10 Types of sexually transmitted diseases

The types of Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are ill-health conditions passed from one person to another through sexual activities.

You can contract an STD by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person.

An STD has also been labeled a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or venereal disease (VD). Depending on the specific STD, infections may also be transmitted through other routes asides from sexual activities like breastfeeding and an unhygienic environment. 

HIV has other routes of transmission. For example, this STI can spread through the use of unsterilized drug needles.

Some STIs are benign, but others can lead to severe complications if the infected person does not seek treatment.

Introduction to the types of sexually transmitted diseases

Anyone can contract an STI, regardless of his or her sexual orientation and hygiene standards. Many STIs can transmit through non-penetrative sexual activity.

If you have one STI, it can often increase your chances of contracting another. Some STIs can also lead to severe consequences if left untreated. In rare cases, untreated STDs may even be fatal.

Fortunately, most STDs can be treated and be cured totally. Is essential to note that early and effective treatment can help relieve symptoms, lower your risk of complications, and protect sexual partners.

Symptoms of types of sexually transmitted diseases

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Discharge
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Itchy, rashy skin/skin lesions
  • Chronic coughing
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion/delirium
  • Difficulty breathing

Is essential to note that different sexually transmitted infections present different symptoms and there may be variations in gender

Some specific symptoms of STIs in men

Is important you note that men may contract sexually transmitted infection without a possible symptom although some common symptoms are:

  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • Sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the penis, testicles, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth
  • Unusual discharge or bleeding from the penis

Some specific symptoms of STIs in women

In many cases, STDs don’t cause noticeable symptoms. When they do, common STD symptoms in women include:

  • Pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • Sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the vagina, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth
  • The unusual odor from the vagina
  • Unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina
  • Itchiness in or around the vagina

In this article, some common STIs are discussed to help you cruise in the pool of ideal health

Types of sexually transmitted diseases


Syphilis is among the types of sexually transmitted diseases however, it is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum which slips into the bloodstream and is eventually sent to organs outside the reproductive tract. It often goes unnoticed in its early stages.

The first symptom to appear is a small round sore, known as a chancre. Since syphilis chancres aren’t painful and typically heal within four to six weeks, most boys don’t see a doctor. They assume the mysterious sore is gone for good, but one-third of men and women exposed to primary syphilis progress to a secondary infection

This sexually transmitted disease can develop on your genitals, anus, or mouth.  It’s painless but very infectious.

Later symptoms of syphilis can include:

  • rash
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • weight loss
  • hair loss

If left untreated, late-stage syphilis can lead to:

  • loss of vision
  • loss of hearing
  • loss of memory
  • mental illness
  • infections of the brain or spinal cord
  • heart disease
  • death

Fortunately, if caught early enough, syphilis is easily treated with antibiotics. However, syphilis infection in a newborn can be fatal. That’s why it’s important for all pregnant women to be screened for syphilis.

The earlier syphilis is diagnosed and treated, the less damage it does. 

Types of sexually transmitted diseases

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV can damage the immune system and raise the risk of contracting other viruses or bacteria and certain cancers. If left untreated, it can lead to stage 3 HIV, known as AIDS. But with today’s treatment, many people living with HIV don’t ever develop AIDS when proper medications are taken.

AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is spread through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person or through using a contaminated needle to inject drugs. It is also among the known different types of sexually transmitted diseases.

It can also be spread through intravenous drug use and much less commonly, blood, blood products, needles, or other sharp instruments contaminated with infected body fluids or blood.

In the early or acute stages, it’s easy to mistake the symptoms of HIV with those of the flu. For example, the early symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • aches and pains
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • nausea
  • rashes

These initial symptoms are typically clear within a month or so. From that point onward, a person can carry HIV without developing serious or persistent symptoms for many years. Other people may develop nonspecific symptoms, such as:

  • recurrent fatigue
  • fevers
  • headaches
  • stomach issues

HIV is one of the deadliest sexually transmitted diseases because there’s no cure for it yet. Although, treatment options are available to manage it. Early and effective treatment can help people with HIV live as long as those without HIV.

Proper treatment can also lower your chances of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner. In fact, treatment can potentially lower the amount of HIV in your body to undetectable levels.

With recent advancements in testing and treatment, it’s possible to live a long and healthy life with HIV. 


Gonorrhea usually begins in the urethra (bladder opening) or the cervix. However, the rapidly proliferating Neisseria gonorrhoea bacterium is the pathogen that causes gonorrhea. It can migrate to the uterus and the fallopian tubes, giving rise to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The infection, like chlamydia, may also involve the rectum. It is also known as “the clap.”

Many people with gonorrhea develop no symptoms. But when present, symptoms may include:

  • a white, yellow, beige, or green-colored discharge from the penis or vagina
  • pain or discomfort during sex or urination
  • more frequent urination than usual
  • itching around the genitals
  • sore throat

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to:

  • infections of the urethra, prostate gland, or testicles
  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • infertility

Symptoms typically occur two to ten days after exposure.


  • Penile discharge
  • Mild to a severe burning sensation when urinating
  • Can progress to epididymitis


  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating and/or yellow or bloody vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Progression to pelvic inflammatory disease

Rectal Infection:

  • Anal discharge
  • Anal itching
  • Painful bowel movements

It’s possible for a mother to pass gonorrhea onto a newborn during childbirth. When that happens, gonorrhea can cause serious health problems in the baby. That’s why many doctors encourage pregnant women to get tested and treated for potential STDs.

Types of sexually transmitted diseases


Among the types of sexually transmitted diseases is Genital herpes. It is also commonly called “herpes,” is a viral infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is transmitted through intimate contact with the mucous-covered linings of the mouth or the vagina or the genital skin.

The virus enters the linings or skin through microscopic tears. Once inside, the virus travels to the nerve roots near the spinal cord and settles there permanently.

