Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) | Types, Signs and more


Facts about STD

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are conditions that can be passed from one person on to another by sexual contact. An STD can be contracted by unprotected sexual contact with an STD-positive person.

An STD can also be called a sexually transmitted illness (STI) or venereal disease  (VD).

However, STDs can be transmitted through sex. Infections can also be passed through breastfeeding and sharing needles, depending on the STD.

STDs symptoms in men

You can contract an STD even if you don’t have symptoms. Some STDs can cause symptoms. In men, common symptoms include:

  • Pain or discomfort during sex and urination
  • Sores, bumps or rashes around the pe*is or testicles, mouth, lips, thighs, mouth, and buttocks
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge from the pe*is
  • painful or swollen testicles

Depending on the STD, specific symptoms may vary. Find out more about STD symptoms in men.

STDs symptoms in women

In most cases, STDs are not noticeable. Symptoms of STDs in women are:

  • Pain or discomfort during sex and urination
  • Sores, bumps or rashes around the v*gina, mouth, a*us or buttocks, thighs or mouth
  • V*ginal bleeding or unusual discharge
  • Itching in or around your v*gina

Different STDs can have different symptoms. Learn more about STDs in Women.

Types of STD

Sexually transmitted infections can include many different types. Below are the most common STDs.


Chlamydia is caused by a certain type of bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s the most common STD reported by Americans.

Many people suffering from chlamydia don’t experience any symptoms. Symptoms that do occur include:

  • Pain or discomfort during sex and urination
  • Green or yellow discharges from the v*gina or pe*is
  • Lower abdomen pain

Chlamydia if left untreated can lead to:

  • Infections of the bladder, prostate, and testicles
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility

Untreated chlamydia can be passed to a baby if a pregnant woman has it. It is possible for the baby to develop:

HPV (humanpapillomavirus).

Human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is a viral infection that can be transmitted from one person to the next through intimate skin-to-skin contact or sexual contact. There are many strains of this virus. Some viruses are more dead than others.

Warts in the throat, mouth, and genitals are the most common symptoms of HPV.

Certain strains of HPV infection may lead to cancer.

  • oral cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Vulvar cancer
  • Penile cancer
  • rectal cancer

Although most HPV cases don’t go on to become cancerous, there are some strains that can cause it.

The majority of HPV-related cancer cases in the United States can be attributed to HPV 16 or 18. These two HPV strains account for 70% of all cases of cervical cancer.

HPV is not treatable. HPV infections can often be treated on their own. A vaccine is available to protect against the most serious strains of HPV 16, and 18.

Proper testing and screenings are essential to help your doctor manage the risk of contracting HPV.


Syphilis is another type of bacterial infection. In the early stages, it is often overlooked.

A small, round sore known as a “chancre” is the first sign to show up. It can appear in your mouth, a*us, genitals, or genitals. It is very contagious and painless.

Syphilis may also manifest as the following symptoms:

  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Fièvre
  • Headaches
  • joint pain
  • weight loss
  • hair loss

Syphilis late-stage can be fatal if it is not treated.

  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Memory loss
  • mental illness
  • Infections of the spinal cord or brain
  • Heart disease
  • Death

Syphilis can be treated easily if detected early enough. Syphilis infection in a newborn can lead to death. It is important that all pregnant women be tested for syphilis. Syphilis can be treated early and prevented from causing more damage.


HIV can cause damage to the immune system, increase the risk of developing other infections or bacteria, and even lead to certain types of cancer. It can cause stage 3 HIV if left untreated. This is AIDS. Many HIV-positive people don’t get AIDS with the current treatment.

It is easy to confuse the symptoms of HIV and flu in the acute or early stages.HIV can cause the following early symptoms:

  • Fièvre
  • Chills
  • Aches and pains
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Kopfschmerz
  • nausea
  • Rashes

These symptoms usually disappear within one month. A person can have HIV for many years without developing any persistent or serious symptoms. Some people may experience non-specific symptoms such as:

  • recurrent fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Stomach problems

Although there is no cure yet for HIV, treatment options exist to treat it. HIV-positive people can live longer if they receive effective treatment early.

A person’s chance of passing HIV to their partner can be reduced by proper treatment. Treatment can actually lower HIV levels to undetectable levels. The CDC reports that HIV cannot be transmitted to others at undetectable levels.

Many people living with HIV don’t know they have it unless routine testing is done. The CDC has developed a program to promote early diagnosis and treatment.

Everyone between the ages 13 and 64 should be tested at least once. Testing should be done at least once per year for people at high risk of HIV, even if they do not have symptoms.

