Venereologist

Venereology is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases - sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Venereology is closely related to andrology and gynecology, as well as sexology and dermatology. Since genital infections can infect the urethra and spread through the urinary tract, venereology also closely interacts with urology. Venereal infections are considered one of the most pressing problems in modern health care. They destroy the habitual course of the patient's life, lead to infertility, and sometimes to death. Therefore, it is very important to contact a venereologist in time, even if there are no visible symptoms.

The profession of a venereologist

A venereologist treats sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Its tasks include the identification of the disease, its diagnosis and treatment. The doctor also recommends preventive measures for his patients. His area of ​​expertise includes diseases of the genital organs in women and men. In addition, there are pediatric venereologists who treat infections in newborns, since a child can be infected with dangerous microorganisms during natural childbirth.

As cases of venereal diseases are on the rise, most of the population is familiar with this specialist and needs no further explanation. However, a visit to a venereologist is often postponed by both women and men. The main reason for this is shame. A venereologist deals with rather sensitive issues, so patients sometimes try to avoid visiting a specialist. Consequently, a significant proportion of patients get an appointment with a venereologist already with advanced stages of infection or with its consequences, for example, infertility. And even a team of doctors sometimes fails to eliminate such consequences.

Experts warn that preventive examination is mandatory for every person who is sexually active. Some sexually transmitted diseases are latent, that is, without visible and tangible symptoms. However, they do not pass without a trace, over time, such infections affect the kidneys, bladder, external genital organs, even the heart, blood vessels and brain. Therefore, in order to avoid further unpleasant treatment, it is better to prevent the disease in time, since there is nothing shameful in worrying about your health.

The specifics of the profession

Venereology considers the ways of spreading infections, development mechanisms, symptoms, types of diseases and their treatment. Since most STIs manifest on the skin or mucous membranes, the knowledge and practice of venereology and dermatology, the science of the skin and its appendages, are combined into the specialization of a dermatovenereologist, a doctor who treats the skin manifestations of STIs. In fact, if symptoms of the disease appear on the parts of the body that are involved in sexual intercourse (genitals, mouth, anus), you can contact a venereologist or dermatovenereologist.

A urologist treats the prostate gland and external genitalia in men. The main focus of his specialization is devoted to diseases of the genitourinary system: kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands, ureters. A venereologist can refer to a urologist in case of complications of the disease. A gynecologist deals with the treatment of female internal organs: the uterus, ovaries, tubes, etc., as well as pregnancy issues.

Both the urologist and the gynecologist have the necessary knowledge to recognize venereal diseases. Once the diagnosis is made, one of these doctors may also issue a referral to a venereologist.

When to consult a venereologist

The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the easier and faster it can be cured. The reason for a visit to a specialist is any formation on the external genitalia, discharge, itching. You should not rely on "maybe": suddenly it will pass, it may seem like such excuses. More dangerous than a prolonged visit to the doctor can only be self-treatment, which leads to the spread of infection, damage to internal organs and complicates subsequent diagnosis and treatment.

An appointment with a venereologist is necessary in such cases:

  • with burning and itching of the genitals;
  • redness in the area of ​​mucous membranes;
  • pain during intercourse in women and men;
  • swollen lymph nodes in the groin;
  • pain when urinating;
  • rash on the genitals;
  • discharge, especially with an unpleasant odor, indicating the development of an infectious disease in women and men;
  • any venereal problems in a sexual partner.

As already mentioned, some bacteria and fungi can multiply and cause disease without visible symptoms. After unprotected casual sexual intercourse, it is necessary to undergo a preventive examination. In this case, you need to go to the doctor at least two weeks later, since at first it can be quite difficult to detect the presence of microorganisms.

In addition, periodic inspections are recommended for married couples and single people without casual relationships. This is necessary, since pathogens are transmitted not only sexually, but also through blood, mucus, and household routes. A venereologist must be visited by service and food industry workers, doctors and nurses, employees of kindergartens and pharmacies.

What problems does the doctor solve?

As mentioned above, the venereologist solves the problem of sexually transmitted infections. However, these same infections can also be transmitted in other ways. For example, pathogens of gonorrhea and syphilis can infect a healthy person through shared bedding, towels and other household items. Given this, if there is a sick person in the family, the rest of the family should also be examined.

Sexually transmitted diseases are mainly caused by viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens.

