While most STDs carry no inherent discrimination based on gender, some are more common and dangerous in women than in men. However, treatment for these STDs remains the same regardless of whether they affect a male or a female individual.
Some of the most common STDs that predominantly affect women include HPV infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis. These STDs are transmitted with much more ease through receptive vaginal sex, affecting the female population more than their male counterparts. Common treatments for women's STDs include antibiotics, antiviral, and antiparasitic drugs. Painkillers and topical ointments also play a role in reducing the intensity of associated symptoms.
Before talking about common treatments for STDs in women, it is worth taking the time to learn more about them.
COMMON TREATMENTS OF STD IN WOMEN?
As mentioned above, some of the most common STDs in women include HPV infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis.
HPV, or the human papillomavirus, causes genital warts, also known as cauliflower warts. These warts are different from warts that appear elsewhere on the body.
HPV has more than 40 strains, but only a handful cause genital warts. The most important subtypes of HPV, which cause genital warts, are HPV 6 and 11. These subtypes are called low-risk HPV subtypes as these do not carry the risk of causing cervical carcinoma.
HPV subtypes 16 and 18 are high-risk subtypes as these subtypes carry a risk of causing cervical carcinoma.
HPV is incurable and the best defense against it is the Gardisil vaccine. Treatment for HPV infections includes topical ointments, which help manage genital warts and relieve associated symptoms such as burning sensation, itching, and bleeding.
Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria known as C. Trachomatis. This disease is fairly common in women and causes unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding, itching, and burning. Chlamydia spreads through sexual intercourse and especially through receptive vaginal sex.
Treatment for chlamydia varies depending on a patient’s allergy status since it includes the use of antibiotics. Doxycycline is only used if the patient is allergic to penicillin and cannot take azithromycin.
A bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, also causes gonorrhea, and like all other bacteria STDs, it is usually easily treatable.
Gonorrhea also causes vaginal discharge, bleeding, itching, and a burning sensation. Untreated gonorrhea can progress to cause a massive pelvic infection, and the disease is known as a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to infertility in women. Treatment for gonorrhea can include a single intramuscular injection of 500mg of ceftriaxone but may also vary.
Genital herpes is a form of herpes that primarily affects the genitals. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2. Since a virus causes this STD, there is no definitive cure. However, proper medication is usually enough to manage the condition effectively.
Symptoms of genital herpes include genital blisters. These blisters can appear anywhere on the genitals, in or around the rectum. These blisters are extremely painful as they appear in an uncomfortable position, which makes mundane tasks like sitting and peeing extremely painful.
These blisters resolve on their own, but they leave behind equally painful sores. People with genital herpes often experience blister outbreaks throughout their lives.
Treatment for genital herpes includes antiviral drugs, which help lower the patient's viral load. These antiviral drugs lower both the intensity and the frequency of blister outbreaks. Moreover, pain medication help manage the discomfort associated with blisters. Topical ointments are also useful for managing blisters as well as their sores.
Trichomoniasis is caused by trichomonas vaginalis, a protozoan parasite. A whitish or greenish discharge from the vagina in women characterizes trichomoniasis. This discharge often has a fishy odor. Associated symptoms include itching, burning, redness, and soreness in the genitals.
Trichomoniasis can be easily treated with metronidazole. A bi-daily dose of metronidazole 500mg for 7 days is enough to cure this disease. Alternatively, a single 2gm oral dose of tinidazole also provides an effective cure for trichomoniasis.
Bacterial vaginosis is inflammation of the vagina caused by the overgrowth of the natural flora of the female genitals. While this condition is not a sexually transmitted disease, it has been associated with frequent sexual intercourse. Moreover, having bacterial vaginosis, or BV, can increase your risk of acquiring other sexually transmitted diseases.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include whitish, curd-like discharge from the vagina. Other symptoms are similar to some of the other STDs listed above and include pain, burning sensation, and bleeding from the vagina. A strong fishy odor is also associated with this infection which is more apparent after sexual intercourse.
Treatment for bacterial vaginosis includes oral metronidazole, which is taken twice a week. Topical metronidazole gel is also available that can be applied directly to the vagina. A topical ointment containing 2% clindamycin is also an effective treatment option for bacterial vaginosis.