STDs are commonly known as the shortened form for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, otherwise known as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are more than 1 million everyday cases being reported globally and the actual number is estimated to be quite higher since many people do not report their infection.
What are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Infections are infectious diseases that spread from one person to another via sexual contact, this can include any type of genital contact, be it anal, vaginal, or oral sex. All forms of intimacy are highly susceptible to infections like STDs or urinary tract infections if contacted by an already infected person. United States is seeing record levels of STD cases each year since 2013 and most of the cases are being reported by women the highest toll takers are people who fall between the age group of 15-24.
Types of STDs
According to a study, there are more than at least 12 different types of STDs that are prevalent around the world. However, only a handful of STDs are highly in circulation accounting for almost 90% of the total STD cases in the United States. The following are the most commonly seen and reported types in the US:-
STDs in Indiana, US
Every state in the US has different types of STDs that are taking a major toll. In Indiana, according to the state government report, the following are the three types of STDs that have taken a major toll among other diseases.
Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria named Chlamydia Trachomatis which spreads from person to person through sexual contact such as vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It is a myth that some believe oral sex doesn’t transmit chlamydia. n fact they are equally infectious and chlamydia is transmitted orally and if the symptoms occur around the oral region, then it is termed oral chlamydia. Symptoms of chlamydia include unusual genital discharges, frequent urination, pain while urinating, and excess vaginal bleeding in women. If you have any of these symptoms, then get tested for chlamydia as soon as possible. Leaving chlamydia untreated can lead to severe health complications such as infertility.
Syphilis is the second most commonly seen STD in Indiana and one of the major ones across the United States. Syphilis is caused by a bacteria named Treponema Pallidum that progresses slowly and causes symptoms over the long run. Typically, the symptoms of STDs tend to take multiple days or weeks to appear, and in the case of Syphilis, the signs progress in multiple stages. The phases are classified into three types according to the severity of symptoms – primary stage, secondary and tertiary.
Primarily symptoms often show mild symptoms like fever and other signs, the second stage can include sores which may appear around the infected area, and then the tertiary symptoms are where all these symptoms come together as an outbreak and most people land straight in the tertiary phase as the signs are dormant in the initial stages.
Neisseria Gonorrhea is the name of the bacteria that causes Gonorrhea infection. Gonorrhea and other bacteria causing STDs (including Chlamydia) can also transmit orally if you had oral sex or touching your mouth or eyes unwashed after having sex with the infected person.
Following are some of the common symptoms of Gonorrhea.
- Pain in the joints
- Pain while urinating
- Unusual genital discharges
- Swelling and pain in the testicles
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Gonorrhea is highly similar to Chlamydia. If you are diagnosed with Chlamydia, it is highly recommended to get tested for Gonorrhea as well.
Symptoms of STDs
Symptoms of STDs can play lowkey and do not tend to show up at least a few days after the initial exposure, and some types can remain dormant for multiple weeks without any noticeable symptoms. This makes sexually transmitted diseases quite difficult to detect in the initial phase and remains a common reason for the infection to get spread to other partners even without your knowledge. When the symptoms start to show up, the following are some of the commonly reported STD symptoms in both men and women –
Symptoms in women
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pain while urinating
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Pain in the back or lower abdomen
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Symptoms in men
- Dark penile discharge
- Burning sensation during urination
- Swelling and pain in the testicles
- Anal itching
- Irritation in the penis
- Painful and irregular bowel movements
- Unexplained weight loss
- Joint pain
- Unusual sweat during the night
- Soreness in throat
Can STDs be cured?
STDs can be cured if you get diagnosed and treated at the right time – by the right time we mean, even more, the symptoms tend to show up. Bacteria causing STDs like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can be cured completely with the right antibiotics. If you are tested positive for STDs your physician may assess the severity of the infection along with your symptoms and prescribe you medicines. It is important to continue your medications for the full course as some people stop mid-way seeing the symptoms disappear – which is not advisable. Even if your symptoms disappear, the bacteria is still surviving in your body and needs to be terminated fully. Also, your physician may recommend avoiding having intimacy until you are completely cured and then practice sex with only your marital partner – as monogamy reduces the risks of STDs.
However, some types of STDs are not curable yet. The virus causing STDs such as HIV, Herpes, and HPV is one of the highly contagious that can lead to multiple yet severe health complications if not addressed in the early stages. The virus causing STD symptoms can be suppressed with anti-retroviral drugs which helps slow down the activity of the virus and heal the symptoms. However, the invaded STD virus is still present in your anatomy and you are to live with it lifelong.
What happens if STDs are left untreated?
Leaving any disease untreated can lead to severe health complications. When STDs like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are left untreated can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) which can lead to kidney and renal disorders in the long run. Sometimes, they can also lead to other complications like infertility, Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID), and PCOS in women. Other STDs like HIV and Herpes can lead to more health issues like opening the doors to AIDS, cancer, and neurological disorders. Thus, it is highly advisable to get tested for STDs if you suspect getting exposed and get treated as quickly as possible.