Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections that are transmitted by having vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse with an infected individual. Sometimes contact with the genitals of infected individuals or contact with infected blood can also spread STDs. The only way to know for sure that you have a STD is to get tested! Call us at 715-258-6323 or contact your doctor for more information on getting tested.

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting an STD:
  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results.
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Diseases that are transmitted sexually
Bacterial infection of genitals can lead to inflammatory disease (PID) in women and infertility in men and women
By having vaginal or anal sex without a condom with someone who has the infection; from mother-to-baby (can cause eye infection or pneumonia in newborn) Women often have no symptoms or may have pain with sexual intercourse, lower abdominal pain, changes in bleeding pattern. Men may have no symptoms or may have watery or thick discharge from penis, pain or urinating.


Recent sexual partners need treatment. Avoid sex until treatment is completed.

Genital herpes
Herpes simplex virus causes skin infection usually on mouth and lips (cold sores) or on genitals.
Close skin contact with someone with the virus; from mother-to-baby (can cause neonatal herpes- a serious condition that can cause problems in a newborn baby such as brain damage, eye problems, or even death) Painful, red blisters, little sores or ulcers, flu-like symptoms, and sometimes a discharge Anti-herpes drugs and pain relief can be given to treat symptoms, but the infection cannot be cured. Some may need medication to prevent further outbreaks. Partners may or may not catch herpes. Do not have sex when open sores are present. Condoms provide some protection.
Bacterial infection of genitals, throat or anus, can lead to infertility particularly  in women
By having vaginal, anal or oral sex without a condom with someone who has the infection; from mother-to-baby (can cause newborn eye infections) Women usually have no symptoms, but may have pain with sex, vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain. Men may have no symptoms or discharge from penis, discharge from anus, pain in testicles, pain on urinating. Antibiotics Sexual partners must be tested and treated if positive. Avoid sex until treatment is completed. Condoms provide some protection.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Highly contagious infection that is common in the U.S. There are over 150 types of HPV. Certain types of HPV can cause genital warts and cancers of the cervix, penis, vagina, anus, and throat
HPV transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, usually during sex; from mother-to-baby. Sometimes no identifiable source of transmission. Fleshy or flat lumps on or around genitals, anus, groin or thigh. 
Most people infected with HPV have no signs or symptoms. 
Most of the time, HPV goes away on its own without causing any health problems.
Visible warts can be treated, but the infection cannot be cured.
Cervical pre-cancer can be treated. Getting pap tests is the best way to identify problems before cervical cancer develops.
Condoms provide some protection.

HPV can be prevented by a vaccine. Two doses of vaccine are recommended for boys and girls at age 9-15 years, and three doses at 16-26 years of age.
Bacterial infection entering the body through breaks in skin or linings of the genital area; over time, goes on to damage internal organs (heart, brain, spinal cord)
By having vaginal, anal or oral sex without a condom with someone who has the infection; from mother-to-baby across placenta during pregnancy (congenital syphilis). Painless ulcer (chancre) usually on genitals;  later swollen glands, rash, hair loss. Antibiotics with follow-up blood tests. Sexual partners must be tested and treated if positive. Avoid sex until you and your partners have finished your treatments, and any sores are totally healed.
Trichomonas vaginalis, a small parasitic organism, causes irritation in the vagina in women and can cause an irritation inside the penis in men.
During sexual intercourse with an infected person. Women often have no symptoms, but may notice itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals; discomfort with urination;
a change in their vaginal discharge that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish with an unusual fishy smell.
Men often have no symptoms, but may notice itching or irritation inside the penis; burning after urination or ejaculation; discharge from the penis.
Antibiotic tablets and/or vaginal pessaries. Treat with antibiotics to avoid re-infection. Avoid sex until treatment is completed.
Diseases that can be transmitted sexually or may be transmitted in other ways
Hepatitis B
Viral infection which affects the liver
By having sex with an infected partner;
injection-drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment;
from mother-to-baby;
contact with blood from or open sores on an infected person;
exposures to needle sticks or sharp instruments; and
sharing certain items with an infected person that can break the skin or mucous membranes.
May have no symptoms or mild flu-like illness or vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. People with acute infection are provided supportive treatment depending on their symptoms. For people with chronic infection, several antiviral medications are available. Always use a condom if partner is not immunized.
A vaccine is available and is recommended for  all infants at birth  and for children up to 18 years.
The vaccine is also recommended for adults living with diabetes and those at risk for infection.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus attacks the white blood cells and causes damage to the immune system so that it can be difficult to fight off infections.
HIV is transmitted through blood, semen and vaginal fluids, sharing needles and from mother-to-baby. 

Some people have flu-like symptoms, but some people may not feel sick right away or at all.

HIV medicine is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). There is no effective cure for HIV. But with proper medical care, you can control HIV.
Most people can get the virus under control within six months.
Taking HIV medicine does not prevent transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases.
Practice safer sex to prevent transmission. Partners should ask for an HIV test.
Pubic lice – crabs
Small lice that live in the pubic hair and cause irritation
By close body contact, usually during sex with an infected person. Can be spread via infected bedding and clothing. Intense itching in the pubic area, small nits (eggs) on pubic hair. Special shampoo, cream, or spray applied to pubic area. Wash all clothing and bed linen. All sex partners from within the previous month should be informed that they are at risk for infestation and should be treated.
Persons should avoid sexual contact with their sex partner(s) until both they and their partners have been successfully treated.
Small mites that burrow into the skin cause irritation
By close body contact, sometimes during sex. Can be spread by sharing clothes or bedding. Itching, worse at night, and a rash on the body. Special lotion, cream or ointment. Wash all clothing and bed linen. Both sexual and close personal contacts who have had direct prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infested person within the preceding month should be examined and treated. 

Visit the CDC or the American Sexual Health Association for more information.

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