Getting an STD is never something we want to happen. They’re uncomfortable and it can make you feel pretty badly about yourself. It does happen though and if you do get an STD you shouldn’t feel bad. There are plenty of STDs that are most common in women. Some common STDs are so easy to get that your doctor has seen them hundreds of times.
It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. It just means that you need to treat it before it gets out of hand. That’s why you’ll need to talk to your doctor ASAP. Leaving an STD alone is never a great idea. Let’s take a look at the five most common STDs and how to treat them.
1. Chlamydia Is Common In Women
Chlamydia isn’t just the most common STD in women, it’s the most common STD in the US. If you think you have chlamydia you should talk do your doctor right away. Chlamydia can attack the cervix and cause all kinds of problems if left untreated. The good news is that it’s just an antibiotic treatment and then you’re good to go again.
It’s a little tough to detect chlamydia because there are very few noticeable symptoms. Two symptoms you can look out for are pain during intercourse and a change in your vaginal discharge. If either of these symptoms are new for you then it’s time to head in and see what’s up. Even if your partner isn’t showing symptoms you still need to go get checked.
Chlamydia is easy to treat but it can do some damage if it’s ignored. Just make sure you go in as quickly as possible and all will be fine. Be up front with your doctor and listen to their advice. They’re here to help you not make judgements about why you came in.
Trichomoniasis (or trich for short) affects women far more of than men. It is an extremely common STD in women. That doesn’t mean men can’t get it though. Trich is spread through genital contact.
It doesn’t just have to be contact between a penis and vagina. Women can pass Trich back and forth to each other during sex too. It’s just a tricky (pun intended) little parasite that likes to complicate life.
Signs of trichomoniasis include burning while urinating, sore genitals, and a greenish grey discharge. Men may show some of these symptoms as well. However, up to 70% of those infected don’t show signs of Trich at all. That’s why seeing your doctor for regular testing is so important.
Trich is easily treated with antibiotics so you don’t have to stress too much. Just make sure, as always, that your practitioner has all the pertinent info. You don’t want to hold something back and end up getting the wrong treatment for what you have going on.
3. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
HPV is so common that almost every sexually active person will get it at some point. Most forms of HPV go away on their own. You probably won’t even know you had HPV. However, a few strains of HPV will cause genital warts and those can be pretty painful. You should make sure you are getting tested regularly, and tested anytime you notice bumps down there.
Certain types of HPV can cause cancer so you need to be very diligent while sexually active. You can also get one of the three vaccines out there to guard against cancer caused by HPV. It’s important to remember that these vaccines don’t give you a golden ticket to have unprotected sex. They’re something to be used in addition to other methods to help you avoid cancer.
4. Genital Herpes
This is probably one of the most uncomfortable STDs out there due to the symptoms you can have. Burning while urinating, painful sores on your vulva or even in your vagina, and flu-like symptoms are all common with genital herpes.
Unlike some other STDs already mentioned, herpes cannot be treated with antibiotics. It is something you will have forever. That doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom though. There are antivirals you can take to treat outbreaks, and you can use condoms to prevent spreading it to other partners.
Remember that just because you aren’t having an active outbreak doesn’t mean you can’t spread herpes. Make sure your partner is aware of your status. You don’t want to spread herpes to someone who doesn’t know what they’re signing up for if they decide to not wear a condom.
This is another STD common in women that doesn’t have a lot of symptoms all the time. You could have gonorrhea and not even notice. Are you starting to see why condoms are so important yet? It’s easy to say you’re clean and don’t have anything just because the symptoms aren’t showing up.
Gonorrhea has similar affects on the body as chlamydia. You may have lower abdominal pain, pain during sex, or greenish discharge. The discharge is sometimes referred to as “gonorrhea green” when doctors see it. It’s a very distinct color and you’ll be very aware that it’s there.
You can also get gonorrhea from oral sex which means you’ll have the infection in your throat. Luckily like most other STDs, gonorrhea is easily treated. You’ll need a course or oral antibiotics or a shot from your doctor to treat it. Make sure you don’t delay this part because gonorrhea can have some pretty negative effects if left to its own devices.
A Few Final Thoughts On Common STDs In Women
Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you will automatically get these STDs. They’re more common in women for a variety of reasons. Sometimes that reason is just that women have more symptoms and tend to get tested more often than men.
As long as you and your partner (or partners) are getting tested regularly you really don’t have much to worry about. Use protection when appropriate and you’ll be able to remain STD free and worry free as well. If you do get an STD, get treated, dust off your crown, and get back to being the queen you are.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.