Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Understanding STD

Any type of sexual contact that has an infection that can be passed from one person to another is termed as a sexually transmitted disease. It is important to note that sexual contact would not only mean sexual intercourse through the anus or the vagina. It also covers the sharing of sex toys, kissing, and genital-oral contact. STDs are not modern diseases but has been around for years. It was only in 1984 that HIV/AIDS was recognized.

Most STDs are curable but some are not treatable at all such as the viral infections of hepatitis B and C, HPV, and the dreaded HIV. Gonorrhea, used to be a highly treatable STD, has evolved some strains that have become resistant to older created antibiotics. This is the reason why awareness and knowledge about STDS can be the best prevention against the infection.

What Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)?

STDs/STIs are sexually transmitted diseases/infections are otherwise known as venereal diseases which are transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse that include genital contact. The spread of these infections is through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. There is a range of various symptoms involved in 25 different STDs/STIs.

STD or sexually transmitted disease has another name which is STI or sexually transmitted infection. STI is now the preferred term used because some STDs can infect but not cause any disease. Take the case of Chlamydia. One can get infected with Chlamydia yet do not show any signs and symptoms associated with the disease. When there is the absence of symptoms, people believe that they do not have a disease even when there is the presence of an infection that needs to be treated.

Sometimes the only way you will be able to know you have an STD would be the manifestation of symptoms or your sexual partner tells you that you are infected because he or she has been diagnosed with STD. The absence of symptoms still makes an infected person infectious. Some STDs can be passed by an infected mother to her unborn child.

If you suspect that you may have been exposed to an STD, you should see a doctor. Most STDs are curable, but it can also bring serious medical conditions if left untreated.

Here are some of the most common genital diseases and STDs:


Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is bacterial in nature and one of the most reported. It infects the cervix in women, and the eyes, urethra, and rectum of both sexes. An infected person can pass the infection through sexual intercourse and genital contact. Infertility problems will be one of the serious health conditions if left untreated for a long time.

Genital warts

Some sub-types of HPV or human papilloma virus cause genital warts. They appear in the genital area looking like lumps shaped like a cauliflower which could be fleshy and large or small bumps colored flesh or white. They are hard to spot as they are painless. Having a wart on the cervix may make a woman experience colored discharges from the vagina or may have some slight bleeding.


Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that is popularly called in slang language as ‘the clap’. It can infect the throat, urethra, anus, cervix, and rectum. It may not have any symptoms but if it does, it appears between 1 to 14 days after infection and may include:

  • If the rectum is infected there will be discharges or irritation from the anus
  • Painful urination
  • Changes in the discharges from the vagina
  • A yellow or white discharge from the penis


Inflammation of the liver due to viral infections is called hepatitis. There are several kinds of hepatitis virus that have been named after the alphabet, from A to G. The most common types are A, B, and C. Prolonged and excessive use of alcohol or usage of certain drugs and medications can lead to hepatitis but the common infection comes from a virus.

There are more varieties of STDs and learning more about them could make you see ways and means to prevent acquiring them. Prevention is still the best choice against a cure.

Hepatitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

An inflammation or swelling of the liver is a medical condition called hepatitis.


Hepatitis can be developed by:

  • Medication overuse such as over dosage intake of acetaminophen or other drugs
  • Liver being attacked by the immune cells in the body
  • Liver damage from poison or alcohol
  • Infections from other viruses such as hepatitis C, A, or B, parasites or bacteria

Inherited disorders such as hemochromatosis, which is a condition that holds too much iron in the body or cystic fibrosis, can also cause liver disease. Another disorder that can lead to liver disease is Wilson’s disease wherein too much copper is retained in the body.


Hepatitis may begin and heal quickly. It may also turn into a chronic condition that will stay with you forever. Liver cancer, liver damage, and liver failure are some of the cases that are caused by hepatitis.

Usually, it is hepatitis A that has a shorter term and does not develop into chronic liver conditions. However, it should be noted that if you have existing illnesses including the ones that may have caused some damage to the liver, acquiring hepatitis may give additional severe health conditions.

