Could You Have an STD — And Not Know It?
WebMD can help you know what to watch for
HPV and genital warts continued...
Many sexually transmitted
HPV infections resolve on their own. Some women never even know they
have been infected. Other infections can cause lingering problems with warts or
cancer. If your infection causes genital warts, they can be treated by
various methods, including chemical freezing or burning. Because treatment does
not kill the virus - it just removes the warts - the growths can return. For HPV-related cancers, treatment with
surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are available.
Consequences if left untreated: For some strains of the virus, there
are no major health consequences. For those linked to cervical cancer, there is
an increased risk of developing this disease.
Also called "trich,"
trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite that can be passed during sexual
contact. Other modes of transmission are also possible.
Symptoms: Symptoms of trichomoniasis include strong-smelling yellow,
green, or gray vaginal discharge, discomfort while urinating, pain during
intercourse, and an itchy, irritated genital area.
Symptoms vs. exposure time: Symptoms usually appear 5 to 28 days
Transmission: The parasite that causes trichomoniasis is usually
passed sexually, either from penis to vagina or from vulva to vulva.
Trichomoniasis can also be contracted by genital contact with damp or moist
objects like towels, wet clothing, or toilet seats. The trichomoniasis parasite
can live outside the body for up to 45 minutes.
Treatment: Trichomoniasis is treated with prescription drugs,
metronidazole (also called
Flagyl) or tinidazole,
or topical medicines.
Consequences if left untreated: Trichomoniasis increases your chance
of getting HIV. Babies born to mothers with trichomoniasis may be born early or
weigh less than 5.5 pounds at
Between 1999 and 2003, the
estimated number of AIDS cases increased 15 percent among women and only 1
percent among men, according to a report from the CDC. In 2006, a quarter of
persons infected with HIV were women. About 21% of people infected with HIV in
the US have not been diagnosed.
Symptoms: Many people will not have symptoms for
many years. Symptoms may include extreme tiredness; rapid
weight loss; fevers and night sweats; long-lasting infections; diarrhea;
swollen glands; coughing;
oral and vaginal yeast
infections; pelvic inflammatory disease (PID); menstrual
cycle changes; red, brown, or purplish blotches on the skin or inside the
mouth, nose, or eyelids.
Symptoms vs. exposure time: Symptoms may stay dormant for 10 years or
Transmission: HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sexual intercourse
(oral, anal, or vaginal), receiving a blood transfusion with infected blood, or
sharing needles with an HIV-infected person. Women can also pass on HIV to
their children during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
Treatment: There is no known cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are
medicines that can slow the disease's progress.
Consequences if left untreated: HIV can weaken the immune system, making
one more vulnerable to infections. HIV disease can progress to AIDS, which
can be fatal.