Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major public health concern, with an estimated 20 million new cases each year in the United States alone. These infections can have serious consequences, including infertility, chronic pain, and even death. In this article, we'll discuss which STDs are deadly and how to prevent them. The most common deadly STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and HIV.
Many of these infections don't show symptoms for a long time, so it's important to get tested regularly if you're sexually active. Even without symptoms, these diseases can be harmful and spread during sex. Screening and treating STDs can reduce mortality. Research is needed to determine if STD-related morbidity among women of reproductive age has declined in the past decade.
The methodology for estimating STD-related mortality in women in the United States has evolved. Initial estimates used reproductive health mortality measures. Subsequently, a more comprehensive approach was used, using direct and indirect measures of deaths from all STD-related diseases. More recently, disability-adjusted life years lost due to sexual behavior were found to be three times higher in the United States than in other developed countries.
Women bear a disproportionately high proportion of the health burden. At the time of death, a single International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code is provided to define a single cause of death for each deceased. If multiple causes of death are identified, up to 30 ICD codes are listed under cause of multiple death. In 1975, the mortality rate for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) was 0.29 deaths per 100,000 women aged 15 to 44. The mortality rate from PID has fallen by 90% over the past 35 years to only a few deaths per year. This marked improvement is presumably due to ongoing efforts to detect chlamydia and gonorrhea, early diagnosis, and multidrug therapy. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection.
There are more than 40 types of HPV. They can infect the genitals, mouth, or throat. Most men and women who are sexually active will contract at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Possible signs of infection include discharge from the penis or vagina and burning when you urinate. Chlamydia is spread through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected person.
Most people with chlamydia have no symptoms. However, without treatment, chlamydia can cause serious health problems such as infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). A pregnant woman can transmit chlamydia to her baby during delivery. Trichomoniasis is another STD that comes from a parasite that passes from one person to another during sexual intercourse. It can be transmitted from a man to a woman, from a woman to a man, or from a woman to another woman.
Women often develop the infection inside the vagina or urethra; men can develop trichomoniasis inside the penis. The infection usually doesn't spread to the mouth, anus, or other parts of the body. Most people with trichomoniasis don't have symptoms; however, sometimes infected people experience itching or burning when they urinate or discharge from the penis or vagina. Antibiotics are needed to clear the infection. Gonorrhea is another STD that spreads through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected person. A pregnant woman can transmit gonorrhea to her baby during delivery.
People with gonorrhea often have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all; signs of infection include painful urination and white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis or vagina. Men may develop pain in the testicles; women may experience vaginal bleeding between periods. Without treatment, gonorrhea can cause serious health problems such as infertility and serious complications during pregnancy for women; men with untreated gonorrhea may develop inflammation of the tube that helps carry sperm which can lead to infertility. Herpes is another STD that is caused by fluid inside herpes sores containing the virus; you can get infected if you come into contact with it because the virus can spread through the skin. Infected people can transmit the virus to their partners even if they don't have any symptoms. To prevent STDs it's important to practice safe sex by using condoms every time you have sex; getting tested regularly if you're sexually active; avoiding contact with any sores or blisters; not sharing sex toys; and abstaining from sex if you have any symptoms. Research is ongoing for vaccines for genital herpes and HIV; there is increasing evidence that suggests that the vaccine for meningitis (MenB) provides some cross-protection against gonorrhea. More research is needed on vaccines for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.