What Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)?

STDs/STIs are sexually transmitted diseases/infections are otherwise known as venereal diseases which are transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse that include genital contact. The spread of these infections is through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. There is a range of various symptoms involved in 25 different STDs/STIs.

STD or sexually transmitted disease has another name which is STI or sexually transmitted infection. STI is now the preferred term used because some STDs can infect but not cause any disease. Take the case of Chlamydia. One can get infected with Chlamydia yet do not show any signs and symptoms associated with the disease. When there is the absence of symptoms, people believe that they do not have a disease even when there is the presence of an infection that needs to be treated.

Sometimes the only way you will be able to know you have an STD would be the manifestation of symptoms or your sexual partner tells you that you are infected because he or she has been diagnosed with STD. The absence of symptoms still makes an infected person infectious. Some STDs can be passed by an infected mother to her unborn child.

If you suspect that you may have been exposed to an STD, you should see a doctor. Most STDs are curable, but it can also bring serious medical conditions if left untreated.

Here are some of the most common genital diseases and STDs:


Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is bacterial in nature and one of the most reported. It infects the cervix in women, and the eyes, urethra, and rectum of both sexes. An infected person can pass the infection through sexual intercourse and genital contact. Infertility problems will be one of the serious health conditions if left untreated for a long time.

Genital warts

Some sub-types of HPV or human papilloma virus cause genital warts. They appear in the genital area looking like lumps shaped like a cauliflower which could be fleshy and large or small bumps colored flesh or white. They are hard to spot as they are painless. Having a wart on the cervix may make a woman experience colored discharges from the vagina or may have some slight bleeding.


Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that is popularly called in slang language as ‘the clap’. It can infect the throat, urethra, anus, cervix, and rectum. It may not have any symptoms but if it does, it appears between 1 to 14 days after infection and may include:

  • If the rectum is infected there will be discharges or irritation from the anus
  • Painful urination
  • Changes in the discharges from the vagina
  • A yellow or white discharge from the penis


Inflammation of the liver due to viral infections is called hepatitis. There are several kinds of hepatitis virus that have been named after the alphabet, from A to G. The most common types are A, B, and C. Prolonged and excessive use of alcohol or usage of certain drugs and medications can lead to hepatitis but the common infection comes from a virus.

There are more varieties of STDs and learning more about them could make you see ways and means to prevent acquiring them. Prevention is still the best choice against a cure.

Symptoms of Gonorrhea

One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases that can be transmitted during an unprotected sexual activity is gonorrhea. It is often referred to as ‘the clap’ or ‘the drip’ and the highest infected groups are the following:

  • Habitual drug users
  • Young adults and adolescents
  • African Americans
  • Often Poor people living in the southern states or urban areas

The bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea through anal, vaginal or oral sexual relations which are the means of transference.

  • During vaginal childbirth, a mother infected with gonorrhea may pass the infection to her newborn.
  • There is a 20% risk of men getting infected when they engage in sexual relations with an infected woman.
  • A woman stands a high 50% risk of infection when she has sexual intercourse with an infected man.


In women, it could take as long as three weeks before they show symptoms but the usual route is around 2 to 10 days.


It should be noted that women have a small percentage of showing symptoms which could unwittingly make them spread the infection especially when she is sexually active with multiple partners. Symptoms when they occur may include:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is a serious health risk that causes infertility to women
  • Irritation and infection of the vagina
  • Irritation and infection of the cervix
  • Burning and itching of the vagina
  • Thick green or yellow colored discharges in the vagina
  • Painful sex
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination


  • Most of the time, there will be thick, yellow colored discharges from the penis
  • Inflammation of infection of the prostate gland
  • Burning or pain sensation when urinating
  • Infection or inflammation of the testicles



The mucous membranes of the eyes become irritated which could cause blindness if left untreated.

Rectal and oral symptoms

  • Discharges or rectal pain is a sign that infection is in the anal area where sexual intercourse could have been done.
  • A Sore throat can be an effect of a gonococcal infection which is caused by the gonorrhea infection transmitted during oral sex.

Medical help

As soon as you suspect that you have been infected with gonorrhea, set an appointment with your health care provider. It will even be more important should you show the following symptoms:

  • Had sexual relations with a person infected with gonorrhea
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Pus-like discharges from the vagina or penis
  • Pain and discharges from the anus
  • Painful urination
  • Appearance of a dark centered rash
  • Fatigue

It should be noted that an early onset of gonorrhea that is tested and treated stand a better chance of quick recovery. It is recommended that sexually active people with multiple sex partners get a yearly STD test in order to rule out STDs that do not show any symptoms like gonorrhea. This will not only lead to prevent serious health conditions but also help contain the spread of infection.

Know More About Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Once transmitted it quickly grows in the moist and warm areas of the body including:

  • Reproductive organs of women which include the uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix
  • The urethra which is the tube that drains the urinary bladder of urine
  • Anus
  • Eyes
  • Vagina
  • Penis
  • Throat

Unprotected sex through the vagina, mouth, and anus transmit gonorrhea. People who have the greatest risk of infection are those who do not use a condom and have multiple sex partners. Protection against the infection can best be achieved with the use of a condom in every sexual activity, or abstinence or a monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

Signs and symptoms


It usually takes around two to five days after infection for symptoms to happen. However, there are some men who may never show symptoms while it may take several weeks for some men to develop symptoms.

For women, the developed symptoms may be related to other infections or milder in a form. Even without the presence of symptoms, the infected person is still highly contagious. This symptom-free occurrence is the cause of widespread infection because the infected people are unaware of the infection.

The first symptom to be noticed in men is often a painful or burning sensation when urinating. It may also include:

  • Recurring sore throat
  • Frequency of urination
  • Pain or swelling in the testicles
  • Green, white or yellow colored pus-like discharges from the penis
  • Redness or swelling at the penis’ opening

Gonorrhea symptoms in women may be tricky as it could be similar to bacterial or vaginal yeast infections. Symptoms may have the following:

  • Fever
  • Foul smelling discharges from the vagina
  • Pain in the lower abdominal area
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Frequency of urination
  • Sore throat

If gonorrhea is left untreated, the infection may well spread to the bloodstream where the body may develop joint pains, rashes, and fever.


There are several ways a healthcare professional can diagnose gonorrhea. Vaginal or penis discharges will be taken as a specimen and exposed to a stain. The reaction of the cells to the stain would probably be gonorrhea. It is a quick and easy test but could not be termed reliable.

Another way is to take samples of vaginal and penile discharges and incubating it for a couple of days inside a special dish. A growth of gonorrhea bacteria will be the way to determine the infection.

It will take three days before final results can be determined. Some of the samples that can be taken from an infected person may include fluid from the joints, the throat, blood, vagina, anus or tip of the penis. A needle is inserted with the extraction of a small amount of specimen if joint fluid or blood is needed as samples.


Gonorrhea can mostly be cured through a regimen of modern antibiotics. However, there has been a development of new strains of gonorrhea that are resistant to common antibiotics. Extensive treatment is needed that may use antibiotic combinations.