The first step in securing your sexual health is having the right knowledge.
In this two-part blog series, we are defining some of the key terms you should know when it comes to STDs, starting with the beginning of the alphabet.
Your STD Dictionary
Antibiotic like penicillin or azithromycin can be used to treat bacterial STDs. They do not have an effect on viral STDs, however, and in some cases, there are concerns about STDs growing antibiotic-resistant.
Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms. They can be independent or parasitic. There are several bacteria that cause different STDs, such as:
- Gonnococcus: gonorrhea
- Chlamydia trachomatis: chlamydia
- Neisseria gonorrhea: gonorrhea
- Treponema pallidum: syphilis
Chlamydia is an STD that frequently occurs in the throat, urethra, cervix, or rectum. It can be very damaging to a woman’s Fallopian tubes, leading to tubal pregnancy, infertility, and pelvic infection. Many infected individuals have no symptoms.
Many STDs have symptoms including unusual vaginal or penile discharge. When you notice strange fluids from your genitals, it may be time for STD testing.
When a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, then an ectopic pregnancy has occurred. Several STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is a risk factor for ectopic pregnancy.
The foreskin is the fold of skin covering the head of the penis. Many newborn males are circumcized at birth, meaning their foreskin is surgically removed. Circumcision lowers STD risk, especially HIV risk.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial STD. In men, it can cause yellow discharge, burning, and itching. In women, it is often asymptomatic. When symptoms do occur they can include frequent urinate, yellow vaginal discharge, and swelling and itching of the genitals.
Infertility is the inability or hindered ability to conceive and bear children. There are several STDs that can lead to infertility, including chlamydia and gonorrhea.
This is a common fungal infection that many people call ringworm. It occurs on the skin of the buttocks, genitals, and inner thighs, most commonly among the overweight or individuals who sweat excessively, such as athletes. Though not technically considered an STD, jock itch can cause discomfort if skin-to-skin genital contact occurs.
The liver is our body’s largest organ, responsible for manufacturing key proteins, processing fats, storing carbohydrates, secreting bile, and eliminate harmful biochemical products. Hepatitis B is one STD that affects the liver, damaging it to the point of scarring, liver failure, and even liver cancer.
Your mouth is, of course, the start of the digestive tract, the orifice with which you eat. What some people don’t realize, however, is that the mouth can be a place where STDs occur and are spread. Oral sex is still risky when STDs are involved.