Because many STIs (sexually transmitted infections) do not show symptoms, you may not even know you are infected. Below are some of the most common STIs and the characteristics associated with each. While most STIs are treatable, some have long-lasting side effects.
The Most Commonly Treated STIs
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs, with more than 90 million cases reported each year globally, and more than half of those cases occur in women.
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), putting women at high risk for infertility and ectopic pregnancies. While chlamydia is treatable with antibiotics, many women never experience any symptoms.
The main symptom of gonorrhea is a thick discharge from the penis or vagina. However, approximately 50% of women will not experience any symptoms at all. Gonorrhea may also infect the rectum, throat, eyes, blood, skin, and joints.
Side effects include painful urination, painful sexual intercourse in women, vaginal bleeding between periods and after sex, testicular pain, and more.
Most strains of gonorrhea can be cured, but a new strain is currently resistant to all antibiotics.
HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is the most common STI. There are more than 100 strains of HPV, and most of those strains exhibit no symptoms. While some cases of HPV will disappear over time, some can cause cervical cancer and other types of cancer.
HPV warts (genital warts, common warts, plantar warts, etc.) may be treated in various ways, but cancer-causing HPV must be monitored and cannot be cured with antibiotics.
Trichomoniasis affects about 5 million people in the US every year. It is one of the most common causes of vaginal infections in women and can also cause urethra infections in men. A large amount of a thin, often foul-smelling discharge from the vagina might be clear, white, gray, yellow, or green, genital redness, burning and itching, pain with urination or sex, and discomfort over the lower stomach area.
In men, trichomoniasis rarely causes symptoms. Men can experience itching or irritation inside the penis, burning with urination or after ejaculation, and discharge from the penis. While trichomoniasis can be contracted sexually, it can also live on infected objects, which makes it even easier to contract.
Your Next Steps
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, have recently had unprotected sex, or have an abortion appointment scheduled, you need to get tested immediately.
Elevation Women’s Healthcare offers their clients comprehensive STI testing and treatment free of charge. Contact Elevation Women’s Healthcare to learn more about our free services and how we can help.