Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Preventions

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Preventions

What are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a term that everyone has heard about but knows very little. In-depth knowledge about the same is crucial to prevent it. In simple words, these are infections that one can get through sexual contact. Bacteria, viruses, or parasites may cause these infections and affect both men and women. Timely diagnosis and treatments are essential to prevent further complications. 

Types of STIs

STIs come in many forms, these include:

1. Bacterial Infections

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are some bacterial infections that flourish through STIs. No need to worry though if you have these kinds of STIs because most of them can be treated generally with antibiotics. 

2. Viral Infections 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and Hepatitis B and C—are the major types of viral infections that come under the category titled STIs. A few may wax off with the help of medications, but most of the types can’t be cured. 

3. Parasitic Infections

Trichomoniasis and Pubic Lice are a few examples when it comes to parasitic STIs. Such infections usually can be cured with the use of medical prescriptions. 

Recognizing the Symptoms

STI symptoms highly depend on the type of infection. However, some common signs and symptoms observed in people diagnosed with STI are as follows:

1. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea 

Painful urination, unusual penile or vaginal discharge, and pain with sexual intercourse. 

2. Syphilis 

Painless sores developing in the genital area, the anus, or in the mouth. Secondary symptoms may appear after the rash, along with a fever, malaise, and swelling of the lymph nodes. 

3. HIV 

Flu-like symptoms present in the initial stages of the disease. Some time passes with no identifiable symptoms after the time of infection. Signs of AIDS will later set in, leading to a marked loss of body mass, fever, and so on. 

4. HSV, or Herpes 

Painful blisters or open sores in the genital region or on the lips or mouth. 

5. HPV 

In most cases, there are no symptoms, but it can result in genital warts or lead to cervical cancer. 

6. Trichomoniasis 

Itching, burning, redness, or soreness of the genitals; pain with urination; and unusual discharge. 

Understanding the Causes

The cause of STIs is various pathogens that are transmitted through sexual contact. Mentioned below are some commonly known causes: 

1. Unprotected sex  

This means having vaginal, anal, or even oral sex without any form of protection like condoms or dental dams, which will increase the risk of getting an STI. 

2. Having multiple partners  

Exposure to an STI increases if somebody has sexual activity with many partners. 

3. Having an infected partner  

Even without symptoms, the partner can transmit the STIs. 

4. Mother to Child 

Some STIs can spread to the fetus while in utero or during the time of delivery from an infected mother to her baby. 

5. Sharing Needles  

Something as ordinary as using a contaminated needle may transmit STIs like HIV and Hepatitis B and C. 

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Options for Treatment 

Treatment of STIs depends on the kind of infection. Some of the treatment options include antibiotics to treat bacterial infections, antiviral therapy for viral infections, and antiparasitic therapy for parasitic infections. 

1. Antibiotics 

Bacterial STIs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are effectively treated by antibiotics. The medicament is highly efficient with proper intake. Thus, it is very important to detect the disease at primary stages of development. 

2. Antiviral Drugs 

As mentioned earlier, viral STIs can hardly be treated. However, some antiretroviral drugs can reduce the viral load in the patients, lower the risk of complications, suppress the worsening of the STD, and decrease the risk of transmission of HIV. For instance, antiretroviral therapy will certainly help in maintaining low viral loads in the body and, therefore, an excellent standard of life. 

3. Antiparasitic Therapy 

Such parasitic infections as Trichomoniasis and Pubic Lice are easily treated by medication. Metronidazole or Tinidazole, for instance, is given to treat trichomoniasis. Upon getting rid of these lice, one has to avoid the further repopulation of lice. This is done through scrubbing infested clothes, bedding, and clothes in hot, soapy water. 

4. Vaccination 

Vaccination can prove to be a game-changer for the prevention of some viral STIs like HPV and Hepatitis B. Such vaccines can be used to bring down the risk of infection and complications. 

5. Routine testing 

Routine STI testing and early identification form an important component of treatment, even in asymptomatic infections. Routine screening helps prevent many severe health conditions and reduces the transmission of the infection. 

Preventive Measures

Some reactive measures should be supportive in preventing STIs, which include:

1. Protection:  

The risk of STI transmission is reduced significantly by the consistent use of condoms, dental dams, and other barrier methods during vaginal, anal, and oral sexual activities.

2. Vaccination:  

Get vaccinated to prevent Hepatitis B and HPV infections.

3. Systematic Screening:  

The screening should be done at regular intervals to detect the disease early and prevent its spread if a person has sexual activity with multiple partners.

4. Communication with Partners:  

Ensure that there is open and honest communication with partners on their sexual history and STI status.

5. Limiting the Number of Sexual Partners:  

Reducing the number of sexual partners reduces the duration of time one is exposed to the risk of acquiring STIs.

Take charge of your sexual health

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a genuine public health concern: they warrant both attention and proper management. Knowledge and awareness about the different types, signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment modalities are the way to prevention and proper management. Do reach out to Banker IVF & Women’s Hospital, the best IVF centre in India, if you suspect you have an STI or need more clarification. Our committed team is always ready to help you with professional care and support. Make an appointment today, take charge of your sexual health, and don’t forget to ask your partner to join you. 

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