Every day, there are millions of women who suffer common infections of the female reproductive organs. Most of these infections are sexually transmitted and without proper treatment, they can endanger not only their life, their sexual partner or in the case of pregnant women, the health condition of an unborn child. International efforts spearheaded by the World Health Organization have identified several sexually transmissible diseases which are discussed below and have highlighted these STDs as areas of major concern in their massive campaign to efficiently deliver preventive health services to women along with other measures to further improve women’s health and well being all over the world especially in underdeveloped or third world countries.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a condition caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that one must acquire in order to get infected. It is not something passed on or inherited through the genes. It affects the body’s immune system which is responsible for fighting infections or diseases caused by bacteria and other pathogens making it deficient or incapable of protecting us. The AIDS virus throws our immune system in disarray making us susceptible to a group of symptoms and signs caused by other opportunistic pathogens which when considered together characterizes the syndrome of HIV infection.
Chlamydia is a common sexually infectious disease caused by the microorganism Chlamydia trachomatis. In infected males, Chlamydia can cause painful and bloody discharges during urination and swelling of the testes. In females, the infection can result in a yellowish vaginal discharge often accompanied by blood. In some cases however, the woman may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spread the disease through a single sexual partner or multiple partners. The infection can be treated successfully with oral antibiotics.
Genital warts are abnormal skin growth in or around the genitalia caused by one of the many strains of the highly infectious Human papilloma virus or HPV. Many individuals exposed to genital wart may carry the virus in their skin without developing the warts. Others who are more susceptible to the infection can develop warts and experience general irritation around the affected area. If you are suffering from this condition, one people often ignore is that it is important to cease all beauty, skin and hair care treatments which you maybe using on yourself. This includes waxing, shaving and exfoliation of the infected area. Popular beauty products like no no hair removal are know to increase the likelihood of the infection getting worse and should be avoided at all costs. HPV is strongly associated with cervical and vaginal cancers. Women who are identified through immune screening as being positive for the virus are considered high risk for developing cervical cancer in later years.
Neisseria gonorrhea is the causative agent for Gonorrhea which produces painful and bloody discharges as well as redness and irritation of the genital area. Gonorrhea can spread to other areas of the body and even affect the eyes and throat. It is one of the major causes of neonatal abnormalities or mortality. While the infection is receptive to antibiotics, some women are asymptomatic therefore, untreated, causing it to spread unchecked especially among prostitutes and people who associate with multiple sexual partners.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasite that causes a heavy, odorous, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge. It affects both men and women and can also spread through children via unsanitary toilet practice. It can be treated with oral or topical antibiotics but prompt treatment is necessary since re-infection is common.
For decades it has been clear that viral agents such as rubella, varicella, hepatitis, human papilloma virus, poliovirus and many others are powerful teratogens especially during the critical periods following pregnancy or conception. There had been many studies showing that infection of these kinds can pose a serious threat to the general health condition of a pregnant woman and may also lead to fetal abnormalities or fetal death. In almost every population all over the world where perinatal mortality have been studied and recorded, the rates are always higher among women in third world countries. Even as medical science has pushed the frontiers of preventive maternal care, this problem has not entirely been eliminated.
Maternal virus infection during the early stages of pregnancy is one of the major causes of birth deformities and neonatal deaths. Both mother and the fetus are exposed to risks that can threaten the health of the mother and the life of the unborn child. For this reason, it is very important that community control of viral infections should be instituted at the first incidence to prevent it from spreading throughout the general populace and becoming an epidemic.
Ideally, exposure to such infections can be prevented and or controlled by instituting widespread screening and vaccination of school aged children and females of child bearing age in the general population. Screening for immune status can easily be done by conducting routine serologic tests on females coming in for medical examination, hospital admission or during the first pre-natal check up. In some countries, vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella is mandatory and in young female adults, pregnancy must be ruled out first before the vaccine is given to prevent any possible risk to the fetus being exposed to the virus vaccine.
When a pregnant woman is exposed to German measles or Chickenpox during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, a serologic test should be done at once to determine if the mother is already immune. If not, there are only two courses of action that are open to the mother and sadly, none of them is encouraging. In countries where termination of pregnancy or abortion is considered unacceptable due to the religious orientation of the community where the mother belongs to or because it is not allowed by law, the only other option would be to carry out the pregnancy to full term and accept whatever consequence it will bring.
Since infection is transmitted from person to person, the only way to slow down or minimize the number of people being infected is to be vigilant. Health officers and hospital staffs are always instructed to report any admission indicating infectious viral diseases so that the government can be alerted to take immediate action and prevent it from spreading further to other communities or populations. Vulnerable individuals such as young children, pregnant women, aged persons or immune-compromised patients should be informed and cautioned about the infection so that they will be extra careful and avoid unduly exposing themselves to risks.
Injuries to the bones or muscles are not always detected immediately especially if a person has a high threshold of pain, but it can save you a lifetime of pain and misery if you are alert to the signs and symptoms. Once a discomfort is felt, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor or a physiatrist and have your condition assessed to determine the best course of action to take to prevent long term or permanent disability.
Most injuries to bones and muscles can be prevented by paying close attention to our body’s response to stress and extraneous activities. If the body experiences pain or fatigue easily or there is a progressive decrease in the body’s ability to perform simple or routine tasks, then a thorough physical examination may reveal undetected injury to the bones or to the muscles that we would otherwise brush aside as simple cramps or soreness.
Studies show that injury in the work place accounts for one of the highest number of reasons why a person is not at work or why he or she is working below capacity. Thousands of workers are injured or maimed at the workplace every day. These accidents can be prevented or avoided by observing universal precautions when doing tasks or jobs that require straining or heavy lifting. Production assemblies and manufacturing plants usually have safety controls in place to mitigate dangerous tasks but accidents can still happen and it can be life threatening to someone who is careless or who ignores the proper safety procedures when doing the tasks.
There are also accidents that involve machineries and electrical equipments that can cause serious burns or loss of limbs. When this happens, the injury can be so bad as to scar the person permanently and even deprive them of a chance to continue working for a living. Even sitting in front of the computer for long hours can cause pains in the back and neck that could require a person to rest for a few days or undergo a long series of physical rehabilitation resulting in losses to the company in terms of man hours as well as piles of medical bills to pay. Back or neck pains may progress to a point that a person can suffer partial or total paralysis and may require risky surgery for treatment.
Injuries are not confined to the workplace. Even leisure time can turn into a disaster and result in major injuries for people who like to indulge in extreme sports. Sport injuries are serious business and every day, millions of dollars are lost in terms of income and medical costs for injuries caused by recklessness or adventurism.
It is all too well to dismiss body injuries as minor aches and pains when we are still young and healthy but once we get old, the problem is magnified a hundred fold. A big majority of patients who suffer from bone and muscle injuries are elderly people who are prone to accidents due to poor balance and coordination. Once injured, their quality of life can be turned upside down and make them even more helpless and miserable.