Sexually Transmitted Disease Overview

This sexually transmitted disease overview offers high-level overview. We will look separately at some of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in more detail.

What Is Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is also known as sexually transmitted infection (STI) or venereal disease (VD).

Sexually transmitted disease is an infection that is contracted by sexual contact with a person that is already infected.

It is important to remember that you can contract sexually transmitted disease through any genital contact, not only through sexual intercourse.

Few sexually transmitted disease overview facts:

  • Most sexually transmitted diseases can affect both sexes
  • The most common causes for sexually transmitted diseases are bacteria, parasites, or viruses
  • Venereologist (a specialist in the medical branch of Venereology) is specialist in sexually transmitted infections

Common Sexually Transmitted Disease Overview

The most common sexually transmitted diseases affecting men are (in alphabetical order):

Cause Sexually Transmitted Disease Overview
Fungal Candidiasis (yeast infection)
Bacterial Chancroid
Bacterial Chlamydia
Virus Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Virus Genital Warts
Bacterial Gonorrhea
Bacterial Granuloma Inguinale
Virus Hepatitis B
Virus Herpes
Virus HIV & AIDS
Virus Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Virus Molluscum Contagiosum
Parasites Pubic Lice (Crabs)
Parasites Scabies
Bacterial Syphilis
Parasites Trichomoniasis (Trich)

How To Treat Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

Not all sexually transmitted disease are curable, but all can be treated. The treatment depends on what kind of venereal disease you have.

Viral sexually transmitted infections, like HIV, HPV and Herpes, are incurable. Medication can sometimes help to control the symptoms and keep the disease under control.

Sexually transmitted diseases caused by bacteria or parasites are however curable, usually with antibiotics.

Identifying sexually transmitted diseases early on is important, not only to reduce the risk of spreading the disease but also to improve the treatment outcome.

Some sexually transmitted diseases can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, e.g. chronic pain, infertility, and even death.

How Common Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases are very common, though how common exactly is not known for sure. It is though generally assumed that more than half of all Americans get sexually transmitted infection at some time in their lives. Many have no idea, meaning they may be infecting their sexual partners.

For informational purposes, this article shows the STD Trends In The United States Opens in new window symbol for some common sexually transmitted diseases.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

The symptoms vary depending on what kind of venereal disease you have. However, many sexually transmitted diseases have no, or very little, symptoms in the beginning and sometimes men experience no symptoms at all.

This is why getting tested on regular basis is the safest option.

How Do You Know If You Have Sexually Transmitted Disease?

The safest way to know if you have sexually transmitted infection is to get tested for STD. It is easy to get STD tested in most countries now a day and it is always confidential.

Sexually transmitted diseases STD

There are different test for the different venereal diseases. You may have to give urinary example (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea), blood test (Hepatitis B, HIV, Syphilis) or swab test (Trichomoniasis). In some cases, physical examination may also be required.

How To Prevent Contracting Sexually Transmitted Disease

Americans like acronyms so there is of course an acronym for STD prevention, or ABC.

  • A stands for abstinence
  • B stands for being faithful
  • C stands for condom

Abstinence is the only way to make sure you do not contract venereal disease. However, abstinence is usually not a realistic (or feasible) solution.

Being in monogamous relationship (with a STD free partner) is then the second best option to reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infection.

But for those that are not in monogamous relationship but are sexually active, using condom will significantly reduce your risk of contracting some sexually transmitted diseases, e.g. HIV, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

It is however important to put it on properly and to remember that the condom only protects you while you are wearing it, which is usually just during the sexual intercourse. You can also contract STD through oral sex and genital touching. For best protection, you should wear the condom during the entire sex act.

Being selective when choosing sexual partners and avoiding sexually risky behavior will also reduce your risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

You can also get vaccinations for some viral STD, like Hepatitis B and some types of HPV (e.g. genitals warts if under 26 years of age).

General hygiene is also important and you shouldn't share intimate items, like towels and underwear.

How To Prevent Spreading Sexually Transmitted Disease

If you have, or expect you might have, sexually transmitted disease it is crucial that you do not infect your sexual partners.

The safest way is to abstain from sex until you have seen a doctor and been successfully treated. Only start having sex again when your doctor has approved it.

And you must let all your sexual partners know so they can be checked and treated if necessary.

The sexually transmitted disease overview take home message is:

  • Get tested if you have any reason to suspect you have contracted STD
  • Get treated and abstain from sex until your doctor gives you go ahead
  • Choose your sexual partners carefully and avoid risky sexual behavior
  • Always use condoms unless in a monogamous relationship with a STD free partner