Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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First Class STD Care and Prevention
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There are over 20 sexually transmitted diseases, but some are more common than others.

By age 25, one in two people who are sexually active will develop an STD. With the most common STDs, both women and men can become infected.

  • Knowing the symptoms can help patients to identify a possible infection so that they can promptly seek treatment.
  • It is important to have any suspected STDs evaluated promptly by a doctor. They will not resolve without the proper treatment.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a type of bacterial infection. In many cases, patients do not experience noticeable symptoms in the early stage. Once they do occur, they may include:

  • Painful urination
  • Testicular pain
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Penile discharge

It is also possible for the rectum to be affected, causing discharge, pain, or bleeding. Antibiotics are used to treat this infection. Patients may take a course of antibiotics for five to 10 days or get a one-time dose.

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Gonorrhea

This STD is a type of bacterial infection. Just like chlamydia, patients may not experience symptoms in the early stages. Once they do occur, they might include:

  • Painful urination
  • Testicular swelling or pain
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain

In addition to the genitals becoming infected, gonorrhea might also affect the throat, rectum, eyes or joints. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat this STD. Certain strains of this infection that are emerging are proving to be drug-resistant. In these cases, patients might receive more than one antibiotic. The medications may be given orally or injected.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection. This STD can develop in the rectum, mouth, or genitals. There are several different stages that can occur:

  • Primary syphilis is characterized by a chancre sore developing. In most cases, it is only one, but it is possible for several to develop. This sore generally presents itself within three weeks of being exposed.
  • Secondary syphilis is typically characterized by a rash starting a few weeks following the sore healing. It tends to cover the whole body but starts at the trunk. Muscle aches, sore throat, hair loss, fever and swollen lymph nodes are also possible.
  • Latent syphilis is possible in those who are not treated. This stage can last for years.
  • The tertiary stage affects up to 30 percent of people who do not receive treatment. Organ, joint, and tissue damage is possible.

In the early stages, an antibiotic is generally all that is needed. However, if the condition gets to the tertiary stage, the damage will determine the treatment.

Genital Warts

The human papillomavirus is responsible for these warts. The warts may appear as gray or flesh colored. They tend to occur in clusters. Genital discomfort and itching are possible. Medications to help fight the warts and surgery to remove them are often utilized.

Genital Herpes

This form of herpes is caused by a virus. Not all patients have noticeable symptoms, but when they do occur, they might include:

  • Itching or pain
  • Ulcers
  • Tiny white blisters or red bumps
  • Scabs

There is no cure for genital herpes. However, there are antiviral medications that may help to make the condition more manageable.