STDs

Get the facts on sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted disease, also known as venereal disease, is caused by microorganisms that survive on the skin, in the mucus membranes or in bodily fluids. Once they are transmitted, these viruses and bacteria will flourish in warm and moist areas, causing pain, discomfort, infertility and sometimes untreatable conditions. Learn about the symptoms of STDs and how they can be treated.

Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases

STDs come in many forms, and affect many people. Some sexually transmitted infections carry obvious symptoms like bumps or rashes, while others are not detectable without STD testing; some are quite common and easily treated, while others are relatively scarce but very severe. A relatively common STD like herpes affects millions of Americans, many of whom do not know they carry the virus, as they have never noticed the symptoms. Although most STDs can only be contracted through sexual contact, herpes takes different forms and can be transmitted through mouth-to-genital contact.

STDsSource: cdc.gov

But while some infections can be annoying or embarrassing to deal with, diseases like HIV AIDS are incurable, difficult to control through medication and can be passed from a women to her unborn child. Gain as much STD information as you can so you will be able to distinguish illness from regular irritation. For instance, a woman with chlamydia may experience similar symptoms to an irregular menstrual cycle. Venereal disease can affect anybody, and because a VD may not present any symptoms, it's important to see your doctor for regular physical examinations.

STD Treatment and Prevention

In addition to condoms, there are ways to minimize your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. To begin, be careful in selecting your partners—the risk of infection increases for those who have casual sex with several partners. If you suspect that you may have a STD, or simply want to ensure that you are disease-free, there are STD clinics in every city that can test for infection and provide you with guidance or information on venereal disease.

For women, a routine Pap test can reveal certain STDs, like HPV, but you will have to request STD testing from your doctor if you are concerned about the presence of any specific disease. Certain risk factors will increase your chances of contracting a disease, so those who are under 25 and sexually active and those who have unprotected sex with multiple partners should get tested for certain STDs annually.

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