New Dimensions In Women's Health

Health & Kinesiology

Quiz 7 :
Sexually Transmitted Infections

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Quiz 7 :
Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are biologically sexiest. This means they impose great risk and complications for women than for men. The sexually transmitted infections in women may cause infertility, perinatal infections, genital tract neoplasia and even death. The sexually transmitted infections are silent or asymptomatic in women but may cause enough damage. The STIs in pregnant women may cause the fetus to be at risk with congenital anomalies, developmental disabilities and death. The STIs are more prevalent in women of age group 15 - 24 and these women experience chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility. The STIs are common in women living at or below poverty line in United States. This sector of population may not have access to comprehensive STI diagnostic services, treatment and other necessary health care.

Contraction of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in women is perceived as a shameful act. The health care providers fear of an infected woman and may not care for her. The double standard norms of the society make women to be vulnerable to humiliation than men. In society's view a woman should be pure or virginal while men can engage in sexual activities with multiple partners. Several women view the STIs as punishment of previous behavior. Therefore, the public health education efforts are required to eliminate the false perception and bring about the awareness. Cultural issues also complicate the public health education effort. Men in some cultures are regions pretend to be intolerant of homosexuality which secret encounters with other men. Such individuals infect their girl friends or wives. In many cultures women are not the decision makers about the use of contraceptives and put themselves at risk by indulging in sexual activities with infected partners. STIs are also promoted by drug related sexual behaviors such as selling sex for drugs. Emotional behavior often dominates logical and rational thinking. This can be observed in the case of sex workers wearing condoms with clients but not with their boyfriends. Health care providers always neglect screening of specific sector women for STIs. Lesbians may have low prevalence of STIs but are still at risk. Disabled women who are sexually active are neglected by the health care providers and may not be screened for STIs. Such women are at high risk of STIs.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused by bacteria and viruses. The bacterial STIs include gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, veganitis and other infections. The bacteria get nourishment from fluids or tissues at the site of infection. The immune system of the body detects the presence of the bacteria and produce white blood cells to attack the bacteria. The area of infection becomes inflamed due to accumulation of pus. The bacterial waste products or toxins produced by the bacteria may spread beyond the site of infection disseminating throughout the body causing systemic infection characterized by body aches, fever, chills and malaise. The bacteria spreading to other than infected site may remain several days even after reduction of infection. Such bacteria may cause re-infection since the bacteria are not completely eliminated by the body. In case of bacterial STIs sexual intercourse should be avoided till complete cure of infection because without cure sexual intercourse may cause re-infection. Therefore, bacterial STIs have recurrence and re-infection after initial infection.