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Sexually Transmitted Diseases – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) refer to infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. It has various disease-causing agents, which range from bacteria, parasites, yeast, and even viruses.

In particular, STDs are transmitted during intimate physical contact, including heavy petting, and sexual activity, such as oral, vaginal, and anal sex. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 20 million new infections occur each year. The condition is not predisposed to a certain sex; however, women tend to have more severe health problems when infected by an STD than men. If a pregnant woman contracts STD, it is not only the mother who is at risk, but the baby becomes more likely to be affected by complications.

Known risk factors and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases

For the most part, anyone who actively participates in sexual activity is at risk of having an STD. However, certain types of behavior increase the risk of getting it, including:

  • Those with multiple sexual partners
  • Those who have partners who have had multiple sexual partners
  • Those who practice unprotected sex
  • People who practice high-risk sexual behavior
  • Commercial sex workers

There are over 20 types of STDs, each with its unique symptoms and complications. Some common conditions include the following:

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the presence of too much of a certain bacteria in the vagina. While the cause of BV is unclear, it affects the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria found in the vagina. A woman with BV usually will not feel symptoms, but if she does, it includes the following.

  • Pain, itching, or burning inside and outside the vagina
  • Presence of a thin white or gray discharge
  • A strong fish-like odor, especially after sex
  • A burning sensation when urinating

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can affect both men and women. In women, it affects the cervix, rectum, or throat, while men get it in the urethra inside the penis, throat, or rectum. The condition, which is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, affect men and women differently. In women, symptoms include:

  • Abnormal, strong-smelling vaginal discharge
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Symptoms in men include:

  • A burning sensation when urinating, as well as itching around the opening of the penis
  • The presence of discharge from the penis

Gonorrhea is a very common infection for sexually active people who practice unprotected sex. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, the chances of infecting the unborn child are increased as well. Common symptoms in women include:

  • Increased vaginal discharge and bleeding in between periods
  • A painful or burning sensation when urinating

For men, the following symptoms are seen:

  • A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • In some cases, painful or swollen testicles

HIV/AIDS is a condition which affects a person’s immune system. It causative agent, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected person; however, it can also spread by sharing drug needles or coming into contact with the blood of an infected person. The condition starts by destroying white blood cells, putting a person at risk of infection. In its final stage, it progresses into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Syphilis is a bacterial infection which affects the genital area, mouth, lips, and anus of both men and women. Its hallmark symptom is a painless sore around the affected area. In some cases, this may even cause nearby lymph nodes to swell. As the condition progresses, non-itchy skin rashes appear on the hands and feet.

Body systems affected by sexually transmitted diseases

If an STD is left untreated, this can lead to potentially serious conditions such as infertility, genital tract infections, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, cancers, and even death. Certain STDs can damage internal organs and even the neurological system.

Pregnant women who contract STD not only put themselves at risk of complications, but their unborn babies are also most likely to be infected with it as well.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent sexually transmitted diseases

The following food items may help relieve or even treat a person from STDs.

  • Garlic is known to possess antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties which could help address certain infections brought by STDs. Adding raw garlic to your diet – or using it as a vaginal suppository – can help inhibit bacterial growth in the area.
  • Yogurt has probiotics, which support immune system health.
  • Cranberry juice can help reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections in women, which can exacerbate an STD infection.
  • Echinacea possesses anti-inflammatory properties which can affect the genital area, as well as boost the immune system.
  • Goldenseal may also be used to treat certain STDs, such as gonorrhea.

Treatments, management options for sexually transmitted diseases

If a person is diagnosed with an STD, healthcare professionals will usually prescribe medication to treat the condition.

However, the following guidelines could prove helpful to manage infection.

  • Notify sexual partners of your condition, if possible, and require to undergo a checkup
  • Consult with a healthcare professional for all concerns regarding the condition
  • Avoid sexual activity during treatment

Where to learn more


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are passed from person to person through sexual contact.

STDs have various disease-causing agents, which range from bacteria, parasites, yeast, and even viruses.

STDs are transmitted during intimate physical contact and sexual activity, such as oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

A person who actively participates in sexual activity is at risk of having an STD.

STDs, if left untreated, can become potentially severe conditions.

Sources include: 1 2 3 1 2 3 4


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