Sexually transmitted diseases are seen as a social problem. The problem herein underlies in the fact that the persons fail to take required measures for being protected from such diseases, the persons fails to have sufficient information regarding these diseases and fail to act consciously. When the diseases are diagnoses, not only the patient but also his/her spouse should be examined and if necessary, should be treated.
How Does Sexually Transmitted Diseases Spread?
Some of these diseases are caused by bacteria and viruses. These microorganisms are capable of being produced and reproduced in warm and humid areas of the body.
These bacteria and viruses are transmitted from one person to the other during sexual intercourse. In addition to this, some types of them are infected with transfusion of blood and blood products infected with disease factor. Following common use of needles infected with factor, this disease can be transmitted. More rarely, they can be transferred from mother carrying microorganism to baby during pregnancy and during birth or breastfeeding. These diseases are not transmitted via ordinary body contact in daily life (shaking hands), materials such as closet and clothing.
What are the Complaints of Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
• The following complaints or symptoms can be symptoms of a disease transmitted sexually:
• Penis discharge (white or yellow and dark consistency)
• Burning, itching or pain during urination in urinary tracts
• Emergence of wound, wart, water swelling of utricle on skin, mouth or rectum on sexual organs and on the body area where these organs are present.
• Frequent desire to urinate
• Pain, burning or itching on the body area where sexual organs are present.
• Burning or pain during defecation
• Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
• Bleeding seen out of menstruation
• Painful sexual intercourse
• Causing infertility and ectopic affecting reproductive canals in men or women not treated in long run.
Who is at Risk?
Sexually transmitted diseases can be seen in all women and men in all socio-cultural and economic level. Polygamous sexual life, sexual activity at an early age can boost risk of encountering these types of diseases. Use of contaminated needles while injecting into veins, transplantation of blood and blood products include transmission risk.
What are the common diseases and how are they treated?
Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea: These are the most common one of bacteria origin diseases transmitted sexually. The most important symptoms in men are white-yellow sticky discharge coming from penis. It may cause burning when urinating and white-yellow discharge from penis. It may cause symptoms such as bleeding, vaginal discharge and pain in abdominal area except for menstrual period in women. It sometimes does not give any symptoms. It has a 50 % risk with single intercourse from diseased men to his spouse, 90 % risk in more than one intercourses, 20 % with single intercourse from diseased woman to her sexual partner, 60-80 % transmission risk with more sexual intercourses. They are diagnosed with examination of samples obtained from discharge or urine and they can be treated with antibiotics. Spouse treatment should be implemented; that one spouse is treated and the other is not treated means that the disease can recur. In addition to this, gonorrhoea in women may cause miscarriages and premature births. It may infect the baby during birth and it may cause disease up to blindness starting with two sided discharge in the eyes of the baby.
Sexual Organ Warts (Genital Warts): These warts caused by Human Papilloma Virus are also known as "Condyloma acuminata". It can be transmitted with a sexual intercourse with a person having this disease. Incubation period is 1 – 6 months. They are characterized as cauliflower shaped crested wards in different sizes with pain on penis, vagina, genital area and anus. Unless treated, their number can increase and can cover whole penis. There is no special drug; they can be removed with a small surgical intervention. (melting with chemicals, burning, cutting and removing, freezing, laser). After first treatment, they have possibility of being repeated. There is evidence that this virus may cause uterine cancer in women.
Genital Herpes: Factor of this diseases Herpes Simplex Virus type 2. During sexual intercourse, it may infect the skin of other person directly from infected skin area with virus. Another type of this virus is Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 is mostly infected with non-sexual skin contact and is responsible for cold sores around mouth-lip. Since it has no special drug, its treatment is hard and may last longer.
Trichomoniasis: This is another disease with sexually transmitted bacteria origin and is frequently used in young and sexually active young women. It sometimes does not give any symptoms. It may give symptoms such as foul-smelling, yellow-green vaginal discharge, vaginal itching and redness, pain during sexual intercourse, frequent urination and abdominal discomfort. In men, it may cause penile discharge, frequent urination and painful urination. It can be easily treated with antibiotics.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome): This is a lethal disease that in incurable today caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) virus. It causes disease by attacking immune system of the body. It is transmitted during sex. In addition to this, it may be transmitted with transfer of blood and blood products, cutting and injuring the skin by virus infected needle and sharp tools (via blood) and it may be transferred during pregnancy from mother carrying microorganism to baby, birth or breastfeeding. In the first infection, it does not give any symptom in most people or it may symptoms such as flu; these symptoms vanish with 1-4 weeks. Virus may remain in the body without showing any symptom. In this case, diagnosis can be made only blood tests. Blood test can only be positive within the earliest third month after acquiring the virus. A special treatment has not been discovered yet; life of a person is attempted to be prolonged with antiviral drugs.
Syphilis (Lues): This is a disease with bacteria origin transmitted with sex and potentially life-threatening nature. The first symptom of the disease is a painless and crater-shaped wound occurred in the penis or vagina. But, it may be seen around mouth, hands and anus. It can be treated effectively with penicillin. Unless treated, the disease may pass to next phase in long run and may retain central nervous system.
Hepatitis (Jaundice): This is a virus-induced disease impairing liver. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are sexually transmitted types. It may be transmitted with sex, transfer of infected blood and blood products, cutting and injuring the skin by virus infected needle and sharp tools (via blood) and it may be transferred during pregnancy from mother carrying microorganism to baby, birth or breastfeeding. In the first infection, it does not give any symptom in most of the people or it may give symptoms such as flu. One third of the persons carrying hepatitis virus does not have any symptom. The first symptoms of the disease high fever, headache, muscle pass, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea. When liver is retained, colour of urine is like a tea, stomach ache, yellowing state in white area of eyes and on the skin (jaundice). Then, deterioration in liver function tests, cirrhosis, liver cancer and then death may be in question. Vaccination is the most important protection way for hepatitis B. No vaccine has been discovered for hepatitis C.
How can we be protected against sexually transmitted diseases?
• Do not have sexual intercourse with infected persons. (carrying microorganism in the body).
• Have monogamous sexual intercourse with non-infected persons.
• Throughout your life, reduce the number of people with whom you have sexual intercourse.
• Use a condom consistently and correctly.
• If you are making an injection of drugs into the veins, use unused needles