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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
A sexually transmitted disease (STD)
A sexually transmitted disease (STD), is also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI). An STD is an infection caused by bacteria or a virus. STDs are spread by oral, genital, or anal sex. Some examples of STDs are HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea.
Common signs and symptoms include the following:
You may have one or more of the following depending on the STD you have:
- 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 care immediately if:
- You have genital swelling or pain, or unusual bleeding.
- You have joint pain, rash, swollen lymph nodes, or night sweats.
- You have severe abdominal pain.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your symptoms do not go away or they get worse, even after treatment.
- You have bleeding or pain during sex.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for STDs
may include medicines to treat your infection.
Prevent the spread of an STD:
Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the following safe sex practices:
- Use condoms. 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.
- 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 regularly if you are sexually active.
- 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.
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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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Learn more about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Ambulatory Care)
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