Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are the term used to describe diseases that are transmitted from person to person by vaginal, anus, or oral sex. Other name for this disease is sexually transmitted infections (STI) or venereal diseases. 

This does not mean that STDs are transferred only by sex. Infection of some of these diseases can also be transmitted through: 

  • Using a needle (injection) or shaving blade from a diseased person. 
  • Due to breastfeeding.
  • From open wounds or peeled skin. By use of bedding or towels of an infected person.

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Common Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Disease

Here are the list of common symptoms which are seen in STDs :-

  • Rashes
  • Pain during sex or urination
  • Itching/vaginal discharge around the vagina in women
  • Penis discharge in men
  • Mild boils or blisters are uncommon contagious diseases, inexplicable tiredness, night sweats, and weight loss.

However, many people do not experience any symptoms of STDs. Some STDs lie dormant for many years. 

According to the Mayo Clinic in the US, STDs without symptoms are more common because many people do not know they are infected when infected. Thus STDs are easily transferred from one person to another. If left untreated, internal damage can also occur.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, syphilis and HIV can have serious consequences if left untreated. However, common diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia can also cause problems if they go undiagnosed for a long time. The possible consequences of a chronically transmitted STD if left untreated are:

  • infertility
  • various cancers
  • serious diseases
  • Death

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases List

The most common STDs  are as follow:-

  1. Genital Herpes

According to a WHO report, about two-thirds of the people in the age group of 50 years around the world suffer from herpes. No symptoms of this infection are experienced. 

There is no cure for this disease, however, if you are aware of it then you can avoid it and start its treatment as soon as possible. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is spread through sexual intercourse. 

It is of two types, oral and the other genital. It is also called HSV 1 and HSV 2 viruses. 

Unfortunately, no medicine has been made for its treatment, but research is being done.

2. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease. It is also called “the clap”. Its bacteria spread rapidly in women and men. Within two days to two weeks of contracting this sexually transmitted infection, the main symptom of men is burning in urine and later liquid or thick pus or bloody urine. 

Women have burning and white discharge in urine, pelvic and groin pain, swelling of fallopian tubes, and sterility. 

According to the CDC, untreated gonorrhea can lead to the following problems:

  • premature delivery
  • infertility
  • serious health problems in newborns
  • Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics.

3. Chlamydia

According to the US CDC, chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection spread by bacteria and it is not experienced most the time.

If there are, they are like gonorrhea. If left untreated, the following problems may occur:-

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID- Pelvic inflammatory disease)
  • Infertility
  • Blindness in newborns

It is also treated with antibiotics:

4. Syphilis

Syphilis is also a bacterial infection that is usually transmitted through having sex with an infected person. Syphilis is also called syphilis. 

It is an infection of the reproductive organs and if not treated early can cause complications and turn into serious health problems. Later it may have the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Muscle pain

If left untreated, the following problems may occur:-

  • Peripheral nerve damage
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Newborn babies often die when they suffer from it.

5. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV can cause the following health problems:-

  • Genital warts
  • Cervical cancer
  • Oral cancer
  • Penile cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer

There is no cure for HPV. Although a vaccine is available, it can protect against some dangerous cancers caused by HPV.

6. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

HIV i.e. Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that harms the body’s immune system and weakens the immunity of a person day by day. Feeling of fever every two to three days and sometimes high fever is the first symptom of HIV. 

An early symptom of HIV is being more tired than before or feeling tired all the time. In HIV, the weight of the patient does not decrease immediately. Every day gradually there is an effect on the body system and there is a weight reduction.

Other STDs Other, less common STDs are:

  1. Chancroid
  2. Lymphogranuloma venereum
  3. Molluscum contagiosum
  4. Pubic lice

Diagnosis of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Most STDs cannot be diagnosed based on symptoms. Tests are needed to determine if you have an STD and if so which STD.

Nowadays, most STDs are diagnosed by urine or blood tests. In addition, the virus can be checked for by cleaning the wound with a brush. Vaginal swabs can also be used to diagnose STDs by taking samples from the urethra and vagina.

You can also get tested for STDs at your doctor’s clinic. Although nowadays there are also home testing kits available, they are not always reliable.

There is also the option of STD testing on the Internet. Like the at-home kits, the quality of its testing also varies.

It is important to know that a Pap smear is not a test for STDs. Some women may be tested for HPV. However, a negative Pap smear does not mean that you do not have other STDs. You will have to get tested for each STD separately.

Treatment of STD

The treatment of STDs depends on their type. Depending on the type of STD you have, you and your partner should be successfully treated for an STD before having sex. Otherwise, you can spread this infection.

  • Bacterial STD

Bacterial infections can usually be treated fairly easily with antibiotics. It is important to use all antibiotics as per the doctor’s advice. You should continue taking them even if you start feeling better. 

If your symptoms do not go away with treatment or if they come back, you should tell your doctor without delay.

  • Viral STD

There is usually no cure for viral infections. However, there are treatments available for many of these viral infections. Treatment is very effective in stopping HIV from progressing. 

Medications are also available to reduce the severity of shingles. In addition, antiviral drugs can reduce the risk of transmitting STDs to a partner.

  • Other STDs 

Some STDs are neither caused by viruses or by bacteria but they can be caused by other organisms :-

  • Pubic Lice
  • Scabies
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Hepatitis

These STDs are usually easily treated with appropriate oral medications.

STD Prevention

Moderation is the only way to avoid these diseases. Apart from this, the use of condoms during sex and cleaning the genitals with soap after sex are the best ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. 

The investigation and treatment of these diseases should be accessible to all and common people should be given proper information regarding these diseases so that people suffering from these diseases can give up fear, shame, hesitation, etc., and seek medical advice. Get vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis if possible.

You can protect yourself from secret diseases by the following measures – 

  • By getting yourself and your partner examined before making a relationship.
  • Correct use of latex condoms by men reduces the risk of contracting these diseases. 
  • However, female condoms are not as effective as men’s. But if the man does not use it, then the woman must use it.
  • Get sex tests done from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs

1.Which sexually transmitted diseases are incurable?

Ans:- There are four sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) that are incurable: human papilloma virus (HPV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), HIV, and Hepatitis B.

2. Which STDs are transmitted from horses to humans?

Ans:- The name of the STD in horses is Equine Venereal Diseases. Yes, this can be transferred from horse but happening this is very rare.

3. What are the gay sexually transmitted diseases symptoms?

Ans: – There is no sign and symptoms initially until they get tested. The most common symptoms can be seen as irritation in the beginning in areas around the arse or balls (like Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea). Other flu-like symptoms can be seen in cases of Hepatitis A, B, and C.

(Disclaimer: The information in this part of the article is for educational purposes only. All results must be clinically correlated with patient data in order to make an accurate diagnosis.)


  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Sexually Transmitted Diseases 
  2. Office on women’s health [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Sexually transmitted infections 
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; How You Can Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases 
  4. American Academy of Pediatrics. Diagnostic Testing For Sexually Transmitted Infections. Committee on Infectious Diseases Pediatrics [internet] 
  5. Centre for Health Informatics. [Internet]. National Institute of Health and Family Welfare Sexually transmitted infections 
  6. National institute of child health and human development [internet]. US Department of Health and Human Services; What causes sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

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