Mr. Banjo a manager in one of the new generation banks came to the clinic with his beautiful wife with complaint of inability to get a child after 2 years marriage. Thorough investigations and‎ physical examination later revealed that Mr. Banjo had been having recurrent penile discharge. He confessed to have been diagnosed of an STI 4 years back and did not bother getting treatments. The chronic situation had prevented him from putting his wife in the family way.  

Mr. Banjo confided in us to hide that information from as it may cause some problems in their home. The lady on the other hand became worried as her husband’s family members had started calling her names. Should we inform Mr Banjo’s wife of her husband’s predicament?

You see how negligence nearly  ruined Mr Banjo’s home?

What then are STDs?

 STDs are infections that are commonly spread by sexual activities, especially vaginal intercourse, oral sex and anal sex.
Most STDs sometimes are without symptoms which result in greater risk of passing the diseases to others and pushing towards fatal complications.

CAUSES OF STDs

Different organisms are culprits in the spread of these diseases. They include, but not limited to:
BACTERIA: Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and Chlamydia.
FUNGAL: Candidiasis, (yeast infection)‎
VIRAL: Hepatitis B that is contacted via saliva and venereal fluid of infected persons
              HSV-Herpes Simplex Virus
               HPV-Human Papilloma Virus, which like the HPV are transmissible from skin and mucosa of an infected person with or without body blisters.

The Major route of transmission is via unprotected sexual intercourse with infected persons. Let us take a brief look at few of the major STDs.
GONORRHEA;

 This is one of the two most common sexually transmitted infections, alongside syphilis. It is caused by a bacterium- Neisseria gonorrhea. When it is left untreated or poorly treated it can lead to myriad of complications and it can go as far as affecting the heart valves which may result to death. I wish to say emphatically that Gonorrhea is not spread by sharing toilets or bathrooms. As it is erroneously believed. The infection can be spread via all means of sexual activities that involves exchanging body fluids.

The signs and symptoms, management and complications are same with the other STDS which shall be dealt with in later chapters.
SYPHILIS;

This is another distinct STD caused by another bacterium- treponema pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contacts. Another myth that needs to be corrected is the belief that STDs are transmitted sexually alone. NO! It may also be transmitted from an infected pregnant woman to the foetus or at birth resulting in congenital syphilis.

The signs and symptoms of syphilis in addition to the other STDS include a CHANCRE, a firm, painless ,non-itchy skin ulceration seen majorly on the shaft of the penis and vulva in women and some other parts of the skin, infact some affects the whole skin.

Let us spell out the causes of the STDS;
  • Sexual activities with infected persons
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Oral sex; fellatio, cunnilingus and anilingus
  • Transmission from infected woman to fetus in pregnancy
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

It is pertinent to start this page with this salient information. NOT all STDS have signs and symptoms, and that there’s level of delay of appearance of these signs and symptoms in every individual. They appear faster in female than male because of the variation in length of the urethra.

These signs and symptoms include, but not limited to;
  • Vaginal discharge which sometimes may be yellowish and foul (fishy) smelling
  • Penile discharge
  • Genital ulcers
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Itching
  • Bleeding in between menstrual cycle
  • Dark colored, thick, foul smelling menses
  • Oral thrush
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Sore throat
  • Corneal ulcer (eyes)
DIAGNOSIS

Diagnostic measures for STDS is very useful in modern day medical practice, and for the sake of these reasons.
  1.  To check the status of prospective partners.
  1. Precision sake
  2. To determine the cause of the disease
  3. Screening to prevent complications

The specimen to be used include;
  1. Blood
  2. Urine
  3. Sputum
  4. Discharge from the genitals
  5. Skin scrapings
TREATMENTS

Early detection and prompt treatment result in lesser chances of spreading the diseases and some conditions may have good outcome and also prevent fatal complications.

There’s often a window period after the initial infection during which an STD test comes out negative. During this period, the infection may be transmissible
Consult a Doctor for proper investigations and solution.
DO NOT stop the treatment halfway. Even at disappearance of symptoms, please complete your prescribed medications.
COMPLICATIONS.

When STDS are left unattended to, or poorly treated it can lead to;
  • Infertility in both male and female
  • Low sperm count
  • Recurrent miscarriage in female
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Kidney diseases in both male and female
  • Cancers of the cervix, penile anal and mouth cancer
  • Blindness
  • Dementia
  • Heart problems
  • Liver and spleen enlargements

Please direct all correspondence to: femiajose_dr@yahoo.com
08150335136. 
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Dr.Ajose Oluwafemi is a Medical Doctor, an international Public Speaker, Best Selling Author/ Columnist, International Human Development Coach. He’sAfrica’s leading voice on Diabetes and Hypertension Care and Management and Principal Consultant, Ambassador’s Consult,
Lagos,Nigeria.