STDs: The Basic Facts

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Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). You can acquire an STD through vaginal, anal or oral sexual contact with an infected partner who may or may not have symptoms or signs of an infection.  Most of these infections do not go away on their own.  You may be embarrassed or feel guilty if you think you have a sexually transmitted infection, but it’s important to see your doctor. Untreated STDs can cause complications for your health and the health of your partner.

STDs are usually caused by bacteria or viruses.  Some common symptoms may include:

  • Rashes, open sores, blisters or warts in the genital area
  • Uncomfortable or painful intercourse
  • Swelling or tenderness
  • Pus, bleeding, odor or abnormal discharge
  • Burning during urination
  • Sometimes there may be no symptoms at all

Women usually make an appointment with their gynecologist, but both men and women may see their regular doctor for STD testing.  Anyone can make an appointment for an STD test using Planned Parenthood’s website.  For a discount code, click here. Continue reading