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Common STDs in Women - Know the Facts

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Syed Mumtaz Ali 92% (127 ratings)
BUMS, MD
Sexologist, Jaipur  •  25 years experience
Common STDs in Women - Know the Facts

Although STDs are capable of affecting both genders, the impact on men and women is different. In women, this problem can cause long-term issues such as infertility in women. Although most STDs can be readily treated as soon as the symptoms surface, some cases might not throw up any symptom. Some of the curable STDs that can affect women are discussed below:

  1. Gonorrhoea: This STD is caused by bacteria living in mucous membranes of the vagina, urethra, mouth, rectum and eyes and is capable of spreading through contact. The symptoms in women include excessive discharge from the vagina, abdominal cramps, pain in the pelvic region and bleeding from the vagina after sex.

  2. Chlamydia: This STD is a result of a bacterial infection of ‘Chlamydia trachomatis’. Symptoms in females include burning sensation during urination, unusual vaginal discharge and bleeding between periods. Without treatment, the infection might spread to the urinary tract which could potentially cause PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) which is capable of causing problems in pregnancy and even infertility.

  3. Genital Herpes: Genital herpes is generally caused by the herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) or the herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). The virus is commonly known to be the chief cause of cold sores. Symptoms may appear soon after infection and usually are severe. This includes blisters, which turn into raw and painful sores that scab and heal over time. This might be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes and fever.

  4. Chancroid: This infection is caused by the bacterium ‘Haemophilus Ducreyi’. It occurs most commonly in the vulva (the female external genital organ that includes the clitoris, labia as well as the opening of the vagina). The condition starts out as a tender lump that appears during the incubation period after intercourse. The incubation period generally ranges between 3-10 days. The bump turns into an ulcer i.e. an open sore, due to the death of the cells. This is usually painful.

  5. Syphilis: It is caused by the bacterium ‘Treponema pallidum’ and the disease mainly occurs if you have sexual intercourse without any protection, that too with multiple sexual partners. The other mode of infection is blood transfusion. Symptoms of Syphilis include appearance of ulcers around the genitals or the oral region known as a chancre, severe rashes around the hand or feet coupled with other symptoms of mild fever, headache, throat pain and immense fatigue. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

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