4 STIs: Symptoms and Treatments

Are you a sexually active adult? If you are, you should know the signs and symptoms of common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 

Some STIs have no symptoms until damage to your body is done. That’s why it’s critically important to get tested for STIs at recommended screening times, and more often if you think you’re at risk. 

Our board-certified physicians at NY Family Docs can perform testing for a wide range of STIs. Following is information on the symptoms and treatment for four of the most common ones. 

HPV

Most sexually active adults in the United States contract human papillomavirus (HPV), which has more than 40 types. It’s spread through all forms of sexual contact as well as skin-to-skin contact. 

Most of the time your body sheds the virus with no ill effects. However, a couple of the strains can cause genital warts — small lumps on the vagina or penis. Other HPV strains cause cancer of the cervix and penis as well as mouth and throat. 

Genital warts can be frozen or burned off, as can other types of warts. Your doctor explains the best treatment if you have genital warts. 

Young adults are able to get a vaccine to protect against HPV. A Pap smear in a woman can detect abnormal cells that could lead to cervical cancer caused by HPV.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most often reported STI in the nation. Women may have a vaginal discharge or experience a sharp burning sensation when you urinate. Men may have the same symptoms, in addition to pain or swelling in the testicles. 

Treatment for chlamydia is via oral antibiotic. Why is prompt treatment important? If the disease spreads to a woman’s reproductive organs, she may develop pelvic inflammatory disease, which can result in infertility or an ectopic pregnancy

You’re more at risk for HIV if you have chlamydia; an open sore can permit HIV to enter your bloodstream. 

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea symptoms in both men and women include a painful burning feeling when urinating and an abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis. 

Men sometimes also have swollen, painful testicles, and women may experience abnormal bleeding. Many women don’t have any symptoms, however, which adds to their risk. 

Untreated gonorrhea in men can lead to a painful condition in the vas deferens which in some cases causes sterility. Women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease and its complications, as with chlamydia. Liked chlamydia, gonorrhea can be treated with an antibiotic. 

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact. It can be very painful, and there’s no cure. You may get pain, itching, and white or red bumps or blisters inside the vagina or on the penis. Scabs form crusts as blisters begin to heal. The first outbreak may include flu-like symptoms. 

If you have genital herpes and don’t have symptoms at the moment, you can still pass it on to your partner.

Antiviral medications are used to treat genital herpes. Because there is no cure, it affects your intimate relationships. Your physician provides treatment to minimize the effect of the virus. 

Call NY Family Docs for all of your health care needs; it’s easy to get an appointment at one of our 10 convenient locations. 

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