Inspired living

Sexually transmitted disease (STD)

A number of diseases are passed on through sexual contact, including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), Chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhoea, granuloma inguinale, certain types of hepatitis, syphilis, trichomoniasis and genital candidiasis. Gonorrhoea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoea, and it is usually asymptomatic in females. If untreated, the infection can travel through the blood causing a systemic illness. Complications of gonorrhoea include sterility in males and pelvic inflammation and ectopic pregnancies in females. Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which can be transmitted through close physical contact. If untreated, syphilis progresses to form an ulcer, which evolves into a rash and patches of flaking tissues. If the disease continues to progress it may cause brain damage, hearing loss, heart disease and blindness.

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in females: frequent and painful urination, vaginal discharge, abnormal menstrual bleeding, acute inflammation in the pelvic region and rectal itching

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in males: yellow pus discharge from the penis and slow and painful urination.

Symptoms of systemic gonorrhoea infection: mild fever, aches, inflamed joints and skin lesions.

Symptoms of syphilis: a red ulcer, rash, patches of flaking skin, headache, nausea and discomfort.

Who to consult: Dietician, GP, gynaecologist, herbalist, homoeopath, naturopath, psychologist, urologist.