Sexually Transmitted Disease is an acute infectious venereal disease. It occurs in two stages.
(i) Acute Stage:
This stage is characterised by inflammation of urethra in males. Sometimes it also occurs on the cervix and vagina of females. There is an acute burning sensation with pain and pus discharge while passing the urine. Later the pus becomes thin and perists for a long time. In males the infection spreads to the prostate gland, seminal vessicle and urinary bladder.
In females it spreads to the uterus, peritoneum and bartholin glands. Females spread the disease more because they do not suffer much pain and infection remains hidden in the cervix. Later on the infection spreads to heart muscles, joints, eyes and meninges of brain through blood.
(ii) Chronic Stage:
In this stage the stricture of urethra occurs followed by inflammation of big joints like shoulder joint, knee joint, wrist and ankle. The females may become sterile when infection spreads through fallopian tube.
It is caused by Neisseria gonococcus which is a gram negative diplococcus. It is a very sensitive organism and is easily destroyed by drying and even with weak disinfectants.
Mode of Spread:
Gonorrhoea is transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected partner. In certain cases it may spread indirectly through infected towels, bed sheets, clothes etc. but it is rare since the germs die readily outside the body.
Incubation period varies from 3 to 10 days.
Procaine penicillin is the drug of choice which is given 6, 00,000 units intramuscularly as a single dose. The other drugs which can be given include benzyl penicillin sodium plus probenecid; ampicillin with probenecid; and septran.
Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD):
STD can be prevented by adopting following measures:
(i) All cases of STD are generally associated with some other case hidden in the family or in the community. So that case must be found out which will help in controlling STD.?
(ii) There is a tendency among STD cases that they discontinue the treatment before the disease is controlled so effective and complete treatment should be given to the patients.
(iii) Condom should be used during intercourse.
(iv) Prostitutes should be licensed and they should be medically examined from time to time for the absence of STD.
(v) Prostitution, broken homes, family quarrels, marital disharmony, poverty and alcoholism etc. which are the root causes of STD, should be tackled properly so as to overcome these problems and rehabilitate them.
(vi) Overall living conditions should be improved.
(vii) Impart health education to the public because it is an important component of STD control programme. They should be educated about the problem of STD in the community and they should be motivated to adopt some suitable measures to overcome this problem for themselves and for the community.