STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. It is also known as STI (sexually transmitted infections) and VD (venereal diseases).
An STD is an infection that a person generally catches by sexual contact with another person. This mainly involves vaginal sex, anal sex and oral sex. These serious communicable diseases affect both men and women. However, the impact on health is usually more severe for women. Apart from sexual activity, the infection can also be spread by contact with an infected person’s blood or biological fluids. Infants can get this infection during childbirth or breastfeeding in case the mother is infected, causing grave complications.
What are the Different Types of STDs?
The most common cases of STDs are bacteria, viruses, parasites and yeast. These cause more than 20 types of STDs either directly or as a secondary complication to an existing untreated STD.
Bacterial STDs include bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, chancroid, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC), lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), epididymitis, procitis and urethritis.
Viral infections include genital warts or human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A (HAC), hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HAC), herpes simplex virus (HSV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDs), molluscum contagiosum (MCV), and procitis.
Parasitic infections include public lice (crabs), trichomoniasis (trich) and scabies.
Fungal infection includes candidiasis (yeast infections).
How Do You Treat an STD?
You need to consult a physician if you suspect you have an STD. These infections will not go away on their own and if ignored can manifest into serious complications. It is highly not advisable to try to treat an STD on your own without medical guidance. Once your physician has made the correct STD diagnosis, treatment can begin.
How Long Does It Take To Clear Up An STD?
The time taken to clear up an STD depends on many factors. It depends on the type of STD you have (bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal), the timing of the diagnosis (early is always good) and if there are any complications or secondary infections as a result of the primary STD.
Most viral infections cannot be cleared up permanently as the virus settles in your body for your whole life-span and this keep creating outbreaks of infection as the time progresses. Molluscum contagiosum is one infection that can clear up on its own in about 18 months to 4 years. HPV can lay dormant for many years in the body without causing an outbreak. This infection may get cleared on its own in about 2 years. HAV and HBV infections generally clear up in about 6 months and some cases of HCV can be cured with intense treatment. Herpes, HIV/AIDs, Chronic cases of HBV and HCV do not have a cure identified and so they last for longer in your system.
Non-viral infections are generally cured within a few weeks off starting on active treatment, provided the infection is caught early in the disease cycle. Once there are secondary infections or complications as a result of the STD, the prognosis worsens and it increases the time for recovery. Bacterial infections like Chlamydia are usually cured by a single antibiotic course while gonorrhea takes longer due to drug resistant strains. Bacterial infections like syphilis are cured by antibiotics if treated at the primary stage, but once the infection spreads to internal organs in the latent stage, the damage is irreversible. Parasitic infections like scabies and crabs are usually cured in a few weeks by using prescription body washes and shampoos while trich is cured by taking antibiotics. Fungal infections like the yeast infection can be cured within a couple of weeks with the correct anti-fungal treatment plan.
In case the diagnosis is not made early enough, the patient is at risk of developing serious health complications. So, the earlier the infection is caught and the treatment is started, the better the prognosis for the patients.
- STD: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Types of Sexually Transmitted Disease
- Could I Have an STD and Not Know About It?|What are the Symptoms?
- How Do You Get An STD?
- Can a STD Go Away On It’s Own?
- Do STD Symptoms Go Away On Their Own?
- Which STD Have No Symptoms?
- Can STD Come Back?
- Are You Born With An STD?