Today there are 20 varieties of such diseases, some of them are very common, others are rare. We most often encounter such infections:

  1. Trichomoniasis. The causative agent of the disease is unicellular, which parasitize in the urogenital organs. It is transmitted only sexually, since Trichomonas quickly die in the external environment. In advanced form, it leads to infertility.
  2. Chlamydia. A very common disease that is transmitted by sexual and domestic means (in baths, saunas, pools) and during childbirth. If left untreated, it can affect the eyes, joints, respiratory system, and brain.
  3. Syphilis. A dangerous disease that is transmitted through the blood, sexually, from mother to baby, rarely in the home. Can lead to disability and death.
  4. HIV and AIDS.
  5. Genital herpes.
  6. Pubic pediculosis.
  7. A soft chancre is an ailment in which purulent formations appear on the genitals.

After an external examination and necessary tests, the doctor establishes a diagnosis, determines methods of treatment, and recommends preventive measures. Depending on the severity of the disease, therapy can last a different amount of time and requires specific therapeutic actions.

Place of work of a venereologist

For a preventive examination or when symptoms appear, you need to make an appointment with a venereologist.

First of all, you should find out where this doctor sees. Similar services are offered by public clinics and private medical institutions. In each city and district, you can sign up for a state venereal dispensary by phone at the reception or go through a consultation on a first-come, first-served basis.

As a rule, venereologists work in state medical institutions on an outpatient basis, in venereological departments of a hospital, specialized dispensaries, research institutes and diagnostic centers. It should be borne in mind that information about the patient's illness is confidential, except for compulsory treatment. No one except the treating doctor and the patient himself will know the results of the examination.

If you want to be examined absolutely anonymously, you can contact private medical centers, where you can make an appointment at any convenient time, since commercial institutions usually work around the clock. The only downside to this service is the cost. The price of treatment by a private venereologist will, of course, be higher. In addition, exciting questions and concerns can be resolved without leaving home. Today, most clinics have an online consultation, some of them even for free. But this option occurs only if there are no visible symptoms of the disease.

How does an appointment with a doctor work

After choosing and registering with the appropriate medical institution, you should prepare for the visit. At least two days before the appointment, you should exclude sexual contact, do not use soap or shower gels (affects the test results), stop taking medications (the same).

At the appointment, the doctor examines the affected areas, prescribes tests and the necessary smears. In a preventive examination, a simple smear is often sufficient.

For women this procedure is painless, for men it is somewhat uncomfortable. For a complete picture, the venereologist will definitely ask questions about the last sexual intercourse, is it protected or not, are there any symptoms, and so on. If the doctor suspects any disease, he can refer to a doctor of related specialization: gynecologist, urologist, andrologist. The following tests may also be required:

  • biochemical and complete blood counts;
  • swabs and scrapings from mucous membranes;
  • analysis of urine and feces.

The next visit to the doctor should be with the results of all tests. Based on the information received, he makes a diagnosis and determines the method of treating the disease. In most cases, drug therapy specific to the disease is sufficient. If the disease is advanced and the internal organs are affected, hospitalization may be required. At best, tests and examination will show the absence of the disease, then the doctor will simply advise precautions and prevention. As you can see, there is nothing wrong with visiting a venereologist, the main thing is not to delay a visit to him.

Venereologist's advice

The main preventive rule in this sense is the use of male contraceptives. At the same time, women's ones are not suitable, since they do not protect against contact of the male genital organ with the vagina.

Condom use extends beyond traditional sex. Other types of sexual intercourse (oral and anal) should also be protected, since many viruses and bacteria infect any mucous membrane, including the intestines and oral cavity.

If casual sex was unprotected for some reason, emergency prevention measures are needed. This includes thorough cleaning of the genitals, and for women, douching should be added to external water procedures. To do this, doctors recommend using warm boiled water with special disinfectants. The feasibility of using antibacterial drugs of different groups and antibiotics remains controversial, since their use may affect the diagnosis of the pathogen.

In order to avoid infection in the domestic way, it is imperative to use only your own hygiene products: a towel, a razor, a washcloth, and the like. It is also a very useful habit to wash your hands before and after using the toilet. It is better to carry a pack of disinfectant wet wipes or a special hand gel with you. Baths, saunas and pools, which do not require a certificate from a venereologist (and most of them), it is better not to visit. However, primary prevention of STDs is carried out before infection and consists in informing high-risk groups about existing pathologies, contraceptive methods, the mechanism of infection transmission, symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases and their consequences. Specialists should conduct conversations with the population about the change in the sexual behavior of modern man. Secondary prevention is carried out after sexual intercourse and involves working with STD carriers or sick people, the goals of which are: to prevent infection of others and the development of complications in patients. Public or social prevention of STIs is carried out at the state level, mainly among adolescents who have not yet entered into sexual activity. Girls and boys should be explained how to protect themselves from STDs and how to behave in case of detection of such diseases.

Sources
  1. Network of multidisciplinary clinics “DIAMED”. - What does a venereologist treat?
  2. Appendix “Sber health”. - What does a venereologist treat.