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What Is a Reproductive System Disease?

Female reproductive system.
Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A reproductive system disease is any illness or condition which occurs within any area of the reproductive tract. These can include cancers, sexually transmitted diseases, and other infections. Causes vary and treatments will depend on the type and cause of disease.

Sexually transmitted diseases are the most common conditions to affect the reproductive organs. This type of reproductive system disease is spread through sexual contact with another person. Genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are all sexually transmitted diseases which are generally cause systems in the reproductive organs. Treatments vary, but prescription medications are generally used.

Cancer may also be classified as a reproductive system disease when it occurs within the cervix, ovaries, uterus, testicles, or penis. Most of these can be prevented, and some individuals are at a higher risk than others. Cervical as well as testicular cancers are both highly treatable when detected early. Ovarian and uterine cancers are more serious because they are cannot be found easily and there are often few or not symptoms. Penile cancer is very rare, but is often deadly when not found in its earliest stages.

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Another reproductive system disease is pelvic inflammatory disease. This is often caused by a sexually transmitted infection, although sometimes severe vaginitis or another primary infection can lead to this disorder. It is a common cause of infertility in women and it occurs when bacteria enters the cervix and migrates into the uterus and fallopian tubes. It is easily treated when caught early, but more severe cases can permanently damage the reproductive organs.

Common systems of infectious reproductive disease include foul-smelling discharge from the vagina or penis that is an abnormal color. Yellow, brown, or green discharge that is thick, foamy, or frothy in texture is considered abnormal. Lesions, bumps, warts, soreness, itching, and redness are also signs of infection. If these symptoms are present, patients should consult a doctor for testing right away since some sexually transmitted diseases can eventually infect the rest of the body or cause infertility.

Most cancers of the reproductive system are asymptomatic in their earliest stages. Annual pap smear exams can detect most cases of cervical cancer while it is still treatable, but ovarian and uterine cancers are often not detected until much later. Late symptoms of these cancers can include unusual vaginal bleeding, bloating, stomach pain, and irregular periods. Testicular cancer often becomes apparent due to a lump in one or both testicles. Penile cancer can cause lesions on the skin and sometimes pain.

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