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Sexually Transmitted Diseases Symptoms and Treatment

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases transmitted from sick people to the other party through unprotected sexual intercourse.

Although these diseases are usually passed during sexual intercourse, it is also possible to pass blood and blood products to the baby during surgical interventions or from a sick mother during childbirth. In this article, I will talk about the diagnosis, symptoms (symptoms), prevention methods and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.


How is the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases (sexually transmitted diseases, STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Sexual intercourse: Transmission usually occurs as a result of vaginal, anal or oral intercourse, sometimes through the skin (herpes virus, HPV, etc.).
  • Operations: In cases where sterilization is not followed during surgical procedures, these diseases can also be transmitted with surgical materials.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth: It can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth.


Are sexually transmitted diseases transmitted through blood and saliva?

Yes, these diseases can be transmitted through blood, blood products and saliva.


Which department deals with sexually transmitted diseases?

If it is a woman, it would be more appropriate for a gynecologist to deal with sexually transmitted diseases, and a urologist if it is a man. If necessary, the opinion of other relevant departments is also sought.


What are the factors of sexually transmitted disease?

The factors of sexually transmitted diseases are the same as other factors that cause disease in the body. Viruses, bacteria and parasites cause sexually transmitted infections.

  • Bacteria: Gonococci, nongonococcal bacteria
  • Viruses: Hepatitis virus, HIV, HPV, herpes simples virus
  • Parasites: Trichomonas vaginalis


What are the most common sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases may present with different clinical pictures depending on different factors. The most common sexually transmitted diseases we encounter in daily practice are:

  • Gonorrhea (gonorrhea)
  • Chlamidia (chlamidia)
  • Genital herpes
  • HPV
  • Syphilis
  • Pubic lice (pubic lice)
  • Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis causative)
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Hepatitis
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • PID (pelvic inflammmatory disease)


Sexually transmitted diseases are common in which gender?

These diseases can occur in both men and women. If the disease occurs in pregnant women, the child may also be affected by the disease. Generally, it is more common to pass on to men after sexual intercourse with women who have the disease.


What are the symptoms of sexually transmitted disease?

Sexually transmitted diseases do not always show signs (symptoms), sometimes they give very few symptoms. Common symptoms (complaints) in these patients are:

Inflamed discharge from the penis in men

  • Inflamed discharge from the vagina in women
  • Vaginal odorous discharge in women
  • Burning, pain while urinating (dysuria)
  • Redness and itching in genital areas
  • Sometimes pain in the lower abdomen
  • Presence of blisters or sores in the mouth or around the lips
  • Anal itching, pain or bleeding
  • Fever


What are the symptoms related to chlamydia (chlamydia) infection?

It is difficult to understand sexual diseases due to chlamydia in the early stages. Symptoms start late in those exposed to this microorganism. Usually, the symptoms of the disease appear 1-3 weeks after the ingestion of the microbe. These symptoms are:

  • Burning while urinating
  • Itching sensation in the urethra
  • Pain on touching in the urethra
  • Abdominal pain: It usually occurs in the lower parts of the abdomen, it is not in the form of very serious pain.
  • Vaginal discharge in female patients
  • Discharge from the penis in men
  • Female patients may have vaginal pain during intercourse.
  • Occasionally, vaginal bleeding may occur in female patients.
  • Men may have complaints such as pain and discomfort in the testicles.


What are the complaints related to gonococcal infection?

Gonococcal infections can occur in the genital tract, mouth, throat, eyes and anal region. Symptoms usually appear 10 days after unprotected intercourse with an infected person. Symptoms due to gonococcal infection:

  • Inflamed discharge from the penis in men and from the vagina in women
  • Burning, itching, pain in the urethra while urinating
  • Excessive menstrual bleeding in women
  • There may be edema and pain in the testicles
  • There may be itching in and around the anus


What are the symptoms associated with Trichomonas vaginalis infection?

