STI - I have come across this abbreviation, without exaggeration, everyone: it is often mentioned in newspapers, magazines, and television programs. As it stands for, it is probably not necessary to explain: sexually transmitted infections, with which most people, fortunately, are familiar only in theory. It seems that it is impossible to tell anything new about them: all data is publicly available, so there is no problem finding the necessary information. But, as shown by a recent survey, not everyone perceives the information in full due to the lack of medical knowledge, allowing to understand the nuances - the very details in which, according to popular expression, the devil is hidden.
Content of the article:
There is no need to go far for an example: many freely replace the abbreviation of STIs with another abbreviation, STD, believing that this is the same thing. But in fact, these abbreviations denote completely different things: the first is used when it comes to the presence of the causative agent in the body, which does not manifest itself at all, the second - if the causative agent of the disease is not simply present in the body, but actively the organism itself destroys. As you can see, the difference is significant. To avoid misunderstandings, it is necessary to delve into the subject, and you can start with this article, which discusses sexually transmitted infections, their features and methods of treatment. The article discusses the most common infections that are sexually transmitted. Symptoms and signs of infection in the body, as the infection can indulge from one person to another. Who is most likely to be infected? What are the effective methods for treating infections and what kind of prevention is most effective?
STI vs. STDs - what are the differences, how to decipher
Under sexually transmitted infections are meant diseases of the contact type, infection of which occurs during sexual intercourse (oral, anal, vaginal) or by intravenous or intramuscular injection. There have been cases of transmission of such diseases during breastfeeding, as well as in a household way - with joint bathing by family members or sexual partners, one of whom was the carrier of the infection.
Previously, these diseases were called sexually transmitted diseases, but then this term was abandoned in favor of the abbreviations STIs and STDs, which more accurately convey the essence of the described phenomenon. As mentioned earlier, an STI is used in cases where a person has become infected, but his body has not yet had time to experience the devastating effects of the disease. The abbreviation of STDs is resorted to when the ailment is already raging in the body, and signs of its activity are visible to the naked eye.
If we consider the reduction in terms of the designated phenomenon, another difference becomes obvious: the concept of STIs is much broader than the concept of STDs. The diagnosis of "sexually transmitted infection" can be made at the initial stage of the development of the disease (incubation period), and at the stage of progressive disease. In this case, the concept covers only those diseases that are acquired exclusively or primarily through sexual contact.
The term "sexually transmitted disease" can mean both an infection that is transmitted exclusively through sex and an infection that can be infected in several ways, among which sexual intercourse is one of the possible, but not the only, and far from the most common mode of transmission. The use of this term by a physician means that the disease is in a neglected state, and its effect on the body has led to serious, sometimes fatal, consequences like infertility.
Types and types of genital infections, which are STIs
In the process of intercourse, you can pick up a huge number of infections. In order to simplify diagnostics, doctors classified them as follows:
Infections of bacterial origin:
1 bacterial vaginosis,
4 venereal lymphogranuloma,
5 non-urethral urethritis
7 staph infection,
Infections of fungal origin:
1 yeast infection
Infections of viral origin:
1 adenovirus infection
2 hepatitis (type A, B and E is transmitted by oral, vaginal and anal routes, type C and D are sexually transmitted very rarely, but if this has happened, a person may develop liver cancer),
4 molluscum contagiosum,
7 genital papillomatosis,
8 Kaposi's sarcoma.
Protozoal infections (trichomoniasis).
According to another generally accepted classification based on the mode of transmission of the infectious agent, STIs are divided into:
2 Oral (hepatitis B, papillomatosis, adenovirus infection, herpes).
Infection with diseases of the first type occurs due to non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene, the use of specific intimate toys, and passion for anal sex. Diseases of the second type are acquired during oral sex and ordinary kisses.
Symptoms of STI infection, what are the signs of infection
Symptoms of STI infection can be divided into two groups, based on the area of their manifestation:
1 Internal symptoms (deterioration of general well-being, fever, weakness, muscle pain, drowsiness).
2 External symptoms:
a) cutting pain that occurs during urination, suspicious discharge from the urethra (gonorrhea, trichomoniasis),
b) ulceration of the skin (syphilis),
c) rash in the form of small itchy vesicles (shingles, herpes, scabies), other problems and defects on human skin,
d) itching and redness in the inguinal and anal areas, axillae, in men - on the legs, chest (pubic lice).
Indirect signs of infection with STIs are infertility, cervical erosion, chronic prostatitis, adhesions in the fallopian tubes. In case of detection of such pathologies, doctors are always asked to take tests for STIs. By the way, because of these diseases, women most often cannot give birth, and men become impotent or infertile.
How an infection occurs, how an STI can be infected
Some sexually transmitted infections are transmitted from person to person exclusively in the process of intercourse, others through normal physical contact (hug, handshake), third through oral contact (kiss), and fourth through any of these methods. As practice shows, most often the infection occurs through the mucous membranes, which are deprived of a protective layer in the form of skin, and therefore become easy prey for disease agents. The second line in the ranking of the most vulnerable places for exposure to pathogenic flora is occupied by areas with damaged skin (wounds, abrasions, cuts). Alternative ways of transmission of infection close the list: drinking infected breast milk, sharing a bath with a sick person, reusing a disposable needle for a syringe, transferring a healthy person's blood to an infected person.
