A reproductive disease is a disease which prevents reproduction.
These can be reproductive system disorders which are congenital or genetic such as hermaphroditism, functional problems caused by infertility or impotence, or diseases which have been transmitted sexually.
Common female reproductive system diseases:
Endometriosis: around 10% of women of reproductive age can be afflicted with this reproductive disease.
Cells which would normally line the uterus are found in other parts of the body, often in the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. They can also be present in the other areas such as the bladder or bowel, the intestines or the rectum or vagina.
These cells develop in the same way as those that line the uterus, growing each month then shedding blood.
As there is nowhere for this tissue to go it becomes trapped which is what causes the swelling and pain.
One of the most usual symptoms of endometriosis is discomfort in the area afflicted, although some women don’t feel any pain. Some women can experience heavy and painful periods, or pain during intercourse.
If you suspect you may have endometriosis, or other reproductive health matters, consult your doctor who will be able to recommend treatment for these reproductive diseases.
Diseases of the vagina:
The most common of these diseases of the reproductive system is vaginitis which is an inflammation of the vagina.
Women with vaginitis will often experience vaginal discharge which can be smelly. Many women have no symptoms with this reproductive disease though. This condition can be treated with antibiotics.
Yeast infections and sexually transmitted diseases can also cause symptoms such as burning or itching with some discharge.
Common disorders of the reproductive system in men:
This is a cancer where cells in the prostate (the male reproductive gland) multiply or mutate very quickly. These cells can spread to other areas of the body such as the the lymph nodes.
Prostate cancer usually occurs in men over 50 years of age.
The symptoms are usually a lot of pain, urinating problems sometimes with the presence of blood, and difficulty in achieving an erection.
Sexually transmitted diseases:
Two of the most common of these reproductive diseases are:
Syphilis: This is a sexually transmitted disease which can cause discomfort and pain. If detected it can be treated very effectively but can become serious if left untreated.
How do people catch syphilis?
You can get syphilis by coming into contact directly with the syphilis sores of someone who is infected. This would normally happen whilst having intercourse, either vaginal, anal or oral.
What are the Symptoms of Syphilis?
The symptoms of Syphilis are different depending on what stage of advancement the disease is at.
Initially a person with this reproductive disease may become aware of a sore on their body at the site of the the infection.
If left untreated the next symptoms would be a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The sufferer might also feel unwell, with flu like symptoms and joint pain.
If left untreated syphilis can cause a number of serious conditions such as blindness, seizures and dementia.
The treatment of Syphilis is with penicillin and can be easy to treat if diagnosed relatively early.
Gonorrhea - (Gonorrhoea or the Clap) is one of the most common STD (sexually transmitted disease).
It is caused by bacteria which multiply in various areas of the reproductive tract, such as the fallopian tubes, the uterus or the cervix in women, and the urethra in both men and women. The bacteria can also grow in other areas of the body such as the anus and even in the eyes, throat and mouth.
How do people catch gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea can be contracted by direct contact with an infected person during sexual activity. A person can be infected with this reproductive disease even if intercourse does not take place.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
Men may experience pain when urinating or may notice discharge from the penis. They may also notice swollen testicles which can be painful. If the infection is in the anus, they may experience soreness or itching, some anal bleeding and may experience pain during a bowel movement.
Many women who have contracted gonorrhea experience no symptoms at all. If they have symptoms they are similar to men, pain during urination or discharge from the vagina. They may lose some blood from the vagina between periods as well. A rectal infection would have the same symptoms as for men.
Despite a lack of symptoms, or very mild symptoms, both men and women run the risk of serious complications and possible infertility if the disease if left untreated.
Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics, but can be a complicated treatment as some strains of gonorrhea have become drug-resistant.
It is important to see your doctor if you suspect you have contracted an STD.
How can I avoid catching an Sexually Transmitted Disease?
People most at risk from catching STDs have unprotected sex with partners they have not been with for a very long, or several different partners.
If you are in a long term, monogamous (faithful) relationship you run very little risk of becoming infected.
Sheaths or condoms can reduce the risk of infections as well.
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