Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in Men

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Slideshow Pictures

Symptoms and Signs of Common STDs in Men and Women: Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). It affects both men and women and, in most cases, does not cause any symptoms. When it does produce symptoms and signs, these may not appear for weeks after your infection. Symptoms in women include burning with urination and an abnormal vaginal discharge. Abdominal or pelvic pain is sometimes present. Blood in the urine, urinary urgency (feeling an urgent need to urinate), and increased urinary frequency can occur if the urethra is infected.

  • In men, symptoms, when they occur, can include a discharge from the penis and a burning sensation when urinating.
  • Pain in the testicles sometimes occurs.
  • In both men and women, infection of the rectum can cause rectal pain, bleeding, and discharge from the rectum.

Quick GuideSTD Diagnosis, Images, Symptoms, Treatment

STD Diagnosis, Images, Symptoms, Treatment

What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. STDs are often referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STDs can be transmitted during any type of sexual activity. Some STDs can be cured with a course of antibiotics, while others persist and are not curable. Some STDs may cause debilitating signs and symptoms, while others may be present without causing symptoms at all. Many STDs do not cause notable signs or symptoms and can be spread by infected people even when they are not aware they have the infection.

Who is at risk for STDs?

Anyone who engages in any kind of sexual activity is at risk for STDs. The only way to completely eliminate the risk of acquiring an STD is abstinence from sexual activity. The use of latex condoms during sexual contact can greatly reduce the chances of contracting many STDs, but no method is completely safe.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a report that estimates that 20 million new STD infections occur each year. People aged 15 to 24 account for about half of those newly infected. Young men and young women are about equally affected. According to the CDC, sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are at greater risk for acquiring STDs. In addition to an increased risk of syphilis, over 50% of all new HIV infections occur in MSM.

What causes STDs in men?

STDs can be caused by different kinds of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Sexually transmitted viral infections include human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis B and C, and human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8).

Sexually transmitted bacterial infections include syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

Trichomonas is an example of a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite. Infestations with parasitic bugs, such as lice or scabies, can also be transmitted by close contact and may be acquired during sexual activity.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/22/2016

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