With regard to the distribution of pathogenic agents inside the body, the highest concentration is observed in the genital secretions (semen, lubricant). Then, in descending order, go saliva, skin, feces, urine and sweat. What is interesting: contact with these sources does not always lead to infection. The following factors play a key role in the transmission of the disease:
1 number of bacteria / viruses / parasites / fungi, their type and level of activity,
2 state of health of the person in contact with the patient,
Stage 3 disease (in the acute phase, the risk of catching the ailment is higher than in the incubation period or the stage of remission).
It is possible to contract an STI either in the presence of external manifestations of the ailment or in their complete absence. For example, a disease such as HIV, which is the scourge of modernity, may not be felt for years. All the time that the disease is “hidden”, the person continues to live, as if nothing had happened, leads an active sex life, passing the disease on. The fact of having HIV is usually discovered accidentally, during a routine examination, which is why the disease cannot be defeated: most people believe that if nothing hurts, you don’t need to go to the hospital. If only people would not postpone the visit to the doctor indefinitely! How many lives could save! But, alas, neither men nor women are in a hurry to check the state of the sexual sphere, which goes sideways not only for them, but also for those around them.
A diametrically opposite situation has developed with the herpes virus. It is necessary to pick it up, as on the body immediately appears a characteristic rash in the form of numerous, unbearably itchy bubbles filled with liquid. Symptoms of infection are so obvious and, in principle, recognizable, that it is possible to diagnose a disease without consulting a doctor. The only thing is that it is unlikely to be cured without the help of a specialist, so you will still have to go to the hospital. True, to puzzle over what kind of ailment struck the body is not necessary - and so everything is clear.
Diagnosis and tests, how to detect genital tract infection
To ensure the absence of STIs, it is necessary to pass a variety of tests - for each type of infection its own. Of course, there are methods of rapid diagnosis, which involve checking for the presence of several types of genital infections, but such an analysis, which would cover all STIs at a time, alas, does not exist. That is why, on the basis of all the listed and visible symptoms, the physician specialist directs the patient to the type of diagnosis that he considers the most informative in a particular and specific case.
Usually, STI screening is prescribed for people who:
1 show signs of infection with genital infection,
2 want to ensure the absence of sexually transmitted diseases,
3 plan to have a baby. Since many infections that spread through sexual transmission can affect the further development of the fetus,
4 are donors of blood or organs
5 were treated for STIs (to ensure that the disease was defeated)
6 contacted an infected person,
7 often change sexual partners and practice unprotected sex with them (one of the most common forms of transmission of infectious diseases that are sexually transmitted).
Also, the presence of an STI is checked for babies whose mother fell ill during pregnancy or immediately after birth. Since sexually transmitted infections are transmitted through breast milk and blood, it is necessary to make sure that the baby is out of danger, which is why such babies are put on special control. As for specific tests, doctors usually resort to the following types of STI diagnostics:
1 Blood test and excreta.
2 Smear on STDs (if urogenital infection is suspected).
3 Bacteriological seeding.
4 PCR diagnostics (polymerase chain reaction).
With the survey it is better not to delay. If you suspect a sexual infection, you should immediately consult a doctor. If the infection occurred recently, the specialist will carry out a set of measures aimed at the destruction of pathogens that have not yet had time to “take root” in the body. In this case, the treatment will take place in a short time and no undesirable consequences after it will arise. If you start the disease, you will have to treat not only the underlying disease, but also the complications that it will inevitably entail.
What to do, how to treat STIs, methods of treatment and treatment of genital tract infections
Quite often, people catch STIs during rape or unprotected intercourse. In such situations, antibiotics and antimicrobials, which are prescribed individually by a doctor, come to the rescue. In case of detection of gonorrhea or chlamydia, self-treatment is allowed, but even in this case it is necessary to first discuss the plan of action with a specialist.
What should not be done is to resort to pills recommended by a pharmacist, friends who have been ill with the "same", or telemedicine. Firstly, each case is unique in its own way. What if a person has several infections at once? What if instead of disappearing, bacteria / viruses / fungi / parasites develop resistance to the drug? Or will an undesirable complication in the form of impotence or infertility develop due to an incorrectly chosen dosage? The answer is obvious: in order not to face such problems, you need to be treated in a hospital, and not at home, after reading before this “helpful” advice on the Internet or a magazine.
Given all the above reasons, it should be noted that the effective treatment of sexually transmitted infections begins with a qualified diagnosis and high-quality professional advice. Self-medication or medication treatment without diagnosis very often leads not only to lost time, which is so necessary in the early stages of the development of the disease, infection, but also can lead to a serious aggravation.
Prevention, what to do to not get infected
The best way to prevent STI is protected sex. Protection means not only the use of condoms, but also testing for STIs before engaging in sexual intercourse, as well as the rejection of the constant change of sexual partners. Indiscriminate sex life is a direct route to infection with a “bad” disease, with all the problems arising from this. Do not forget about it. Some diseases, such as hepatitis B, can be protected by timely vaccination, which is carried out according to a specific scheme. You can learn how and when they do it at any state clinic.
From the point of view of STIs, as a mass phenomenon in society, the safest prevention of sexually transmitted infections is the prevention of their transmission from one carrier to another. And this means that if people are regularly examined, not only if there are obvious symptoms and signs of an STI, but also with a certain regularity, the percentage of people who are carriers of the infection will significantly decrease in society. The most effective prevention of infections that are transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact is protected sexual intercourse. The most affordable remedy for the prevention of genital tract infections is the proper use of a condom.
