Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are among the oldest diseases of mankind. In every place where people live in society and maintain sexual contacts, there will be one or the other sexually transmitted disease. Various pathogens, some of which can be attributed to viruses, some to bacteria, but also to fungi, can be considered as triggers.
What they all have in common is that they feel very comfortable in a dark, warm and humid environment where they find optimal conditions for growth. The most common sexually transmitted diseases in Germany are infections with Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and infections with the HI-Virus; the HI-Virus takes a special position due to the severity of the disease and the intensive therapy concept. In the following it will therefore play a subordinate role.
The frequency of the occurrence of venereal diseases in general has decreased significantly in the recent past following increased education and condom campaigns. Only in recent years has there been a renewed increase in the number of sexually transmitted infections. This phenomenon can be explained above all by a change in perception and a reduced awareness of the problem.
Since venereal diseases are no longer omnipresent and the treatment options are (in most cases!) quite effective, many people underestimate the risk of infection and display a rather risky sexual behavior. Most at risk are young, sexually active people who experience frequent partner changes.
For most venereal diseases, the risk of infection is also higher for men than for women of the same age. Dangers exist if a venereal disease is not detected or not treated; however, the majority of cases are usually well manageable. Most of them can be brought to complete recovery under adequate therapy.
The symptoms of the different venereal diseases are manifold. Some signs can be observed very frequently and are common to almost all infections. These will be listed here for an overview at the beginning.
This is followed by some special features on the course of the diseases in the genital area, which are common in Germany. The following list is of course not complete. In case of doubt, a doctor should always be consulted directly.
Often venereal diseases manifest themselves as ulcers on the genital organs. Pain in the genital area, which can occur both at rest and as a burning sensation or cramps that make sexual intercourse unpleasant, as well as irregularities in urination are clear symptoms. The situation becomes dangerous if no symptoms occur.
In the worst case, ascending infections can cause adhesions of the fallopian tubes in women or chronic inflammation of the testicles in men, which can make the affected person infertile. In women, the above-mentioned adhesions also increase the risk of extrauterine pregnancy, i.e. a pregnancy that does not take place within the uterus. If symptoms appear later, there is also the risk of having already infected other contact persons by this time.
The main symptoms in women infected with a venereal disease are abdominal pain and vaginal discharge (fluoride). This can be very purulent and viscous, or rather liquid and light. In most cases, a foul-smelling odor will occur.
Unfortunately, due to STDs, the discharge is not always clearly distinguishable from the normal discharge that many women have due to their cycles. A strongly altered discharge, however, always indicates an underlying disease and should be examined by a gynecologist. In addition, patients regularly report symptoms similar to those of a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection; they feel a burning and itching sensation when they urinate, they visit the toilet more often than usual.