Amelia Grant

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Author: AmeliaGrant

5 Most Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Their Symptoms

Sexually transmitted diseases are bacterial infections or viruses that usually spread through the vaginal, mouth, or anal sex. More than 20 million people worldwide get infected with STDs every year. The untreated sexually transmitted disease can cause serious health problems and even lead to infertility. For this reason, if you are sexually active, you need to be aware of common STDs and know their symptoms. This can help you start treatment immediately and preserve your health. 

Below are 5 most common STDs and their symptoms. 

1. Genital herpes
Genital herpes is the most common sexually transmitted disease. Because genital herpes is very contagious, you can easily catch this infection even while using a condom. After you get infected with genital herpes, this disease remains in your organism forever. Most times of the year the virus is inactive but it can reactivate several times a year and cause flares. 

During the flares, genital herpes causes painful and itching sores or blisters on the genitals. When the blisters rupture, ulcers may form in your genital area. As the ulcers heal, scabs may form. In some cases, genital herpes doesn’t cause symptoms. But even without symptoms, a person still remains contagious. If you have had unprotected sex, it is crucial to get an STD screening.

2. Human papillomavirus
Human papillomavirus is the second most common infection that can be passed through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, and oral). Having unprotected sex increases your risk of getting HPV infection significantly because most people don’t even realize they are infected. 

The symptoms of human papillomavirus often don’t cause noticeable symptoms, except the warts in your genital area. Moreover, most cases of HPV go away on their own and without treatment within 2 years. But all this time you can spread the infection. If the virus doesn’t go away, it can increase your risk of severe health problems, including cervical cancer. 

3. Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a widespread sexually transmitted infection. You can get it through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal contact with an infected person. The virus can also be spread through the blood and saliva. Most people can successfully recover from hepatitis B. But if this condition lasts more than 6 months, it becomes chronic and can increase your risk of serious complications like liver failure or liver cancer.

The symptoms of hepatitis B usually develop after four months after getting a virus. They can range from mild to severe. The common symptoms include dark urine, abdominal pain, high fever, nausea, fatigue, and yellowish skin tint. 

4. Chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacterial disease that is commonly transmitted through sexual contact. This condition usually affects young women but a man may also catch it. Chlamydia is generally isn’t a dangerous and easily treatable disease, but if untreated it can cause serious complications. 

Some people with chlamydia don’t even know they are infected because they have a few or no symptoms. Even when symptoms occur, they are usually mild and can easily be missed. That is why you need to get tested if you have had unprotected sex. Some of the symptoms you may experience include vaginal or penis discharges, painful urination, pain during sex, and bleeding between periods. 

5. Syphilis
Syphilis is another bacterial infection that usually spreads through oral, anal, or vaginal sex. After getting an infection, the syphilis bacteria can remain inactive in your body for many years before it reactivates. Without treatment, this infection can cause serious damage to organs like the heart, brain, or others. In some cases, syphilis causes severe life-threatening complications. 

The disease usually starts as painless sores in the genital area, rectum, and mouth depending on the way you get an infection (vaginal, anal, or oral sex). The sores are usually healthy on their own within four weeks. Several weeks after the sores get healed, you may get a rash that starts from the trunk but covers the whole body over time. The rash usually doesn’t cause itching or other unpleasant feelings.

After the rash disappears, the disease moves to the latent stage when you have no symptoms. This stage can last for several years until the disease reactivates. If the disease reactivates, it can cause serious complications like brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints damage. 


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