Nigeria: Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infertility (I)

16 August 2019

World Health Organization(W.H.O) estimated that 448 Million new cases of individuals around the world suffers from Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)

Experts predict that 1 in 4 people who are sexually involved will get Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) at least once in their lifetime. STIs e.g. Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and tubal infertility in women

Lack of proper orientation and outreach with regards to STD, made the situation worse all over the world. This issue should have been taken seriously enough to attract government attention and NGOs to initiate necessary control measures to prevent these diseases, but we also know that we cannot entirely depend on government, that's why we should be taking it upon ourselves to create the awareness of the most prevalent STDs around us. It has been made known through available data that the rate at which sexually transmitted diseases relating to infertility is increasingly alarming. Not all diseases that affect the sex organs are considered STDs, and some are not related to sex at all. Some are sexually associated, meaning that they are not transmitted during sex, but occur as a result of it. For example, urinary tract infections (UTIs) can occur because of irritation from intercourse.

What are STDS?

STD also known as Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or Venereal Disease (VD). The term sexually transmitted disease applies to more than twenty different infections. STD is used to refer to a condition passed from one person to another through sexual contact. It is also referred to as any disease that is spread primarily by sexual contact between two people.

One can contact STD by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who already has the disease. One partner transmits the disease-causing organism to the other during sex (oral, vaginal, or anal.) They may be transmitted through the exchange of semen, blood, and other body fluids or by direct body contact.

Note, however; Sex is not just the only way to transmit STDs. Infections can also be spread through needle sharing and from breastfeeding mother to her child depending on the particular STD.

STDs are often mild infections that can be cleared up with simple medical treatment but when left untreated, serious complications can result in Infertility, Birth defects, Blindness, Bone deformities, Cancer, Heart disease, Mental retardation, and even death.

CAUSES OF STDs

There are three major causes and they include;Bacteria: including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis; Viruses: including HIV/AIDS, herpes simplex virus, human papillomavirus, hepatitis B virus, Zika, etc ;Parasites: such as trichomonas vaginalis, or insects such as crab lice or scabies mites.

A condom tear during sexual contact, unprotected sexual activity, sexual partner suffering from an STD, sexual partner is having sex with multiple partners etc. all predisposes to STI risk. The germs that cause STDs hide in semen, blood, vaginal secretions, and sometimes saliva. Most of the organisms are spread by vaginal, anal, or oral sex, but some, such as those that cause genital herpes and warts may be spread through skin contact. For instance, one can contact hepatitis B by sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors, or even rubbing sweat with someone who has it. Some infections can be spread but also through relatively close and non-sexual touch. Although they may be transferred through intercourse, some of these diseases like Cytomegalovirus (CMV) that is the most important cause of congenital viral infection are not regarded as STIs.

HIV and herpes are chronic, manageable, but cannot be cured. Hepatitis B can be acute or chronic and can be controlled. You can't realize that you have certain STDs until reproductive organs, vision, heart, or others are damaged. The STD after a long period of time can weaken the immune system and increase the susceptibility to other infections. For instance, the complication resulting from gonorrhea and chlamydia is a pelvic inflammatory disorder (PID), and can prevent a woman from getting pregnant.

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the two major diseases known to be prevalent, often unrecognizable, and can contribute to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which increases the danger of infertility. In recent years, more instances of these infections were found prevalent; most of the females who had them will show no signs. The number of reported cases is lower than the estimated total number since infected person often do not realize they are infected and do not seek treatment and then these infections screening in many clinical settings is still not a routine. These infections are significantlypreventable triggers of PID and infertility. Untreated PID is developed in approximately 10-15% of females with chlamydia. Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms. PID and "silent" infection in the upper genital tract may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues, which can lead to infertility... ... ... ... .... ... ... .TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK

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