A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease or infection that may be passed (transmitted) from person to person, usually during sexual activity. This may happen by way of saliva, semen, blood, vaginal mucus, or urine. Common STDs include:
- HIV and AIDS.
- Genital herpes.
- Hepatitis B and C.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Pubic lice.
- Bacterial vaginosis.
WHAT ARE CAUSES OF STDs?
An STD may be caused by bacteria, a virus, or parasites. STDs are often transmitted during sexual activity if one person is infected. However, they may also be transmitted through nonsexual means. STDs may be transmitted after:
- Sexual intercourse with an infected person.
- Sharing sex toys with an infected person.
- Sharing needles with an infected person or using unclean piercing or tattoo needles.
- Having intimate contact with the genitals, mouth, or rectal areas of an infected person.
- Exposure to infected fluids during birth.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF STDs?
Different STDs have different symptoms. Some people may not have any symptoms. If symptoms are present, they may include:
- Painful or bloody urination.
- Pain in the pelvis, abdomen, vagina, anus, throat, or eyes.
- A skin rash, itching, or irritation.
- Growths, ulcerations, blisters, or sores in the genital and anal areas.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge with or without bad odor.
- Penile discharge in men.
- Pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse.
- Swollen glands in the groin area.
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). This is seen with hepatitis.
- Swollen testicles.
- Sores and blisters in the mouth.
HOW ARE STDs DIAGNOSED?
- To make a diagnosis, your health care provider may:
- Take a medical history.
- Perform a physical exam.
- Take a sample of any discharge to examine.
- Swab the throat, cervix, opening to the penis, rectum, or vagina for testing.
- Test a sample of your first morning urine.
- Perform blood tests.
- Perform a Pap test, if this applies.
- Perform a colposcopy.
- Perform a laparoscopy.
HOW ARE STDs TREATED?
Treatment depends on the STD. Some STDs may be treated but not cured.
- Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas, and syphilis can be cured with antibiotic medicine.
- Genital herpes, hepatitis, and HIV can be treated, but not cured, with prescribed medicines. The medicines lessen symptoms.
- Genital warts from HPV can be treated with medicine or by freezing, burning (electrocautery), or surgery. Warts may come back.
- HPV cannot be cured with medicine or surgery. However, abnormal areas may be removed from the cervix, vagina, or vulva.
- If your diagnosis is confirmed, your recent sexual partners need treatment. This is true even if they are symptom-free or have a negative culture or evaluation. They should not have sex until their health care providers say it is okay.
- Your health care provider may test you for infection again 3 months after treatment.
If you or your loved one are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms:
- You have severe abdominal pain.
- You are a man and notice swelling or pain in your testicles.
- You are a woman and notice swelling or pain in your vagina.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Kudo Care, 972-639-5836 and schedule an appointment today. We look forward to helping you.