Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are generally acquired by sexual contact. STIs are caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. Many of these infections can be transmitted through any type of sex. That includes intercourse, oral sex and other sexual acts where there is intimate contact and an exchange of bodily fluids.
The most common STIs include:
- Genital warts, also called “human papillomavirus” or “HPV”
- Human immunodeficiency virus, also called “HIV” – This is the virus that causes AIDS.
- Genital herpes, also called “herpes simplex virus” or “HSV”
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
Symptoms of STIs
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have a range of signs and symptoms. That’s why they may go unnoticed until complications occur or a partner is diagnosed. Signs and symptoms that might indicate an STI include:
- Sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area
- Painful or burning urination
- Discharge from the penis
- Unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sex
- Sore, swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the groin but sometimes more widespread
- Lower abdominal pain
- Rash over the trunk, hands or feet
Signs and symptoms may appear a few days to years after exposure, depending on the organism.
- Having unprotected sex
- Having sexual contact with multiple partners
- Anyone forced to have sexual intercourse or sexual activity
- Abusing alcohol or using recreational drugs
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are typically spread through sexual contact. They can be passed in blood, semen or vaginal and other bodily fluids. They can also be spread from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth, through blood transfusions and shared needles. STIs can be spread even when someone isn’t experiencing the symptoms associated with an STI.
If someone believes they have a sexually transmitted infection (STIs), it can be diagnosed through a blood test, urine sample, fluid sample or lesion swabbing.
- Use condoms and dental dams consistently and correctly
- Get vaccinated for viral STI’s preventable with a vaccine
- Don’t drink alcohol excessively or use drugs
- Communicate with your partner
- Stay with 1 uninfected partner
- Consider male circumcision
- Consider PrEP
WHAT PATIENTS ARE SAYING
Some kind words from our respected patients