STD is the acronym for sexually transmitted disease, which are diseases that are mostly transmitted through sexual contact and some of them can be life threatening if left untreated. The various STDs include Chlamydia, genital warts (caused by HPV), genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Though, some of the STDs such as hepatitis B and HPV causing genital warts can be prevented with vaccines, but not fully cured; there are some STDs that stay for life such as herpes and HIV. However, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis can be cured.
How Do You Know You Have an STD?
Some of the STDs do not cause any symptoms most of the time, but when they do there are the following symptoms: abnormal vaginal discharge on occasions with bad odor, pain in the pelvic area, vaginal burning and itching, pain during sex, abnormal bleeding from vagina in women; in men they present as abnormal discharge from the penis, enlargement of the testicles, itching, erythema, swelling of the head of the penis. The common symptoms in both males and females include blisters or bumps in genital areas, rectum or mouth, burning or pain on urination or during a bowel movement, urinary urgency, itching around the genitals, throat inflammation, fever, chills and aches.
If a person has these symptoms, then one should visit a doctor and get tested for STDs. If the STD panel comes back positive, the doctor will prescribe the desired medications either for prevention or treatment of the STD depending on the type of STD.
Do STD Symptoms Go Away On Their Own?
The question most people ask is whether the STD symptoms go away on their own because they are hesitant being diagnosed with STD, in the first place and getting treatment for that as well, as they want to be covert about their disease. But, they forget that if STDs are left untreated there can be severe health complications including those that can pose threat to life itself. When it comes to the question whether STD symptoms go away on their own, it is imperative to understand that STD is not a single disease, but collection of diseases that are caused by sexual contact with an infected person. And the definitive answer to the question is, no STDs do not go away on their own, but do need a planned treatment and sometimes needs aggressive treatment too for life long.
Most of the STDs are Caused by Virus or a Bacterium
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common STDs found around the world. They are caused by bacteria, and are mostly asymptomatic; they can go undiagnosed due to absence of symptoms and can be left untreated most of the times. But, when they present with symptoms, one should visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment plan. They are easy to treat and can be treated with antibiotics. When left untreated they can cause complications including infertility with pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Trichomoniasis is caused by protozoa and can be treated with antibiotics. Syphilis is also treated with antibiotics, but once it progresses it causes damage of various organs and the damage once done becomes irreversible.
Genital herpes are mostly caused by HSV-2 and they can be managed by antivirals during outbreaks for symptomatic relief, but they cannot be cured once contracted. HIV/AIDS is also caused by virus known as human immunodeficiency virus that weakens the immunity of a person and suppresses the ability of the body to fight infections. This ultimately leads to a cluster of diseases due to compromised immunity. AIDS can also be managed with antiviral treatment, but cannot be fully cured once the virus enters the hosts’ body. Hepatitis is also caused by virus that specifically targets the liver. Antiviral medication is used to deter the ability of the virus to damage liver and ultimately a person will need liver transplantation if the liver is severely damaged.
It is better to prevent an STD with safe sexual practices such as the use of condoms etc., as prevention is always better than cure.