Diplomate of the Osteopathic Board of Family Medice

and of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases (referred to as "STDs") are diseases that are usually spread through sexual activity. They include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, and syphilis. Except for colds and influenza, STDs are the most common contagious diseases in the United States. Left untreated, sexually transmitted diseases can lead to serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease in women (an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes) and epididymitis in men (inflammation of the epididymis—a coiled tube by the testis) in men. These complications from STDs can cause infertility and increase the risk for certain cancers.

Many STDs can be spread by means other than sexual activity, such as contact with body fluids from an infected person, and can be passed from a mother to her newborn baby.

Symptoms of an STD Infection:

Burning sensation in the urethra when urinating.
Sores, bumps, rashes, or blisters in the genital or anal area Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis.
Itching, pain, or discharge in the anal area. Redness or swelling in the genital area.
Pain in the pelvic or abdominal area.
Discomfort during intercourse, such as; Pain, soreness, irritation or bleeding after intercourse. Recurring yeast infections.

Remember that many people with STDs may not experience symptoms; yet, the infection may be silently damaging their internal organs, and they may be unwittingly spreading the infection to others.

The Importance of Screening

Anyone who is sexually active should have regular checkups for sexually transmitted diseases. If you are infected, you can receive medication to treat the infection and prevent spreading the disease to others by sexual contact or to your baby, if you are pregnant.

Lowering Your Risk of STD Infection

If you are sexually active, there are several ways to lower your risk of STD infection.
Be in a mutually exclusive monogamous relationship.

Before beginning a sexual relationship, many couples discuss and agree that they will only have sex with each other.  They are then screened for STDs and show the results to each other, proving that they are free of sexually transmitted diseases.  If one partner is infected, precautions can then be taken by both partners to minimize the risk of transmission.

Practice safe sex

Correctly use a new latex condom from the beginning throughout the duration of sexual contact.  This includes during vaginal or anal intercourse, oral sex, or “manual stimulation.”

Avoid contact with body fluids and tissues, such as Vaginal fluids, semen and/or any open sores.

Have regular checkups for STDs.

If you feel that you could have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, please call for an appointment so that I may perform the appropriate tests and, if necessary, provide treatment for you.