In principle, the human immune system is able to cope with the causative agents of genital infection on its own, but only if the contact was short and bacteria / viruses / fungi / parasites got into the body a little. To reduce the risk of infection, you can use a condom, however, as research shows, not everyone knows how to put it on correctly. This should be done as follows:
1 Stretch the condom before intercourse should be careful not to damage the delicate material.
2 From the head of the penis should be left free space (about one and a half centimeters) - in this "reservoir" at the end of sexual intercourse will be ejaculate. You should also squeeze the space left so that there is no air in it, so that the sperm has much to do after ejaculation of the sexual partner.
3 A condom should tightly encircle the penis: if the product sits loosely, the likelihood that it will fly off during sexual intercourse increases many times.
4 Upon completion of sexual intercourse, the condom must be thrown out without turning inside out. Re-use the product in any case impossible.
A few words must be said about the products themselves:
1 Only those condoms made from latex or polyurethane protect against HIV.
2 Latex condoms can not be used with oil lubricants - their constituents damage the coating, which increases the risk of rupture of the product during sexual intercourse.
3 Aromatic condoms are suitable for oral sex, but for anal and vaginal it is better to use hypoallergenic models - they do not disturb the balance of intestinal and vaginal microflora.
If it was not possible to avoid unprotected sexual intercourse (a condom fell off or a condom broke, rape occurred), it is necessary to immediately treat the genitalia with a solution of Miramistin or Chlorhexidine. It also does not hurt to consult a doctor: in such situations, it is possible to use special drugs that almost instantly destroy the pathogenic flora. Often it is impossible to resort to them, but in special cases they can help out.
What are the main causes of infection
The answer to the question, what are the main causes of infection infection, partly laid in the abbreviation itself. That is, the main cause of infections is sexual intercourse, during which the pathogen is transmitted from a sick person to a conditionally healthy one.
Заражение может произойти как при классическом генитально-генитальном половом акте, так и во время экспериментов. Соответственно на вопрос можно ли заразиться такой патологией при анальном сексе стоит дать положительный ответ. Также заразиться можно и при оральном сексе, независимо от того, какую роль выполняет каждый из партнеров в совокуплении. The most likely option is the transfer of microorganisms from the genitals of a sick person to the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with the subsequent development of infection there. But the transmission of the pathogen through oral sex is not excluded in the opposite direction, that is, from the mouth to the genitals. Oral, anal sex and other forms of sexual intercourse contribute to the appearance of atypical localizations outside the genital area. Infectious sexually transmitted diseases are not the same at different periods of the infection. So it is maximum, if the patient has pronounced clinical symptoms of pathology, somewhat less during the incubation period, when signs of the disease are not yet observed.
Infection can occur from the carrier of the infection, that is, a person who was not sick himself, but has a pathogenic microbe in his body. Susceptibility to disease in men and women is far from the same. Thus, the representatives of the stronger sex rarely suffer from candidiasis, gardnerellosis, ureaplasmosis, whereas in women the probability of infection with these pathogens is much higher. You should also understand that during sexual intercourse with a sick person or carrier of infection, transmission of the causative agent of venereal disease does not always occur. Barrier contraceptives, such as a condom, provide some, but not one hundred percent, protection.
With proper use of a condom, there is an extremely small chance of becoming infected with HIV, gonorrhea, but the contraceptive is absolutely useless if the affected person has an infection site outside the latex coverage area. Thus, a condom cannot protect against pubic lice, syphilis, HPV, scabies, herpes, and many other unpleasant diseases. But according to research data of recent years, even if unprotected sexual intercourse with a sick person occurred, the probability of being infected is variable:
- HIV is transmitted in 0.1% of cases
- the causative agent of syphilis pale treponema - in 30%,
- Chlamydia and Trichomonas - 50%,
- lice - in 95% of cases.
Sexual transmission is the main, but not the only way. The second most common is the contact-everyday pathway, when infection occurs through close contact with a sick person or through common household items. For this reason, you should not use shared towels, bath accessories, hygiene products, manicure devices, etc. In this way, you can become infected in a swimming pool or a bath, so it’s not for nothing that in many of these public places a health certificate is required. Some sexually transmitted diseases can be transmitted through the blood with poorly treated medical instruments, with repeated use of syringes, in case of violation of the blood transfusion procedure. There is a vertical way of transmission of the infection when the pathogen in a pregnant sick woman crosses the placenta to the fetus. But the child can become infected during the passage through the genital tract during childbirth, the transmission of the pathogen in the future can occur and contact-household way.
Symptoms of STIs in women and men
Each of these diseases in men and women has its own characteristic features that allow you to build the correct diagnostic algorithm in the future. Many symptoms in women and men are not significantly different, there are manifestations that are similar for many pathologies. Venereal diseases do not appear immediately after infection. The time until the onset of severe symptoms from a pathogen enters the body of a man or a woman is called the incubation period. Its duration is different for different infectious pathogens. In some diseases, the incubation period may be several hours or days, in other diseases, months, in rare cases even years, may appear before the onset of its symptoms. The first and most typical manifestation may be a rash. It may look like redness, or vesicles and pimples, papules, pustules, sores, etc. The most likely symptom is itching and burning in the head and body of the penis, scrotum in men, and also the vagina in women.
There are pathological discharge from the genital tract (from the urethra, in women from the vagina), having a transparent, white or yellowish color, often with an unpleasant or even fetid odor. Itching and burning during urination often accompany discharge. Urine is quite aggressive fluid and during infection the protective function of the urethra is severely affected. As a result, the contact with urine in the urethra greatly irritates the nerve endings. This gives such a symptom as burning and itching, and sometimes even pain when urinating.
