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Information on common sexually transmitted infections, their symptoms, prevention and treatment.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
Most cases occur in people between 15 to 24 years of age.
Chlamydia is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with an infected person. A pregnant woman with chlamydia can pass the infection to the baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
Symptoms may appear 1-3 weeks (or up to 6 weeks) after exposure.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea.
Most cases are in young adults under 25 years of age.
Over the years, gonorrhea has become harder to treat because there are more drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea in many parts of the world and Canada.
Gonorrhea is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with an infected person. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can pass the infection to the baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
Symptoms may appear 2-7 days after contact.
Herpes is an infection caused by a virus called Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).
There are two types of herpes viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2). HSV-1 commonly causes cold sores on the lips and mouth. Most genital herpes cases are caused by HSV-2.
Herpes is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact with the open sores or blisters. This type of contact may occur with kissing or oral, vaginal or anal sex.
Genital herpes can be spread more easily during an active infection (from the time there are early signs of infection until the sores are completely healed).
More commonly, transmission occurs when there are no symptoms (this is called asymptomatic shedding). Herpes may also be spread from a mother to her baby during childbirth.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Genital Warts are the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the world.
There are more than 100 types of HPV and more than 30 types are sexually transmitted.
It is estimated that about 75% of sexually active Canadians will have at least one HPV infection during their lifetime.
Genital warts are the most easily recognized sign of genital HPV infection.
Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) is the broad name of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that occur in males and are caused by germs other than gonorrhea bacteria.
NGU occurs in the urethra, the tube where urine is passed from the bladder to outside the body.
About 30% of the time, NGU is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria (which cause chlamydia). Other causes include Mycoplasma genitalium bacteria, Trichomonas vaginalis (which cause "trich") or herpes viruses.
It is common that men may have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may take one to five weeks to show up.
Pubic lice, also known as "crabs," are parasites that can live in the pubic or genital area of humans. They may also be found on coarse body hair like the thighs, chest, armpits, eyebrows or moustache/beard.
Pubic lice are different from head or body lice. Pubic lice are very small (the size of a pinhead). They are reddish-brown or light gray in colour and can be seen moving in the hair. They live for about 3 weeks. They survive for about 24 hours off the body.
Adult pubic lice lay eggs called "nits." Nits look like small, brown dots that cannot be pulled or washed off the hair. Nits hatch after 7-10 days.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium treponema pallidum.
Syphilis is spread from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Transmission occurs during vaginal, oral or anal sex. Syphilis can be spread from mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery.
Genital sores from syphilis make it easier to spread Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (both passing it on and acquiring it).
Primary Stage (the first stage)
Secondary Stage (the second stage)
Latent and Late Stages
The long-term complications of Syphilis
It can damage the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints.
Syphilis in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, serious birth defects and possible death of the newborn.
Vaginal infections are a common reason for a woman to see her doctor.
Vaginal infections are caused by bacteria (germs) that normally live in the vagina and have overgrown causing symptoms.Things that can allow bacteria to overgrow include use of bath oils, bubble baths, douches, scented pads or tampons, poor hygiene, or use of tight, non-absorbent underwear.
The three most common vaginal infections are:
A vaginal discharge is normal. If you have a vaginal infection you may notice a change in the color, amount or odour of the discharge.
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