Sex is a natural part of being human, and a natural part of being sexually active is staying conscientious of the possible outcomes of sex. Sexually transmitted diseases are unfavorable outcomes that, unfortunately, affect all too many people, often because of misinformation. Here are some common STDs that you should be aware of:

Chlamydia

This is the most commonly diagnosed STD in the United States, and is also easy to treat with antibiotics. Caused by a bacteria, Chlamydia often causes no symptoms in the infected person. However, if left untreated it can cause some very serious health conditions (such as infertility, for example).

Gonorrhea

This STD is caused by a bacteria, and often causes little to no symptoms in those infected. When they do present, symptoms may include painful urination, discolored and/or odorous discharge, pelvic pain, and (for women) abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Syphilis

Like many other STDs, syphilis is caused by a bacteria. However, once contracted, syphilis can spread throughout the body and become a fully systemic infection that causes a variety of irreversible health conditions. Symptoms may be difficult to detect, and generally begin with a single sore that evolves into a rash. If left untreated, syphilis can even lead to brain damage, and even death, so prompt treatment is a necessity.

HIV

Many people consider this the granddaddy of all STDs. There is no cure for HIV, but modern medicine has taken great strides in treating and prolonging the most devastating results of this viral infection; it is now even possible for people to live with HIV for decades without ever developing full blown AIDS. As with every other type of STD, the sooner the condition is treated, the better the sufferer’s chance of preventing the worst case scenario from happening.

Herpes

Also called genital warts, herpes is characterized by sores in the genital area. Herpes is caused by a virus and, unfortunately, is not curable. Herpes can even be spread when sores are not present, so constant protection is necessary in herpes prevention.

Yeast Infections

While it may be true that yeast infections aren’t exactly STDs, they can easily be transmitted through sexual intercourse, and so they are definitely worth your consideration. If you or your partner has a yeast infection that affects the genital area, then you need to know that you could be sending the infection back and forth, making treatment and eradication of the infection an impossibility. You can find information about treating this type of infection Dr. Eric Bakker’s site or on the YouTube channel about yeast.

So, now that you’re aware of these common STDs, you need to be aware of how to prevent them. It’s important that you understand the difference between birth control and STD prevention, and that not all birth control methods will protect you from STDs. Fortunately, most STDs are curable, and all of them are treatable. When in question about the prevention, treatment, or diagnosis of STDs, it’s always better safe than sorry. Ask your doctor now, rather than later.