Vaginitis

Vaginitis is the broad term for inflammation or infection of the vagina. There are many types of vaginitis; each of which is characterized by different causes and symptoms.1 Symptoms of vaginitis include vaginal itching and irritation, painful urination, pain during intercourse, light vaginal bleeding or spotting, and vaginal discharge that has a foul smell or…

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, sometimes called “the clap”, is a sexually transmitted infection that can be spread to both males and females. It is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, also called gonococcus.1 Gonorrhea is a very common infection in the United States and worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, that…

An Overview of Bacterial Infections

Overview Bacterial infections result when harmful bacteria occupy and multiply inside the body and disrupt healthy function. Not all bacteria are harmful; there are many “good” bacteria needed by living organisms for normal functions. An infection occurs when unhealthy bacteria outnumber healthy bacteria.1 Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, which is why the genitals, eyes, mouth,…

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

A urinary tract infection (also known as a bladder infection or acute cystitis) is the infection of a part or parts of the urinary tract, which is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is not technically a sexually transmitted infection, however, sexual activity is a common cause…

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

What is it? Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a severe infection of the female reproductive organs that results from the spread of a previously existing infection. PID can be caused by a variety of infections, but it is most commonly a complication of untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Because of this connection, PID is considered…

Syphilis

Syphilis is a highly infectious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It is spread primarily through sexual contact, however, the infection can also be passed from mother to fetus during childbirth causing congenital syphilis in the infected offspring. Syphilis is unique among sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in that its symptoms vary dramatically depending…

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by Chlamydia trachomatis (shown above) , a bacterium that infects and parasitically lives within human cells, sometimes leading to several other disease states in both males and females.1 Chlamydia is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the United States, infecting approximately 2.86 million new…

Chancroid

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi.1 It attacks the tissue and produces ulcers or open sores on or near the genitals (i.e., the penis/testes, labia).1 Although chancroid is highly contagious, it is curable.1  While once prevalent across the globe, recent efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment, along with…

Effects of STIs on Pregnancy

It is entirely possible for a pregnant individual to contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) during, or prior to, pregnancy. This can cause problems for the individual by affecting their fertility and pregnancy. STIs can be transmitted to the developing fetus and potentially cause damage, which can range from physical or mental abnormalities to loss…