All major cities offer confidential and free testing. It is possible to live a long, healthy life with HIV thanks to recent advances in treatment and testing.


Another common bacterial STD is gonorrhea. It is also called the “clap”

Many people suffering from gonorrhea do not experience symptoms. However, symptoms can include:

  • A white, yellow, beige, or green-colored discharge from your pe*is or va*ina.
  • Pain or discomfort during sex and urination
  • More frequent urination than normal
  • Itching in the genitals
  • Sore throat

If untreated, gonorrhea could lead to:

  • Infections of the bladder, prostate, and testicles
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility

A mother may pass gonorrhea on to her baby during childbirth. If this happens, it can lead to serious health issues for the baby. The majority of doctors recommend STD testing and treatment for pregnant women. Antibiotics are usually used to treat gonorrhea.

Pubic lice (or ‘crabs)

Pubic lice are also known as “Crabs”. These tiny insects can live on your pubic hair. They feed on blood from humans, just like body lice and head lice.

Symptoms of pubic lice include the following:

  • Itching in the genitals and a*us
  • Small, pinkish, or red bumps may appear around the a*us or genitals.
  • low-grade fever
  • Energy deficiency
  • irritability

You might be able to spot the tiny white eggs or lice at the roots of your pubic hair. With a magnifying glass, you can spot them.

Pubic lice can spread to others through skin-to-skin contact, shared clothing, bedding, towels, and other means if left untreated. Infected skin can also be spread by scabby bites. It is best to immediately treat any pubic lice infestations.

Pubic lice can be treated with over-the-counter products and tweezers. You should also wash your bedding, towels, and clothes.


Trichomoniasis also called “trich” is caused by a small protozoan organism. It can be transmitted from one person through genital contact.

The CDC states that less than one-third of those with trich experience symptoms. Symptoms that do occur may include:

  • Discharge from the pe*is or va*ina
  • Itching or burning around the pe*is or va*inal area
  • Pain or discomfort in sex or urination
  • frequent urination

Trich-related discharges can often leave a fishy or unpleasant odor in women.

Trich can cause:

  • Infections of the Ura
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility

Antibiotics can be used to treat trich.


Herpes is the abbreviation for herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 is the main strain and HSV-2 is the secondary. Both can be transmitted sexually. It is a common STD. According to the CDC, more than one out of six adults between the ages of 14 and 49 have herpes.

HSV-1 is mainly responsible for cold sores. HSV-1 can also pass from one person to another’s genitals through oral sex. HSV-1 can lead to genital herpes.

HSV-2 is mainly responsible for genital herpes.

Herpes’ most common symptom is the appearance of blistery sores. These sores can develop around or on the genitals in the case of genital herpes. They can also develop around the mouth in oral herpes.

Most herpes sores will heal in a matter of weeks. The most severe outbreaks are usually the first. Over time, outbreaks become less severe and more frequent.

A pregnant woman can pass herpes to her baby or her fetus during pregnancy. Congenital herpes could be extremely dangerous for newborns. It is important for pregnant women to be aware of their HSV status.

Herpes isn’t curable. There are medications that can be used to control herpes sores and relieve the pain. These medications can also reduce your chances of contracting herpes from your partner.

Safe sexual practices and effective treatment can help you live a happy life with herpes.

Other STDs

Some STDs are also less common, such as:

  • chancroid
  • lymphogranuloma venereum
  • granuloma inguinale
  • molluscum contagiosum
  • scabies

STD in oral sex

STDs can also be transmitted via a*al and va*inal sex. O*al sex can also be used to transmit STDs. Also, STDs can pass from one person’s genitals into another person’s throat or mouth.

Oral STDs can be invisible. They can cause sore throats or sores around your throat and mouth.

Curable STDs

Many STDs can be treated. The following STDs are treatable with antibiotics and other treatments.

  • chlamydia
  • syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Crabs
  • trichomoniasis

Some are irreversible. The following STDs, for example, are currently incurable.

  • HPV
  • HIV
  • Herpes

Although STDs cannot be cured, they can be managed. It is important to be diagnosed early. There are many treatment options that can be used to alleviate symptoms and reduce the chance of passing on the STD to others.

STD and pregnancy

STDs can be transmitted to a newborn by pregnant women. STDs can be a problem in newborns. They can sometimes be life-threatening in some cases.

Doctors often recommend that pregnant women be tested for STDs to help prevent them from occurring in their newborns. Even if you have no symptoms, your doctor may recommend STD testing.

Your doctor may prescribe antivirals, antibiotics, and other treatments if you are pregnant and test positive for STDs. To lower the chance of infection, your doctor might recommend that you have your child via c-section.

