22:38 10th March 2016 | Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Most of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are curable if treated properly but they can affect the fertility of both men and women if they are mismanaged. They are easily transmitted and mostly curable, and are often a source of embarrassment for the sufferer who may be reluctant to seek help. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 70 per cent of the more than three million new STD infections that occur annually worldwide occur in the 15-24 year age group, making it primary a disease of the sexually active youth.
In Nigeria, the most prevalent STD is gonorrhoea with its epicentre in Lagos. HIV infections are also increasing in the country, despite the active promotion of condom usage. Gonorrhoea primarily affects the vagina, cervix, uterus, and fallopiantubes in women and the urethra, epididymis and testes in men. The mainlong-term effect of gonorrhoea infection is the development of tubal damage (acause of infertility) in women and, in men, can result in infection of the testesand surrounding tissues, a major infertility factor.
Other STDs include genital herpes, HPV (human papillomavirus), chlamydia and syphilis and each has specific symptoms. It should benoted however some STDs, like chlamydia, can be carried without symptoms for months or years and some viral infections may persist for life. If untreated, chlamydia can result inchronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, and tubal infertility. Inmen, chlamydia can cause inflammation of the testes that can impair sperm function. Problems arising from most STDs include the development of some analand cervical cancers which affect the vulva, vagina and cervix in women and thephallus in men. There is no evidence that genital herpes directly causes infertility in women but it can affect the potency of sperm in men.
Syphilis is less prevalent nowadays and sufferers can besymptomless. The most significant reproductive risks of syphilis are late miscarriage, stillbirth and transmission of infection to the newborn.
As noted, STDs are extremely common in the under 25 year’s age group and education can play a key role in alerting them to the dangers STDs pose to their reproductive health if
untreated. Easy access to testing and treatment are important but educating our youth on ways of preventing of STDsis vital. To this end, and as part of our CSR commitment, The Bridge
Clinic established the K.I.S.S. (Keep it safe and simple) campaign, which focuses on educating university students about the causes and prevention of STDs so that they can enjoy safe
and natural pregnancies when they are ready.
Main source: Dr. William Bucket
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