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What is Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections that are spread via sexual contact or close intimate contact with an infected person. The presence of STDs and STIs in children are almost always caused by sexual abuse.

How is Sexually Transmitted Disease Spread?

An STD or STI infection can be spread via sexual intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. The infections are caused by over 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites. STD infections include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis. Viral infections (caused by a virus) include herpes simplex I and II, genital warts, and HIV.

While usually spread by sex, STDs and STIs can also be spread via non-sexual routes, including via blood transfusions, during childbirth, via breast milk and donor transplants.

What Are Signs & Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Most STDs and STIs are asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms are a vaginal or penile discharge and moderate to severe pelvic pain. Other signs and symptoms include (this is not a complete list):

  • Burning pain or itching during urination
  • Flu-like symptoms that persist for days or weeks
  • Cold sores or fever blisters in or around mouth
  • Ulcers or warts on or around the genitals and anus
  • Purulent green or yellow discharge from vagina or penis
  • Rash on or around the genitals
  • Symptoms of crab louse infection in pubic hair
  • Cervical cancers
  • Swollen glands in neck area that are painful to the touch
  • Swollen lymph glands in groin area that may or may not be painful to the touch
  • Headaches or backaches
  • Pain in sides or flank areas
  • Low grade fever or productive cough

    How Are STDs Treated?

    Sexually transmitted diseases are treated with antibiotics and anti-viral medications in the form of creams, ointments, pills, intravenous fluids or injections. The best prevention for STDs and STIs is abstinence until you are married and ready to raise a family.

    Always consult with your doctor or health provider if you believe you have been infected with a STD or STI.

    This has been your medical minute.

    More Info On the Web

    Sexually Transmitted Disease | Medline Plus

    Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) | CDC

    Sexually Transmitted Diseases | NIH: National Institute of Health


    Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following information found on this blog.