There is a lot of information out there on STD’s and still, thousands are infected every year! Why?
Realizing vaginal STD's can be life threatening is the first key to prevention.
The initials STD's an acronym for Sexual Transmitted Diseases has been diminished; it is now a non-relevant slogan. It has been used so much that people do not fear it or fear getting an STD.
The stigma of having an STD is no longer a deterrent.
Well, my belief is that in these modern times for many getting an STD compared to HIV/AIDS or Herpes is a shot away (or pill) from a cure.
So men, women and young people are not protecting themselves like they should because cases of STD's are continuously growing.
STD vs. STI are often used interchangeably. Both are transferred sexually, infected person to an uninfected person. However the Medical Industry has now made a distinction between the two.
STI: is having/acquiring the infection without the symptoms as of yet (may or may not be contagious).
STD: is having the infection that progressed into having symptoms and is contagious.
It is important to know that not all STI will develop into STD's.
If you are having symptoms or if you are not sure but feel like you should get check out do not hesitate, go straight to your GYN/doctor.
Realizing vaginal STD's can affect many women and their partners is a step forward in preventing the spread of these diseases
Venereal: Usually a contagious condition (infection or disease) caught or passed on through sex either vaginal, anal, or oral.
Disease: A specific medical condition or disorder that attacks and mutates the cells of humans, plants or animals.
Venereal Disease: is a contagious disease often obtained by sexual intercourse or genital contact and other open gates of the body e.g.: eyes, nose, mouth and anus.
Jacques de Béthencourt, a French scientist coined the term Venereal Disease in 1527.
Before STD's or STI's there was Venereal Disease infamously known as VD.
Thirty years or so and back VD was mainly infectious sexual diseases recognize as Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Lymphogranuloma inguinale (rare before 2003) and
Chancroid also known as Soft Chancre(mainly in developing countries).
During the late 1980's VD was changed to STD.
But as time went on new STD's came on the scene such as HIV/AIDS, HPV, Herpes etc.. With several that are incurable and fatal (when not treated).
In my opinion women are the greatest sufferers of STD/STI.
Simply because of the way our reproductive system/genitalia is built.
Women are internal, men are external. Anything that is internal harbors more of a chance of getting infections.
Bacteria, fungus, viruses love warm dark moist places.
The Queen of it all... the Vagina.
I mean we get everything the excessive vaginal discharge, the smelly discharge, the itchy and inflamed vulva, the pain, the painful and frequent urination, the abdominal and pelvic pain and inflammation.
Did I cover everything!
The possible vaginal, cervical and uterine cancer, the abnormal and sometimes painful bleeding, sterile or...
No symptoms at all which is even worse because you can be infected and contagious and not know it.
In other words symptoms are a good thing.
I believe I covered everything.
Oh, just one more thing and it's a big one...
For women having an STD means one thing and one thing only to society...
It means she in Unclean.
Just like in years past this has not changed.
The stigma for women is far more great than for men.
Do you see the pattern ladies?
In everything that happens in life women are the most affected, just think about an issues, a sickness, anything you can bet it will affect us.
This is why it is very important that women take care of themselves...
Protect each other by talking to and not competing against one another...
And most importantly love yourself enough to not settle for what some may perceive and maybe you should as well as abuse and misuse.
Below are the three categories of STD's Bacterial, Viral and Parasitical.
In the opinion of many Viral being the worst because according to scientists and doctors, they are incurable.
Women are infected with the STD Gonorrhea more often then men.
It is cause by the bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, a bacteria that thrives in warm moist places.
It can and will infect the reproductive system which includes the fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix ( known as Pelvic inflammatory disease/ PID) as well as the vaginal walls, vulva, anus and urethra if left untreated.
Gonorrhea can also infect the eyes, mouth and throat.
Once exposed, symptoms can show up in some women between two (2) to five (5) days
Sometime symptoms if symptoms occurs will not be notice until about thirty (30) days that is after the incubation stage.
Gonorrhea can sometime be mistaken for bladder infection.
Click here for more information on Gonorrhea: cdc.gov/std/
In women, Chlamydia often has no symptoms. As with most STD/STI's Chlamydia affect women in greater numbers than men.
It is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis, again it thrives in warm moist places.
Chlamydia is known as the silent infection because most people do not have symptoms.
As with gonorrhea, Chlamydia can affect the reproductive system
Chlamydia is the most reported bacterial STD and it is very common among young adults and teens.
When and if symptoms show up know that the infection has progress into an STD.
Click here for more information on Chlamydia
Syphilis (Treatable in early stages primary and secondary)
Syphilis is a disfiguring STD. It can alters your body, face and brain (late stage). It is not an STD to leave untreated.
Syphilis is caused by the double-membrane bacterium Treponema Pallidum.
There are four stages to this STD if left untreated in early stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary).
Symptoms ranges in each stage starting from:
The primary characterize by a painless open sore (also called chancre) at the spot where the infected bacteria entered the body.