Among other frequent manifestations of sexually transmitted diseases it is worth noting the presence of pain in the lower abdomen, in the genital area, increased pain when entering into sexual contact.
Often in men and women it happens that the symptoms are not associated with infections, but may be a manifestation of another pathology, so you need to analyze the clinical picture along with the results of tests (see table below).
List of STIs in women and men
To understand what types of infections occur in women and men, it is enough to understand that the causative agents can be bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and insects. That is, the list of sexually transmitted infections can be divided into 5 groups. There are a lot of them, so consider what are the most common types.
The list of STIs in women and men includes the following diseases:
- ureaplasmosis (in men, this type of pathology practically does not occur),
- gonococcal infection
- Gardnerellez (almost never occurs in men).
- Candidiasis (quite rare in men),
The list of women and men is almost the same, except for some types of infections (see notes). Despite the fact that the list is quite wide, it makes no sense to check for all infections at once, therefore, laboratories usually include diagnostics of about 12-13 species in their analysis.
What sexually transmitted infections are included in the analysis - this should be clarified in a specific laboratory, since the different medical institutions have different lists of procedures. It is also worth understanding that some infections from the above list can cause different diseases in women and men, depending on the localization of the pathological focus. And the establishment of this fact is due to the existing symptoms and test results (see table below).
The survey begins with the delivery of clinical tests - blood and urine. But the information received is not enough to identify the causative agent. Therefore, the following diagnostic methods are additionally used:
- smear on STIs - smear on flora,
- sowing on nutrient media with the determination of the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics,
- serological methods aimed at identifying antibodies or antigens,
- PCR analysis.
Usually, a smear on STIs in women and men makes it possible to identify the pathogen, but if its amount is small, the risk of a false-negative result is high.
The following infections can be found in the smear on the flora - gonococcus, trichomonas, gardnerella and candida. Such infections as chlamydia, mycoplasma, herpes viruses and others cannot be determined in this study. The smear also helps to identify inflammatory cells - leukocytes, the presence of which serves as an indispensable criterion for the treatment of inflammation of the genital organs, regardless of the presence or absence of the infectious agent.
The biomaterial, which was used when smearing, is also suitable for sowing on nutrient media. Sowing, in contrast to PCR analysis, can detect not all infections, but only mycoplasma hominis, ureaplasmas, chlamydia, candida albicans, gonococcus and trichomonas. The disadvantage of sowing is a long period of production analysis - 5-7 days. However, this disadvantage is compensated by the determination of sensitivity to therapeutic drugs. What is indispensable when a doctor prescribes a treatment after a patient himself takes a large amount of antibiotics, which he usually read about on the Internet. The most common, fast and affordable smear for infection by PCR.
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. This method allows you to isolate pathogens from a DNA smear. The big advantage is that for a positive result, the presence of only 1 pathogen in the material is sufficient. Also this method of smear diagnosis becomes positive already from 3-5 days after sex.
To check for several pathogens, complex flora cenosis has become very popular - it is PCR testing for several pathogens, as well as assessments of the urinary organs flora. Additionally, blood is donated and examined by one of the serological methods (most often ELISA). Most often it is the detection in the blood of the immune response to such infections as syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B and C. However, it is possible to detect antibodies produced in the blood in response to infections such as chlamydia, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, trichomonas, Candida and genital herpes. The analysis of immunoglobulins (antibodies) A, M and G is most often done. The first two classes of antibodies speak of a fresh process, the class G immunoglobulin is chronic. Let us consider in more detail how the procedure of testing is performed.
Smear on STIs in women and men
In women and men, this is an analysis when a biomaterial is selected from the source of infection, a preparation is made from it and examined under a microscope. It shows whether there are pathogenic bacteria, fungi or protozoa in the body or not.
Viruses cannot be seen in this way; for this, an electron microscope is needed, which is not used in practical public health. Biological material for microscopic diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections is taken from the walls of the vagina, urethra or other foci with a sterile cotton swab. For the manufacture of smears are also suitable wash water, smears, prints, discharge from the urethra or vagina, etc.
Preparation for delivery includes the cancellation of treatment in about 2-3 days (the antibiotics stop, the use of suppositories and douching in women, etc.). Also, before the study is recommended to refrain from sexual relations. When this is done the usual hygienic treatment of the genitals. Thus, the diagnosis for the patient is not a burdensome procedure, and the biomaterial sampling is painless.
Examination of women and men is not limited to viewing smears; to build a competent conclusion, complex diagnostics should be carried out using other methods.
Blood test for STIs
Blood is used primarily to conduct tests to determine antibodies or immunoglobulins. These are substances that are produced in response to certain structural elements in the composition of microorganisms - antigens.
Antibodies and antigens can be diagnosed using serological methods: ELISA, RNGA, RIF, etc. To donate blood for an STI, the usual preparation is required: fasting in the morning, not smoking a few hours before the examination, etc. In this case, women do not matter on which day of the cycle to donate blood., whereas it is difficult to make a smear during menstruation for obvious reasons.
Decoding Analysis for STI
Decryption of tests is the task of the doctor of the relevant profile In medicine, a lot of ambiguous moments, which, depending on the situation, can be interpreted in different ways. It is impossible to consider each analysis in isolation as an absolute confirmation of the diagnosis, therefore, the interpretation should be carried out in conjunction with the existing symptoms and data from other examinations. To understand how to decipher the results of analyzes, it is recommended to get acquainted with the following table:
1. Basic facts about STDs
- 1 More than 1 million new cases of venereal diseases worldwide are recorded daily.
