STDs (Sexually transmitted diseases) or STIs (Sexually transmitted infections) are diseases and infections that can be primarily transmitted via sexual contact. That sexual contact includes, but is not limited to, oral sex and anal sex. Abstaining from sexual contact is the only true 100% way to protect against STDs and STIs.
Symptoms of such diseases includes pain, itching, discharge, sores, odor among others or there can be no symptoms at all. Outlined below are some common STDs and STIs and their symptoms:
Genital warts: Warts are painless fleshy-colored lesions that are common around the vaginal and anal orifice as well as the base of the penis. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can cause oral, anal and cervical cancers in both males and females. Screening is done with a pap smear and a general exam.
Syphilis: Syphilis can presents in many ways. Usually a painless open sore in the genital area is the first sign. A generalized rash over the entire body, blisters on hands and feet as well as psychiatric abnormalities can also be symptoms of this very complex infection. Screening is performed with blood work.
Herpes: Herpes often present as painful genital sores. The first outbreak can be accompained with tingling sensation or fevers. Screening can be done with an exam and blood work or a swab of the lesion.
Trichomoniasis: "Trich" often presents as a greenish to yellowish discharge. This infection can be passed to a fetus during delivery. Screening is performed with a swab and culture.
HIV: HIV is a destructive virus that damages the cells of the immune system. HIV can progress to AIDS where the body can become infected by deadly infections. HIV is screened with a blood test.
Hepatitis B and C: Hep B can lead to liver damage. This disease is also screened through blood work.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: People with gonorrhea or chlamydia can complain of a colored discharge and can have painful urination. However, most people experience no to little symptom at all. However, left untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to serious damage to the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. This damage, called pelvic inflammatory disease or PID, can lead to infertility. These STIs are screened using swabs or urine.
Prevention of these diseases and infections include regular medical check up and exams by our clinicians, self examinations, vaccinations, and having protected sex.