Diagnosis and treatment of STDs

Most doctors cannot diagnose STDs solely based on symptoms. Your doctor, or any other healthcare provider, will likely recommend testing to determine if you have STDs.

Your healthcare provider may recommend STD testing, even if there are no symptoms. STDs aren’t known to cause any noticeable symptoms in most cases. Even if there are no symptoms, STDs can still cause harm or spread to others.

Most STDs can be diagnosed by healthcare providers using a blood or urine test. A swab may be taken to check your genitals. They may also take a swab of any sores if you have one.

At your doctor’s office, or at a clinic for sexual health, you can be tested for STDs.

Home testing kits may also be available for certain STDs but they might not always work. Be careful with them. Before you buy the kit, verify that it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It is important to understand that a Pap smear does not constitute an STD test. A Pap smear is used to check for precancerous cells in the cervix. It can be combined with an HPV test. However, a negative Pap smear does not necessarily mean that you have no STDs.

It’s a smart idea to speak with your healthcare provider if you have ever had sex. Some people might benefit more from frequent testing than others. Learn if you need to be tested for STDs, and what the tests are.

Treatment for STDs

The treatment recommended for STDs will vary depending on the type of STD. Before you can resume sexual activity, it is important that both you and your partner are treated for STDs. You could spread infection between you.

Bacterial STD

Antibiotics are generally effective in treating bacterial infections.

It is important that you take your prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed. Even if you feel better, you should continue taking the antibiotics. If your symptoms persist or worsen after taking all your prescribed medications, let your doctor know.

Viral STD

Viruses such as STDs are not treatable with antibiotics. Although most viral infections are incurable, there is no way to prevent them. There are many treatment options available that can relieve symptoms and decrease the risk of transmitting the virus.

There are medications that can be used to decrease the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks. Treatment can also stop HIV progression. Antiviral drugs may also lower the risk of HIV transmission to others.

Other STDs

STDs can be caused by bacteria or viruses. They are caused instead by small organisms. Examples include:

  • Pubic lice
  • trichomoniasis
  • scabies

These STDs can usually be treated with topical or oral medications. For more information on your condition and treatment options, consult your doctor.

STD prevention

STDs can be avoided by avoiding sexual contact. There are many ways to make oral, va*inal or a*al sex safer.

condoms can provide protection against many STDs if used correctly. It is important to use condoms while having sex with someone else. Oral sex can be protected by dental dams.

Condoms can prevent STDs from spreading through fluids like blood or sem*n. They can’t protect against STDs passing from skin to skin. A condom that doesn’t cover the infected area can cause an STD.

Condoms are a good way to protect yourself from STDs and unwanted pregnancy.

Contrary to this, most other forms of birth control have a lower risk of unintended pregnancy but do not prevent STDs. The following types of birth control are not effective in protecting against STDs.

  • birth control pills
  • birth control shot
  • Birth Control Implants
  • intrauterine devices (IUDs)

Sexually active individuals should have regular STD screenings. This is especially important for people who have a new partner, or multiple partners. It is possible to stop infection transmission by early diagnosis and treatment.

It is important to talk about your sexual history before you start sex with a partner. A healthcare professional should screen partners for STDs. Because STDs are often not symptomatic, testing is the best way to determine if someone has one.

It’s important to discuss STD results with your partner. People assume that their doctors have checked them for STDs. However, this is not always the case. You should ask your doctor about specific STD tests in order to be sure they are taken.

It is important that a partner who has tested positive for STDs should follow the recommended treatment plan of their healthcare provider. Ask your doctor for strategies to prevent your partner from getting an STD. Your doctor may recommend that you take preexposure prophylaxis if your partner is HIV-positive.

You and your partner may be eligible to get vaccinated against HPV and Hepatitis B.

These strategies, along with others, can help lower the chances of getting STDs or passing them on to others.

Living with STDs

It is important to get treatment immediately after a person is confirmed with an STD.

A person who has had one STD can increase their chance of getting another. If left untreated, some STDs can have severe consequences. Untreated STDs can even prove fatal in rare cases.

Most STDs can be treated. They can sometimes be completely cured in some cases. Other cases may require prompt and effective treatment to relieve symptoms, reduce your risk of complications and protect your sexual partners.

A doctor may recommend that a person change their sexual habits in order to protect themselves and others. They may advise patients to stop having sex until they have successfully treated the infection. They will likely encourage them to use condoms or dental dams when they reintroduce sex.

A doctor-recommended treatment and prevention plan can improve your long-term outlook for STDs.

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