- 2 Annually there are 357 million new cases in the world 1 of 4 genital infections: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.
- 3 WHO estimates that about half a billion people in the world are infected with the genital herpes virus.
- 4 More than 290 million women are infected with papillomaviruses.
- 5 Most STDs are not accompanied by severe symptoms and are asymptomatic.
- 6 Some pathogens of genital infections (herpes virus type 2, syphilis) may increase the likelihood of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- 7 In addition to the negative effects on the body and the launch of a chronic infectious-inflammatory process, sexually transmitted diseases can cause serious disorders of reproductive function.
All diseases transmitted predominantly through sex can be divided into several types: bacterial, viral, protozoal, fungal, and parasitic. Table 1 below lists the main STIs and their pathogens.
Table 1 - The most frequent STD pathogens
Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) - a disease caused by chlamydia Ch. trachomatis serovarov D-K. Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs. The most common infection is diagnosed in patients of young age (15-24 years).
In women, chlamydia is more often asymptomatic (80% of patients are not worried about anything). Only half of men infected with chlamydia may have symptoms from the genital and urinary system.
The most typical symptoms that accompany chlamydial infection are: pain, cramps in the urethra when urinating, the appearance of a slimy or purulent yellow discharge from the urethra (in women from the vagina).
Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhea) is a venereal disease caused by Neisser's gonococci and is accompanied by damage to the genital organs, the rectum, and in some cases the posterior pharyngeal wall.
In men, the disease is accompanied by a burning sensation in the urethra during urination, the appearance of white, yellowish or green discharge from the urethral canal (often the secret is collected overnight and its maximum amount is released before the first urination), swelling and tenderness of the testicles.
In some men, gonorrhea is asymptomatic. Most women infected with N. gonorrhea do not complain about their health. Symptoms in women can be pain, a burning sensation in the urethra during urination, the appearance of discharge, the discharge of blood in the period between periods.
Infection of the rectum occurs during unprotected anal sex and is accompanied by itching, burning, pain in the anus, discharge of blood from the rectum.
Not all mycoplasmas are pathogens. Currently, only M. genitalium infection (mycoplasma genitalium) requires compulsory treatment, since they are often the cause of non-gonococcal urethritis, vaginitis, cervicitis, PID.
M. hominis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Ureaplasma parvum are also found in healthy men and women, however, if there are predisposing factors, they can cause diseases of the genitourinary tract.
Chancroid (causative agent - Haemophilus ducreyi) is an endemic disease that is predominantly registered in Africa, the Caribbean, and South-West Asia. For Europe, only periodic outbreaks (imported cases) are typical.
The disease is accompanied by the appearance of painful ulcers on the genitals, an increase in regional lymph nodes. Infection with H. ducreyi increases the likelihood of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus.
Figure 1 - In the area of the penis, an early chancroid is defined at the base of the head. In the right inguinal region - a regional increase in the inguinal lymph nodes.
2.5. Inguinal granuloma
An inguinal granuloma (synonym for donovanosis, the causative agent is Calymmatobacterium granulomatis) is a chronic bacterial infection that usually affects the skin and mucous membranes in the groin and genitals.
Nodular seals appear on the skin and mucous membranes, which then ulcerate. Ulcers can gradually grow.
Inguinal granulomas in temperate countries are rare and most common in countries of the South. Africa, Australia, South. America. Most often the disease is diagnosed in patients 20-40 years.
Figure 2 - Inguinal granuloma.
2.6. Venereal granuloma
Venereal lymphogranuloma (Chlamydia trachomatis) is a lesion of the inguinal lymph nodes that develops as a result of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis serovars L1 - L3. The disease is endemic in Africa, Southeast Asia, India, South. America. Over the past 10 years, an increase in the incidence in the North. America, Europe.
The patient is worried about ulcerative defects on the skin of the genitals, which are then supplemented by an increase in the lymph nodes in the groin area, an increase in body temperature. Patients may also experience ulceration of the rectum, which leads to pain in the anus, perineum, discharge, blood from the anus.
Syphilis (Treponema pallidum) is a highly contagious (infectious) venereal disease characterized by a staged course. In the early stages, a chancre is formed in the genital, oropharyngeal, and other areas. The ulcer closes over time.
After a short period of time, a rash appears on the patient's body, which is not accompanied by itching. Сыпь может появляться на ладонях, подошвах и далее распространяться на любые участки тела.
При несвоевременной терапии на поздних стадиях происходит необратимое повреждение внутренних органов, в том числе нервной системы.
Figure 3 - The figure in the upper left corner shows the causative agent of syphilis. In the lower left corner - chancre (ulcer), formed in the first stage of the disease. In the right half is a type of rash characteristic of secondary syphilis.
Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis) is a protozoal STI, in which vaginal and urethral tissues are involved in inflammation. Every year, 174 million new cases of trichomoniasis are registered in the world.
Only 1/3 of infected patients present any signs of trichomoniasis: burning, itching in the vagina, urethra, offensive yellow-green discharge from the genital tract, pain during urination. In men, complaints of pain and swelling of the scrotum can join these symptoms.
Candidiasis (the most frequent causative agent - Candida albicans) is an infectious disease caused by a yeast strain of the genus Candida. There are more than 20 types of fungi of the genus Candida that can cause infection, but Candida albicans (Candida albicans) is the most common causative agent of candidiasis.
The disease does not apply to STDs, but is often transmitted through unprotected sex.
