Types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
If you are thinking about trying fertility treatments to get pregnant, it is important that you first ensure that you are in good health. It is important to be tested for STDs in order to ensure that you do not pass the infection onto your baby or others. If you think that you might have an STD, seek diagnosis and treatment immediately. STDs that are left untreated can result in serious side effects including infertility.
Chlamydia is one of the most prevalent STDs in the United States, affecting millions of men and women every year. It is caused by bacteria that live in your semen or vaginal fluid. Typically transmitted through vaginal or oral intercourse, chlamydia can sometimes be passed through oral sex. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or epididymitis. Unfortunately, symptoms of chlamydia are typically invisible. If chlamydia symptoms do manifest, they can include:
- unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
- painful urination
- swollen testicles
- in women, painful intercourse
Gonorrhea commonly affects men and women between the ages of 15 and 29, however, anyone can contract the disease. Commonly known as the clap, gonorrhea is caused by bacteria that live in bodily fluids. Gonorrhea is usually contracted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If left untreated, gonorrhea can also lead to fertility problems, including PID and epididymitis. Gonorrhea symptoms typically take between 2 and 10 days to manifest and include:
- nausea and vomiting
- in women, bleeding after sex
- yellow or bloody vaginal discharge
- green, white, or yellow discharge from the penis
Syphilis is usually contracted through sexual contact with an infected person. If caught early, it is easily treatable, however, if allowed to progress to its later stages, it can result in serious health problems, including blindness and psychological disorders. Men are more likely to contract the disease, though women are also at risk. Syphilis symptoms appear in stages and include:
- sores, called "chancres"
- brown rash
- sore throat and swollen glands
HIV, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact, including anal, oral, and vaginal sex. However, HIV can also be transmitted through tainted blood transfusions, sharing needles, or through breast milk. HIV symptoms can remain hidden for years and may include:
- muscle aches
Genital warts are caused by the HPV virus, and are transmitted through oral, anal, and vaginal sex. It is an extremely common disease, with over 100 different strains. Many genital warts sufferers will exhibit no symptoms. Those that do illustrate symptoms tend to develop cauliflower-shaped warts on their genitals and in the pelvic region. These warts can grow on the:
Herpes is a very common STD, and is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with an infected partner. Herpes is a lifelong disease, but can be managed through medications. Herpes symptoms tend to appear as outbreaks, which may be months or years apart. Symptoms include:
- itching and burning around the genitals and anus
- lesions on the buttocks, thighs, vagina, or penis
- vaginal discharge
Hepatitis B is a very serious disease that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, contact with infected blood, or by using infected needles. Hepatitis B can become chronic in some sufferers, leading to severe liver damage. There is now a vaccine available to protect against this disease in those who have never been infected. Many sufferers will exhibit no symptoms while others will experience:
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
Trichomoniasis is a very common STD and is usually transmitted through unprotected vaginal sex. If left untreated, it can cause fallopian tube inflammation, complicating fertility. Symptoms are often invisible in men, however women commonly produce symptoms. Symptoms of trichomoniasis include:
- yellow-green vaginal discharge
- pain during sexual intercourse
- itchy genitals
Sometimes referred to as crabs, pubic lice are actually small, parasitic insects that feed off of human blood. Pubic lice attach to coarse hair all over the body, particularly in the genital region. Pubic lice can be easily transmitted through close contact with an infected person. Symptoms generally include itching and irritation.
For more detailed information on sexually transmitted disease, visit Epigee.com.