Sexually transmitted diseases are the result of infections which are spread through sexual contact. The difference between a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is the presence of symptoms. The condition is considered an STI until symptoms present, then it is considered an STD. Many STIs do not cause symptoms immediately and a person can carry the infection for months or even years before they know they have and STI. Many STDs and STIs can be successfully treated once diagnosed through STD screening. However, without treatment, some may cause particularly serious health problems and can even be fatal if not treated.
The good news is you can protect yourself and your partners from getting an STD by using safe sex practices. Using condoms and other barrier forms of birth control allow you to significantly reduce your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Regular screening is important as well. As many of STDs don’t cause immediate symptoms regular screening allows early detection and treatment which is typically easier and more effective than trying to treat a condition in later stages. Treatment typically involves some form of medication, usually an antibiotic, which will need to be prescribed by one of the physicians at The Women’s Health Center. However, some of these diseases such as herpes and HPV are not curable, only manageable.
There are several documented STDs and they are very common in the United States. Over 50% of all people in America will become infected with an STD or STI at least one time during their lives. Forms of STDs include:
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