According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in America. At Alliance for Women’s Health, Dr. Chung is committed to educating his patients on the risk of contracting an STD and providing compassionate care to those who are impacted. Preventing the spread of these harmful conditions is a priority from both a professional and a public health standpoint. Women from in and around Lima, Ohio, consider Dr. Chung an invaluable resource in this area of care.


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What are the most common sexually transmitted diseases?

Most people who are sexually active contract at least one STD during their lifetime. Understanding the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases is the first step in protecting your health. Here are some of the most common STDs:

Human papillomavirus

Inarguably the most common STD, researchers believe that most people contract it at some point in their lives. There are more than 40 types of HPV, many of which your body can efficiently fight off on its own. However, certain strains are the primary cause of cervical cancer, and one strain leads to genital warts.


This is the most commonly reported STD. Not everyone who has chlamydia experiences symptoms, which is why this bacterial infection is so easily spread. Those who do have symptoms may notice pain and burning during urination or unusual vaginal discharge.


A common bacterial infection, gonorrhea only leads to symptoms in around 20% of women who contract the disease. It is easily detected through routine STD testing and is treated with antibiotics.


This is a serious disease that can be very difficult to detect. Initial signs include one or more sores, which often resemble an ingrown hair or minor cut. The disease can develop and cause rashes, organ damage, and nervous system issues. Left untreated, syphilis can negatively impact your brain function.


This viral infection is among the most easily transmitted STDs and has no cure. Some people experience painful sores or blisters during breakouts, while others have no detectable symptoms at all. Skin-to-skin contact is all that is required to spread herpes.

What are the signs of sexually transmitted disease?

There are numerous types of STDs and a wide range of symptoms. Any of the following conditions should prompt an immediate call to your gynecologist for screening:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning during urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Sores or blisters in the genital area

In many cases, women who contract a sexually transmitted disease don’t have any symptoms at all or experience symptoms that mimic the flu or other common conditions.

Routine testing is essential to protecting your sexual health.

How can I prevent STDs?

Engaging in any sexual activity involves a risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. That said, there are steps that you can take to lower your risk of acquiring an STD.

To achieve the highest possible level of protection, incorporate these precautions into your sex life:

  • Get tested, and have your partner get tested before beginning a sexual relationship
  • Always use latex condoms during all portions of each sexual encounter
  • Avoid drug use or excessive drinking, which can impede healthy decision-making
  • Thoroughly wash your genital area before and after sex
  • Avoid sharing underwear or towels
  • Be aware of the risk of transmitting disease through skin-to-skin contact

The only way to eliminate the risk of contracting an STD is by abstaining from all types of sex. The next best level of protection is maintaining a monogamous relationship that includes routine STD testing of both partners.

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