Venereal disease, or in medical language called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases that can be transmitted through sexual contact, including through vaginal penetration, oral sex, and anal sex.
If it's not treated as soon as possible, venereal disease can increase your risk of infertility, even causing some types of cancer. Venereal disease can spread between men and women, between women and between men. A pregnant or nursing woman can also transmit a sexually transmitted infection to her baby. In addition, some types of venereal disease make you more vulnerable to HIV infection.
It is important to always check yourself, especially if your sexual life is classified as active, having had unprotected sex, or you think you are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Be aware of any changes that occur to your body, however small they are. Consult further with the doctor for a deeper understanding.
Why do I need a venereal disease test?
A regular visit to a gynecologist does not mean that you will automatically run a sexually transmitted infection test. If you think you need this test, ask your doctor specifically. Talk about your concerns and what tests you want to go through.
Don't hesitate to discuss this with your doctor. Doctors have vowed to take responsibility in your care by not judging and maintaining patient confidentiality. They are the people you must go to treat your infection. Your doctor can also provide further consultation on how to reduce your risk later on.
The test is also important, because some sexually transmitted diseases do not show any symptoms, so you will not realize that you have contracted it until the disease is already severe.
The following are some guidelines for testing sexually transmitted infections for certain diseases.
For chlamydia and gonorrhea
Screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea is recommended once a year. Who should ask for screening?
- You are a sexually active woman, aged under 25 years.
- You are a woman more than 25 years old and at risk of contracting venereal disease (for example, you change sexual partners or have more than one sexual partner).
- You are a man, have had sex with another man.
- You have HIV.
- You have been involved in sexual activity on compulsion.
Special screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea is done through a urine test or a seca test on the penis or in the uterus, which will then be further analyzed in the laboratory.
For HIV, syphilis and hepatitis
HIV-specific screening is recommended to be done at least once in a lifetime, including routine hospital check-ups, ranging in age from 15-65 years. Younger people are required to do screening if they are at very high risk of venereal disease. HIV screening is carried out every year if you are at high risk of infection.
Who needs to carry out HIV screening, syphilis, and hepatitis?
- Have a positive diagnosis of another venereal disease, which means you are at greater risk of other diseases.
- Have more than one sexual partner since your last screening.
- Using injecting narcotics.
- You are a man, and have had sex with other men.
- You are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy.
- You have been involved in sexual activity on compulsion.
Syphilis screening is done by blood test or swab test from a sample of your genital tissue. HIV screening and hepatitits only require a blood test.
For genital herpes
Herpes is a viral infection that is easily transmitted even if the person does not show any symptoms. Until now there has been no specific screening for detecting herpes, but doctors may do a biopsy (tissue sample) of warts or abrasions that you might have, to be further analyzed in the laboratory. Negative test results do not mean you do not have herpes which is the cause of abrasions in your genital area.
Blood pressure may also be recommended, but the results are not always accurate. Some blood tests can distinguish between the two main types of herpes, but the results cannot be conclusive, depending on the level of sensitivity and the stage of infection you are experiencing. Outrageous test results can still occur.
Some types of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause uterine cancer, while other types can cause genital warts. People infected with HPV may show no signs or symptoms at all. This virus generally disappears in two years from the first contact.
HPV screening for men is not yet available. Usually HPV in men is diagnosed by a doctor's visual examination or biopsy of genital warts. As for women, screening for HPV includes:
- Pap test , to check for abnormal cell growth in the uterus. Pap tests are recommended for women every three years from the age of 21-65 years.
HPV test , as a follow-up test for women aged 30 years and over after a Pap test, and every five years if the previous Pap test is normal. Women aged 21-30 years will be advised of HPV tests if they show abnormal results at the last Pap test.
HPV is also associated with cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and cancer of the mouth and throat.
Vaccines can protect women and men from several types of HPV, but will only be effective if given before starting sexual activity.
If I prove positive, can venereal disease be treated?
For some types of sexually transmitted infections, treatment may involve regular consumption of prescription antibiotics or by injection by a doctor.
Certain diseases, such as herpes or HIV /AIDS, cannot be cured, but can be managed with extensive treatment and therapy to prevent infection from spreading to other parts of the body or spreading to others.
Also, be open with your sexual partner about your illness. Your partner also needs to get an examination, because maybe the infection can move from you to your partner, and vice versa. Always use condoms during intercourse to avoid further spread of infection.
- In addition to condoms, what other contraception can you use?
- Pain and bleeding during sex, is it normal?
- Kegel gymnastics.