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Infectious Diseases Lower Genital Tract

Chlamydia is the number one bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States today. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can be caused by Chlamydia, is a leading cause of infertility, when left untreated.

Symptoms: known as “silent epidemic” because three quarters of the women and half of the men with the disease have no symptoms. Some possible signs include discharge from the penis or vagina and a burning sensation when urinating. Also, lower abdominal pain or pain during intercourse and bleeding between menstrual periods.

Testing: Are universally available. One involves collecting a small amount of fluid from an infected site.

Treatment: Antibiotics. Azithromycin or doxycycline is the most commonly used.

Prevention: Limiting the number of your sex partners, use condoms, and if you think you are infected, avoid any sexual contact and visit a local STD clinic, hospital, or doctor.


Gonorrhea is a commonly sexually transmitted disease (STD). Approximately 1 million American men and women contract gonorrhea each year.

Symptoms: Discharge from the penis or vagina, the need to urinate often, burning or pain when urinating, and in women bleeding between monthly periods. About half of the women with gonorrhea have no symptoms.

Testing:Sample of the fluid from the penis or vagina for lab evaluation.

Treatment:Antibiotics. Ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, cefixime, ceftriaxone, and most recently azithromycin. Incomplete or ineffective treatment can result in serious problems such as chronic lower abdominal pain, sterility, tubal pregnancy, and painful joints.

Prevention:Limit the number of your sex partners, use condoms, and if infected avoid any sexual contact. Make sure both partners are treated.


Genital warts: Growth that appear on the skin around your vagina or rectum. They may be very large and look and feels like small cauliflower. They are a sexually transmitted disease. Human papilloma virus, or HPV, causes warts. There are over 100 kinds of HPV. About half of all people in the United States have one of the types of the HPV. For most people, HPV and the warts it causes are not a problem. These kinds of HPV may cause cancer of the cervix. If you have annual Pap tests, you can find out if you have HPV. If you have one of the kinds of HPV that can cause cancer, your physician will recommend further testing and treatment.

Treatment: Creams to use at night for several weeks, acid removal or laser removal.

Prevention: Limit the number of sex partners. Use a condom.

Prevention of cancer: Pap tests can find early signs of abnormal cell before the cancer appears. Pap tests/HPV should be done yearly in any women with history of abnormal PAP’s > 30 years of age. Also women who smoke should stop.


Trichomoniasis: Commonly sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused with a flagellated protozoan, trichomonas vaginalis.

Symptoms: Itching, burning, vaginal or vulval redness, vaginal discharge, painful urination, discomfort during sexual intercourse, and abdominal pain. Symptoms tend to worsen after menstruation.

Testing: Sample of secretions from penis or vagina.

Treatment: Antibiotics, single dose of metronidazole (Flagyl)

Prevention:Using condoms and knowing your partner’s sexual history. Trichomania can survive on infected objects such as sheets and towels. Male partners should be treated even though almost always asymptomatic.


Syphilis: Serious disease that can be debilitating and even results in death if untreated. There’s an estimate of 120,000 new cases of syphilis in the United States each year.

Symptoms: There are three stages. First stage is a painless sore vagina or penis (10-90 days after sexual contact with an infected person). The second stage occurs from 3 weeks to 3 months after the primary stage and includes flu-like symptoms and possible hair loss. Some people experience a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Tertiary syphilis can appear 3 to 10 years or more after the first and second stages, which include skin lesions, mental deterioration, loss of balance and vision, loss of sensation, shooting pains in the legs, and heart disease.

Testing:Simple blood test.

Treatment: Antibiotics, most common are penicillin injections.

Prevention: Limit the number of your sex partners, use condoms.

Dr. Khalil

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