STD and sexual health
STD is common worldwide. STD can have various impacts on your physical, psychological and social health. Contracting STD can lead to various physical symptoms and long term health complications if left untreated. STD symptoms include purulent discharge from genital, painful sore and bumps on the genital, burning pain during urination and ejaculation, pain over the lower abdomen, abnormal vaginal bleeding not related to menses and painful sexual intercourse. Dyspareunia is a medical term that described persistent and recurrent deep pain that occured during or after sexual intercourse. It is not only physically debilitating but can also cause marked psychological distress and relationship conflicts. Dyspareunia is one of the cause of female sexual dysfunction. It often lead to decrease libido, poor orgasm and dissatisfaction with sexual intercourse.
STD such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can cause ascending infection to upper reproductive tracts leading to inflammation or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) for women. PID lead to painful inflammation causing persistent deep pelvic pain, dyspareunia and scarring of the reproductive tract leading to risk of infertility due to blockage of the fallopian tubes. In men, it can cause inflammation of the reproductive tubes called epididymis (causing epididymitis) and prostate gland (causing prostatitis). Epididymis is the tubes at the back of the testis that carries the sperm. Inflammation of the tubes and gland can cause pain with urination and ejaculation, pain at the pelvic area such as around the testis, anus and lower abdomen and back. Among other symptoms of active infection are purulent material from the penile opening and sometime blood in the semen (haematospermia). Overtime if left untreated it can cause scarring and blockage of the tube and infertility.
In addition to the physical effect, the psychological effect of having an STD may also have an adverse impact on both male and female sexual function and therefore should not be overlooked. Specifically, psychological stress is common in patients with STD leading to decrase libido and enjoyment of sex, erectile dysfunction and adversely affecting sexual confidence. STD can also cause distress and anxiety due to stigmatisation of the incurable nature of certain STD, risk of transmitting to partner and children and recurrence of attacks leading to impairment in daily living.
Normalising STD testing in the community is an important initial step vital to manage serious long term complications to an individual's health and burden to our healthcare. Talk to our doctor today for the right testing and treatment for you.
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