Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are preventable infections that are contracted through sexual intercourse and other means.
The World Health Organization (WHO) informs that every year, there is an estimation of 357 million new infections with one of the curable STIs.
Some STIs affect fertility and childbirth by causing infertility, mother-to-child-transmission or still-births.
Types of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Not all Sexually Transmitted Infections are curable. There are eight major pathogens of the 30 different bacteria transmitted by sexual contact. Of these eight, only four are curable, the incurable ones are viral infections.
This has no noticeable symptoms and can therefor exist for a long time. When symptoms develop however, they usually include:
- Green or yellow vaginal or penis discharge.
- Painful urination.
- Painful or discomforting sexual intercourse.
- Lower abdominal pain.
Where it is ignored without treatment, it can develop into:
- Infections of the testicles, prostate gland and for women, the urethra.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
It can be transferred from mother to child during pregnancy/birth causing the child to develop pneumonia, blindness or other eye infections.
Treatment – Antibiotics.
Like Chlamydia, this bacterial infection can go on unnoticed in its early stages. It is painless, but this does not do justice to its high infectiousness. Where symptoms appear, they include:
- Warts, sores and rashes around the mouth, vagina or penis, anus, thighs, etc.
- Frequent fatigue
- Weight loss
- Alopecia (Hair loss)
Untreated Syphilis can develop into:
- Heart diseases
- Memory loss
- Infections of the brain and spinal cord
- Mental illnesses
In its early stages, antibiotics can easily treat syphilis, but however it happens to an infant, the consequences could be fatal, hence the need to screen pregnant women for syphilis.
This is also known as “the clap”. The symptoms of this bacterial infection are rare, but when they occur, they include:
- Colored (white, green, yellow) vaginal or penis discharge.
- Unusually frequent urination.
- Sore throat
- Painful or discomforting urination.
- Itching in the genitals and surrounding areas.
- Painful sexual intercourse
Untreated gonorrhea could lead to:
- Other infections of the urethra, testicles or prostate gland.
- Pelvic Inflammatory diseases
Treatable with antibiotics. When passed from mother to child at birth, it could have grave consequences. It is therefore advisable to screen pregnant women for gonorrhea.
This is pubic lice that reside in the pubic hair like lice on the head or body. They feed on human blood and could be painful.
- General body weakness
- Itchiness and pink/red small bumps in the genital area
- Low-grade fever
- Lice and tiny white eggs at the roots of pubic hair
It can be transmitted through sex, beddings, towels, skin-to-skin contact, etc. When scratched, the bites become infectious.
Treatment – Over-the-counter medication and tweezers.
Another communicable bacterial infection. It enjoys the same symptoms as the other infections and may be treated with antibiotics. Untreated, trichonomiasis may develop into same serious conditions as syphilis.
Untreatable (Venereal) Diseases
- Herpes Simples Virus (HSV) – Also called Herpes Simplex. It could be oral (HSV 1) or genital (HSV2).
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – It is the most common STI. There are different types of HPV and some of them can cause genital warts as well as vaginal, cervical and vulvar HPV cancers.
- Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) – It is transmitted through sex and blood exchange of any kind. With time, it develops into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
At Progressive Women’s Health, we provide services that treat the infections and help manage the venereal diseases. Visit us for further information and action.