3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Sexually Transmitted Disease
      Category : Health Centers > STDs

Sexually Transmitted Disease

Alternate Names : STD, Venereal Disease, VD

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Sexually transmitted disease, or STD, refers to any contagious disease that is transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact.

What is going on in the body?

Diseases are passed from one person to another in many ways. The common cold, for example, could be caught during sexual activity. However, the cold is not considered a sexually transmitted disease because sex is not the main way a cold is transferred from one person to another.

Sexual activity refers to contact between the genitals of one partner and the genitals, anus, eyes, mouth, or throat of the partner. An STD may be transmitted by bacteria, a virus, or a parasite. These microorganisms can enter the body and infect the skin and mucous linings of the vagina, rectum, urethra, cervix, eyes, mouth, and throat. STDs can be spread by heterosexual or homosexual relations.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

The organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases are passed from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. Any other intimate contact of the genitals, mouth, rectal area, or the sharing of sexual toys can also transmit the organism from one individual to another.

The most common STDs are as follows:

  • gonorrhea, caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. This condition primarily causes pain and a fluid discharge in the affected area.
  • chlamydia, caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium. This STD may also cause pain and a fluid discharge in the affected area.
  • syphilis, caused by the Treponema pallidum bacterium. Untreated syphilis causes a painless skin rash and many other effects, including heart and brain damage.
  • AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. This condition slowly destroys the immune system, which results in serious infections and, possibly, death.
  • genital herpes, caused by the herpes simplex virus. This STD results in a painful skin rash and sores on the area of contact that can return from time to time.
  • hepatitis B, caused by the hepatitis B virus, which can cause serious liver disease and liver cancer
  • trichomonas, caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite. This condition causes a discharge from the vagina in women.
  • pubic lice, commonly referred to as crabs, which are caused by a parasite Phthirus pubis. This STD causes itching, which may be severe.
  • human papilloma virus or HPV, which causes genital warts
  • Other STDs are less common. Having multiple sex partners and not using condoms increases the risk of STDs. Having sex with those more likely to have STDs, such as prostitutes, also increases the risk. Open lesions or sores on the skin or inside the mouth increase the likelihood of catching an STD when skin-to-skin exposure takes place during sexual activity. Oral or anal sexual practices can expose a person to a greater load of organisms.


    Next section


    Sexually Transmitted Disease: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site