What Is Venerology?

Venerology, or venereology, is the medical specialty concerned with studying and treating sexually transmitted infections. A venereologist is a doctor who specializes in venereology. This field of expertise is frequently combined with dermatology (skin specialist) in various parts of the world. Dermatology focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases that affect the skin, hair, nails, and sebaceous glands, whereas the field of venereology focuses on sexually transmitted illnesses. The common factor is that both fields deal with diseases that occur mainly via the skin. A dermatovenereologist specializes in sexually transmitted diseases and skin conditions. Venereologists also offer advice on family planning and contraception, placing special emphasis on reliable methods of birth control that can protect against STDs and stop unintended pregnancies.

What is a venereal disease?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define venereal diseases as those that pass from person to person, mainly through sexual contact.

Venereal diseases include sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. These conditions can vary in terms of their intensity, contagiousness, and associated symptoms.

Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are examples of sexually transmitted diseases that are primarily transferred through sexual contact. Other infections such as Zika, Ebola, and mPox can also be transmitted with or without intercourse. STIs can also be passed through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing personal items with an infected person. It is important to note that STIs can be transmitted through nonsexual routes, such as from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth,via blood transfusions or the sharing of needles.

Common Symptoms of Venereal Diseases

Some of the common symptoms of venereological conditions include:

  • Rashes
  • An unusual vaginal, penile, or anal discharge
  • Pain while urinating
  • Lumps or skin growths near the genitalia or the anus
  • Blisters in the anus and sores around your genitals
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Feeling itchy around the genitals or anus
  • Warts around the anus or genitals or, very rarely, inside the mouth or throat

Diagnosis of Venereal Conditions

Your doctor will perform a physical exam or pelvic exam to look for evidence of infection, such as a rash, warts, or discharge, if your sexual history and present signs and symptoms indicate that you have an STD or STI.

Lab tests can determine the cause and find any co-infections you may have. Blood tests, urine samples, and fluid samples can confirm the diagnosis of an STD or STI. In venereology, diseases can also be effectively diagnosed through regular screening. STI screening is advised when a person's likelihood of contracting an STI is high for reasons such as having a history of STIs, drug use, and practicing unprotected sex, to name a few.

What Are The Diseases Included In Venerology?

As mentioned above, Venereal diseases can be caused by bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections.

Some venereal diseases treated by venereologists are:

  • Syphilis.
  • HIV infection
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital scabies
  • Granuloma inguinale
  • Hepatitis B
  • Candidiasis
  • Human papillomavirus infection
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection
  • Herpes simplex
  • Chancroid
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum
  • Herpes Simplex

When To See A Venereologist?

You should schedule a visit to the venereologist if you have the following:

  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Discharge from the genital organ
  • A wound in the genital region
  • Had unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Growth in the genital region

Following treatment, most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) typically clear up. However, some STIs may require long-term medication for effective management. With current single-dose antibiotic regimens, certain bacterial and parasitic STIs, such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis, are typically curable. Being diagnosed with an STI can trigger feelings of embarrassment or shame, but it is vital to remember that STIs can affect anyone. If you find yourself grappling with anxiety or stress due to your STI diagnosis, it can be helpful to reach out for support from a friend, loved one, or mental health professional.

  • https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/default.htm
  • https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/default.htm#:~:text=Some%20STDs%2C%20such%20as%20syphilis,STDs%20are%20preventable
  • https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/About-sexually-transmitted-infections-STIs#:~:text=Sexually%20transmitted%20infections%20(STIs)%20are,skin%2Dto%2Dskin%20contact.
  • https://www.verywellhealth.com/sexually-transmitted-infections-spread-by-skin-contact-3133056
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/symptoms-causes/syc-20351240
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis/
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351246
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/253167/#:~:text=The%20%22other%22%20venereal%20diseases%3A%20herpes%20simplex%2C%20trichomoniasis%20and%20candidiasis
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5177552/
  • https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)#:~:text=Treatment%20of%20STIs,single%2Ddose%20regimens%20of%20antibiotics

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