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Sexually Transmitted Diseases In Adolescents, 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 include chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. HIV and viral hepatitis are the most common sexually transmitted infections.

Common signs and symptoms of an STD include the following:

  • Blisters, warts, sores, or a rash that may be painful
  • Discharge from the penis, vagina, or anus that may have a foul smell
  • Fever, headache, muscle pain, or swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Inflammation and itching of the skin
  • Pelvic, scrotal, 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 if your child has the following symptoms:

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

Treatment for STDs

depends on the STD that your child has. Your child may be given antibiotics if the STD is caused by bacteria. He may be given antivirals if it is caused by a virus. Your child may also be given antifungals for a fungal infection, such as a yeast infection.

Ways your child can prevent the spread of STDs:

  • Avoid infected partners. Your child should not have sex with anyone who has an STD. This includes oral and anal sex.
  • Use condoms. Have your child use a latex condom every time he has sex. Tell him to use a new condom each time.
  • Limit sexual partners. Talk to your child about his sexual partners. Encourage him to have sex with only one person.
  • Do not have sex during treatment. Your child must not have sex while he or his sexual partner is being treated for an STD. The untreated partner can be infected or reinfected.
  • Get regular screening tests. If your child is sexually active, get him screened for STDs on a regular basis. This includes screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis. Girls need a Pap test.
  • Get recommended vaccines. Vaccines may help to lower your child's risk of some STDs. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information on vaccines for STDs.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

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

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.