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5 Most Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Updated on August 11, 2019

If You're Having Sex, Be Knowledgeable.

Once you reach a certain age, the topic of sex starts to become more and more apparent. From your peers, to the shows you watch on TV, to the music you hear on the radio, sex seems to be everywhere.

It's not always easy to find the right person to talk to about these kinds of things, but a little reading can definitely make a difference. Sex has consequences like unwanted pregnancy and STD contraction, so be safe and stay educated on the matter.

Below are the top 5 most common sexually transmitted diseases.

1. Human Papillomavirus

HPV is by far the most common STD a person can contract in their life, but most variations of the virus don't hurt your body and usually goes away on it's own. It can be contracted through anal, oral, vaginal sex, but you can also get HPV through other forms of skin to skin contact. This STD can also be found in the mouth and throat. There aren't any real symptoms from the non-wart causing variety.

While most types of HPV won't make much of a difference in your body, some forms can result in genital warts; specifically types 6 and 11 have been identified as the cause of most cases of warts. Types 16 and 18 could possibly lead to cancer, so if you're having sex with more than one partner get check every 6 months to a year.


2. Chlamydia

Mostly spread by vaginal and anal sex, chlamydia is another often seen STD that can infect both men and women. Unfortunately, women get the worst of it as this sexually transmitted disease can greatly decrease their fertility. Chlamydia can be cured, but getting pregnant later on can be extremely challenging or impossible.

Symptoms of Chlamydia May Include:

  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • bleeding
  • swelling in testicles
  • pain when urinating, and sometimes defecating

If left untreated, this STD can spread to your fallopian tubes, creating inflammation and pain. Women should also note that being pregnant with chlamydia can lead to your infant having eye infections and cause premature delivery.

3. Gonorrhea

If you've ever caught the clap, just know you aren't even close to being the only one out there. In fact, 78 million people across the world are diagnosed with this sexually transmitted disease each year.

Symptoms of Gonorrhea Become Noticeable Within the First Two Weeks:

  • pain in the pelvic region and vaginal area, or testicles for men
  • Fever
  • Urge to pee frequently
  • Bloody discharge from the urethra
  • Painful sex

Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is more likely to show severe symptoms in women. Cramping and abdominal pain may be present due to inflammation of the pelvic region and your Fallopian tubes. Leaving this STD untreated can increase your risk of catching HIV. Gonorrhea is curable.

4. Herpes

One of the more severe versions of common sexually transmitted diseases, herpes is incurable. You can contract herpes even if you're wearing a condom, and it is highly contagious. Herpes can still be transmitted even if you wear a condom, all it takes is skin to skin contact. Lesions do not have to be present for you to contract this STD.

Early Symptoms of Herpes Include:

  • Fever
  • Painful urination
  • Painful blisters or open sores

While a cure hasn't been found for herpes yet, there are ways to manage and reduce symptoms. Talk with your doctor about possible medications to relieve agitation from blisters.

5. Pubic Lice or Crabs

These unpleasant little creatures attach themselves to your pubic hairs where they will live and reproduce without treatment. Even though this tiny parasite is itchy and annoying, it won't cause any serious harm to your body. They're sort of like microscopic bed bugs that feed off your blood.

You may need a magnifying glass and some good lighting to see them, but they are somewhat visible to the eye.

Symptoms of Crabs May Include:

  • itchiness in the groin
  • tiny black or blue bruises from bites
  • small clumps of eggs at the end of pubic hairs that may be a yellowish-white color

Pubic lice are treatable, and your doctor will likely give you a medicated paste to apply and rinse off.

Don't Take Unnecessary Risks

While it's great to have a health sex life, this is why you should probably get to know your partner a little better before sleeping with them. No condom is going to give you 100% protection from certain sexually transmitted diseases.


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