Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. STDs can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and can have serious health consequences if left untreated. Fortunately, effective treatments are available for many STDs. Chlamydia is a common but treatable STD.
If left untreated, it can lead to infertility in women. Gonorrhea is another common STD that can cause serious health problems if not treated. Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplants. Genital herpes is a common STD, but most people infected don't know they have it.
While there is no cure, medications are available to prevent or shorten outbreaks and reduce the chances of transmitting the infection. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility, but both can be prevented with the right precautions. The best way to protect yourself from STDs is to use condoms, talk openly with your partner about STDs, and get tested regularly. There's no single test that can check for all STDs, but getting tested is easy and straightforward.
Read more about STD testing to learn what to expect.