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.

Herpes: What Causes Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is caused by the HSV or the herpes simplex virus and is one of the most common viral infections that can infect the mouth and genitals. The virus has two types, which are type 1 or HSV-1 and type 2 or HSV-2. The lesions that both HSV types cause look alike which only a laboratory testing can distinguish.

The first time experience of an HSV infection with symptoms produces severe reactions to the body as it is the first time for the immune system to come in contact with the virus.

The initial infection of HSV can take as long as 20 days and the symptoms that are expected will include specific symptoms from the genital area such as blisters or sores, fever, and pains and aches. There are other people though, who will only experience mild symptoms after the initial infection which could mostly lead it to be undiagnosed and unrecognized.

Most people who get infected with genital herpes will not feel any symptoms. For people who have experienced a previous cold sore infection, the symptoms may be less serious while others none at all especially when they had built a resistance to HSV1.

If ever there are symptoms, it begins with pain or burning, tingling, itching accompanied by an appearance of red and painful spots which changes after a day or two to blisters filled with clear fluid that quickly turn a yellowish-white color.

The blisters will eventually burst resulting in painful ulcers which when it has become dry, will heal and form a scab after 10 days.

There are cases where new blisters form over the ulcer stage, prolonging the episode of the initial infection. But then, there will also be a non-blister stage with only appearances of skin ulcers that may look like cracks or cuts in the skin.

There are women infected with genital herpes that manifest vaginal discharges.

There are no exact signs and symptoms for every person infected with genital herpes. There are women who experience pain and burning sensation when urinating which can be helped by drinking plenty of fluids that can reduce the pain when the urine is diluted.

Close skin-to-skin contact during sex transmits herpes. People infected with herpes can be infectious even when there are no present symptoms.

Cold sores or oral herpes lesions can infect the genital area when engaged in oral sex. If one partner has a cold sore, oral sex must be avoided. Most women get genital herpes infection through oral sex.

There is a reduced chance of transmitting herpes if condoms are used between outbreaks or abstaining from sex when symptoms are present. Herpes infection will be at very low risk if a combination of using condoms at all sexual activity and daily intake of retroviral drugs are followed.

Sharing of toilet seats and towels with an infected person is not a possible way of transmitting the infection. The herpes virus cannot survive for a few seconds outside a host body. Soap and water can also kill the virus.

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.

Treatment for Chlamydia

One of the United States’ very common sexually transmitted diseases is Chlamydia. Since it is mostly asymptomatic, the infection gets passed to other partners as the infected person does not know that he or she is infected.

Being infected with Chlamydia would not be easy to say as it is mostly asymptomatic. If symptoms do happen it will only be noticed after a week or three weeks following infection and they may include:

Symptoms in women

  • Pain during urination
  • Odorous with abnormal amounts of vaginal discharges
  • Burning or itching around or in the vagina
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Fever with abdominal pain
  • Painful cramps during menstruation


Symptoms in Men

  • Swelling and pain around the testicles
  • Cloudy or clear discharges from the penis’ tip
  • Itching and burning surrounding the penis’ opening
  • Pain during urination

Your doctor will use different tests to diagnose a Chlamydia infection. A swab will be used to take a sample from the cervix in women or urethra in men which will then be sent to be analyzed in the laboratory. Urine samples to see the presence of the Chlamydia bacteria can also be another form of test.


If tests are positive for Chlamydia oral antibiotics such as azithromycin or doxycycline will be prescribed by your doctor. He or she will also advise that the way to stop or contain re-infection is for your partner(s) to submit to an STD test and treatment.

The infection usually clears up after a week or two of treatment. Even if you feel better, the antibiotic therapy that was prescribed should be completed in order to eliminate Chlamydia from your system.

Severe infections of Chlamydia that usually occurs in women would need hospitalization. The treatment that will be done while confined in the hospital will be a combination of medicines for pain and antibiotics given intravenously.

Infected people must be re-tested after the prescribed antibiotic treatment has been consumed. This is to ensure that the infection has been cured. This is very important especially when you are not sure if your partner(s) underwent testing and treatment. The best way to avoid re-infection is to refrain from any sexual activity until you are sure that you and your partner are free of the disease.

Here are ways to remove the risk of being infected by Chlamydia:

  • Avoid sex and see your doctor if you feel that you have contracted Chlamydia.
  • Practice safe sex by using condoms every single time you have a sexual activity.
  • Practice abstinence from sex, or only have sexual relations with one uninfected partner.
  • Learn not to use multiple partners.

Discharges, an unusual rash or sore, or pain during urination should always be a signal to stop all sexual activity and to see your doctor as soon as possible. You have the responsibility of informing your partner(s) if you are tested positive for a Chlamydia infection. This will give them a chance to submit to a test and treatment.

Chlamydia Infection: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease, especially in sexually active young adults and teenagers.


Most infected people do not show any symptoms and are even unaware they have it. But if symptoms show, it may include:

Swelling and pain in the testicles for men

Burning or pain when urinating

In women, lower abdominal pain, bleeding between menstrual periods, during or after sex bleeding

Unusual discharges from the rectum, vagina or penis

If you think that you have Chlamydia based on the symptoms listed above, visit the nearest STD testing centers to be tested and treated. The earlier you get the treatment, the lesser risk for serious health conditions that could last a lifetime.


Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted through sexual intercourse or contact with genital fluids such as vaginal fluid or semen that is infected.

You can get infected with Chlamydia by:

Getting infected vaginal fluid or semen in your eye

Unprotected oral, vaginal, and anal sex

Genitals coming in contact with an infected person’s genitals even when there is no ejaculation, penetration or orgasm

sex toys sharing that have not been covered with a new condom or washed after every use

infected mother to her newborn during birth

Chlamydia cannot be transmitted by utensil sharing, hugging and kissing, or sharing toilet seats, baths, swimming pools, and towels.

Serious health complications

Although Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics, it can cause serious health conditions if left untreated.

If no treatment is done, other body parts can be infected leading to serious health problems such as reactive arthritis, PID or pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and inflammation of the testicles or epididymo-orchitis.

These are the reasons why a test and treatment as early as possible is very important if you suspect that you have been infected with Chlamydia.


Antibiotics can easily treat Chlamydia. It may either be a long course of capsules that needs to be taken for a week or a single dose oral or injectable form.

Sex should be avoided until you or your partner is done with the treatments. If a single dose treatment has been applied, sex should still be avoided for a week.

It is important that your sexual partners and current partner that you’ve had sexual relations within the past six months could also be tested and treated to stop the infection from spreading.

The health centers, testing centers or your health care provider can help you get in touch with your sexual partners. The clinics or health centers can either send them a letter or speak to them about the need to be tested and treated. The letter will not state your name to protect your privacy.


A sexually active individual will most likely be infected with Chlamydia. The risk will be higher for those who do not use protective barriers such as a condom during every sexual activity or having multiple partners.

Get tested and treated as soon as you suspect that you have been infected with Chlamydia or any other STD.