This is false.
Actually, the most common symptom of STIs is feeling fine and having zero signs of infection. So you still need regular screenings whenever you’re at risk — click here for more info on that. Plus, symptomless STIs aren't necessarily harmless. For instance, some untreated infections can lead to more serious health complications and can increase your risk of contracting other STIs or HIV.
TrichomoniasisChancroidBacterial vaginosisChlamydiaHepatitis B
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is not an STI.
Bacterial vaginosis happens when the normal Lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina are replaced with high levels of uncultivated anaerobic bacteria. This sometimes causes abnormal vaginal discharge and a bad smell, but most women will be asymptomatic. BV can increase your chances of getting an STI, but it's not technically considered an STI because it's unclear whether a sexually transmitted pathogen causes it. According to one study, it could arise from specific sexual practices or be related to changes in women's biology as they age.
Douching is not an effective method of protection against STIs.
In fact, Douching can throw off the balance of good bacteria in the vagina, leaving you more prone to infection. Douching has also been linked to health problems like pelvic inflammatory disease and bacterial vaginosis. So aside from it not preventing STIs, you really shouldn’t douche in general. Instead, you should be using some combination of the other prevention methods, like using condoms consistently and correctly (every time), making sure you've gotten all the recommended vaccines (like for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV), or abstaining from sexual activity completely.
ChlamydiaHerpesHepatitis BHuman papilloma virus (HPV)
Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics.
It's the only one of those STIs that's caused by a bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis), rather than a virus. But while antibiotics can cure a chlamydia infection, it won’t repair any permanent damage that's already done, which is more likely the longer it goes untreated. People who get chlamydia should also get tested again three months after treatment ends, since repeat infections are common.
ChlamydiaGonorrheaHerpes simplex virus (HSV)HPVSyphilisChancroid
HPV is the most common STI in the US.
Human papilloma virus is the most common STI in the country. About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV and an estimated 14 million people become infected each year. It’s so common that the CDC estimates most sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. There are many different strains or types of HPV, and some can cause serious health problems in men and women.
Genital herpesHPVSyphilisNone of the aboveAll of the above
All of these can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
No, that doesn't mean shaking hands with someone or hugging them or doing anything like that will cause you to contract an STI. But both genital herpes and HPV can be passed through skin-to-skin contact of the genital area. Syphilis, meanwhile, can be passed through contact with a syphilitic sore, which usually appears on the external genitals — though it can also appear on the lips or in the mouth.
Only through vaginal sex.Only through anal sex.Only through oral sex.Through anal and vaginal sex, but not through oral sex.Through anal, vaginal, and oral sex.
Chlamydia can be transmitted through anal, vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has it.
This applies to all STIs, actually. And chlamydia in particular can be passed from men to their partner even if they don't ejaculate. Typical symptoms — if they even show up — include discharge from the penis or vagina, a burning sensation while peeing, and, for men, pain and swelling in one or both testicles.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)Getting pregnantEctopic pregnancyWeight gainA and CAll of the above
It can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy.
If left untreated, chlamydia in cisgender women and trans men can spread to the fallopian tubes and uterus and increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy, ovarian decline, and chronic pelvic pain.
The poxThe clapThe tripThe fire
A common nickname for gonorrhea is the clap.
It’s unclear where exactly the name came from but two theories suggest it’s either derived from the old French term “clapier,” which means brothel — a place where gonorrhea was easily spread — or from an old treatment of the disease that involved slamming a heavy book down on the penis to release the discharge. Speaking of discharge, another nickname for gonorrhea is “the drip.”
A burning sensation while peeingAbnormal discharge from the penis or vaginaAn itchy buttholeWarts or sores on the genitalsPainful bowel movements
Warts or sores on the genitals are not a symptom of gonorrhea in men or women.
They’re more likely to appear when someone becomes infected with, say, herpes or HPV. Everything else is fair game, though (depending on the infection site).
Pap smears screen for neither chlamydia nor gonorrhea.
