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Sexually transmitted diseases...Your sexual health is your responsibility.



A young girl of 21, very anxious, stepped into my opd, complained of very painful vulvar sores and was diagnosed with genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.


When I see such patients, I feel, we as society, parents and doctors have failed to educate our youth about these diseases which can create problems for their entire life. One irresponsible behaviour and we don't know what will happen.

We hardly encourage our kids to communicate and do not have patience to accept their mistakes. 


Even after so many efforts by the government to popularise condoms, I see youth indulging in high risk behaviour and unprotected intercourse with often multiple partners. Remember they are inviting big troubles. There is no heroism in it but only foolish behaviour. 

We are not here to judge them.But we have a bigger responsibility to educate them. 


Diseases which are transmitted by vaginal, anal or oral sex are called sexually transmitted diseases. They are very common. They are more common in men and women between 15 to 25 years of age group. 

 

There are many STD's, most common ones are  

Genital herpes, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV, HPV, Hepatitis etc. 


Proper and consistent use of condoms prevents the majority of these. Only in very few cases when the lesions are in uncovered areas they can transmit even with proper use of condoms. 


Complete abstinence from vaginal, oral or anal sex or a monogamous relationship with a partner who is tested regularly for STD's reduces its occurrence completely. 


Symptoms 

Many STD's do not cause any symptoms. 

There may be

Foul smelling vaginal discharge 

Pain while passing urine 

Vulval sores

Vulval ulcer

Fever and systemic illness


Diagnosis

General examination 

Vulval and speculum examination to look for specific discharge, appearance of cervix, vulvar ulcers and sores


Complications 

Recurrent herpes genitalis 

Infections passed to baby during pregnancy 

Infertility 

Pelvic inflammatory disease 

Cervical cancer

Ectopic pregnancy 


Blood, urine tests, high vaginal swabs covering all STD's as required and advised by the doctor. 


Treatment 

All are treatable and some can be cured entirely. 

Treatments are specific to the disease like antibiotics, antivirals, symptomatic treatment etc under specialist care


Prevention 

Proper and consistent use of condom during every act. 

Do not ignore above mentioned symptoms. 

Notify partners in case of diagnosis of STD. 

HPV vaccination 

Regular pap smear testing


Knowledge is power… Let us take this responsibility to educate the bright citizens of tomorrow. 


Author - Dr Harita Kothia, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Blogger.


Disclaimer - These are the views of a qualified doctor and author. They have no resemblance to anyone. Please see your doctor for advise in your case. These are just general guidelines. This is not an entire scientific update, just author's views on this topic.

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