Cases of some sexually transmitted diseases( STDs) have reached an all-time high, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC ).
From 2014 to 2015, there was a 6 percent increased number of diagnosed cases of chlamydia and a 13 percent increased number of gonorrhea.
The craziest part: The actual number of people with STDs is likely much higher than what the CDC is reporting, because many people have no clue theyre infected, the CDC says.
Thats because STDs often show no noticeable symptoms.
Sexually transmitted infections( STIs) are often called a silent epidemic for the very reason that they dont typically have outward signs, tells Debby Herbenick, Ph.D ., M.P.H ., a sex researcher at the University of Indiana.
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This means that you could be infected and not even know itand same moves for your collaborator. Read on for four common STDs that might have already snuck up on you, and what you should do about it.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: GONORRHEA
This bacterial illness is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. As a ensue, it can cause infections in your genitals, rectum, or throat.
Condoms are virtually 100 percent effective at preventing transmitting of the disease, tells Khalil Ghanem, M.D ., Ph.D ., associate professor of medication and infectious disease at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.( Dental dams can be protective if youre devoting oral sex to a woman .)
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Signs of gonorrhea : Women often dont have any symptoms, tells Herbenick. And when they do, the signs are usually mild and may simulate a bladder infectionmeaning she may not know shes infected, and theres no way for you to tell during sex.
As for guys: If the infection is in your throat or rectum, you probably wont have any symptoms, tells Dr. Ghanem.
If the bacteria is targeting your penis, you are able watch a greenish or yellowish penile discharge or a burning excitement when you pee, Dr. Ghanem tells. Testicular pain is another possibility, although its rare. These problems usually creep up 3 to 5 days after an exposure.
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Left untreated, gonorrhea can cause something called epididymitis, an inflaming of your testicles that may lead to infertility.
How to detect gonorrhea : The CDC recommends routine annual screenings for men. But ask your doctor whats right for you, since it may depend on risk factors like how often you have new spouses, tells Herbenick.
How to treat gonorrhea : The good news is that gonorrhea can generally be cured with antibiotics.
But Some Gonorrhea Strains Are Resistant To Antibiotics, so make sure related to the follow-up with medical doctors got to make sure all the bacteria has been killed, tells Herbenick.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: CHLAMYDIA
Chlamydia, another bacterial infection, is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex, tells Dr. Ghanem.
As with gonorrhea, condoms are virtually 100 percent effective at preventing the spread. And if youre devoting oral sex to a woman, dental dams can reduce the health risks.
Signs of chlamydia : Chlamydia rarely has noticeable symptoms in either women or men, tells Herbenick.
In the off-chance you do show signs of infection, the symptoms could include a penile discharge or burning when you pee, tells Dr. Ghanem. These problems usually creep up about a few weeks after an exposure.
Severe infections in humankinds that are not treated quickly can cause scarring in your urethra, building it more difficult to peeand it may even require surgery.
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How to detect chlamydia : The CDC recommends annual screening for lesbian or bisexual humankinds. However, straight humankinds should ask their doctors about testing as well.
How to treat chlamydia: Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: HERPES
Genital herpes is caused by two viruses: Herpes simplex type 1( HSV1 ), which usually affects your mouth as cold sores, and herpes simplex form 2( HSV2 ), which mainly targets your genitals.
Sexual contact can spread your partners oral herpes to your genitals or her genital herpes to your mouth. The virus is also possible spread even if youor your partnerdont have any signs of it.
Wearing condoms can help protect you, but not altogether: Theyre simply 80 percent effective for preventing herpes transmitting, tells Dr. Ghanem. Thats partly because the virus can live on parts of your skin that arent covered by the condom.
Signs of herpes : Up to 70 percent of people infected with the virus dont have symptoms, Dr. Ghanem says.
If you do, you may notice blisters or ulcers on your genitals, or merely feel some burning and itching.
When first infected, some patients will develop fevers, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and fatigue.
How to detect herpes : Have medical doctors take a look at any suspicious sores.
How to treat herpes : Theres no remedy for genital herpes, but antiviral medicines can ease your symptoms, according to the CDC.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS( HPV )
HPV, which comprises more than 150 related viruses, is the most common STI, according to the CDC.
There are two main characters: low peril, which usually simply make genital warts, and high risk, which can lead to penile, anal, and cancers. You can catch it via intercourse, oral sex, or even skin-to-skin contact during sex.
Using condoms during sex can help reduce, but not remove, your chances of infection, tells Michael Krychman, M.D ., executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health.
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Signs of HPV : HPV almost never has visible symptoms, tells Herbenick.
Most stress dont make warts, and when they do, theyre often tinynot like the
scare photos from your high schools health class
How to detect HPV : Unfortunately, “there wasnt” currently recommended tests to detect HPV in humankinds, Dr. Ghanem says.
How to treat HPV : While warts can be frozen off, removing the lesion doesnt cure your infection. The warts can recur and the infection can still be spread, Dr. Ghanem explains.
Thats why vaccinationwhich is recommended for straight humankinds through age 21, or men who have sex with humankinds through age 26 and wearing condoms is so important to help reduce the health risks, tells Dr. Krychman.
This article originally appeared on MensHealth.com .