Sexually Transmitted Disease Facts: STD Summary
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STD Facts: STD Summary (PDF)
Signs and Symptoms
See a Doctor or Clinic if These Symptoms are PresentFor Women:
- Unusual discharge or smell from the vagina
- Burning or itching around the vagina
- Bleeding from vagina not associated with period
- Pelvic pain during sexual intercourse
- Persistent, unexplained pain in pelvic area
- Pus or other discharge from penis
For Both Women and Men:
- Sores, bumps or blisters on or near the genitals, mouth or anus
- Burning and pain during urination or a bowel movement
- Swelling in the groin (the area around your genitals)
- Many STDs have no signs and symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms go away but the STD is still present.
- Some people believe that if a blood sample is taken during a visit to the doctor that they are checking for STDs. This may not be true.
- People should talk to their doctors about being tested for STDs if they are at risk.
- Testing for STDs may not be done during routine gynecological exams for women.
Most STDs are Spread by:
- Vaginal sex
- Oral sex
- Anal sex
- Infected mother to newborn
If left untreated, some STDs can:
- Spread to sex partners or needle-sharing partners
- Be serious and painful
- Cause permanent damage to reproductive organs
- Lead to infertility in men and women
- Infect newborns, and may lead to serious complications and even death of infants
- Cause heart disease, blindness, arthritis, brain damage or death
- Avoiding vaginal, oral or anal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
- Limit the number of sex partners.
- Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing transmission of HIV and most STDs.
- Always use latex condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
- Use a latex condom for oral sex on a penis.
- Use a latex barrier (dental dam or condom cut in half) for oral sex on a vagina or anus.
- Notify sex partners immediately if you have an STD.
- Make sure partners are tested and treated at same time to prevent re-infection.
Testing and Treatment
- Get a test from a medical provider if infection is suspected.
- Some STDs can be cured using medication prescribed by a medical provider.
- Don’t use home remedies.