• Health Alert: Common Female STDs and How They’re Treated

    It may never have occurred to you to learn more about STDs. However, it’s always good to be on the safe side and arm yourself with knowledge.

    by Rosanne Sugay, M.D. .
  • std_CI.jpg  

    Although most moms hope that STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) won't be a matter of course for them (especially when the question comes up as to how they actually got an STD), there’s nothing like being prepared and armed with knowledge. Below are a few things you need to know about common gynecologic infections.

    STD Cause

    Cause

    Symptoms

    How is it diagnosed?

    How is it treated?

    other useful information

    Chlamydia

    Chlamydia trachomatis
    bacteria

    • vaginal discharge
    • pelvic pain
    • pain with intercourse
    • sample of discharge is tested
    • urine can be tested

    antibiotic

    Chlamydia and
    gonorrhea usually
    occur hand in hand
    and if you have one,
    the other infection is
    also treated

    Gonnorhea

    Neisseria
    gonorrhea
    bacteria

    • vaginal discharge
    • pelvic pain
    • pain with intercourse
    • sample of discharge is tested
    • urine can be tested

    antibiotic

    Trichomoniasis

    Trichomonas
    vaginalis
    protozoa

    • vaginal discharge
    • (fishy odor)
    • pain with intercourse

    sample of
    discharge is tested

    antibiotic

     

    Bacterial
    vaginosis

    Mixed bacteria

    vaginal discharge

    sample of
    discharge is tested

    antibiotic

    This is actually not
    an STD but can
    sometimes cause
    vaginal discharge that looks similar to one that’s an STD.

    Genital herpes

    Herpes
    simplex virus
    (HSV2 is
    usually genital
    and HSV1 is
    usually oral)

    genital ulcers

    • blood test on physical exam
    • a sample from the ulcer is tested

    Antiviral medication is used to treat an outbreak, but does not eradicate the infection

    Once you have herpes you always have it. You can also
    transmit it even if
    you have no visible lesions, so let your partner know.

    Genital warts /
    Condylomata
    acuminata

    Human
    Papilloma virus
    (HPV)

    genital warts

    on physical exam
    (sometimes a
    biopsy is done)

    direct skin treatment to take off the warts

    There are numerous
    different strains of
    HPV, the ones that cause genital warts
    are not the ones
    associated with
    cervical cancer, but
    you should still
    routinely have PAP smears, anyway.

    Most of the infections above have similar symptoms and the only way for you to know for sure is to get checked by a healthcare provider. Please remember that if you are diagnosed with any of these infections, it would be smart to be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis and hepatitis as well. Also remember that in all the above infections you and your partner both need to be treated so that you don’t pass the infection back and forth.

     

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