Facts about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
One of the most common vaginal infections. It occurs when the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted.
A common STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman's reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb).
- Condoms and lube
Condoms and other barriers, when used consistently and correctly, greatly reduce the risk of HIV and other STDs. Most condom failures result from incorrect use of the condom, not because the condom itself was faulty.
- Genital herpes
Most people who have genital herpes do not know they have it. Symptoms include painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons.
Gonorrhea infects the mucous membranes of the reproductive tract, including the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women, and the urethra in women and men. It can also infect the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, eyes, and rectum.
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver and is often caused by a virus. Learn more about the different types of hepatitis.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the most common STD in the United States. There are over 40 different types of HPV. HPV can infect the genital area, mouth and throat of males and females.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs.
Syphilis is a curable condition that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. The painless syphilis sore that you would get after you are first infected can be confused for an ingrown hair, zipper cut, or other seemingly harmless bump.
Trichomoniasis (or "trich") is a very common and curable STD. About 70% of infected people do not have any signs or symptoms. When trichomoniasis does cause symptoms, they can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation.