Gonorrhea, aka, the Clap
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You've probably heard about "the clap," but do you know the real deal with gonorrhea? Get the facts on this common sexually transmitted disease.
Transcript: Gonorrhea, which is often called the clap, is a curable STD that is caused by a type of bacteria called...
Gonorrhea, which is often called the clap, is a curable STD that is caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is transmitted through sexual contact and can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, throat, and urethra, or the urinary canal. Eight out of ten women with gonorrhea have no symptoms. Women who ARE symptomatic may experience bleeding between periods, painful urination, or vaginal discharge. Conversely, nine out of ten men with the infection DO experience symptoms, including painful urination, penile discharge, or swollen testicles. Gonorrhea of the anus may show up as painful bowel movements, or bleeding from the anus. Meanwhile, gonorrhea of the throat occasionally manifests as soreness in this area. A person experiencing any of these symptoms should immediately see a doctor for a gonorrhea test. The most common way to test for gonorrhea is to obtain swabs from the areas likely to be infected and send them away for testing. In some cases, a doctor may perform a Gram stain, whereby cells are taken from the cervix or urethra, stained with dye, and examined under a microscope in the doctors office. If the test comes back positive, a doctor should also screen for other STDs, as having gonorrhea may increase your risk of contracting other infections. Its also important to receive treatment immediately, because the disease can be very serious. In women, gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of infertility. A woman with untreated gonorrhea is also more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy, a potentially fatal condition whereby a fertilized egg develops OUTSIDE the uterus in a womans fallopian tubes. Gonorrhea can also spread from the urethra to the testicles in men, leading to epidiymitis, a condition which can cause infertility. If a pregnant woman contracts the disease, she can also pass gonorrhea to her infant during birth. Rarely, untreated gonorrhea can also lead to disseminated gonococcal infection, which can cause arthritis and skin lesions in both genders. A gonorrhea infection can increase the risk that a person will contract HIV, OR that a person already infected with HIV will spread it. For all of these serious reasons, a doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to clear up gonorrhea. An infected person will need to notify ALL sexual contacts so that they, too, can be tested and treated at the same time. During treatment, partners should abstain from sex until a follow-up test demonstrates that the infection has cleared. Of course, the only way to avoid contracting gonorrhea is to refrain from having sex. However, a male or female condom can also offer protection against gonorrheas transmission. Gonorrhea is one of the most common STDs, so its important for sexually active individuals to receive regular testing, and to talk to their partners about safer sex practices.More »
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Although Trichomoniasis is curable, it can have a number of unpleasant symptoms. To learn more about trichomoniasis and sex, watch our video.
Transcript: You may not know much about Trichomoniasis, but you should. It's the most common, curable STD in women-but...
You may not know much about Trichomoniasis, but you should. It's the most common, curable STD in women-but it comes with some unpleasant symptoms! Although men can be carriers of Trichomoniasis, or trich, it's women who experience symptoms after contracting the disease. The first sign of Trichomoniasis is watery, bubbly discharge that may be greenish or yellowish. Both itching and pain that occurs during urination or sex can also be signs of trich in women. These unpleasant symptoms are often the most apparent immediately after you have a period. Like other STDs, trich is contracted by having genital-to-genital sex with a person who's infected. Interestingly, Trichomoniasis is particularly common in women who have sex with women. Once a doctor diagnoses trich, it is generally easy to cure the condition in several weeks with prescription drugs. But remember that sex is a no-no until the infection is completely gone-otherwise you'll have recurring consequences!More »
Last Modified: 2012-09-29 | Tags »
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If you think you've been exposed to syphilis, you'll want to know everything you can about it. Check out this video for a guide to understanding syphilis.
Transcript: Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria known as treponema pallidum. Syphilis is...
