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Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Ambulatory Care


A sexually transmitted disease (STD)

is an infection caused by bacteria or a virus. It is also known as a sexually transmitted infection. STDs are spread by oral, genital, or anal sex. Some examples of STDs are chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. HIV and viral hepatitis are the most common sexually transmitted infections.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Blisters, warts, sores, or a rash on your skin that may be painful
  • Discharge from the penis, vagina, or anus that may have a foul smell
  • Fever, muscle pain, or swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Inflammation and itching of the skin
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain, or pain during sex or when urinating
  • Sore throat, mouth ulcers, or trouble swallowing
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting after sex

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Genital swelling or pain, or unusual bleeding
  • Joint pain, rash, swollen lymph nodes, or night sweats
  • Severe abdominal pain

Treatment for STDs

may include antibiotics if the STD is caused by bacteria. You may be given antivirals if it is caused by a virus. You may also be given antifungals for a fungal infection, such as a yeast infection.

How to prevent an STD:

  • Use a latex condom if you have oral, genital, or anal sex. Use a new condom each time. Use a polyurethane condom if you are allergic to latex. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about condoms.
  • Do not douche. Douching upsets the normal balance of bacteria are found in your vagina. It does not prevent or clear up vaginal infections.
  • Do not have sex with someone who has an STD. This includes oral and anal sex.
  • Limit sexual partners. Have sex with one person who is not having sex with anyone else.
  • Do not have sex during treatment. Do not have sex while you or your partners are being treated for an STD.
  • Get screening tests. If you are sexually active, get screening for STDs on a regular basis.
  • Get vaccinated. Vaccines may help to prevent your risk of some STDs. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about vaccines for STDs.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.