Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also renowned as venereal diseases or sexually transmitted diseases. Most of the time, these diseases are transmitted through sexual contact. However, in some instances, one may contract a sexually transmitted disease by having contact with contaminated blood and tissues, breast feeding or during childbirth. These diseases are easily passed from one another due to the fact that sometimes it takes long time duration before the symptoms are noticed.
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Depending on the STI, it may take up to a month before the symptoms are revealed. In other cases, it may take even a longer or shorter period. Some of the common symptoms in both men and women include:
Sexually transmitted infections may also bring about complications during birth which may cause undesired outcomes for the baby. Some sexually transmitted infections may also bring about infertility, chronic pain or even death.
Sexually transmitted infections can be caused by a number of varying bacteria or viruses or parasitic protozoa.
Diseases caused by bacteria include gonorrhea, syphilis and Chlamydia among others. STIs caused by viruses include HIV/AIDS, Genital herpes and genital warts among others.
Sexually transmitted infections can also be brought forth by protozoan parasites such as Trichomonas vaginalis as well as by insects such as scabies mites or crab lice. Parasitic STIs include Trichomoniasis among others. They are also contracted through sexual intercourse, oral sex, breastfeeding, childbirth or contact with contaminated blood and tissue, sharing of contaminated needles or sharing other contaminated tattooing or body piercing equipment.
Diagnosis for the majority of STIs involves physical examination, a look into the patient's medical history including a number of blood tests. Some of these tests include;
Most STIs can be treated and cured using varying drugs such as antibiotics. Nevertheless, prevention is the best way of treatment. There are vaccinations that an individual can take to minimize the risk of contracting an STI such as Hepatitis B.
On the other hand, there are other sexually transmitted infections that are not curable, but can be treated to minimize or lighten their symptoms and signs. Such STIs include Herpes, Hepatitis B or HIV/AIDS.
In addition, antibiotics have been used in most cases to treat some STIs such as gonorrhea. However, some of them seem to be developing resistance to antibiotics. It is therefore important to consult a doctor for the appropriate treatment.
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