Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. The contact is usually vaginal, oral, or anal sex. But sometimes they can spread through other intimate physical contact. This is because some STDs, like herpes and HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact.
Causes of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
STDs can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Types of STDs
Some common types of STDs include:
It is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. It can infect both men and women. Women can get chlamydia in the cervix, rectum, or throat. Men can get chlamydia in the urethra (inside the penis), rectum, or throat.
How do you get chlamydia?
You can get chlamydia during oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone who has the infection. A woman can also pass chlamydia to her baby during childbirth. Chlamydia is more common in young people, especially young women.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
Symptoms in women include:
• Abnormal vaginal discharge, which may have a strong smell
• A burning sensation when urinating
• Pain during intercourse
People at higher risk should get checked for chlamydia every year:
• Sexually active women 25 and younger
• Older women who have new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted disease
• Men who have sex with men (MSM)
What other problems can chlamydia cause?
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS
– Genital herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can cause sores on your genital or rectal area, buttocks, and thighs. The virus can spread even when sores are not present. Mothers can also infect their babies during childbirth.
Symptoms of herpes are called outbreaks. You usually get sores near the area where the virus has entered the body. The sores are blisters which break and become painful, and then heal. virus can be more serious in newborn babies or in people with weak immune systems. Repeat outbreaks are common, especially during the first year. Over time, you get them less often and the symptoms become milder. The virus stays in your body for life.
Correct usage of latex condoms can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading herpes. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms. The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have anal, vaginal, or oral sex.
The bacteria that cause gonorrhea can infect the genital tract, mouth, or anus. You can get gonorrhea during vaginal, oral, or anal sex with an infected partner. A pregnant woman can pass it to her baby during childbirth.
In women, the early symptoms of gonorrhea often are mild. Later, it can cause bleeding between periods, pain when urinating, and increased discharge from the vagina. If untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which causes problems with pregnancy and infertility.
In men, gonorrhea can cause pain when urinating and discharge from the penis. If untreated, it can cause problems with the prostate and testicles.
They can also spread through other intimate, skin-to-skin contact. Some of these types can cause cancer.
There are two categories of sexually transmitted HPV. Low-risk HPV can cause warts on or around your genitals, anus, mouth, or throat. High-risk HPV can cause various cancers: Cervical cancer, anal cancer, some types of oral and throat cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, penile cancer.
What are the treatments for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
Antibiotics can treat STDs caused by bacteria or parasites. There is no cure for STDs caused by viruses, but medicines can often help with the symptoms and lower your risk of spreading the infection.
Can sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) be prevented?
Women can try to keep themselves STDs free in several ways:
• Avoid exposure to infected bodily fluids. This may mean abstaining from sex or avoiding transfer of bodily fluids in other ways like using barrier devices like condoms, or not sharing needles. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading STDs.
• Another option is mutual monogamy between people who have no prior sexual experience or who are STD free. Although this arrangement does not eliminate all risks, it can significantly limit exposure to STDs/Is.
• Vaccines:There are vaccines to prevent HPV and hepatitis B.
The most reliable way to avoid infection is abstinence for single persons.
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