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria known as treponema pallidum. Syphilis is curable, but if allowed to progress without treatment, it can result in serious illness or death. Syphilis has been around for centuries, and has infected some of history's most famous individuals. Eighteenth-century composer Franz Schubert, England's King Henry the eighth, and 1920s gangster Al Capone were all infected with deadly cases of syphilis. Today, the bacterium spreads the same way it always has: Through direct contact with a syphilis sore, which are usually located on the genitals. For this reason, syphilis is almost always passed sexually, although a pregnant woman infected with syphilis may also pass it to her baby. Once a person contracts syphilis, the disease goes through three stages. The first, or primary, stage is marked by the appearance of a single sore, or chancre, about 20 days after infection. This painless lesion appears where syphilis was contracted. Within a week or two, the chancre usually heals on its own, but a syphilis lesion increases the risk that a person can contract HIV by 5 times, so abstaining from sex at this point is VITAL. After the chancre heals, the secondary stage of syphilis begins. At this point, a painless red or brown rash may appear on the body, especially on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. The secondary stage is also characterized by flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and aching muscles. Because these symptoms are often indistinguishable from other diseases, syphilis is known as "the great imitator." But these "imitation" symptoms will usually resolve themselves without treatment within a few weeks. The final, or latent, stage of syphilis begins when secondary symptoms abate. At this point, there are generally no outward signs of syphilis, but the bacterium continues to thrive internally. If syphilis is not treated, it will spread to other organs, resulting in neurological problems, like a stroke, paralysis, deafness, or dementia. Cardiovascular difficulties, like inflammation of the heart's major artery, the aorta, may also follow from untreated syphilis. Eventually, these conditions can lead to death. The good news is that penicillin has been found to be a safe, effective treatment for this disease. A muscular injection of penicillin, sometimes with booster shots, is all that is needed to kill the bacterium that leads to syphilis. For people who are allergic to penicillin, a course of antibiotics may be taken to kill the bacteria, but damage already done by the disease cannot be reversed. Your doctor will follow up with blood tests to be sure that the medication is working. Pregnant women will be tested more frequently to ensure a return to health, as syphilis can cause death in newborns. Syphilis is on the rise among men who have sex with men in the United States, and among teenagers, who are more likely than ever to practice oral sex, so talk to your doctor about getting a blood test to check for this disease.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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Would you know if you had Chlamydia? Check out this video to get the basics on Chlamydia.
Transcript: Chlamydia is a curable STD that infects about 3 million Americans every year. The disease is caused by...
Chlamydia is a curable STD that infects about 3 million Americans every year. The disease is caused by the transmission of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia can spread to both the male and female sex organs, as well to as the rectum, urinary tract, eyes, and throat, of both genders. This disease is passed through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, or from mother to child during birth. Chlamydia is particularly frightening because three out of four women and one out of two men who are infected have NO symptoms at all...and do not know that they have Chlamydia. If symptoms ARE present, women and men may both experience unusual discharge from their genitals, pain while urinating or defecating, or rectal discharge. Because these symptoms are nonspecific and very rare, it is recommended that ALL sexually active people, be tested regularly for Chlamydia, particularly prior to having sex with a new partner. A doctor can test for the disease with a urine sample or cervical swab. If this lab test comes back positive, additional STD tests should be conducted, as having Chlamydia suggests a likelihood of additional infections. It is very important that the infected individual and ALL current partners begin treatment with antibiotics immediately. The two most common ways to treat Chlamydia are a one-time dose of azithromycin, or twice daily doses of doxycycline for a week. These medications are 95 percent effective at killing off the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium, and that's vital...because left untreated, Chlamydia can cause irreversible damage. In women, infection can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. This condition can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes and lead to infertility. PID also increases the chance that a woman will develop an ectopic pregnancy, whereby a fertilized egg is implanted, not in the womb, but in a fallopian tube. This can cause the tube to rupture, potentially resulting in death. An infected woman can also pass the bacterium on to her baby. This can lead to potentially fatal Chlamydial pneumonia or to potentially blinding neonatal conjunctivitis. Women who have Chlamydia are also 5 times more likely to contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, if exposed to it. Men do not usually experience any effects of Chlamydia. However, the disease CAN spread to the testicles, possibly resulting in infertility. On rare occasions, untreated Chlamydia can cause reactive arthritis, a disease that may lead to permanent disability. While knowing the possible effects of Chlamydia is important, it's even more important to take preventative action against the disease. Do so by getting tested regularly for Chlamydia and using male latex condoms. Chlamydia's common occurrence, infrequent side effects, and serious consequences all mean that you should talk to your doctor about getting tested if you are at risk.More »
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Understanding hepatitis-b and the ways it is spread can help prevent contraction of the disease. Check out this video for more information on this condition.
Transcript: Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by any one of the various hepatitis viruses. In America,...
