woman and doctor, Understanding STDs

Your Guide to Understanding STDs and Symptoms in Women

Understanding STDs: A healthy sex life is crucial for a stable relationship. It can help partners reduce stress, improve self-satisfaction, and establish greater emotional intimacy. It also helps improve communication. 

Sadly, others usually neglect to practice safe sex, which can lead to serious sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). While regular STD testing and condoms can help reduce the risk of getting these conditions, you should also educate yourself about the different STDs to understand the associated risks of unprotected sex. 

If you want to make better choices for your sexual health, this article will discuss some common STDs and their symptoms in women. We’ll also provide tips for preventing STDs and some testing guidelines. 

1. Chancroid 

Understanding STDs: Chancroid usually occurs after sexual contact, where a small bump appears on the skin several days afterward. This bump can eventually turn into a painful ulcer and bleed. It’s highly contagious, and it can spread through any form of sexual or skin-to-skin contact. 

Women are more likely to find this infection around the labia, clitoris, and the entrance to the vagina. Symptoms of chancroid include tenderness in the groin, swollen lymph nodes, and pain or burning when urinating or pooping. 

2. Genital Herpes

Understanding STDs: People contract genital herpes because of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It spreads through contact with an infected person’s genitals. When it enters your body, the virus travels to the nerve roots near the spinal cord. HSV-1 causes sores around the mouth, while HSV-2 causes infections around the anus and genitals. 

Many adults are infected with the virus but may not display any signs. However, those who develop symptoms may feel itching, burning, or redness in the affected regions. It can eventually cause blisters and open sores in the genital, rectal, or buttock areas. Moreover, genital herpes can cause painful urination, headaches, flu-like symptoms, and backaches. Additionally, the virus is highly contagious as the sores are visible. 

3. Hepatitis B (HBV) 

Understanding STDs: Hepatitis B usually spreads through sexual contact, where it can cause short- or long-term health problems, and liver damage being the most severe consequence. While it can sometimes clear up by itself, some people who contract it will develop a lasting, chronic form of the virus, which can be contagious. This disease causes over two million deaths annually in the United States. 

Understanding STDs: Symptoms of hepatitis B include jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, fever, feeling ill, and liver complications. 

4. HIV and AIDS 

Understanding STDs: People usually pass and contract human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through sexual contact or sharing needles and syringes. You can detect HIV through testing, which can take up to 12 weeks to see it. Untreated HIV can take ten years before it can cause extreme weight loss, mental disability, different types of cancer, and death. 

On the other hand, AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a severe form of HIV infection and is the most advanced stage of the virus. People with AIDS can experience symptoms like fatigue, sores, and pneumonia.

How to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Understanding STDs: You can practice safe sex using condoms, dental dams, or latex gloves. You should also clean the area before and after sex and pee afterward. Moreover, you should schedule regular STD testing. Additionally, talk openly with your partner about your likes, dislikes, and any potential STDs you both may have.

Some Testing Guidelines to Remember

Understanding STDs: You must get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia annually if you’re under 25 or have sex with multiple partners. You should also schedule at least one HIV test between 15 and 65 years old. Moreover, get screened for human papillomavirus (HPV) every five years after age 30 if the pap test shows abnormal results. 


Understanding STDs: Nobody deserves to contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs) because they can negatively affect one’s overall well-being. You can protect yourself by scheduling regular STD testing, practicing safe sex, and educating yourself about the different conditions. 

If you need STD testing in Santa Fe, NM, visit Aspen Medical Center! We are a locally-owned outpatient medical facility committed to offering high-quality primary and urgent care services. Schedule your appointment now to enjoy a worry-free sex life! 

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