Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) can affect men and women of all ages and background. STD is a condition that involves the transmission of an organism that can be passed from one person to another through sexual intercourse. It can also be transmitted through contact with blood or fluids in an open wound or even passed from mother to her baby during delivery, through the placenta or breast milk feeding.

Unfortunately, in many sexual transmitted diseases the affected person has no symptoms at all. Even though it is asymptomatic (no symptoms), there is still a risk that the infection will cause damage to the fertility, and the health of the affected person, and of passing the infection along to the sex partners.

What are the sexually transmitted diseases and what are the symptom?

STD Symptoms
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection of the vagina caused by bacteria. Normally, there are a lot of "good" bacteria and some "bad" bacteria in the vagina. The good types help control the growth of the wrong types. In women with bacterial vaginosis, the balance is upset. There are not enough good bacteria and too many bad bacteria.Bacterial vaginosis is usually a mild problem that may go away on its own in a few days. But it can lead to more serious problems.
About half of the women have no symptoms. However, women might experience:

  • Discharge with whitish or greyish and sometimes yellowish color and fishy odor, especially after sexual contact

Caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis.Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. This infection is easily spread because it often causes no symptoms and may be unknowingly passed to sexual partners. Around 70 – 80% of women and 50% of men have no symptoms. Women with symptoms may have:

  • pain when urinating (peeing)
  • a change in vaginal discharge
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • pain and/or bleeding during sex
  • bleeding after sex
  • bleeding between periods
  • heavier periods than usual
Genital Herpes

It is a highly contagious viral condition caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV).
Some people may have no symptoms, others develop symptoms within a few days to a couple of weeks after the initial contact. Or, they might not have an initial outbreak of symptoms until months or even years after becoming infected.However, during an “outbreak”, the signs are clear:

  • Small red, painful blisters or open sore. It infects skin and mucous membrane of the genitals and rectum, but it can also appear in areas such as in mouth mainly in lips.
  • The blisters and sores may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms with fever and swollen lymph nodes.
  • It can be transferred from a mother to her baby during delivery.

Is caused by Neisseria gonorrhea, abacterium that grows quickly in moist, warm areas of the body such as the cervix, urethra, mouth or rectum. The incubation period, the time from exposure to the bacteria until symptoms develop, is usually 2 to 5 days. But sometimes symptoms may not develop for up to 30 days.A pregnant woman can also pass it the baby during childbirth.

Men with symptoms may have:

  • Abnormal discharge from the penis (clear or milky at first, and then yellow, creamy, and excessive, sometimes blood-tinged).
  • Painful or frequent urination or urethritis.
  • Anal itching, discomfort, bleeding, or discharge.
  • A sore throat (rare).
  • Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) (rare).

Women with symptoms may have:

  • Painful or frequent urination.
  • Anal itching, discomfort, bleeding, or discharge.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding during or after sex or between periods.
  • Genital itching.
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding.
  • Lower abdominal (belly) pain.
  • Fever and general tiredness.
  • Swollen and painful glands at the opening of the vagina (Bartholin glands).
  • Painful sexual intercourse.
  • A sore throat (rare).
  • Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) (rare).

 If untreated, it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which cause problems regarding fertility and pregnancy. 

Pubic lice

Pubic lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in coarse body hair, such as pubic hair. They are yellow-grey and about 2mm long. They have a crab-like appearance, so they are known as crabs. The eggs appear as brownish dots fixed to coarse body hair. Pubic lice are different from the head lice that some people get on their scalp.
Tiny parasitic mites cause scabies They are smaller than a pinhead and burrow into the skin and lay eggs. A more severe and uncommon form of the condition occurs when there are many mites in the skin. This is called crusted scabies, and can affect older people and people with certain illnesses, such as HIV infection.

It can take several weeks after coming into contact with pubic lice before signs and symptoms appear. Signs and symptoms are the same for both men and women.
Symptoms may include:

  • itching in the affected areas
  • black powdery droppings from the lice in your underwear
  • brown eggs on pubic or other body hair
  • irritation and inflammation in the affected area, sometimes caused by scratching
  • sky-blue spots (which disappear within a few days) or very tiny specks of blood on the skin.
Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an infectious hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). This infection has two possible phases: 1) acute and 2) chronic.Most infected adults can able to fight off the virus, so their infection is cured. A small percentage of adults infected with HBV go on to develop chronic infection.
Infection may spread through infected blood and other bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions and open sore.
Some women have no symptoms.  Affected persons with symptoms may experience:

  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Low-grade fever
  • Yellowish skin and eyes
  • Joint point
  • Dark urine
  • Nausea and vomiting

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)attacks specific cells of the immune system, called CD4 cells, or T-cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. When this happens, HIV infection leads to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). The virus is mostly spread through unprotected intercourse with an infected person; it may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person. Women can pass it their babies during pregnancy or childbirth.

Symptoms may include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Tiredness
  • Night sweats
  • Fevers lasting several weeks
  • A cough may occur in several weeks
  • Headaches
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

There are many different types of HPV. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers.
Women with symptoms may have:

  • Small and painless bumps (warts) in the genital or anal areas. Warts may be alone or in groups and sometimes they are cauliflower- liked.
  • HPV can cause cervical and other cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus.

Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It can cause long-term complications if not adequately treated.Syphilis is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with a syphilitic sore, known as a chancre. Chancres occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum but can also occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of syphilis occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can transmit it to their unborn child.
Syphilis progress in stages. Symptoms in primary stage includes:

  • Start is a painless sore at the location where syphilis entered the body. The sore is usually firm, round, and painless. Because the sore is painless, it can easily go unnoticed. The sore lasts 3 to 6 weeks and heals regardless of whether or not treatment was given.

If the condition is not yet treated, it moves to the secondary stage with symptoms below:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Non itchy skin rash on the hands and feet
  • Headaches and muscle aches
  • Tiredness

More serious complications associated with later stage of the disease if undetected and untreated. Symptoms may related to damage to internal organs such as the brain, spinal cord, nerves and other organs.


Trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by infection with a protozoan parasite called Trichomonasvaginalis.
Many affected persons don’t have symptoms. Symptoms usually appears 5-28 days after exposure to the infection and can include:

  • Yellow-green or greyish discharge
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal odor
  • Discomfort during urination
  • Itching and discomfort in the genital area

Sexually Transmitted Disease Diagnosis

It should be mentioned that in our unit, for the safety of the patients and the staff, all patients are tested for STDs prior any fertility treatment. Testing (or screening) for STD can involve:

  • Blood Tests
  • Urine Samples
  • Pelvic and physical exam- your doctor can look for signs of infection such as warts, rashes, discharges
  • Fluid sample. A swab is used to collect a sample that can be examined under a microscope or sent to a laboratory for testing.

How is it treated?

The treatment options depend on the type of Sexually Transmitted Disease. For some STD, treatment may involve taking oral medication, topical medication or both. For other STD that cannot be cured, like herpes, treatment can relieve the symptoms.

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