Normally, candida live in the intestines, on the skin and mucous membranes of a healthy person and do not cause diseases. With concomitant chronic diseases, inadequate antibiotic therapy, immunodeficiency, unprotected sexual contact with a patient, colonies of fungi grow and local inflammation develops.
Vaginal candidiasis is accompanied by a feeling of itching, burning in the vulva and vagina, pain, discomfort during sex, the appearance of cuttings during urination, the appearance of white cheesy discharge from the genital tract.
In men, candida often causes balanitis and balanoposthitis (itching, redness, desquamation of the foreskin and glans penis).
5.1. Genital herpes
Genital herpes (HSV, HSV type 2) is one of the most common STDs. Most often, genital herpes develops as a result of infection with the herpes simplex virus type 2. Most patients are not aware of their infection.
The virus is transmitted during unprotected sexual contact, regardless of the presence of symptoms in the wearer. After entering the body, the virus migrates along the nerve endings and can stay in a "sleeping" state for a long time.
When the patient’s immune system is weakened, the virus migrates back to the skin and develops symptoms of genital herpes: redness of the skin of the genitals, the appearance of small bubbles filled with a clear liquid.
Such bubbles burst, a surface ulcer is formed, which heals within a few days. The rash is painful, may be accompanied by fever, an increase in the inguinal lymph nodes.
Figure 4 - Rash with genital herpes.
Genital papillomas (HPV, HPV, human papillomavirus infection) is a disease accompanied by the formation of growths (papillomas) on the skin of the genitals. During life, almost all people become infected with one of the subtypes of human papillomavirus.
Infection with HPV types 6 and 11 is not always accompanied by the appearance of papillomas. Women have papillomas more often than men.
They are small skin growths on a thin leg, often have skin color, soft in texture. Some subtypes of the virus (16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, etc.) can lead to the development of cervical cancer. HPV vaccines developed.
Figure 5 - Genital papillomas.
5.3. Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B (HBV, HBV) is a viral damage of the liver, accompanied by inflammation, death of hepatocytes, development of fibrosis. In addition to sexual intercourse, the hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, hemodialysis, from mother to fetus, by accidental injections with infected needles from syringes (more often among medical staff, drug addicts), by tattooing, and piercing using poorly sterilized materials.
The disease can occur in acute form, accompanied by impaired liver function of varying degrees (from mild to severe, including acute liver failure), the development of yellowness of the skin, general weakness, darkening of urine, the occurrence of nausea, vomiting.
In chronic hepatitis B, liver tissue undergoes fibrosis. Infection increases the risk of liver cancer.
5.4. HIV infection
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV, HIV) is a retrovirus that is transmitted by sexual, parenteral (when the blood of an infected patient enters the blood of the recipient) and vertical (from mother to fetus) pathways. After entering the human body, the virus infects mainly lymphocytes, leading to a decrease in their number and weakening of the immune system.
Currently, when prescribing lifelong antiretroviral therapy, viral replication may be suspended, thus maintaining the patient’s normal immune status.
With the late start of treatment, refusal of therapy, the level of lymphocytes is significantly reduced, the likelihood of developing opportunistic diseases (infections that are rarely registered in people without compromising immune status) increases.
Ways of infection
Every person who has a sexual partner is at risk of getting an STI. Infection is possible through oral, vaginal and anal contact. It is possible infection with close bodily interaction with people who have ulcers and rashes. Cause disease can contact mucous membranes without intercourse.
All STIs are transmitted through the blood, for example, when using a non-sterile medical instrument or common needles. Rarely people become infected in their homes through other people's hygiene products. Babies may become infected during the prenatal period or during labor.
Most often, STIs are detected in people who change partners and are not protected. Some sexually transmitted infections are hidden and do not cause any manifestations, so the use of protection methods is necessary even in the case of long-term relationships. Because of the anatomical features, women have a higher risk of infection than men.
List of infections
All STIs can be divided into several groups. These include:
- Classical sexually transmitted diseases (syphilis, gonorrhea, inguinal granuloma, lymphogranulomatosis).
- Infections affecting the reproductive organs (mycoplasmosis, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, chlamydia).
- Diseases that have both sexual and non-sexual transmission (HPV - human papillomavirus, genital molluscum contagiosum, scabies, pubic lice, hepatitis, HIV).
According to statistics from the WHO (World Health Organization), on the globe, every 6th resident has certain diseases transmitted through sexual contact. All STIs are caused by bacteria and viruses and cannot pass on their own without proper treatment. The list of sexually transmitted infections includes:
It affects the skin, mucous membranes, soft and bone tissue, nervous system. Sexually transmitted, through blood and household contacts with personal hygiene products. The main symptoms are rashes, ulcers, chancre and gum on the genitals and body. Secondary and tertiary syphilis may be asymptomatic
The disease is caused by gonococci, which affect the mucous membranes, bladder, conjunctival membranes. The main symptoms are purulent discharge, burning and pain when emptying the bladder. The disease can have a chronic asymptomatic course.
The most common disease that can be transmitted through the household. An abundant discharge of yellowish or greenish hue, pain during urination and sexual acts, whitening, redness and swelling of the genitals
Infection is common due to the frequent absence of external manifestations. In advanced cases, a person develops itching, pain, and burning sensation in the urethra. Discharges are whitish or yellowish and smell unpleasant.