This disease is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is transmitted through contact with infected patients. It is found in the vagina of sick women and is transmitted to men by intercourse. Symptoms appear after an average of 5-28 days after intercourse. Symptoms:

  • Greenish, yellowish-smelling vaginal discharge in women
  • Vaginal itching
  • Itching, irritation in the urethra in men
  • Vaginal pain during intercourse
  • Burning while urinating in men
  • Urethral itching, pain
  • Male urethral discharge


What are the symptoms of infections caused by HIV?

HIV is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV virus causes the emergence of AIDS by reducing the resistance of the organism against viruses, bacteria and fungi. It is possible to groan in two groups as early and late symptoms.

early symptoms

Symptoms in people who are infected with the HIV virus appear after 2-6 weeks with symptoms such as a cold. Serious symptoms appear after about 10 years.

early symptoms

  • Different degrees of fever can be seen
  • Headache
  • Sore throat, sometimes straining while eating and drinking
  • Swelling, pain in lymph nodes
  • Skin rashes on the body
  • Getting tired quickly in daily life
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss (slimming)
  • Lung symptoms such as cough, difficulty in breathing

late symptoms

  • Severe fatigue of unknown cause
  • Night sweats
  • Findings of chills, chills and high fever for a long time
  • Long-term swelling in the lymph nodes (more than 3-4 months)
  • Long-term unexplained diarrhea complaints
  • Long-term unexplained headaches
  • Opportunistic infections (infections caused by microbes that are normally in the body but do not infect)


What are the symptoms of genital herpes disease?

Genital herpes, the herpes simplex virus (HSV) is an infectious disease that spreads through open wounds or mucous membranes in the skin.


  • Small ulcers or blisters in the genital and anal area
  • Pain and itching may occur in the genital area, anal area, and groin.


Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and symptoms

HPV is a disease caused by the human papilloma virus. Some types cause uterine pain cancers in women, some types cause warts in the genital area. Symptoms:

  • Small, skin-colored or sometimes gray small lesions in the genital area
  • Warts on the skin of the genital area in different sizes
  • Itching or discomfort in the genital area
  • Bleeding during sexual intercourse
  • Sometimes similar warts can be seen in the mouth and throat.


What are the symptoms of hepatitis?

Hepatitis A, B and C are infectious diseases that cause infection by affecting the liver. The symptoms of the disease are different, sometimes it may not show any symptoms, sometimes it causes some complaints after weeks:

  • A general state of fatigue
  • Nausea vomiting
  • Pain and discomfort in the upper right part of the abdomen, especially in the liver region
  • Anorexia
  • High fever of varying degrees
  • Unexplained muscle and joint pain
  • Dark colored urine
  • Itching on the skin
  • In general, jaundice on the skin and eyes of the body


What are the symptoms of syphilis?

It is a disease involving the genital area, skin and mucous membranes, and sometimes the nervous system and heart. It manifests itself with different symptoms in the early, late and neurosyphilis stages.

Early symptoms of syphilis

  • High fever
  • Enlargement and pain in lymph nodes
  • General tiredness
  • Reddish, brown wounds and rashes of various sizes on different parts of the body, palms, soles

Late symptoms of syphilis

  • Drowsiness
  • Paralysis may develop
  • There may be visual loss
  • Dementia or dementia-like conditions may occur
  • Patients may have coordination problems

If the nervous system is involved, neurosyphilis develops. Symptoms of neurosyphilis:

  • Persistent headaches, which can sometimes be serious
  • There may be behavioral changes
  • Patients may have problems in their movements.


When to go to the doctor?

People who have unprotected sexual intercourse in case of urethral discharge, ulcers in the genital shade, acne; If women have odorous vaginal discharge and pain during intercourse, spontaneous discharge that leaves a stain on underwear, burning and itching in the urethra, a Urologist should be consulted. Some diseases may occur long after contact. After each intercourse, the disease does not appear or takes time. These times vary depending on the infection factor.


How is the disease diagnosed?

It is not difficult to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases. The diagnosis can be easily made by anamnesis (interrogation of the patient), examination of the patient and laboratory tests.

