By Dr Michelle Chia

Having a sexually transmitted disease is not news you will brag to your friends about. But as embarrassing as it is to acknowledge that you have caught a sexually transmitted disease, it is of absolute importance to seek treatment early for this!

What are the common types of sexually transmitted diseases in women?

Some of the most common types of sexually transmitted disease in women include infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and genital warts, to name a few. Chlamydia is by far the most commonly seen sexually transmitted disease in woman.

Why is chlamydia so common?

The main reason for this lies in the fact that majority of the female patients that are infected with chlamydia actually do not have any obvious symptoms.

Many of these patients who have detected their chlamydia infection, had it picked up because of a routine STD screen, or because their partner had been diagnosed with it.

With this sinister infection lying quietly in the women’s bodies, there are actually a huge number of women who are infected who actually go undetected and untreated. On top of this, chlamydia also spreads extremely easily through sexual intercourse, especially if it is unprotected.

What are the possible symptoms to look out for?

While many patients do not have symptoms, that is not always the case.

Some of the common symptoms to look out for include:

-yellowish discharge

-vaginal irritation and itch

-vaginal discomfort

Other sexually transmitted diseases such as genital warts or herpes will have more obvious symptoms such as the sensation of painful blisters over the genital region, or the presence of bumps over the area.

How should you get screened for STDs?

Given that some of the most common sexually transmitted disease actually do not carry obvious symptoms, this emphasizes the importance of going for regular STD screening in order not to miss out any possible infection you may have caught.

This is especially important if you have a recent change in partner or having regular unprotected intercourse with different partners.

It is recommended to get regular screening done every few months rather than waiting for symptoms to appear.

Screening for sexually transmitted diseases in women will involve both vaginal swabs and blood tests.

What happens if you don’t get tested or treated for your STD?

Any delay in diagnosis or treatment of STDs can lead to unwanted consequences for women. You may risk:

  • Spreading the infection to other partners
  • Long term inflammation in your womb and fallopian tubes which can lead to infertility in the future

What can you do to avoid complications from happening?

If you have multiple sexual partners, a new partner or recently found out that your regular partner has been unfaithful to you, go for a STD screen early to ensure you have not caught any infections. If you have, then early treatment can go a long way in preventing those unwanted long term consequences.