Sexually Transmitted Diseases, more commonly referred to as STDs, are passed from person to person by sexual contact. According to the American Sexual Health Association, one in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25. In fact, the CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new STDs occur every year in the United States.
Because STDs are easily spread and individuals may be infected but not experiencing symptoms, it’s important that you educate yourself on how people contract STDs and know when to get tested.
Types of STDs
There are many types of STDs, ranging from treatable to untreatable. Below is a list of the most common STDs. The ones marked with the *asterisk are ones that are currently untreatable. For STDs that currently don’t have a cure, there are ways to manage the side effects associated with the disease.
Most common STDs:
- HPV (Human papillomavirus)*
- Hepatitis (Hepatitis A & C are curable, B is not)
- PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
- Pubic lice (“Crabs”)
You can learn more about these common STDs by visiting the CDC’s website.
Common STD Symptoms
Unfortunately, it’s easy to have an STD and not know it because many STDs don’t show symptoms in the early stages of infection. If symptoms are present, they are often overlooked or mistaken for other illnesses or conditions. It is because of these reasons that STDs spread quickly and silently through the sexually active population.
Here are some of the most common STD symptoms (when/if symptoms are present):
- Bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth or genital region
- Swelling, itching or rash around the genital region
- Painful urination
- Loose stools
- Night sweats
- Aches, pains, fever, and chills
- Yellowing of the skin
- Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
- Vaginal bleeding (other than your monthly period)
- Pain during sex
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should get tested immediately. Even if you aren’t showing symptoms, you may still be infected and not know it.
When to Get Tested
If you have had any sexual contact with another person, you could be at risk of having an STD. As mentioned above, many STDs don’t show symptoms at first, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t causing harm to your body. So, even if you feel fine, you owe it to yourself to get tested after any sexual contact. Remember, the only way to 100 percent prevent getting an STD is to abstain from sexual contact completely or to be in a monogamous relationship, like marriage, with a person who is STD-free. Learn more about STDs and get your questions answered by contacting us.