The secondary stage (also called mucous membrane lesions ) usually a rash that appears just after the primary starts to heal on the palms of hands or bottom of feet. It can also appear anywhere on your torso and spread with warts.
The latent stage (non-active or hidden stage) is when the primary and the secondary symptoms disappear. You are still contagious/infected but there are no symptoms.
The STD has now metamorphosed into something else.
The tertiary/late stage is characterized by what seem like non-active or even worst, a belief in thinking that you no longer have the STD because there are no symptoms.
As I have stated it has now metamorphosed into something else, it can, will and is causing great internal damage.
Click here for more information on Syphilis
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease/PID (Treatable)
PID is an umbrella term. Pelvic inflammatory disease is an bacterial infection of the pelvic region and organs: the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus and the cervix.
You can acquire it sexually or not either fungal, viral, or parasitic, with bacterial being the most common.
If you have suffered with gonorrhea or chlamydia chances are greater of you developing PID.
Signs to look for if you have symptoms if you do not have symptom but have had either gonorrhea and/or chlamydia get checked out for PID.
Signs: smelling discharge, irregular periods, pain in the upper right-side of abdomen, pain when urinating, pain when engaging in intercourse and/or a fever of 104 or higher.
Click here for more information on Pelvic Inflammatory Disease/PID
Chancroid along with Gonorrhea and Syphilis are of the "old school" STD formerly known as Venereal Disease/ VD.
Chancroid is caused by the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi and is solely transmitted through sexual intercourse or exposure to ulcers that leaks the infected pus-like fluid.
It is not a common STD here in the United States however, it is very common in developing countries.
Most Americans that are infected with it traveled to these countries and engaged in unprotected sex.
Between one (1) day and two (2) weeks the infected will notice a small bump on the labia major. The bump quickly becomes a sometimes painless open sore (ulcer).
Click here for more information on Chancroid
I may be wrong, but my belief is that HIV/AIDS was created in the scientist laboratory.
This may sound quaky to some but it sounds like a great possibility to me.
It was a virus that the scientist discovered and after using it on lab animals they needed to learn first hand how it will affect humans.
For the sake of discovery the scientist let it loose on developing countries, parts of African being one of the first countries to be infected with this deadly virus.
There, I finally said it.
HIV/AIDS is a deadly one two punch.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus/HIV is a lentivirus meaning its a slow replicating retrovirus with a long incubation period.
It is the retrovirus that slowly bloom into Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome/ AIDS.
There are three stages of HIV:
Primary/initial stage: Flu-like symptoms, fever (102 or higher),
sneezing and coughing
body and headaches
swollen lymph glands (in the neck)
genital or mouth ulcers
These symptoms usually end after a few weeks.
Chronic Asymptomatic/Incubation stage: This stage has a long period of dormancy without symptoms some people many have swollen lymph nodes but not much else. Can lay dormant between eight (8) to ten (10) years.
Currently, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but with treatment the virus can be semi-controlled and dramatically slow the progression of HIV into AIDS.
Symptomatic/Full Blown or Bloom stage: The dormant symptoms have awakened. The cells of the body's immune system have been permanently damaged, T-cells which are blood cells have been destroyed you now have the Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
The body is unable to fight of a simple cold the immune system is so suppressed it can easily turn into pneumonia.
There is severe weight loss and mental deterioration (dementia) chronic diarrhea and a whole host of other concerns/issues.
Click here for more information on HIV/AIDS
Herpes is a virus from the Herpesviridae family.
Herpes is a highly contagious STD.
There are two types of herpes.
Herpes Simplex 1 and Herpes Simplex 2 known as HSV-1 (oral herpes/cold sores/fever blisters) and HSV-2 (genital herpes).
Although HSV-1 oral herpes is the most common it is not primarily an STD.
However, if you have a open cold sore/fever blister on the mouth (lip) and you engage in oral sex you can pass HVS-1 to your partner infecting the person with HSV-1 of the genitals.
The above is common among adolescents mainly young females.
It is also possible to transmit HSV-2 of the genitals to the mouth when performing oral sex.
There are several categories of the herpes virus we will focus on the STD transmission Genital herpes (HSV-2).
In the world of STD's women get the short end of the stick. Again it is very important that you as a woman protect yourself.
As with most if not all, STD's affect women greater and in greater numbers.
HSV-2 is very common in women because it is more likely and easier for infected men to pass the infection to women than from female to male.
There may or many not be symptoms. If symptoms occur they are usually very mild and may be mistaken for a flu-like cold or low-grade fever.
Genital herpes can be transmitted (vaginal, anus or oral) from an infected person even if the infected person has symptoms or not.
The herpes virus can enter the body through cracked/open skin or mucous membrane.
HSV-2 lives in the nerves throughout the body whether active or inactive.
Click here for more information on HSV-2 genital herpes
Human PapillomaVirus /HPV (no specific treatment/cure)
Currently, scientists are aware of a least 120 Human PapillomaViruses. Of these 120 known HPV's 51 species and three sub-species infect the mucous membrane.
