The term “sexually transmitted disease” refers to an infection that can be transmitted through individuals though sexual intercourse. The STD can be a virus, bacterium or parasite.
While men and women can both be affected by STDs, health issues that can arise from an STD may be more severe in women. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that untreated STDs cause about 24, 000 women in the United States to become infertile every year.
Some STDs cause noticeable symptoms — these common symptoms may alert individuals that something is wrong and they should receive testing for STDs. But other types of STDs do not cause symptoms in many patients.
The MayoClinic.com has made several recommendations for getting tested for STDs. For example, sexually active woman should be screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
The CDC stated that in 2010, there were 1,307,893 chlamydial infections reported in the United States. Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, and it can be transmitted through oral sex, anal sex and vaginal sex, as well as through vaginal childbirth.
Many women who have chlamydia do not have symptoms — about 75 percent of female patients, according to WomenHealth.gov. If a woman with chlamydia does experience symptoms, they begin one to three weeks after she has been infected with the bacterium.
Chlamydia symptoms that women can have include a burning sensation when urinating and abnormal vaginal discharge if the STD affects the urethra and cervix. Other symptoms of chlamydia can occur if the infection affects the fallopian tubes.
These include symptoms such as pain during intercourse, nausea, low back pain and fever. Additional symptoms of chlamydia are lower abdominal pain and bleeding between menstruations.
Treatment for chlamydia is antibiotics. Common options include taking doxycycline twice a day for a week or one dose of azithromycin, noted the CDC.