Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a group of diseases are passed from one person to another through sex. Pathogens of sexual infections are bacteria, viruses, as well as protozoa (fungi) and parasites. The most common causative agents of sexual infections are chlamydia, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, gonococcus, trichomonas, human papillomavirus, cytomegalovirus and herpes virus.
Among the causes of the spread of infections are the lack of responsibility and attitude towards one's health and the choice of a sexual partner. Many also neglect timely diagnostics and treatment, therefore the number of people who have fallen ill with sexually transmitted diseases is constantly growing.
In addition to the sexual intercourse transmission, it is possible to be infected during domestic activities, as well as from the pregnant woman to the fetus, blood transfusion, during direct skin contact, etc.
Why STIs are dangerous?
Many of the pathogens of STIs affect the genital organs, which can lead to such consequences as infertility, impotence, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages. So, for example, syphilis, if left untreated, leads to severe changes in the internal organs, damage to the central nervous system, and is also transmitted to the offspring. Some STIs can cause malignant tumors (cancer).
The risk of contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) for people with STIs increases in dozens of times.
Remember that a person for a long time may not be aware of having an infection. This is due to the fact that the pathogen begins to multiply. However, it takes some time the first visible signs of the disease appear. It can be different for every illness. This is the so-called hidden (incubation) period of the disease.
Moreover, even special laboratory analyzes are not able to reveal the infection. This period of illness is called the "window period" (usually in the case of AIDS). However, the infected person is able to transmit the infection to the healthy almost from the moment of infection.
The most common symptoms of STIs
If you start your sex life you should be attentive to yourself and your health and at occurrence of at least one of the following signs visit the doctor:
- changes on the skin and mucous membranes (redness, rashes, densities, tenderness, swelling of the genitals);
- painful urination (burning, rubbing, etc.);
- non-characteristic discharge from the urethra (men) and from the vagina (women), purulent discharge from the rectum (with gonorrhea), sometimes accompanied with an unpleasant odor.
How to protect yourself from STI infection
- Do not have sexual intercourse before marriage.
- Be loyal to one partner;
- Make your sexual relationships less dangerous using a condom.
What should you do if you have any suspicions that you have an STI?
- Visit specialist to do lab tests as soon as possible.
- The majority of STIs can be cured if you go through a timely and take full course of treatment.
- Be sure to talk with your partner. If both of you are not cured, you can infect each other again.
It is mportant to remember!
- Sexually transmitted infections do not pass by themselves
- Often infections occur in an asymptomatic form
- Treat only with a doctor!
Non-cured (chronic) infections can lead to severe consequences: to infertility and impotence (men); to infertility, miscarriage and pathology of newborns (women).