Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that can be transmitted from one person to another through any type of sexual contact. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD in women, and is also the leading cause of cervical cancer. It is mainly spread through vaginal or anal sex, but it can also be contracted through oral sex. Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the United States, and is caused by bacteria, so it's treated with antibiotics.
Gonorrhea is easily treated with antibiotics, and syphilis is a complicated disease with four stages. The primary stage has a sore as the main symptom, and the secondary stage begins with a rash on the body, followed by sores in the mouth, vagina, or anus. Herpes is a virus, so it can't be cured, but you can take medicines to control it. Trichomoniasis is caused by a tiny parasite and is more common in women than men.
It can cause itching, burning, or pain in the genitals. Knowledge is power when it comes to your sexual health. Recognizing symptoms is a start, but you won't always notice chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and other STDs. You'll need to get tested to protect yourself and your partner.
Fortunately, all of these common STDs can be treated and most can be cured. It is important to repeat the test within three months after treatment, even if your partner has also received treatment. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. The best way to prevent chlamydia is to have safe sex by always using condoms and getting tested regularly for STDs if you're sexually active (especially if you're not in a monogamous relationship with a disease-free partner).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 2.8 million cases of the most common STDs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, and a higher prevalence rate among women. Preventing the spread of STDs depends on counseling people at risk and on the early diagnosis and treatment of infections. At this stage, patients may initially experience many different symptoms, but most commonly they develop a skin rash which usually appears on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet which is not itchy. Lice (commonly called crabs) are small bugs that are visible to the naked eye without the aid of a magnifying glass or microscope. If you are diagnosed with a positive STD, know that all of them can be treated with medication and some are completely curable. The most common alternative treatment is doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox, and others).
HPV can be prevented by vaccination or treated with medication if caught early.