Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases or infections that are transmitted from one person to another through anal, oral or vaginal sex. While some STDs may cause no symptoms at all, others can be life-threatening. There are more than two dozen different types of STDs. Some of the most common are: human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B, and immunodeficiency virus (HIV). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20 million new STD infections occur annually in this country.
Some STDs have no treatment, or cure and can be a danger to any partner you have sex with.
Often STDs cause no symptoms at all, especially in the early stages. For that reason regular testing is crucial. When symptoms do occur, they may appear as lesions, tumors, or blemishes in the genital area or an abnormal vaginal discharge. If you experience any of these, seek a medical evaluation right away.
After evaluating your situation, Dr. Lipton will determine the appropriate treatment. Not all STDs are treatable but should still be monitored by a medical professional. Others are treated with antiviral or antibiotics, while genital warts may be treated with cryotherapy.
The best way to prevent STDs is by practicing safe sex, which means using condoms or dental dams to help prevent skin-to-skin contact and exchanges of bodily fluids that often cause STDs.
Regular STD screenings are also essential. Since you can be infected and not have symptoms, routine testing is the only way to be sure you’re not unknowingly passing along diseases to your partner.
The CDC recommends that sexually active women younger than age 25 and those who have risk factors such as a new or multiple sex partners, get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea annually.
Kyle Lipton, MD, FACOG, FACS accepts most major insurance plans. Please contact our office directly with any questions.
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