Author Topic: Sexually transmitted infections  (Read 1931 times)

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Sexually transmitted infections
« on: August 07, 2006, 07:02:31 PM »
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Gonorrhoea:

Gonorrhoea is a serious illness caused by an organism called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

It has an incubation period of only a few days.

Males experience a discharge from the urethra - the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out through the penis - causing painful urination, while females suffer infection of the urethra and cervix.

Women who are infected have a long term risk of serious complications, such as infertility or ectopic pregnancy.

However, it is possible to be infected with gonorrhoea without showing any obvious symptoms.

Women are particularly vulnerable to this asymptomatic form of the disease.

The condition can be treated with antibiotics. However, it is becoming resistant to some drugs.


Chlamydia:


Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis.

Much chlamydial infection goes undiagnosed, because the infection is often without symptoms.

However, it can cause vaginal bleeding and discharge, abdominal pain, fever and inflammation of the cervix in women.

And in men, it can cause a watery or milky discharge from the penis, swollen or tender testicles and a burning feeling while urinating.

The long term complications can be severe, especially for women where it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

Between 20% and 50% of children born to women with chlamydia will be infected.

Chlamydia is the leading cause of neonatal conjunctivitis an eye infection in babies that can cause blindness.

However, it is easy to treat with antibiotics.



Genital Warts:

Genital warts (also known as venereal warts) are caused by a virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Warts are found on or around the penis, anus or vagina.

They are small lumps which have an irregular cauliflower-like surface.

The colour and shape vary depending on their location. Sometimes the warts cause irritation and itching.

Genital warts are a serious health concern as certain types of HPV have been associated with cervical cancer.

However, most women infected with genital warts do not have the strains of HPV that give rise to cervical cancer.

Genital warts often disappear even without treatment. However, there are a range of drug treatments.

Small warts can also be removed by freezing, burning or using laser treatment.

Occasionally, surgery is used to remove larger warts.


Syphilis:

Syphilis is caused by the bacteria T. pallidum.

The incubation period is from a few days to three months.

The symptoms of syphilis are less specific. Though the illness usually begins with one or more painless but highly infectious sores appearing anywhere on the body (but usually at the site of infection) this is not always the case.

These sores clear up on their own in two to six weeks.

Later symptoms are highly variable and anyone who thinks they are at risk from unsafe sex by them or their partner should seek screening and treatment at an GUM clinic.

The infection can be cured by antibiotics. However, if the disease is left untreated, it can eventually affect the brain or heart, and lead to death.

The condition is especially significant in women in pregnancy where infection can cause miscarriage, still birth, or a damaged baby.



Genital herpes:


A common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 or type 1.

Type 1 is commonly acquired through oral sex, while type 2 is transmitted through sexual intercourse.

Symptoms include small blisters in the genital area which rapidly break down to leave painful ulcers.

Other symptoms include pain or difficulty in passing urine. Some patients may develop headache and fever.

Herpes infection during late pregnancy is potentially dangerous to the baby during labour.

Herpes is a life-long chronic condition which cannot be cured.

However, there are antiviral drugs available which can reduce the severity of symptoms.


   
 (health news by bbc)