About 6 months after the beginning of her sexual life, every woman is recommended to visit her gynecologist and check her lower genital system for microbial and viral inflammations, thus achieving early diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the clinical picture and history, I suggest some of the following tests
The cytological examination of the vagina and the cervix, with which G. Papanikolaou provided us, is still the first line test in the prevention of cervical cancer. Yearly, except when the test itself requires it earlier, at the middle of the cycle, 12th-18th day ideally, without having had sexual intercourse in the past 2 days, we visit our gynecologist for this simple examination that saves lives!
The evolution of the test pap is the liquid phase cytology in which the sample material is processed by a special machine and the test cells are cleaned of other materials (germs, polymorphonuclei,…) and without falling on top of each other , can be tested more accurately.
The material of the liquid phase cytology can be processed even more with PCR and we can detect the DNA of HPV. This way we can learn if we have been infected with a potentially oncogenic strain.
mRNA is another test we can do, with which we can find out if the HPV’s DNA has managed to integrate into ours.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are inflammations of the genitals transmitted through sexual intercourse. They are more common than we think and often asymptomatic. Therefore, the use of a condom and regular check-ups are necessary. People with multiple sexual partners and with every change of partner, there is a possibility of exposure to STDs. These diseases include:
- Genital herpes: Manifested by stinging and pain in the area, redness and blistering rash. The treatment is soothing with antiviral drugs and sometimes in contamination, with antibiotics. The virus remains dormant in the body and may reappear during times of stress.
- Chlamydia: The disease can be asymptomatic in 70% of women and over 50% of men, or manifested by thick yellowish discharge from the vagina and penis. It is detected with special cultures and treated with antibiotics. It is worth noting that it might cause cervicitis, inflammatory disease of the pelvis in women and can lead to salpingitis, infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
- Trichomonas: it can also be carried by contaminated wet towels and clothes, swimwear, toilet seats. Symptoms are increased yellow-green vaginal fluids, foul-smelling (fishy smell), itching, pain during sex and difficulty urinating. In men, there are usually no symptoms, however they may experience pain – burning during urination and discharge of fluids from the penis. It is treated with antibiotics.
- the HPV-wart virus: There are over 100 types of Human Papilloma Viruses in nature and about 40 can be detected in the genital system. Depending on the type of virus, external warts or cervical dysplasia are caused. Most viral infections are asymptomatic, go undiagnosed, and can self-limit. Sexually active people come into contact with the virus at some point in their lives and most are unaware of it. It is not easy to find out who had the virus first in a couple. The discovery of the virus does not mean that one of the partners has another-parallel sexual relationship. The presence of HPV does not make it difficult for the woman to get pregnant. Without stress the woman should be monitored regularly by her gynecologist, so that the inflammation from the virus does not cause serious damage. The most important thing is to be informed, vaccinate and take precautions.
- Syphilis: It is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, its incubation time ranges from 10-90 days (usually 21 days), it develops in stages and its symptoms differ in each stage: Primary syphilis: The first sign of syphilis is a small wound , painless, without itching, also called a hard ulcer and occurs where the bacterium first entered the body. Secondary syphilis: Initially rashes appear on the torso which later can spread to the rest of the body, palms, soles, and even the mouth, there is a possibility of warts-like lesions. In addition, symptoms such as sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain or fever may occur. Latent syphilis if the syphilis is not treated with treatment , it proceeds to this next stage, during which there are no symptoms and it can last for many years. Tertiary syphilis is a stage that we do not often encounter nowadays, where complications and damage can occur: in the brain, nerves, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and ligaments. Congenital syphilis: Babies born to mothers with the disease are more likely to be infected through the placenta or during childbirth. About 60% of newborns show no symptoms. However, in some cases babies have rashes on the soles of the feet or palms. The treatment is considered necessary as the development of syphilis can lead to deafness but also cause deformities to the nose and teeth. The disease is easily treated with penicillin injections.
- Gonorrhea : is caused by an infection with the gonococcal bacterium known as Neisseria gonorrhea. It is often an asymptomatic disease. Symptoms in women may be greenish-yellow or white discharge from the vagina, pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, a “burning” sensation when urinating, bleeding between periods, swelling of the vulva. May cause salpingitis and infertility. In some cases, the gonorrhea germ enters the bloodstream causing sepsis, fever, rash and arthritis. It is treated with appropriate antibiotics.
- hepatitis and AIDS