Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) affect millions of people each year. The most common STDs are gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. While even thinking about STDs and whether you may have one is scary, knowing the facts can make a big difference in your long-term health. Here is what you need to know:
People who are sexually active with multiple partners and are not using barrier protection are at most risk. Teenagers are a large part of this group, because they dont always practice safe sex and they are more likely to have multiple partners. It is recommended that women who are sexually active with multiple partners get screened yearly or immediately after they have engaged in unprotected sex. If you discover that you have an STD, both you and your partner would most likely be treated with antibiotics.
Approximately 350,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported to the CDC in 2006, but because not everyone is getting tested for STDs, experts believe the actual numbers are twice that.
The symptoms for gonorrhea are burning with urination, abnormal discharge or pelvic pain. Pelvic pain indicates a very severe infection. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to a serious infection as the disease may spread to a womans fallopian tubes and cause infertility.
There were 1,000,000 cases of chlamydia reported to the CDC in 2006; experts think the actual rate of infection is as high as 2,000,000 cases.
Chlamydia is often called the silent disease because many people with chlamydia have no symptoms. Chlamydia can affect the urethra, the vagina, the cervix and the fallopian tubes. Symptoms include burring with urination, abnormal discharge and pelvic pain. If you are experiencing any of these systems you should see your doctor to determine if you have chlamydia. Women with chlamydia who arent treated are likely to develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Pelvic inflammatory disease occurs when the infection spreads and causes scarring to the uterus and fallopian tubes. Untreated chlamydia can result in infertility.
Trichomoniasis is the most common STD. About 7 million women and men have trichomoniasis. Women who have trichomoniasis will often experience a frothy yellow or green discharge coming from their vagina. But some people wont have any symptoms.
Understanding STDs, what causes them, and how to treat them will help you stay in control of your health.