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:

  • fever
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • muscle aches


Table of Contents
1. Types of STDs
2. More on STDs
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