10 common STIs and their treatments 10 common STIs and their treatments

Ten common STIs and their treatments

 

Although some sexually transmitted infections take time, and others have no symptoms, looking after your sexual health is always a good idea.

 

Why should I get tested?

The symptoms of some STIs, such as chlamydia, may not be evident. The consequences of not treating them can be severe. Fortunately, all of them can be treated by a doctor.

When you've had unprotected sex with a new partner, always get tested to protect yourself. The best way to avoid getting an STI with a new partner is to use a barrier method like male or female condoms

A list of 10 common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), their symptoms, and how the infection can be diagnosed and treated is provided below.

 

1. Chlamydia

Chlamydia Symptoms

Several symptoms can be seen in women, including pain during urination; strange discharge from the vaginal region; pain in the abdomen or pelvis; or, extra sensitivity during sex, bleeding after sex, and bleeding between periods. Women may experience infertility and ectopic pregnancy if they do not treat chlamydia.

Pain in the testicles, burning or itching in the urethra, white, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis, and pain when urinating should be looked out for by men. Infection can cause swelling in the epididymis and testicles if left untreated. This might affect fertility. Chlamydia can also affect the throat (although this is rare), rectum (via anal sex) and eyes.

 

Testing

This test involves taking a urine sample or swabbing your cheek. Sexual health clinics, contraceptive clinics, or your doctor can perform the test for you. The kit can be sent to you free of charge by pharmacies and other local locations if you are under 25. Find venues in your area.

 

Treatment

Infections are treated with antibiotics. As long as the infection persists, you should avoid sex.

 

2. Gonorrhoea

There is no cure for gonorrhoea, which is caused by a bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus, which can be spread through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral contact, and contact with genital fluid, including sharing sex toys. There is a possibility of it affecting the throat or eyes less frequently. If it is passed on during labour, it can cause a newborn to become permanently blind.

 

Symptoms

In addition, you may experience discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen/vaginal area. A thick green or yellow discharge may come from the vagina or penis, or there may be a pain when urinating. Over half of the women and one in ten men do not experience symptoms.

 

Testing

It can be done by swabbing or urine testing for men. Women with gonorrhoea can develop PID and infertility if left untreated.

 

Treatment

To clear the infection, antibiotics will be administered. The drug can be injected, taken as a tablet, or combined.

3. Trichomoniasis

Trichomonas vaginalis is the parasite that causes trichomoniasis.

 

Symptoms

As with many other STIs, it usually develops within a month of infection, making it difficult to diagnose. Infectious diseases can still occur even when people do not develop symptoms.

 

Testing

A genital exam and a vaginal or penis swab sample are used to diagnose this condition. Your sexual partner and any other recent partners should also be tested and treated if the test is positive.

 

Treatment

In most cases, it will not go away on its own, but it can be effectively treated with antibiotics (often metronidazole).

4. Genital warts

The virus responsible for causing the condition is the human papillomavirus (HPV). In women, approximately 13 types of HPV cause cervical cancer, which is one among hundreds of different types. Cervical cancer is caused by a strain of HPV that doesn't cause genital warts, but regular cervical screenings are still highly recommended. Condoms are the best way to prevent infection.

Symptoms

You may experience lumps or bumps around your genitals or anus or fleshy, cauliflower-like growths. Additionally, discomfort, itching, bleeding may occur, and changes in urine flow.

Testing

A physical examination of the genital area is used to test for genital warts.

Treatment

Warts can be removed with prescription creams or liquids over several weeks or with surgery in which they are cut, burned, lasered, or frozen off.

5. Genital herpes

Two types of herpes simplex viruses cause genital herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2. In most cases, they are transmitted through sexual contact (vagina, penis, anus, mouth). Despite not showing symptoms, people can pass the herpes virus to others.

Symptoms

Open sores are caused by small, fluid-filled blisters (on the genitals or anus). Women may have a vaginal discharge when these burst and cause severe tingling and itching. Once infected, you may not experience symptoms for months or even years. They usually go away within two weeks but return periodically. There is usually a milder outbreak with recurrent outbreaks.

Testing

A swab of fluid is usually taken from the blisters that are affected.

Treatment

Despite its dormant nature, herpes can remain dormant in the body for months or even years. Your symptoms might be treated with antiviral medication to prevent them from worsening. Pain and itching can also be relieved with local anaesthetic ointments and soothing creams. It is also helpful to take a cool shower or bath.

 

6. Public lice

An insect that lives on pubic hair near the penis or vagina is called pubic lice. Sexual contact is the most common way in which they are spread. The term crab is also used to describe public lice.

