First Time User? Enroll now.
COVID-19: Vaccine information, visitor restrictions, testing, monoclonal antibody therapy, and additional resources
Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases spread by sexual contact. This includes vaginal, oral, and anal sex. If you're pregnant, you can also spread them to your baby before or during the birth.
There are at least 20 different STIs. They include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). (This is the virus that causes AIDS.) Some STIs can reduce the chance of getting pregnant in the future.
Treatment can cure STIs caused by bacteria. STIs caused by viruses, such as HIV, can be treated, but they can't be cured.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
In females, symptoms of an STI (sexually transmitted infection) may include:
In males, symptoms of an STI (sexually transmitted infection) may include:
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Treatment to relieve symptoms is available for all STIs, no matter what the cause, even if a cure is not possible. Some, but not all, STIs are treated with antibiotics.
If you think that you have been exposed to an STI, go see your doctor right away. This will help prevent serious health problems for yourself. And it can reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others.
It's easier to prevent an STI than it is to treat one:
Vaccines are available for some STIs, such as HPV. Ask your doctor for more information.
Condoms work best if you follow these steps.
Call a doctor if any of the following occur during self-care at home:
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared for your appointment.
Current as of:
November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.