5 Common STDs and How to Prevent Them

Dec 13, 2023
 5 Common STDs and How to Prevent Them
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be pretty hard to avoid. Because of that, we want to discuss the most common ones and how to avoid developing them.

If you’re sexually active, you’re at risk for developing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This is true whether you have multiple sexual relationships or if you’ve committed to a lifelong partner. The risk for STDs just comes with the territory.

The more you know about STDs, the more likely you can be aware of the symptoms so you can treat them promptly and effectively. STDs are common, but they’re treatable as long as you catch them early.

However, it’s also good to know how to prevent them in the first place. That’s why our team at San Feliz Urgent Care in Glendale, California, offers this guide on common STDs and how to prevent them (or treat them should you develop one).

1. Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the most common STD, and most people will develop it at some point in their life whether they realize it or not. More than 40 types of HPV can spread through sexual contact and affect your genital area. 

This type of STD doesn’t often present with symptoms, but there’s a chance it can lead to genital warts, mouth or throat infections, or even cancer of the cervix, penis, mouth, or throat.

One of the best ways to prevent HPV is to receive the vaccine for it, which can prevent genital warts, in addition to vaginal and anal cancer. It’s also important for women to receive a Pap smear regularly to screen for cervical cancer. 

2. Chlamydia 

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that’s extremely common and affects about 3 million Americans every single year. It’s mostly spread through vaginal and anal sex, but it can develop through oral sex, too. The infection is carried in semen and vaginal fluids. 

This STD can easily be cleared up through antibiotics, but only about 25% of women and 50% of men will even have symptoms. The best way to prevent chlamydia is through the use of condoms every time you have sex.

3. Herpes

Herpes (HSV-1 and HSV-2) is a virus that can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, including areas even a condom can’t cover. The main symptom of herpes is painful blisters around your vagina, penis, or anus, but they can also appear on your mouth and throat. Sometimes these blisters can form inside your vagina or anus, leaving you unaware that they’re even there. If they form around your mouth or throat, it’s easy to mistake it for something else.

Since herpes can develop through any sort of contact like touching or kissing, it’s pretty tough to avoid. But thankfully, it’s easily manageable through medication.

4. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection that often accompanies chlamydia. You can get this infection on your penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, or throat, and it can be spread through semen or vaginal fluids. Most people who have gonorrhea don’t know they have it, since it’s so often asymptomatic.

Fortunately, gonorrhea is easily cleared up with antibiotics, and the easiest way to prevent it is through the use of condoms.

5. Trichomoniasis

Millions of people get trichomoniasis each year. It’s caused by a parasite that spreads through semen or vaginal fluids. Again, many people don't even realize when they’re infected with this STD; although, the most common symptom is vaginitis, an irritation of the vagina and vulva. 

Trichomoniasis is most often transmitted through vaginal sex, vulva-to-vulva contact, or touching genitals when you have infected fluids on your hands. 

This type of STD can also be treated with antibiotics and can be avoided by using a condom whenever you have sex.

For more information on STDs or STD testing, contact our team to set up a consultation. Call us at 818-296-0201 or click here to book an appointment today.