Symptoms

The most common place to find them is on pubic hair, but they can also be found on the chest, armpit, face, and eyelashes, although they tend to be too small to observe. Pubic lice may also cause the following symptoms:

 

  • In the evenings, itching is usually worse

  • Skin spots that are red or blue (lice bites)

  • Your hair has white/yellow dots (lice eggs)

  • Spots on your underwear that are dark red or brown 

  • If your eyelashes are affected, they may be crusted or sticky

Testing

You will have your pubic hair checked for lice by a doctor or nurse. Sexual partners may be asked about using a magnifying glass or comb. Tests for other STIs are usually recommended as well.

Treatment

Lice will be treated with creams and shampoos containing medications. To be sure all lice have been killed, repeat this process a week later. A follow-up appointment may also be needed to determine whether the treatment has been effective. In addition to treating current and former sexual partners, even those without symptoms should be treated.

 

7. Scabies

Anyone can be affected by scabies. To prevent the spread of the disease, it should be treated quickly. For visible symptoms of scabies to appear, it takes up to 8 weeks after infection.

Symptoms

Irritation, especially at night, and rashes or spots on the skin. Those on dark skin may appear red and harder to see (but they can be felt). As far as the head is concerned, the rash usually covers the whole body.

 

Testing

In the case of scabies, your GP can prescribe a treatment based on your symptoms. It is also possible to get assistance from a pharmacist in this regard.

 

Treatment

You will be prescribed a cream or lotion to apply over your entire body by your doctor or pharmacist. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should let them know. The treatment must be repeated a week later. If you have an infection in your home, you should treat everyone, even if they do not show symptoms. It is also important to treat any sexual partners you have had in the past eight weeks.

8. Syphilis

Treponema pallidum, a bacterium, causes syphilis, an infectious disease. Sexual contact (vaginal, anal or oral) and close contact with an infected sore are the most common ways to spread it. Preterm birth, miscarriage, and fetal death are all risks associated with congenital syphilis.

Symptoms

It is usually associated with a painless sore or ulcer on the vagina, penis, anus, mouth, or another area 21 days after infection (after incubation). The symptoms usually resolve spontaneously after 1-2 months and are followed by flu-like symptoms after 6-8 weeks - fatigue, headache, fever, joint pains, and swollen glands. When left untreated, syphilis can spread to the brain and other body parts over time.

Testing

During the exam, the patient must undergo a physical genital examination, blood tests, and swabs (if there are any sores).

Treatment

A course of antibiotics lasting 10-14 days (if you're allergic to penicillin) is included. It may be necessary to take a longer course of antibiotics (28 days) if you have had syphilis for over two years or if the symptoms are more severe. You might need weekly or even daily injections if you have had syphilis for over two years.

9. Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Skin viruses called HPV are widespread. It is usually not a problem for most people, but some can cause warts or cancer in the genital area. HPV has more than 100 types.

Symptoms

Commonly, there are no symptoms, but sometimes there may be painless growths or lumps around the vagina, penis, or anus resulting from the virus (genital warts).

Testing

A woman's cervical screening routinely includes HPV testing. Blood tests cannot detect HPV at this time. All women and people with cervixes over 25 years of age are eligible to have a cervical screening. This helps protect them against cervical cancer.

 

Treatment

HPV infections cannot be treated, but most do not cause problems, and your body clears them within 2 years. HPV can cause medical problems such as warts on your genital area or changes to cells in your cervix that require treatment.

 

10. HIV

Infections and diseases are prevented by the cells in your immune system by the human immunodeficiency virus. Most commonly, HIV is transmitted through sexual contact, which is found in body fluids. Mothers can pass it on to their babies by sharing needles (among drug addicts).

Symptoms

Following an infection, most people experience a short flu-like illness between two and six weeks later. There may be many years before HIV causes any symptoms. HIV can severely damage your immune system, resulting in potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses known as AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

Testing

The HIV infection is tested by taking a sample of blood or saliva.

 

Treatment

HIV cannot be cured, but drug treatments are available to manage it. The immune system can repair itself with antiretroviral medicines, which prevent viruses from replicating in the body. If HIV patients take medications, they can usually live a long life.

 

If facing any of the above health problems, it is essential to consult a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. You can get help from Mobi Doctor for online consultations and 24/7 support. Mobi Doctor is a virtual clinic that provides online consultations and 24/7 support for people with health problems. You can talk to our experts about any health problem, whether infection, injury or mental health issue. We offer tailored advice and support from our team of doctors and experts.

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