Some of the symptoms of hepatitis may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Bloating or pain in the abdominal area
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Clay-colored or pale stools and dark urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Low fever
  • Jaundice
  • Itching

When first infected with hepatitis B or C, you may not show any symptoms. It will still later lead to liver failure. Tests should always be done often if you have risks conditions for these two types of hepatitis.

Tests and examinations

A physical exam is needed to look for:

  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin
  • Tender and enlarged liver
  • Ascites or fluid in the abdomen

Lab tests to monitor and diagnose the condition of the liver may include:

  • If fluid is present in the abdomen, a paracentesis is needed
  • Ultrasound of the abdominal area
  • Liver biopsy to check for damages in the liver
  • Autoimmune blood markers
  • Liver function tests
  • Diagnostic tests for Hepatitis A, B, or C


Options in a treatment program will be discussed with you by your health provider. Treatments will be varied, depending on the causes that led to the liver disease. If you have lost weight, a high-calorie diet may be recommended.


  • Liver cancer
  • Cirrhosis, which is permanent liver damage
  • Liver failure

Contacting a medical professional

Help must be immediately sought if you have these symptoms:

  • Delirious and confused
  • Have too much of medicines such as acetaminophen and showing symptoms for the overdose.
  • Have tarry or bloody stools
  • Vomit blood

The doctor also needs to be called if:

  • You have just come from a travel from Central America, Asia, South America, and Africa and now feel sick
  • You think you have been exposed to hepatitis A, B or C as you are showing the symptoms

Excessive vomiting cannot keep food in your stomach.

What You Should Know About Hepatitis?

Inflammation of the liver is called hepatitis which is caused by viruses that can develop to serious health conditions. The virus comes from different types such as A, B, C, D, E, and G.

The viral hepatitis types that are most common are hepatitis A, B, and C. They are all infectious.

Hepatitis A

Humans are the only source of Hepatitis A virus and have the only reservoir for the infection. Infection happens through contact with feces of an individual infected with the virus either directly such as sexual intercourse or person to person, or indirectly through water and food intake coming from sources contaminated with the virus. The infection could also be transferred from blood products. Most people recover from the infection on their own. There is no medication for hepatitis A. Vaccination is the only preventive weapon against it.

Hepatitis B


  • Sharing of personal things with an infected person such as drug paraphernalia, toothbrushes, needles, razors, and nail clippers.
  • Contact with contaminated organs and blood.
  • Infected mother to her baby during childbirth.


  • Many infected people, even those with serious cases do not show any symptoms.
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine

Preventive measures:

  • Avoid sharing of personal items that might have blood contamination such as nail clippers, toothbrushes, needles, and razors.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Safe sex practices

Hepatitis C


  • Infection can be transmitted through sharing personal things with an infected individual such as razors, needles, toothbrushes, and nail clippers.
  • Direct contact with blood products and blood.
  • Can be passed through sexual contact although it is not very common
  • Passed by an infected mother to baby during childbirth.


  • Fatigue
  • Most cases of Hepatitis C do not show any symptoms
  • Dark urine
  • Could sometimes have jaundice
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feelings of uneasiness
  • Loss of appetite

Preventive measures:

Personal items that can possibly acquire contaminated blood should never be shared with an infected person such as needles, toothbrushes, nail clippers, and razors.

Hepatitis D


  • Although found mostly in adults, there is still a possibility of an infected mother passing on the infection to the baby during childbirth
  • Almost always found in developing countries
  • Most often passed through contaminated food or water
  • Passed through fecal-oral route where an infected stool is ingested through food prepared from unwashed hands


  • 90% of Hepatitis E infected children do not show any symptoms
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine
  • Feelings of uneasiness
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite

Preventive measures:

  • Be extra vigilant when on a travel to developing countries
  • Hands should be washed properly before preparing food or before and after eating

Hepatitis G


No symptoms have been reported for this infection.


  • Sexual intercourse can pass the infection
  • Often teams up with other infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B
  • May be passed from an infected mother to baby during birth
  • Sharing of personal things that gets contaminated with the virus
  • Passed through infected blood products and blood

Preventive measures:

  • Safe sex practices

Do not share personal things.