What is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?
STI means sexually transmitted infection while STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. Most STDs or diseases begin with infections, but not all infections will lead to a disease. Sexually transmitted diseases usually first begin as sexually transmitted infections. An infection, whether it's sexually transmitted or otherwise, occurs when certain pathological organisms like bacteria or viruses invade and multiply inside the body. Many times, an infection has no symptoms, whoever is infected is not aware that they are infected, whereas someone with a disease does usually have symptoms. An infection can produce tissue injury and lead to overt diseases through different processes. An STD occurs when an infection is transmitted during sex, although it may not be exclusively during sex since some infections are transmitted through touching or kissing. Many persons with an STI like chlamydia or gonorrhea have little to no symptoms.
STDs used to be called venereal diseases or VD, and are now also referred to as sexually transmitted infections, or STIs. Here are some of the most common ones:
STIs during pregnancy
Having an STD or an STI during pregnancy is quite different from when you are not pregnant. During pregnancy, STDs/STIs can affect not only you but the developing fetus as well. Some infections have worse outcomes for mom during pregnancy, while others cause problems for the baby and not the mother.
The best way to protect yourself from STIs is to have regular check-ups with your gynecologist and get tested regularly. Be honest when asked questions about sexual partners. Ask questions about the best forms of protection. If you are considering pregnancy in the future, it is best to find out as soon as possible because it can affect not only your chances of getting pregnant but also the development of the pregnancy.
Here are some infections that can occur without sexual activity yet can also be passed via sexual contact:
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection
- Group B Strep Infection
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Yeast Infection
- ZIKA Virus