Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Conditions A-Z - Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infectious diseases transmitted through sexual contact. The CDC estimates that 19 million new cases occur annually in the U.S. Fifty percent of the new infections occur in people between the age range of 15 to 24 years.

How can your protect your adolescent from STDs?

The best way to prevent contracting an STD is to abstain from any type of sexual activity, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. However, if you decide to become sexually active, or are currently sexually active, there are several precautionary measures to follow, recommended by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to help reduce your risk of developing a sexually transmitted disease. These include the following:

What to do when diagnosed with an STD?

What are some common types of STDs?

According to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Centers for Disease Control, common types of STDs include:

What are the facts about STDs and adolescents?

  1. STDs affect men and women of all backgrounds and economic levels. However, nearly half of all STD cases occur in people younger than age 25 in the U.S.
  2. STDs are on the rise, possibly due to more sexually active people who have multiple sex partners during their lives.
  3. Many STDs initially cause no symptoms. In addition, many STD symptoms may be confused with those of other diseases not transmitted through sexual contact--especially in women. Even symptom-less STDs can be contagious.
  4. Women suffer more frequent and severe symptoms from STDs:
    • Some STDs can spread into the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to both infertility and ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
    • STDs in women also may be associated with cervical cancer.
    • STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby before or during birth. Some infections of the newborn may be successfully treated, but others may cause a baby to be permanently disabled or even die.
  5. When diagnosed early, many STDs can be successfully treated.

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