Sexually transmitted diseases are defined as a group of diseases caused by bacteria such as chlamydia, spirochetes, viruses, protozoa and metazoa. These diseases are mostly transmitted through sexual intercourse. Male and female condoms are, probably, the only preventing method of sexually transmitted diseases.
Chlamydia: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 4 million people get infected by chlamydia each year. It is passed on through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults, who frequently change sexual partners. The co-infection of another STD also favors chlamydia infection. Symptoms include purulent vaginal secretion, painful and frequent urination, blood after sexual activity, abdominal pain, pain during sexual intercourse, irritation, itching and redness in the vagina. Most people who are infected have no symptoms, but the infection can persist for several years – and this can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. Therefore, checking when you suspect chlamydia is of major importance.
Trichomoniasis: Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite. This infection can spread easily, and many people can get infected. In women, trichomoniasis can cause a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, genital itching and painful urination. Men who have trichomoniasis typically have no symptoms.
Hepatitis: It is an inflammation of the liver caused by certain viruses and other factors, such as alcohol abuse, certain medications, and trauma. There are safe and effective vaccines that can prevent hepatitis B.
Syphilis: Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. It is treatable in the early stages, but without treatment, it can lead to disability, neurological disorders, and even death. A patient cannot transmit syphilis by sexual intercourse if he suffers from the disease for more than 4 years. At the same time, syphilis increases the likelihood of HIV infection. It can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – AIDS: The human immunodeficiency virus – HIV causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome – AIDS. HIV usually spreads through sexual intercourse, which is why 80% of HIV- infected women are of childbearing age. If HIV infection is detected, then a person should be also tested for other sexually transmitted diseases. A woman infected by HIV is likely to develop premalignant lesions to the vulva, vagina, cervix, perineum and anus. The perinatal HIV transmission rate is under 3% especially when antiviral therapy is administered.
Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea is an infection caused by a sexually transmitted bacterium-gonococcus frequently affecting adolescents and young adults. It usually causes pain when urinating and discharge, frequent urination and symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease with purulent vaginal secretion. This disease is rarely asymptomatic. Treatment of gonococcal infection is simple.
Genital Herpes: Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) and can affect the genital area (genital herpes lesions are more common in large and small labia, clitoris, perineum and perianal areas), or mouth and lips. The usual symptoms are painful lesions.
Human Papilloma Virus – HPV: HPV is mainly transmitted, but not just through sexual contact. It is the most common sexually transmitted disease, appearing three times more than herpetic infection of the genital tract. High-risk HPV types (6,11,16 and 18) are associated with intraepithelial lesions and cervical cancer.
Acute Warts: Acute genital warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), specifically in HPV of types 6 and 11. They can occur in the vulva, vagina, cervix, perineum and anus.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Pelvic inflammatory disease is the most common and most serious infection of the female upper reproductive system. It is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and adjacent pelvic tissues, not caused by surgery or pregnancy. Pelvic inflammatory disease usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina and cervix to the upper parts of the reproductive system. The most common symptom is hypogastric or pelvic pain usually on the first day of menstruation. Other symptoms are white or purulent vaginal discharge, fever, shivering, nausea, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, dysuria, dyspareunia.
Vaginitis: Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina and vulva. Symptoms may include itching, burning, pain, discharge, and a foul smell.
Soft Ulcer: It is uncommon in Greece and the Western World, but high rates of HIV infection have been reported in patients with soft ulcer in the United States and other countries.
Bubonic Granuloma: This infection is also uncommon in our country and the Western world. The disease is endemic in some tropical and developing regions, including India, Papua New Guinea, Central Australia and South Africa. Granulomas occur in the genital and perinatal area in the genetic tract.
Venereal Lymphogranuloma: Lymphogranuloma venereum is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the invasive serovars L1, L2, L3 of Chlamydia trachomatis. The disease can cause inguinal lymphadenitis and lesions in the genital and perianal area and is endemic in Africa, India and Southeast Asia. In Europe, US and Australia appears only occasionally.