Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are infections usually transferred from person to person through sexual contact. Other than the common cold and flu, sexually transmitted diseases are the most common infectious diseases.
Intercourse is the most common means of transmission, but in some cases other intimate contact may transmit infection.
Young people, under the age of 25, that have multiple partners, are prime candidates for a variety of STDs. If you are sexually active, especially if you have a partner who may have had multiple partners, you should learn all you can about STDs, and do everything possible to prevent the transmission of them.
Although the best known STDs, syphilis and gonorrhea are decreasing in frequency, the overall incidence of STD transmission continues to increase.
Not all STDs have visible symptoms, even when you have a very contagious STD. Pap smears alone do not detect or allow diagnoses of STDs. Ask your health care provider to test you specifically for STDs at your next appointment. If you have an STD, the doctor will treat it but your partner should also see his doctor and be treated. You should not engage in further intercourse until both you and your partner have completed the prescribed treatment. Some STDs are easier to treat than others, but prompt treatment is necessary to prevent transmission, and to prevent a much longer and more serious complication called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
PID can interfere with your ability to get pregnant. It may also cause pain when you have intercourse.