  • Patient’s history (interrogation of the patient): The doctor must inquire about the sexual life of the patients, whether blood or serum is given, surgical procedures, tooth extraction.
  • Physical examination: Examination of the genital area helps in diagnosis
  • Microscopic examination: Microscopic examination of urine and discharge samples, culture should be done if necessary.
  • Blood test: It is important in the diagnosis of diseases such as AIDS/HIV.
  • Special tests: There are special tests for viral diseases such as HPV and HPS. The VDRL test is a test used in the diagnosis of syphilis.
  • Special package tests: There are urethral swab and urine tests that show more than one sexually transmitted factor. Like Androfluorine test. Thanks to these, a large number of causative microorganisms can be demonstrated.


Pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases

Some diseases can be passed on to the child during pregnancy and childbirth. In this regard, sexually transmitted diseases should be evaluated in more detail during pregnancy.

  • Some sexually transmitted diseases are passed on to the child during pregnancy.
  • Syphilis can be passed on to unborn children before birth, causing miscarriage or stillbirth.
  • Genital warts can be transmitted to the baby very rarely.
  • PID (pelvic inflammatory diseases) may cause female infertility and ectopic pregnancy in the future.
  • Especially if there is HIV and syphilis during pregnancy, STD should be followed up and treated as there will be serious complications.


What is the incubation period for sexually transmitted diseases?

In these diseases, the incubation period (incubation period) varies according to the factor. If people have unprotected intercourse with sick people, symptoms of the disease appear after a certain period of time. In sexually transmitted diseases, the average incubation times according to the infectious agent are as follows:

  • Chlamydia trachomatis: 1-3 weeks
  • Genital herpes: 2-12 days
  • Gonorrhea: 1 day-2 weeks
  • Hepatitis A: 2 weeks – 50 days
  • Hepatitis B: 1-3 weeks
  • Hepatitis C: 2-26 days
  • HIV: 2-4 weeks
  • HPV: 1 month-10 years, depending on the type
  • Oral herpes: 2-12 days
  • Syphilis: 3 weeks-20 years
  • Trichomonas vaginalis: 5-28 days


What are the complications of sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases cause serious complications if left untreated. These complications are:

  • Pain in the groin
  • Some complications may occur during pregnancy.
  • There may be involvement of the eyes
  • Joint diseases can be seen
  • PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), especially seen in women, can cause infertility
  • Infertility (infertility can be seen in both men and women)
  • Heart diseases
  • May cause some cancers: such as cervical cancer and rectal cancer in women with HPV.


What are the risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases?

Risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases are as follows:

  • Having unprotected intercourse
  • Engaging with multiple partners
  • Having relationships with people who have had these diseases before
  • The risk is high in those who use alcohol and drugs
  • People who use drugs by injection have a high risk of HIV, hepatitis B and C.
  • The risk is higher at younger ages.


What should be considered to be protected from sexually transmitted diseases?

Points to be considered in order to be protected from sexually transmitted diseases:

  • Avoiding contact with sick people
  • Using condom during intercourse
  • Vaccine: Vaccines are available against HPV and Hepatitis A and B.
  • Reducing or quitting excessive alcohol and drug addiction
  • Male circumcision
  • In some cases, taking preventive drugs before intercourse: There are some antiviral drugs recommended for use before intercourse for this purpose in those with high HIV risk.


How is the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases?

The treatment of these diseases varies according to the factor.

  • Antibiotic treatment: If the causative agent of the disease is bacteria or parasites, antibiotics or antiparasitic agents are given for them. The duration of treatment varies according to the factor. In some cases, combined antibiotic therapy may be required.
  • Antiviral treatment: If viruses are the cause of the disease, then antiviral agents are preferred for treatment. The duration of treatment may vary depending on the factor.

As a result; Sexually transmitted diseases are common among sexually active individuals today. It is possible to prevent the disease by acting consciously. The disease is caused by bacterial, viral and parasitic agents. In the early period, there is the possibility of treatment without complications with appropriate treatments.


Prof. Dr. Emin ÖZBEK

Urology Specialist

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