Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) represent the wide range of infections mainly contracted as a result of sexual intercourse. Some of the STD's may be very dangerous, and some of them may be simply an annoyance.
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However, a woman should not ignore any type of symptoms, since getting treatment that would be started as soon as possible usually can result in a complete recovery. A good diagnosis, avoidance of negligent behavior and appropriate treatment may be even in some cases – life-saving. Many sexually contracted diseases may cause infertility and many other health complications, resulting in a poor quality of life, stress and fear.
A responsible and self-aware woman should do regular tests and check-ups, in order to detect any eventually dormant disease. Regular gynecologist checkups should become a lifestyle routine for any girl/woman that has entered puberty and/or became a sexually active individual. Regular checkups, among many other benefits, indeed, do help to avoid the spread of STDs among the sexually active population. A woman should also bear in mind that many sexually transmitted diseases do not exhibit any symptoms for a long time. Furthermore, a woman should not ignore any kind of signs that her body sends her, saying that something may be wrong with her body. The following are the most common sexually transmitted diseases and conditions related to them.
The vagina is an organ shaped like a tube that is covered by a fine mucous layer. The mucous layer naturally has bumps on it. However, bumps that are enlarged, itchy, painful or inflamed should be checked out by a gynecologist. Sometimes, irregular bumps are only temporary, caused simply as a side-effect of sexual intercourse. Anyway, irregular bumps may be a symptom of Syphilis, Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection or other conditions.
One of the most common symptoms of a developing sexually transmitted disease is described as a sensation of a vaginal burning. The most common cause of vaginal burning is related to bacterial inflammation of the vagina (Vaginosis). If you, in any case encounter a sensation of vaginal burning, please consult your gynecologist at once.
Vaginal discharge is a natural and very common condition where glands embedded in the vaginal wall and cervix produce a fluid that has the natural ability to wash away any bacteria, micro dirt, or dead cells that get accumulated in the vagina. If your vaginal discharge becomes somewhat abnormal when compared to the naturally occurring one, in terms of color, viscosity or smell, it is strongly advised to consult your doctor. Some of the diseases that have vaginal discharge symptoms are Vaginosis, Chlamydia, HPV infection and other more serious conditions. Also, it is good to know that the vaginal discharge may sometimes be influenced by the contraception pills, steroid therapy and other medications.
Many ladies encounter a itching sensation in their private areas; however, many women find it very uncomfortable to talk about the subject. It is important to know that vaginal itching is usually caused by the two most common factors: sexual intercourse related physical irritation and yeast infections. However, sometimes vaginal itching may be a symptom of a much more serious conditions. Therefore, it is also advised, as it is with other symptoms, to consult your gynecologist. The most common sexually transmitted disease that requires a very strong antibiotic therapy is called Trichomoniasis. Moreover, itching may be related to ulcerous conditions that are sometimes related to, for instance, Syphilis.
The vaginal rash is a condition most commonly experienced by the women that do not use contraception (especially physical contraception - Condoms) and STD preventive methods (Abstinence and avoidance of a high-risk behavior). The vaginal rash may come in many forms. However, any of them should be understood as an alarming signal to immediately visit your gynecologist. The most common cause of the rash in the vaginal area is a disease called Candidiasis, caused by a fungus called Candida. It is also important to know that Candidiasis is easily manageable and finally curable. However, if not treated on time, it can develop into a very dangerous and life-threatening condition.
Symptoms associated with the sensation described as vaginal sores may be the most important indicators that something could be very wrong in your privates. They are usually caused by the benign conditions similar to the contact dermatitis condition, commonly related to the allergic reactions to the hygiene products, soaps, latex and others. Vaginal sores are sometimes, however, associated with the genital herpes and HPV infections. Genital herpes is caused by the Herpesvirus family, and HPV infections are caused by the and HPV infections are caused by the Human papillomavirus. Both of them are known to cause vaginal sores, blisters and warts. If left untreated, they can significantly affect general health, and later increase the risk of cervical cancer and other neoplasms.
Any self-aware and responsible individual should care about personal health along with the partner's health. Considering the fact that many STD's can result in sterility, long-lasting health problems, eventual transmission of a pathogen to the offspring, and even result in death - the best advice would be to be very responsible. Regular use of condoms significantly decreases the STD contraction probability. However, condoms will not protect you with a complete efficiency. The only known 100% effective preventive method is avoidance of a risky sexual behavior. A responsible individual should avoid a frequent change of sexual partners, along with avoiding sexual contact (vaginal, oral or anal) without using protection (condoms). Finally, once again, a responsible individual should check his/her health on a regular basis.
Important notice: The data provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and the true condition, therapy and advice can only be provided by the health-care professionals.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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