During a Pap smear, doctors look for any cervical cell abnormalities that could be associated with HPV or cervical cancer. They may do an STI test at the same appointment, but that's not the Pap test.
STI testing for penises does not require a urethral swab.
Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea actually involves a urine test most of the time, while syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis B can be tested for with a blood test. So if a Q-tip up the urethra was what held you back from getting tested, you've got no excuse.
Early, infectious, dormant, fatalPrimary, dormant, neurological, genitalInfectious, dormant, genital, neurologicalPrimary, secondary, latent, tertiarty
The four stages of syphilis are called primary, secondary, latent, tertiary.
Syphilis can be spread through anal, vaginal, or oral sex. In the primary stage, people develop either single or multiple sores where the syphilis entered their body. They're often painless, last three to six weeks, and heal regardless of whether or not you got treated. But you still need treatment so the infection doesn’t progress to the next stage. In the secondary stage, you can have sores on the mouth, vagina, or anus and a rough reddish skin rash on your palms and/or the bottoms of your feet. You might also get a fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, hair loss, or fatigue. These symptoms will also go away regardless of treatment, so you still need antibiotics to rid your body of syphilis. If left untreated, syphilis moves to the latent stage where it can remain in your body for years with no signs or symptoms. Most latent cases do not become tertiary, but when they do it can happen 10–30 years after infection. Tertiary syphilis can cause problems with muscle coordination, paralysis, dementia, blindness, internal organ damage, and death.
Hepatitis AHepatitis BHepatitis C
Hepatitis B is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact.
Hepatitis B is the only kind of hepatitis that can be transmitted through blood, semen, and other bodily fluids, like saliva (though it’s not believed to spread through kissing). By comparison, hepatitis A tends to spread more by ingesting fecal matter (through water, for example) and hepatitis C tends to spread more through contact with blood. That said, there are certain instances where both hepatitis A and C can be spread by having sex with someone who’s infected.
BoysGirlsBoys and girlsNeither boys or girls
The CDC recommends that both boys and girls get vaccinated at 11 or 12 years old.
The CDC recommends that all boys and girls ages 11 or 12 years get vaccinated for HPV, with the first two doses at least six months apart. Catch-up vaccines are recommended for males through age 21 and for females through age 26, who didn’t get vaccinated when they were younger. The CDC also recommends vaccines for any man who has sex with men through age 26, and for men and women with compromised immune systems (including individuals with HIV/AIDS) through age 26, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger.
This is false, HPV does not always cause genital warts.
Most people who have HPV don’t know they are infected and never develop symptoms. However, some types of HPV can cause genital warts, which are not the same as the types that can cause cancer. The CDC estimates that 1 in 100 sexually active adults in the US have genital warts at any given time.
HSV-2 is more likely to cause genital sores and blisters.
That’s because it’s almost exclusively transmitted via sexual contact, whereas HSV-1 is more likely to spread through mouth-to-mouth contact. It is possible for HSV-1 to cause genital sores and blisters from sexual contact, but it’s definitely not as common as other HSV-1 symptoms, like cold sores or ulcers around the mouth.
This is true, you can still contract herpes from a person when they aren't having an outbreak.
Herpes outbreaks (such as sores on the genitals, mouth, and anus) do increase your risk of transmission, but they aren’t the only time you can transmit herpes. Even though outbreaks can get shorter and less severe over time, the herpes virus stays in your body for the rest of your life and there is no cure. So even if you have no symptoms of an outbreak, you can still infect your sex partners. Daily use of antiviral medications can reduce the likelihood of transmission, as can using condoms, but neither of these eliminate the risk completely. So it’s always important to tell your partner about your status and the risk involved.
Having an STI while pregnant — whether that's syphilis, genital herpes, etc. — and not getting treatment can lead to serious health complications for the baby, such as being born with the STI or developmental problems. Getting tested during the first prenatal visit will help determine whether the woman has STIs that can be treated with antibiotics, which will cure them and prevent transmission, or with antiviral drugs, which may help to prevent transmission.