When an infected person has a herpes outbreak, the virus travels down the nerve fibers to the site of the original infection. When it reaches the skin, the typical redness and blisters occur. After the initial outbreak, subsequent outbreaks tend to be sporadic. They may occur weekly or even years apart.

Two types of herpes viruses are associated with genital lesions: herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2).

HSV-1 more often causes blisters of the mouth area while HSV-2 more often causes genital sores or lesions in the area around the anus.

The outbreak of herpes is closely related to the functioning of the immune system. Women who have suppressed immune systems, because of stress, infection, or medications, have more frequent and longer-lasting outbreaks.

Genital herpes is spread only by direct person-to-person contact. It is believed that a majority of sexually active adults carry the herpes virus.

Symptoms of genital herpes

Once exposed to the virus, there is an incubation period that generally lasts 3 to 7 days before a lesion develops. During this time, there are no symptoms and the virus cannot be transmitted to others. An outbreak usually begins within two weeks of initial infection and manifests as an itching or tingling sensation followed by redness of the skin.

Finally, a blister forms. The blisters and subsequent ulcers that form when the blisters break are usually very painful to touch and may last from 7 days to 2 weeks.

HPV (human papillomavirus)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be passed from one person to another through intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. There are many different strains of the virus. Some are more dangerous than others. Nearly every sexually active person will have HPV at some point.

Most types of HPV have no symptoms and cause no harm, and your body gets rid of them on its own. But some of them cause genital warts.

Others infect the mouth and throat. Still, others can cause cancer of the cervix, penis, mouth, or throat.

The CDC recommends young women and men ages 11 to 26 get vaccinated for HPV. Since there’s no treatment for HPV.

A Pap smear can show most cervical cancers caused by HPV early on. HPV is also among the types of sexually transmitted diseases.


Chlamydia results from an infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. It is a common infection that can spread through anal, vaginal, and oral sex. A pregnant woman can also transmit it to the baby during delivery.

It can infect the urethra (bladder opening) and cervix (uterus opening). It is common in youngsters aged fifteen to nineteen.  It is known to be the most prevalent bacterial STI in the United States.

chlamydia does not usually produce symptoms, but it can result in infertility and other complications if a person does not receive treatment for it. The disease is easily treated, but like other sexually transmitted infections, chlamydia tends to be silent and therefore go undiagnosed until it becomes more serious than in its early stages

If symptoms do occur, they may include a change in vaginal discharge and burning pain during urination.

Chlamydia which is among the types of sexually transmitted diseases, can also affect the rectum, if the infection occurs as a result of anal sex or if the infection spreads from another area. This can lead to:

  • rectal pain
  • rectal bleeding
  • rectal discharge

In those who do develop symptoms, these will usually appear 7–21 days after exposure to the bacterium.

types of sexually transmitted diseases and infections

Scabies among the types of sexually transmitted diseases

Oftentimes people of all races and backgrounds are affected by the infestation of sarcoptes scabiei mite, as well as the human itch mite worldwide, this infestation is generally known as scabies.

Sarcoptes scabiei,  falls under the class of Arachnida and infect both human and animal at varying degrees.

In humans, the availability of mites will determine how contagious the infestation will be.

for instance, incrusted or Norwegian scabies {because it was first analyzed in Norway} is highly contagious due to thousands of these microscopic mites present. The availability of these mites is because of a compromised immune system like in the case of HIV/AIDS.

Crabs, or pubic lice

Pediculosis pubis is an infection of the genital area caused by the crab louse (Phthirus pubis).

The lice (commonly called crabs) are small bugs that are visible to the naked eye without the aid of a magnifying glass or microscope. Crabs, or pubic lice, usually attach to pubic hair. Sometimes, however, they can affect the hair in the armpits, mustache, beard, eyelashes, or eyebrows.

The treatment for pubic lice is usually with a 1% cream rinse of permethrin that is applied to the affected area and washed off after 10 minutes.

The first stage in the life cycle will be the appearance of the eggs, which lasts 6–10 days. After hatching, the lice will look like tiny crabs. They need blood to survive and will live for around 2–3 weeks. In the last day or two, the females will lay more eggs, and the cycle will continue.

Pubic lice can spread from person to person during close physical contact, including sexual contact. They can also transmit via shared towels or bed linen like in the case of scabies.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is among the types of sexually transmitted diseases rated as a major global health problem. It can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

A safe and effective vaccine that offers 98-100% protection against hepatitis B is available. Preventing hepatitis B infection averts the development of complications including the development of chronic disease and liver cancer.

Once a person has the virus, it can remain in their semen, blood, and other bodily fluids.

Transmission is possible through:

  • sexual contact
  • using nonsterile equipment for injections
  • puncturing the skin with a sharp object where the virus is present

it can also be congenital although, as long as the nipples are not cracked, the risk of transmitting the virus through breast milk is negligible, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Trichomoniasis, or trich, is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis it can affect both males and females, but females are more likely to experience symptoms

More women than men get trichomoniasis, which is caused by this tiny parasite.

Men and women can give it to each other through penis-vagina contact. Women can give it to each other when their genital areas touch.

In females, it is most likely to affect the vagina. In males, the infection can develop in the urethra.

Symptoms of trichomoniasis may include itching, burning, or sore genitals. You might also see a smelly, clear, white, yellowish, or greenish discharge. Others may include

  • pain during urination
  • pain during ejaculation
  • pain or discomfort during sex

Trich can also lead to pregnancy complications and increase the risk of both contracting and transmitting HIV.

These types of Sexually transmitted diseases are not to be neglected. If you think you have been exposed do well to see a physician.

Different pathogens bring about different types of sexually transmitted diseases is ideal you always take preventive and precautionary measures.