Caused by opportunistic bacteria - mycoplasmas. In women, it occurs more often than in men. Causes urethritis, bacterial vaginosis, pyelonephritis and inflammatory diseases of the uterus and appendages
Usually asymptomatic. In men, symptoms of prostatitis, itching, burning and pain during urination
It can be sexually transmitted or caused by dysbiosis. Does not always have pronounced symptoms. With a weakened immune system causes a discharge with an unpleasant smell transparent consistency.
Vaginal dysbiosis can be caused not only by infection with the fungus Candida during the sexual act, but also be a result of long-term use of antibiotics. Symptoms - white cheesy discharge from the genitals, itching and irritation of the mucous membranes
It has many varieties and is transmitted sexually and householdly. May cause cancer. The virus provokes the appearance of warts and papillomas on the mucous genital organs and the anorectal zone
The virus is well transmitted through bodily fluids. Differs asymptomatic course of the disease. Dangerous for pregnant women, as it causes damage to the fetus.
Transmitted in any contact with the blood of an infected person. It develops over a long time, initially has no symptoms, and then causes AIDS. Most often, death occurs due to the addition of secondary infections, since the human immune system cannot function normally and does not resist
They have many pathways, including sexual. Diseases cause changes in the structure of the liver, which affects its functioning.
In European countries and the Russian Federation is rare. Infection affects the skin and lymph nodes. The initial symptoms are blisters and ulcers, inflammation of the lymph nodes, fever and headaches.
STIs can be viral - hepatitis, HIV, herpes, HPV, cytomegalovirus, triggered by the simplest microorganisms - mycoplasmosis, ureaplasmosis, gardnerellosis - or caused by bacteria (gonorrhea) and fungi (candidosis). Medicines used in therapy depend on the causative agent of the disease and are selected individually. In case of mixed infections, combination therapy is prescribed.
STIs: description and causes
The causative agents of STIs are viruses, fungi and bacteria.
Before you formulate a complete list of STIs, you need to find out what they are, what people are threatened with and how they affect the body.
Infections transmitted through sexual contact, or STIs, are transferred from one sexual partner to another, uninfected, during unprotected sexual intercourse in any form. The causative agents can be viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Quite often there is a mixed form of infection, especially among people who have promiscuous unprotected sex, are prone to antisocial behavior, drug addiction, and alcoholism.
Failure to understand the risk of contracting certain types of STIs can be costly to a person. They can lead to chronic inflammatory processes in the genital area of a person, cause miscarriage or infertility, impotence and prostatitis in men, liver damage and the immune system, which can cause even the most serious fatal diseases.
Part of the infection affects only the reproductive system, but can also "spread" throughout the body and cause irreparable harm to health, affecting even the human spinal cord and brain.
The only reliable protection against STIs can be caution and care in choosing a sexual partner, high-quality protection and timely full treatment if an infection is detected. It is necessary to treat both partners.
STI list: types, description and symptoms
There is a large list of genital infections that can occur in different forms.
Diseases that enter the human body from the outside, from an infected partner, and those whose pathogens, in their normal state, constantly live on our skin and mucous membranes, do not cause any harm to genital infections. These microorganisms are called opportunistic flora.
As long as the body is healthy, and immunity resists the onslaught of infection and maintains the number of microorganisms at a low, non-dangerous level, the disease does not occur. But with sexual contact with a carrier of the same flora or with a decrease in immunity, the number of pathogens increases dramatically and the person becomes ill. These diseases include the well-known thrush or candidiasis. Its pathogens are constantly in the body of each person, but the disease occurs only when a number of conditions coincide.
A number of causative agents of sexually transmitted diseases respond quite well to treatment with modern drugs, but it is better to do so as soon as possible, until the infection has caused serious inflammatory processes.
As a result, adhesions that threaten the woman with infertility, lesions of the prostate, unpleasant external rashes and even oncological tumors can occur. There are some STIs that are fatal when in disrepair. These are hepatitis, syphilis and HIV. With timely and proper treatment, the lifespan of such patients can be extended for quite some time.
Useful video - Signs of STDs.
The concept of STIs, or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) is somewhat broader than the concept of sexually transmitted diseases. "Venus diseases" are included in the list of sexually transmitted infections as part of it.
Full STI list:
- Syphilis is caused by a pale treponema, or spirochete, has three stages and may be congenital. Able to affect the skin, mucous membranes, soft and bone tissue, central nervous system. It is easily transmitted not only through sexual intercourse, but also through blood and household contacts with the personal belongings of an infected patient - the carrier treponema. Manifested by rash, ulcers, specific formations - chancre and gumma. Secondary and tertiary syphilis can occur with a latent form. If left untreated, it leads to numerous health and mental problems, and then to death.
- Gonorrhea is caused by gonococci, affects the mucous membranes of the urethra and the vagina, and with the spread of the disease - the bladder, conjunctival membranes, pharynx, and mucous membranes of the mouth. Manifested by purulent discharge, burning sensation and pain when urinating, frequent visits to the bathroom. May be acute and chronic.
- Trichomoniasis is very common in all countries of the world and can be transmitted in a household way. In men, manifested by painful urination, discharge with blood. In women, there is a sharp redness of the vulva, burning, itching, heavy discharge, pain during intercourse.
- Chlamydia is caused by chlamydia and has a very secretive "character." Due to the absence of external manifestations, the spread of infection is very high. With the running forms, women may experience itching, pain and burning, as well as unpleasant-smelling discharge. Men generally show burning and itching when urine is excreted.
- Mycoplasmosis is provoked by conditionally pathogenic microorganisms mycoplasmas, often affects women, causing urethritis, vaginosis, pyelonephritis and inflammatory diseases of the internal genital organs.