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by any one of the various hepatitis viruses. In America, the most common type, hepatitis B, is also the type most likely to be transmitted sexually. Hepatitis B is transmitted by bodily fluids and can be spread via unprotected sexual acts, the sharing of drug paraphernalia, the sharing of personal hygiene tools, like toothbrushes, and the birth of a baby to an infected mother. In 95 percent of infected individuals, the body develops antibodies to fight hepatitis B virus, and clears the infection on its own. This usually takes four to eight weeks and is known as "acute hepatitis." People with acute hepatitis often have no symptoms at all, although they are still able to transmit the virus to others before the infection clears. Some people, however, are unable to fight a hepatitis B infection and develop lifelong, "chronic hepatitis." They may eventually experience abdominal or joint pain, dark urine, or yellowing of the eyes and skin. These symptoms are indicative that chronic hepatitis B is causing liver damage, including cirrhosis, or liver scarring and hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer. In extreme cases, hepatitis B can even lead to death. A simple blood test can easily diagnose hepatitis B, even in people who do not experience symptoms. There is no cure for hepatitis, but most people don't require one. However, there ARE treatment options which will reduce the harm caused by chronic hepatitis B. Hepatitis medications work by decreasing the virus's ability to multiply in the body, lessening damage done to the liver, and increasing the immune system's ability to fight the virus. People with chronic hepatitis are also advised to avoid drinking alcohol, as this can make liver damage worse. While these measures are helpful for stopping hepatitis B's spread, it is even better to avoid the virus altogether. This can be best accomplished by getting the hepatitis B vaccine, which is given in three doses over six months. In the United States, this vaccine has been given to infants, children, and at-risk adults since 1982. For people who believe they have been exposed to hepatitis B, and for babies born to infected mothers, a preventative medication called hepatitis B immune globulin is available to help the body fight an initial infection. Patients who receive a dose of this preventative medication should follow up the treatment with the hepatitis vaccine. This is especially important for babies born to infected mothers. Because hepatitis B can lead to severe liver damage or death, it is vital to get the hepatitis B vaccine if you have not done so. You can also reduce your risk of contracting the disease by using a condom every time you have sex. Because there are over one million Americans with chronic Hepatitis B, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about the virus!More »
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Did you know that Trichomoniasis affects millions of people every year in the United States? Check out our video and find out more about this infection.
Transcript: Trichomoniasis vaginitis, more commonly known as "trich," is a curable, sexually transmitted infection...
Trichomoniasis vaginitis, more commonly known as "trich," is a curable, sexually transmitted infection which affects 7 million Americans annually. While both men and women can catch Trichomoniasis, women are infected with more frequency. Trichomoniasis is caused by the passing of a single-celled, microscopic parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. The parasite is transmitted most frequently through sexual contact, either via heterosexual intercourse, or by women who have sex with women. On rare occasions, Trichomoniasis, which can live outside the body for up to 45 minutes, may be passed through shared towels. When a man contracts Trichomoniasis, he will usually be asymptomatic and unaware. If symptoms ARE present, he may experience painful urination or whitish discharge from the penis. Women are symptomatic about 80 percent of the time, but this still means that one in five will have NO symptoms. Female Trichomoniasis may manifest as discomfort during intercourse, vaginal itching, and a pus-like, malodorous discharge that may be yellow or green. If a woman has symptoms of Trichomoniasis, or suspects she may have been exposed to the parasite, she should see her doctor for a pelvic examination and additional STD testing. Tests for Trichomoniasis may include a vaginal swab that is sent to a lab for diagnosis, or a 'wet prep,' which is a swab that is examined under a microscope in a doctor's office for immediate diagnosis. If the test is positive, it's very important to receive treatment. This is because genital inflammation can increase a woman's susceptibility to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. It also increases the likelihood that an HIV-infected woman will pass the virus on. In addition, some studies have shown that the trichomonas vaginalis protozoan may be linked to infertility in both genders. These consequences can generally be avoided if Trichomoniasis is diagnosed early and treated with the prescription drug metronidazole, which is marketed as Flagyl, or with the recently-approved drug Tindamax. It's important not to consume alcohol during the 24 hours after Flagyl treatment, or the 72 hours following Tindamax treatment. In the case of pregnant women with symptomatic Trichomoniasis, an alternate medication, called clotrimazole, may be inserted into the vagina to decrease discomfort. Following diagnosis, a patient's partner should also be treated to ensure that the disease isn't passed back and forth. During treatment, and until symptoms abate, sex should be avoided. In addition, both partners should be tested for other STDs, because co-infection can often occur. Of course, it is much preferred to prevent Trichomoniasis all together. As with all sexually transmitted infections, the surest way to do this is to abstain from all sexual contact. People who ARE sexually active may also use a male latex condom to reduce the likelihood of spreading Trichomoniasis vaginitis. Trichomoniasis affects 200 million people worldwide each year! Therefore, it's important to talk to your doctor and your partner about appropriate testing and safer sexual practices.More »
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If you've been sexually active, it's smart to get tested for STIs. Watch this to find out the ones you could be most at risk of having!
Last Modified: 2013-06-19 | Tags »
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