What is a venereal disease?
Venereal Disease, or commonly known as sexually transmitted disease refer to infections that can be transferred from person to person through sexual contact. Common venereal diseases include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, yeast infections, and HIV/AIDS. The occurrence of sexually transmitted disease is becoming more and more serious because the increasing incidences these last couple of years.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), as many as 20 million people are infected with STDs each year in the United States alone. Another disturbing fact is that most of these people affected with a venereal disease are the young people. In fact, it is believed that about 60% of all infections occur in people below the age of 25.
How does a venereal disease spread?
The spread of STDs can be very much attributed to peoples misinformation about their true nature. For example, people think that they can only be infected if they have sex, which is not the case. Sexually transmitted diseases are only named such because they are commonly spread by sexual intercourse. However, sexual intercourse is not only limited to contact with sexual organs but rather means vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
This means that people who practice other sexual practices rather than actual intercourse with an infected person can also be infected. Sexually transmitted diseases affect both men and women regardless of age and background. Nonetheless, there are certain factors, which increases a persons risk for STD. These include having multiple sexual partners, sexual activity at a young age and unprotected sex.
One difficult factor, which makes detection and treatment difficult, is that often times, people do not know that they have a venereal disease. This is primarily because most STDs do not present itself with any symptoms. As much as STDs affect both genders, they often affect them in varying degrees.
For example, long-term complications commonly affect women more than men, which could result to debilitating conditions like infertility, difficulty in pregnancy or even death. In addition, many sexually transmitted diseases can unfortunately be passed on from a mother to her baby. With all these overwhelming information about the wide spread of various sexually transmitted diseases, people should become more responsible when it comes to their sexual habits.
What are the common sexually transmitted diseases?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is considered to be the most common STD in the United States. It is otherwise known as a silent disease, because it initially does not produce any symptoms. Chlamydia symptoms usually appear between one to three weeks after exposure.
In women, symptoms include irregular menstrual bleeding, frequent urination, and an increased vaginal discharge. For men, a burning sensation felt during urination as well as unusual discharge from the penis are common signs. Treatment for Chlamydia consists of a short course of antibiotics, to be taken as prescribed.
Gonorrhea, on the other hand, is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that grows faster in moist areas. The risk is more dangerous for women because this infection can spread to other genital organs, which in turn can cause debilitating conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID0 or salpingitis, two conditions that can lead to infertility.
It can also be passed on from an infected mother to her baby. Venereal disease symptoms for men and women are generally the same. These include unusual discharges; greenish or yellowish for women and whitish for men, pain while urinating, and irritation from the anus. Gonorrhea treatment is the same as that of Chlamydia.
The bacterium Treponema palladium causes Syphilis, which has been called as the great imitator because its symptoms are almost always indistinguishable from those of other STDs. Syphilis can be acquired through direct contact with a sore that usually appears on the genital area, rectum or mouth. If left untreated, this venereal disease can become a life-threatening disease. What you should know is that syphilis is a slow progressing disease with several stages and that symptoms are the same in men and women.
The primary stage is where one or more painless ulcers come out. This ulcer or chancre, which is usually small, round and painless, appears at the same spot where syphilis entered the body. Usually, these chancres can heal without treatment. However, if no adequate treatment is administered, the disease may progress to the second stage. The secondary stage is characterized by mucous membrane lesions and skin rash. Other symptoms include fever, sore throat, weight loss, and fatigue. If not again properly treated, this disease may progress to the third and late stages.
The latent stage happens when the infection remains in the body for years without subsequent symptoms. This can lead to more serious conditions such as damage to internal organs, paralysis, and even death. Venereal disease treatment of syphilis is easy in its early stages. This would involve the injection of penicillin or other antibiotics. This is the reason why the moment a person suspects syphilis, he or she should inform a medical practitioner as soon as possible.
How do I protect myself from venereal disease?
Preventive measures for every type of venereal disease is essentially the same. Avoiding sex with multiple sex partners is the initial step in protecting yourself. Remember that promiscuity can double your risk for acquiring a venereal disease. This is even more alarming because most people are not aware that their sex partners are infected. Secondly, always practice safe sex methods. Safe sex means the use of latex condoms to limit the spread of body fluids.
Safe sex means the observance of cleanliness and hygiene especially with sex organs. This can be done by washing them properly and drying them well after. Remember that moist areas are the breeding ground of bacteria. Lastly, masturbation is said to be one of the best techniques in avoiding STDs. This can be mutually done if you are looking for a more satisfying encounter.
Remember that sexual health is something that you should put more consideration to. With the growing incidence of STDs, protecting yourself rather than curing yourself, is always the best idea.