- Ureaplasmosis can be transmitted not only sexually, but also during childbirth from mother to newborn. Almost always goes away without marked symptoms, but with a large number of ureaplasmas, men may show signs of prostatitis, classic symptoms of infection such as itching, burning and pain may occur.
- Gardnerellosis is a type of bacterial vaginosis associated with the "displacement" of lactobacilli and replacing them with gardnerella and some other microorganisms. It has several ways of appearance, not only sexual. A very common condition.
- Candidiasis, or thrush, is also extremely common and can occur without external exposure, for example, when using antibiotics. Manifested by abundant cheesy discharge, severe itching, irritation and inflammation. May affect not only the genitals, but also the oral cavity.
- The human papillomavirus (HPV) is transmitted through sexual and domestic routes, has many varieties, some of which can cause cervical cancer and mammary gland cancer, others provoke the formation of genital warts on the genital and anal mucous membranes. Manifested by the emergence of wart-like formations on the skin and mucous membranes, which can be single or turn into a continuous zone of damage.
- Cytomegalovirus is spread sexually and through households through various bodily fluids. It is asymptomatic, especially dangerous for pregnant women, as it affects the fetus.
- HIV is spread not only sexually, but also through any contact with infected blood. It develops slowly, affects the immune system, causing AIDS. Patients most often die from joining secondary infections, for example, from pneumonia, since the patient’s immune system killed by the virus does not resist.
- Hepatitis B and C also have many ways of spreading, including sexual. При этих опасных заболеваниях происходит изменение структуры и функционирования печени, что проявляется серией характерных симптомов.
- Венерическая лимфогранулема поражает кожу и лимфатические узлы инфицированного человека. В Европе и РФ встречается редко, так как основной регион ее распространения — это Африка, Южная Америка. Азия и Индия. It is caused by a special type of chlamydia, manifested by blisters, ulcers, inflammation of the lymph nodes, fever, headache and indigestion.
As can be seen from the list, some infections have a viral nature (CMV, herpes, papillomatosis and condyloma, hepatitis, HIV, and others), fungal (candidiasis), bacterial (gonorrhea), or triggered by protozoa (ureaplasmosis, mycoplasmosis, etc.). Accordingly, treatment should be chosen for a specific pathogen. For mixed infections, combined treatment is used.
Treatment of STIs should occur in both partners simultaneously.
The sooner after the occurrence of the first manifestations of infection, the patient turns to a doctor, the more chances he has to completely get rid of the disease. This fully applies to bacterial infections with which modern antibiotics are excellent.
However, some diseases of a viral nature (all types of herpes, the human immunodeficiency virus) cannot be cured at the moment, there is only a chance to reduce the harm they cause and prolong the life of the patient. Considering that some diseases are provoked by conditionally pathogenic microflora that constantly lives in our body, such infections as thrush can recur if suitable conditions occur.
Treatment is selected for each individual patient, taking into account the type of his illness and the condition of the body.
In addition to specific drugs aimed at combating a specific pathogen, the patient is prescribed vitamins, fortifying agents, immunostimulants, and, if necessary, pain medications. Various manipulations are carried out - flushing, tampons, the introduction of candles and ointments, douching and cauterization. Physiotherapeutic procedures also help.
Papillomas and condylomas can be removed by radio waves or a laser. Prescription medications depend on which infections from the STI list are found in a person, their combination, and the time since infection. For complete recovery, it is important to strictly follow the doctor's instructions and the duration of treatment.
Improper treatment of STIs can cause very serious complications.
Most often, the diseases included in the STI list cause serious harm to the human reproductive system. In women, this is manifested in difficulties with conception, spontaneous abortions, fetal lesions, stillborn babies and health problems in children. Severe genital pathology can occur.
In men, there are violations of potency, infertility and impotence, prostatitis and prostate adenomas develop. There are frequent cases of lesions of the urinary tract with ascending infection in the kidneys.
Hepatitis is fraught with the development of portal hypertension and cirrhosis. Tertiary syphilis affects the central nervous system, leading to dementia and death. In addition, it is transmitted at birth to the child and affects its mental and physical development. Some infections, such as herpes, remain with a person forever and he becomes a carrier. You must warn your partner about the presence of the disease and use condoms to avoid transmission.
Modern scientists believe the human papillomavirus is responsible for the occurrence of some forms of cancer.
In particular, a relationship has been established between the incidence of cervical cancer and infection with the papillomavirus. Recently, there is evidence of the detrimental effect of infection and on the state of the mammary glands - the virus can become a trigger for breast cancer.
Most of these infections are accompanied by serious discomfort and adversely affect the sexual life of a person. In most countries of the world there are criminal articles for deliberately infecting a partner with sexually transmitted diseases that are part of an STI.
Any disease is much easier to prevent than to cure. Based on this, it is possible to successfully defend oneself from most of the diseases included in the STI list by the following methods:
- Avoiding contact with people at risk (drug addicts, alcoholics, etc.), you can avoid many risks to your health and life.
- Condom use protects against most infections, even from such dangerous ones as HIV and hepatitis.
- Nontraditional forms of sex (oral, anal) can only be used with a proven partner whose health is in no doubt.
- Additional use of special drugs can help to cope with some types of infection. But these remedies have both contraindications and side effects, so they should be used irregularly, for example, as additional protection along with a condom during the first contact with a new partner.
Thinking about your future and taking care of your health, you will protect yourself from dangerous and unpleasant infections and save the most important thing - your life.