Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are the infections you catch by having sex with a person who is having the infection. They can also be transmitted via shared IV needles, childbirth and breastfeeding. The causes of sexually transmitted diseases are bacteria, viruses and parasites.
There are over 20 different types of sexually transmitted diseases, including bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis and trichomoniasis.
STDs can affect both sexes. STDs caused by bacteria and parasites are curable with antibiotics and other medicines. Viral STDs have no cure, but can be kept in check with medications. If you use latex condoms correctly, it only reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of contracting or spreading the STDs.
Symptoms Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
You could be having a sexually transmitted infection (STIs) without having any symptoms or signs. Even then you could be passing on the infection to your sexual partner. There can be a latent period of one to several weeks before symptoms appear after catching the infection.
Sores Or Warts
These can occur on or near vagina or penis, and sometimes near mouth and anus. Sores can occur near the anus in trichomoniasis. Small, reddish bumps, blisters or even ulcers can occur around genital areas and anus in genital herpes.
In HPV, there can be small, grey or flesh-coloured swellings in genital area, the genital warts. These can coalesce into cauliflower-shaped swellings. Sometimes genital warts can occur in mouth and throat if you indulge in oral sex with a person who is infected. The sores in syphilis are small and painless, usually occurring on genitals, tongue, lips or rectum, and may be single or multiple.
Pain And Itching
There can be pain and itching around genital areas, inner thighs and buttocks. This can occur in gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, genital herpes and HPV.
In women there can be vaginal discharge, and in men, penile discharge. The discharge is thick, bloody or cloudy in gonorrhea and trichomoniasis.
Sometimes the discharge can be white, green or yellow. The discharge in bacterial vaginosis can be thin, and is usually grey or white. There is strong vaginal odour in trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis (often fishy odour after intercourse).
Painful Sexual Intercourse
Pain can occur during sexual intercourse, especially in women. This happens in chlamydia and trichomoniasis.
Testicles may be swollen and painful. This symptom is present in chlamydia and gonorrhea.
You can have burning or painful sensation when passing urine. This can occur in chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and genital herpes.
There can be vaginal bleeding in between menstrual periods. This is seen usually in gonorrhea.
Painful Bowel Movements
There can be spread of infection to rectum and anus, leading to pain during bowel movements, anal discharge and itching. Sometimes, bleeding is seen from the anus. This occurs especially in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
There can be pain in the lower abdomen in chlamydia. In hepatitis, the pain is usually in the upper abdomen.
You can have general symptoms like fever, headache and muscle pains. Lymph nodes may be swollen. This typically happens in genital herpes, syphilis and HIV/AIDS. There can be fatigue, nausea and vomiting, rash, abdominal discomfort or pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and diarrhea in hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. There is yellowing of skin and eyes in hepatitis.