Sexually transmitted diseases, more commonly referred to as STDs, can affect all people of any race, religion, age or sex. While some STDs have obvious symptoms, others do not, at least until it is too late. This is why it is so important to be vigilant and practice safe sexual habits, including using condoms every time you have sex and going for STD testing every time you have a new sexual partner. For pregnant women this is especially vital, as certain STDs can pose serious risks to pregnancy. Here in our section devoted entirely to STDs, find out more about the many kinds of STDs, how they are transmitted, how to keep your self safe, how to get tested for STDs, and how to treat different STD infections.
One of the most common STDs is genital herpes, affecting over 40 million Americans. Unfortunately this STD as of yet has no cure--but it can be controlled. Learn more about the symptoms and signs of genital herpes and learn what you can do to prevent contracting this STD--or treat this STD if you have already been diagnosed with it.
Also read an overview of other common sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, "crabs," and hepatitis B. Chlamydia and Gonnorrhea, if left untreated, can cause infertility. Don't delay in getting regular STD screening to rule out the contraction of these STDs.
Acquiring one STD can make an infected individual more prone to acquiring HIV, another STD that affects women much more often than many realize. This serious infection can lead to AIDS, death and other complications. Like HIV, the human papillomavirus (HPV) may not cause symptoms in those infected right away but if left untreated can cause genital warts or cervical cancer. Going for a regular PAP smear can help detect the virus, though, as well as other conditions. Read our FAQs page on HPV to understand more. There is not reason for such STDs to go undetected in your body as longer as you take your STD testing seriously.
HPV And Genital Warts
While some strands of HPV are associated with cervical cancer, and typically do not cause symptoms, other HPV strands lead to genital warts. Learn about the some of the treatments available for genital warts and get the answers to some of the questions you may have about warts treatment. Our article on genital wart recurrence discusses how likely those genital warts are to come back after treatment.
Sometimes, an STD can have similar symptoms to other gynecological issues. For instance, trichomonas can easily be mistaken for a yeast infection. This is also the case of Syphilis. Before you try to treat yourself, it might be a good idea to have a doctor make a definite diagnosis first. Also consult with a doctor whenever you feel something down there is just not right.
Teens that are sexually active can be more at risk of contracting an STD yet are less likely to visit a health facility for testing. Our piece on STDS and Teenagers examines the unique issues involved in testing and diagnosing adolescents.
Remember---always use condom if you want to practice safe sex and avoid getting an STD!