HPV are categorized by numbers.
It is important to that that when engaging in sexual intercourse using condoms are not 100% protection effective.
HPV not only infects the genitals it also infects the skin and all skin around the genital area leaving the infected person's skin exposed to infect their partner.
HPV is not in the same family as HIV/AIDS or Herpes.
Some HPV causes genital warts.
HPV can cause cervical cancer in some women.
It can also cause cancer of the throat, vagina, vulva and the anus.
These types of HPV that cause cancer are different than the ones that cause genital warts.
It is also possible that women infected with HPV will never develop symptoms or any health concerns.
It is more likely that the HPV infection can and will work its way out of the body within two years… sometimes.
Click here for more information on Human PapillomaVirus/HPV
Genital Warts (Treatable in early stages)
Genital Warts are a sub-type of HPV, it is considered a low-risk HPV.
They are called low-risk because they cannot cause cancer in particular, cervical cancer.
All HPV's are named with a number and in the order in which they were discovered.
Not everyone infected with HPV will get genital warts but you are still infected and you can infect others through sexual contact.
HPV are divided into two groups.
The low-risk HPV types are 6, 11, 40, 42, 43, 44, 53, 54, 61, 72, 73 and 81.
Types 6 and 11 are responsible for the majority of the HPV genital warts.
The high-risk HPV types are 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59 and 68.
Types 16 and 18 are highly risky because they make up the majority of cervical cancer in women.
Actor Michael Douglas was diagnosed with HPV 16, he suffered with throat cancer.
HPV is transmitted through direct skin to skin contact while engaging in vaginal, anal or oral intercourse with an infected person.
Genital warts are usually flesh colored and painless. They can be itchy. Occurring in clusters and can be as small as the head of a straight pin or as large as pencil erasers clumped together.
It is also possible to be infected with more than one HPV at a time.
Click here for more information on Genital Warts
Trichomoniasis is a STD that is more common in women than in men.
Trich, as it is sometimes called is caused by the single-celled protozoan parasite Trichomonas Vaginalis.
It affects and infects the vagina, vulva and the urethra.
The parasite travels from the infected person to the uninfected person during intercourse.
It is transmitted from vagina to penis or vice verse and...
From vagina to vagina.
Symptoms if they occur, are often in women with none to mild itchy penis discharge in men.
If symptoms occur it can be anywhere with five (5) to twenty-eight (28) days after the parasite enters your system.
The infection can cause burning, itching and inflammation.
The urethra, the vagina and the cervix can be painfully inflamed. This in turn may cause a frothy foul smelling (fishy) discharge that is a yellowish green.
Click here for more information on Trichomoniasis
Pubic Lice/ Crabs (Treatable)
Pubic lice also known as crabs are parasitic insects of the pubic hair.
Medically, pubic lice/crabs infestation is known as Pediculosis Pubis
Crabs are an obligate ectoparasite of humans in other words, Pubic lice/crabs only existing in human to human and are like leaches that only feed off of human blood whether you agree or not.
They can be found in the genital area on pubic hair and other areas of the body that have coarse hair like the eyebrows, eyelashes, mustache and beards, armpits and even leg hairs.
Head lice are not the same parasite as pubic lice.
There are three stages of pubic lice:
Nits: are the lice eggs
Nymphs: are the immature lice
Adults: almost looking like tiny sea crabs with two large front claws.
The adults releases saliva and this causes an allergic reaction... intense itching.
Searching for lice can be a bit hard to find, the nymphs and adults are able to move when the pubic hairs are being disturbed.
It is better and a bit easier to search for the nit/eggs if you are having an intense itching in the pubic and genital areas.
Tan to greyish-white with six legs and an almost round body and about the size of a sesame seed describes the adult pubic lice.
The adult lice needs to feed often without a feed they die with one (1) to two (2) days.
Click here for more information on Pubic Lice/Crabs
Scabies is not primarily an STD however; if you are infected and infested with scabies you can spread it especially during sexual intercourse.
Scabies is cause by the parasite Sarcoptes Scabiei (female eight-legged itch mite)
A highly contagious skin disease and infestation.
A tiny human skin mite that burrows, live, feed and lay eggs under the top layer of the skin causing intense itching.
Scabies can be passed on by touching objects that infected people have touched.
The scratching, the mite gets under the nails or hand and it passes to the object.
That is why you should always, always... always, wash your hands several times a day.
The mite/parasite with prolong contact transmit by direct skin to skin contact.
The most common way of catching scabies is through sexual contact among younger sexually active adults.
Scabies affect certain areas of the body... a rash of red pimple-like bumps on the skin appears on the hands, wrist and fold of elbows.
As well as the breast, back, navel and abdomen, buttocks, knees and... the external genitals.
Click here for more information Scabies
Vaginal Health/ Realizing vaginal STD's