some strains cause genital warts and others raise the risk of cervical cancer. Asymptomatic HPV infections predominate. Genital wart symptoms include:  

  1. Tiny, large, elevated, or flat lumps, or a cluster of bumps, in the genital area 
  2. Warts that resemble cauliflowers 
  3. Sensitivity or pain in the vaginal region 
  4. Hemorrhaging during intercourse 
  5. Sporadic warts in the mouth or throat following oral sex with an infected individual 

Symptoms of Hepatitis:

Different viruses can cause hepatitis A, B, and C, which are infections of the liver. Although hepatitis A is less severe than hepatitis B and C, they can all result in inflammation of the liver. Weeks after exposure, symptoms may manifest, but other individuals have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms of hepatitis can include: 

  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting and nausea 
  • Pain in the stomach, particularly around the liver 
  • Appetite loss 
  • High fever 
  • Pungentum Stool is the colour of clay-Pain in the muscles or joints 
  • Itching 
  • Jaundice (eye and skin yellowing) 

Symptoms of Syphilis:

A bacterial infection that affects the genitalia, skin, mouth, and anus, syphilis can also spread to other regions of the body, such as the heart and brain. Primary, secondary, and tertiary stages are the stages it goes through; a latent stage without symptoms is also possible. 

Primary Stage: One or more painless lesions at the injection site (lips, tongue, rectum, or genitalia) called crevices.

Secondary Stage: 

Rough, discoloured, and frequently non-itching rashes anywhere on the body, including the palms and soles. 

  1. High-temperature Inflamed lymph nodes 
  2. Exhaustion 
  3. Muscle or headache aches 
  4. Spotty hair loss 
  5. Reduction of weight 
  6. Sore throat Stage III (Late Stage) Years after the original infection, untreated syphilis can result in significant damage to internal organs and even death. 

Late-stage signs and symptoms consist of: 

  • Loss of feeling or inability to coordinate due to nerve injury  
  • Dementia 
  • Paralysis 
  • Blindness 
  • Deafness

Pregnant women who contract syphilis may give birth to a child who has congenital syphilis, which can have serious or deadly consequences. 

Treating this right away is essential. Neurosyphilis: 

  • Excruciating headaches 
  • Issues with coordination and muscle weakness 
  • Perplexity and modifications in conduct 

Ocular Syphilis: 

  • Changes in vision, including blindness, and discomfort in the eyes Otosyphilis 
  • Decreased hearing 
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing) 
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

When to Visit a Physician:

Seek emergency medical assistance if:  

  • You have an active sexual life and worry that you might have come into contact with an STD.  
  • You show signs of an infection contracted through sexual activity. 

Make an appointment to see a medical professional:  

  • When you intend to start having sexual relations, or by the age of 21, whichever comes first.  
  • Before starting a new partner’s sexual relationship. 

Causes

Sexually transmitted infections can be caused by:

Bacteria: Syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea are a few examples.  

Parasites: A parasite is the cause of trichomoniasis, an STD.  

Viruses: Viruses are the source of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes simplex virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.  

Danger Elements:

Anybody who engages in sexual activity runs the risk of catching or spreading an STD. This risk is increased by the following factors: 

Having unprotected sex: Having sex with an infected partner vaginally or anally without the use of a condom (latex or polyurethane) greatly increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections. Natural membrane condoms are not advised because some STIs can still be contracted with them. The danger is further increased by using condoms incorrectly or inconsistently.

Oral sex: Although normally less dangerous, condoms (made of latex or polyurethane) or dental dams (thin rubber squares made of silicone or latex) can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infection (STIs).  

Many sexual partners: Your chance of acquiring an STI increases with the number of partners you have.  

History of STIs: It is more likely to have another STI if you have already had one. 

Coercion into sexual activity: If you are coerced into engaging in sexual activity, get screening, treatment, and emotional support right away from a medical professional.  

Substance abuse: Abuse of recreational drugs or alcohol can cause dangerous behaviours and impair judgment. 

Drug injection: Sharing needles can spread dangerous infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.  

Youth: Compared to older age groups, those between the ages of 15 and 24 show higher reported rates of STIs.

Spread from Mothers to Infants

Certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV, and syphilis, can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth. Infancy-related STIs can cause major health problems or even death. As a result, all expectant mothers ought to undergo STI screening and treatment as needed.

Complications

Since many people do not show symptoms in the early stages of an STD, screening is essential to avoiding consequences. STI-related problems can lead to the following complications:  

  • Pelvic pain  
  • Complications during pregnancy 
  • Inflammation of the eyes, arthritis, and pelvic inflammatory illness 
  • Infertility  
  • Heart conditions  
  • Some malignancies, including those connected to HPV in the cervical and rectal regions

Prevention

There are several strategies to lower your chance of getting an STD:  

Refrain from having sex: Avoiding sex is the best approach to protect yourself from STDs.  

Monogamous relationships: The risk of sexually transmitted infections (STDs) can be lowered by maintaining a long-term partnership in which both partners are uninfected and solely have sex. 

Testing and waiting: Wait until both partners have undergone STI testing before engaging in vaginal or anal intercourse. Although there is reduced danger associated with oral sex, STIs can still spread if dental dams or condoms made of latex or polyurethane are not used to stop skin-to-skin contact.  

Vaccination: To avoid some STIs, get vaccinated before engaging in sexual activity. Hepatitis A, B, and HPV vaccinations are offered.

Consistent and proper use of dental dams and condoms: Whether for anal, vaginal, or oral sex acts, use a fresh dental dam or condom made of latex or polyurethane. Steer clear of oil-based lubricants with latex barriers as they may weaken and lessen their ability to prevent STIs that cause vaginal sores, such as herpes or HPV.  

Contraception without barriers: Contraceptive methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) or pills do not offer STI protection.  

Avoid using illegal drugs and excessive alcohol: Risky sexual behaviour is more likely to be engaged when under the influence. Communicate with your partner: Before engaging in any sexual activity, talk about safer sexual practices and mutually decide on appropriate behaviours.  

Take into consideration male circumcision: Research has demonstrated that male circumcision lowers a man’s chance of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive woman. 

Practice pre-exposure prophylaxis (Pr-EP):

To reduce the risk of HIV infection in high-risk persons, the FDA has approved combination drugs such as Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) and Descovy (emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate). These drugs must be taken as directed every day, and renal function and HIV tests must be done regularly. The CDC estimates that taking Truvada every day can lower the risk of HIV infection from injectable drug use by more than 74% and from sexual contact by almost 99%. Although it hasn’t been tested on individuals who engage in receptive vaginal sex, research suggests Descovy is also useful in lowering HIV risk from sex. Condoms are one additional preventive step that can help reduce the danger and stop other STIs. Feel free to contact the best gynaecologist in Delhi: Dr. Rita Bakshi

× How can I help you?