This article is Medically Approved ✓ by Dr. Edward Salko
When it comes to sexual intimacy, being aware of what could happen should always go above impulsion and pleasure. As typical circumstances would tell you, it’s all fun and games until someone gets an STD.
Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) are infections acquired through sexual activities with an afflicted individual.
Pathogens or the microorganisms that cause the disease can be transmitted through contact with infected vaginal discharge, seminal fluid, direct skin, blood, and sometimes through the saliva.
Symptoms of STDs typically vary depending on which pathogen was transmitted. Once these symptoms are observed, an immediate appointment with the doctor allows its proper treatment.
STDs can be detected by blood and urine tests. With the onward movement of telehealth nowadays, STD testing at home is accessible online.
However, there are STDs that do not exhibit any symptoms. We refer to this condition as asymptomatic STDs. You may be living your life without knowing that you are harboring the causative agent of an STD.
And when you do have sexual intercourse, your partner may be susceptible to a more aggravated medical condition.
Likewise, you may also develop permanent reproductive health consequences in the long run if the infectious disease is not diagnosed.
Among 35 infectious STDs, here are 5 forms that can be acquired without showing any symptoms:
4. HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium known as Chlamydia trachomatis which is transmitted through vaginal, oral, or rectal sex with a person who has the infection.
It can be transferred to another individual even without ejaculation as long as skin contact occurred.
According to the CDC, it is the most reported type of bacterial STD in the US with about 2.86 million infected annually.
STD testing at home for chlamydia is made even more available for faster diagnosis.
The majority of those who contract chlamydia do not experience any symptoms. Thus, it is dubbed as the “silent infection”.
Those who do develop the symptoms experience it several weeks after the sexual activity.
If left untreated, it can cause infertility, especially among women.
In addition to this, the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy becomes higher.
Pregnant women who have chlamydia can also pass the bacteria to the baby during delivery which causes eye infection and pneumonia to the infant.
Women who develop symptoms observe the following: a burning sensation while urinating, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
On the other hand, men are commonly spared from infertility brought by chlamydia.
Instead, they may eventually develop fever, pain, swollen testicles, burning sensation during urination, and discharge from the penis.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the causative agent of gonorrhea. It is a bacterium that thrives in the mucous membrane of the reproductive tract, mouth, eyes, and rectum.
In 2018, the CDC reported a total of 583,405 cases of gonorrhea.
It is commonly asymptomatic and can be transmitted through vaginal, oral, or rectal sex.
If left undiagnosed and untreated, gonorrhea can cause irreversible damage to the reproductive system.
For women, it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) if the bacteria spread to the uterus then to the fallopian tube.
It can also move to the blood and develop disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). It a life-threatening condition characterized by skin lesions, arthritis, and tenosynovitis.
Urine tests for gonorrhea can be performed at home.
There are two types of viruses that cause genital herpes: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
Aside from sexual activity, you can contract herpes if you have contact with an infected person via saliva, genital secretions, herpes sore, or the skin affected by the infection.
Among pregnant women, herpes can induce a miscarriage. Neonatal herpes is a life-threatening condition in which the mother passes on the infection to the baby during delivery.
Only a few experience symptoms such as foul genital discharge, a burning sensation when urinating, and blisters around the genitals, rectum, or mouth.
Herpes is one of the STDs that can be detected by a blood test. Along with chlamydia and gonorrhea, you can easily purchase a test and perform it at the comfort of your home.
4. HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
CDC claims that HPV is the most common STI among Americans. Teens and young adults comprise most of the reported cases.
While symptoms rarely develop, there are circumstances when an individual eventually show symptoms years after having sexual intercourse with an afflicted partner.
HPV normally resolves itself. However, if it stays and spread in the body it can lead to the growth of genital warts or cancer.
Among women, cervical cancer is associated with HPV.
As approved tests for HPV are still ambiguous, some women find out about having HPVs when they undergo pap smear or screening for cervical cancer.
The causative agent for trichomoniasis is a protozoan parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis.
It is considered to be the most curable STD in the US. Yet, about 3.7 million Americans are infected. In this population, 70% do not show any symptoms according to the CDC.
Trichomoniasis can be transmitted via vaginal intercourse. It can also be transferred from a vagina to another vagina.
In the event that trichomoniasis develops symptoms, the following are noticed: itching, burning and redness in the genitals, discomfort during urination or ejaculation, and abnormal genital discharge
It is extremely uncomfortable to perform sexual intercourse when you are infected with trichomoniasis.
If left untreated, trichomoniasis can trigger the development of other STDs as it simulates genital inflammation. The worst of which is HIV infection. Infected pregnant women often suffer from preterm delivery.
Unfortunately, it is far more alarming when a disease, mainly an STD, shows no symptoms.
It can delay the needed treatment as the infection aggravate. The best thing to do is to secure regular testing if you are sexually active.
Practice safe sex, proper hygiene before and after intercourse, and do not engage with multiple partners.
We take comfort with the fact that most of these STDs are curable. If not, it can be managed with a proper medical response. But it is imperative that diagnosis is performed early through proper testing.