Causes

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be caused by:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Parasites
  • Sexual activity plays a role in spreading many other infectious agents, although it is possible to be infected without sexual contact. Examples of this include the hepatitis A, B and C viruses, shigella, and giardia intestinalis.

Risk factors

Anyone who is sexually active risks exposure to a sexually transmitted infection. Factors that may increase that risk include:

  • Being young: Half of STIs occur in people between the ages of 15 and 24.
  • Having unprotected sex.
  • Having sexual contact with multiple partners.
  • Having a history of STIs.
  • Abusing alcohol or using recreational drugs.
  • Anyone forced to have sexual intercourse or sexual activity: Dealing with rape or assault can be difficult, but it’s important to be seen as soon as possible. Screening, treatment and emotional support is available.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that is spread by skin-to-skin contact with a Syphilis sore during vaginal, anal or oral sex, or by kissing an open Syphilis sore. If detected early (within a year), Syphilis is treated with a single injection of antibiotics. To treat longer standing cases of the disease, multiple doses of antibiotics are required to cure Syphilis.

If left untreated, Syphilis can lead to blindness, paralysis and dementia.

To avoid the many damaging effects of Syphilis, it is important to know what Syphilis is and the symptoms for Syphilis. Awareness of the Syphilis symptoms should allow you to know if you need a Syphilis treatment, leading to a Syphilis cure.

Primary Stage

  • Painless sore, called a chancre, on the genital area, mouth and lip.

(A chancre is small, round sore that forms at the spot where Syphilis entered the body. The chancre lasts approximately 4 weeks and heals without treatment. However, if adequate treatment is not administered, the infection progresses to the secondary stage.)

Secondary Stage

  • Rash on the hands, feet and other parts of the body
  • Fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headaches and fatigue

(The signs and symptoms of secondary Syphilis will resolve without treatment, but without treatment, Syphilis will progress to the latent and late stages of disease.)

Late Stage Syphilis

  • Blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Dementia

Ignoring the symptoms for Syphilis symptoms or any other STD, in women or men, may lead to far worse consequences. It is necessary to be tested at the initial manifestation of symptoms for Syphilis so that you can obtain the Syphilis cure as soon as possible.

Syphilis testing is carried out via a blood test or a microscope test, which consists of examining the infected area for the bacteria that cause Syphilis. At BCHC, the Syphilis blood test is undertaken by health professionals to assure the highest level of accuracy possible.

Pregnant women with long standing Syphilis are at a high risk of having a stillborn child (a baby born dead) or of giving birth to a baby who dies shortly after birth. An infected baby may be born without signs or symptoms of Syphilis. However, if not treated immediately, the baby may develop serious problems within a few weeks.

The surest way to avoid contracting Syphilis is to exercise abstinence or engage in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner that has tested negative for STDs. Latex condoms for males, when used correctly, can help reduce the risk of contracting Syphilis, but only when the condom is protecting the area infected with Syphilis. Even then, a risk of infection exists. Syphilis can affect anybody, but fortunately there is a cure for Syphilis.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, also known as the clap, is spread through oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex. Gonorrhea is spread “fluid to fluid”, meaning an infected person’s secretions need to come in contact with the mucous membranes or blood stream of another. You can contract Gonorrhea without penetration.

The bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted disease Gonorrhea grows in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus. Treatment for Gonorrhea is done with an injection of prescription antibiotics.

If Gonorrhea is left untreated, the disease can spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and chronic pelvic pain. PID can damage the fallopian tubes enough to cause infertility in women. It also can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies—a life-threatening condition where a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. In men, Gonorrhea can cause a painful condition called epididymitis and, in severe cases, renders a man sterile, preventing him from ever being able to father children.

Though many women do not exhibit any symptoms of Gonorrhea, some women experience:

  • Yellowish or yellow-green vanginal discharge
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycles
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful urination
  • The urge to urinate more than usual
  • Vomiting

Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men include:

  • Burning when urinating
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Painful or swollen testicals

Pregnant women with Gonorrhea can pass the infection to their children during childbirth. This can cause blindness, joint infection or a life-threatening blood infection in the baby. Treatment for Gonorrhea as soon as it is detected in pregnant women will reduce the risk of these complications.

The best way to avoid contracting Gonorrhea is to exercise abstinence or to engage in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner that has tested negative for STDs.

Transmission of Gonorrhea cannot be prevented by washing the genitals, urinating, and/or douching after sex. Any unusual discharge, sore, or rash, particularly in the groin area, should be a signal to stop all sexual activity and visit a doctor immediately.

The symptoms of Gonorrhea should never be taken lightly. If you believe you are experiencing the early signs or symptoms of Gonorrhea, you should seek testing for sexually transmitted diseases at a Health Department nearest you.

Mayo Clinic: STD / STI Symptoms & Causes