Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are infections that spread from one person to another during unprotected sex. They are caused by microorganisms: viruses, bacteria, protozoa and fungi. They are very common, and many people who have them do not show symptoms. According to official data, they are currently one of the most important public health issues and are some the leading causes of consultations in local health centers.

STIs can be dangerous, but the good news is that testing is not complicated and most of these infections are easy to treat.

There are several sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We are here to help you understand everything.

Syphilis

Causing Agent

Bacteria Treponema pallidum

Transmission

  • Sexual contact with the vagina, anus, penis or scrotum

  • Contact with sores in the mouth usually during sex  

  • Blood transfusions

  • During pregnancy and childbirth

Symptoms

Syphilis can be kind of confusing because there are a few different stages, and they can overlap or happen around the same time. And there may be times when you have no symptoms at all — but the infection will still be there until you get it treated. Symptoms can vary with each stage, and they might not always happen in the same order for everyone.

Phase 1: Inflammation of the inguinal ganglia, penis, vulva, cervix, mouth or anus. Injury with hard and bulging edge, that does not hurt, but that when bursting secretes a highly infectious liquid.

Phase 2: The bacteria enters the bloodstream and the rashes are generalized in the rest of the body. There is hair loss, headache, throat and joints; lack of appetite, weight loss, nausea and fever.

Phase 3: The infection enters a stage called "latent" that can last for years and not present symptoms. At this stage it is no longer contagious except perinatally, however, people can present vital organ damage and brain damage, paralysis, loss of reason or death.

Gonorrhea

Causing Agent

Bacteria Gonococo Neisser

Transmission

  • Unprotected sex

  • During birth

Symptoms

Most people with vaginas who get gonorrhea don’t have any symptoms. If they do, they show up within a week of being infected.

These include:

• Pain or burning feeling when you pee

• Abnormal discharge from the vagina that may be yellowish or bloody

• Bleeding between periods

 

People with penises are more likely to have symptoms if they get gonorrhea. The symptoms usually begin within a week after they get the infection.

These include:

• Yellow, white, or green discharge from your penis

• Pain or burning feeling when you pee

• Pain or swelling in your testicles

 

Gonorrhea can also infect your anus if you have anal sex, or you may spread the infection to your anus from another part of your body (like by wiping after you go to the bathroom). Anal gonorrhea often doesn’t have any symptoms. But signs of gonorrhea in your anus can include:

• Itching in or around your anus

• Discharge from your anus

• Pain when you poop

 

Gonorrhea infections in the throat also rarely cause symptoms. If symptoms do show up, it’s usually just a sore throat.

Soft Chancre

Causing Agent

Bacteria Hemophilius Ducreyl

Transmission

  • Unprotected sex

Symptoms

Blister in the genital or anal region that swells and fills with pus and later bursts and forms very painful ulcer. In some cases some may experience pain when urinating and defecating, rectal bleeding, pain during intercourse, vaginal discharge or inflammation of the nodes of the groin.

Lymphogranuloma ( Lymphadenopathy, Lymphogranuloma Venereum)

Causing Agent

Bacteria Calymmatob acetrium Granulomatis

Transmission

  • Unprotected sex

Symptoms

Small lesion in the genitals that does not hurt and eventually turns into red, fleshy ulcers. If they are not treated in time, they can cover a large part of the genitals.

Sources:

Planned Parenthood® . (2018). Infecciones de transmisión sexual (ITS). Recuperado de https://www.plannedparenthood.org/es/temas-de-salud/enfermedades-de-transmision-sexual-ets

Sosa Josué; Sansores Deily; Suárez Lizandra y Rodríguez Lucía. (2018). Infecciones de transmisión sexual (ITS). Recuperado de libro de campaña de promoción de la salud sexual y reproductiva (P. 47).