The Most Common Social Diseases Transmitted Through Intimacy

21. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Most people wouldn’t think of MRSA as a sexually transmitted disease. Nevertheless, it is possible to contract it via sexual intercourse… Trista - July 6, 2019
Allen County Department of Public Health

21. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Most people wouldn’t think of MRSA as a sexually transmitted disease. Nevertheless, it is possible to contract it via sexual intercourse since transmission is through skin-to-skin contact. Despite this, however, contracting MRSA through sexual contact is quite rare. People commonly find MRSA in hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities where people with weakened immune systems and open wounds. They are vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections. It takes roughly 72 hours for MRSA to infect human tissue and become drug-resistant.

Initially, MRSA presents itself as small, red bumps that look like pimples along with fever and a rash. After a few days, the minor wounds grow into large, deep boils filled with pus. Everyone carries bacteria on their skin, so the possibility of contracting MRSA is constant. Fortunately, it’s scarce to get MRSA through sexual contact. Luckily, washing hands frequently with soap and water, especially after sex, can keep your risk of getting MRSA low. It’s also a good idea not to share personal items you put on your skin to minimize infection. Examples of this include razors and tweezers.

STD Rapid Test Kits

20. Pubic Lice

Commonly known as crabs, pubic lice is an infestation of the pubic louse, a parasitic insect that infests human pubic hair. It’s possible to have pubic lice living in other areas with hair like the eyelashes or abdomen. Itching is the primary symptom of pubic lice because of the skin’s hypersensitivity to louse saliva. Within two weeks of the initial infestation, that hypersensitivity becomes more vigorous, leading to extreme itchiness. Sexual activity is the way to acquire pubic lice. Moreover, the lice can only survive away from the human body’s warmth and humidity for a short period. There are three forms of pubic lice: the nit, the nymph, and the adult.

Lice eggs, or nits, firmly attach to the hair shaft, making them hard to spot. Nits take roughly 6 to 10 days to hatch. An immature louse hatches from the nit, becoming a nymph. Nymphs usually take about two to three weeks to grow into adult lice that can begin reproducing. Pubic lice must feed on blood for survival. It’s possible to remove lice by cutting the affected hair with scissors, but doctors recommend a topical treatment. You should apply an over-the-counter lice lotion. Keep it on the skin and hair for more than an hour. Additionally, you should use another round of medication within seven to ten days of the initial treatment to kill newly hatched nymphs.

Woman’s Day

19. Herpes

Herpes simplex virus is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and falls under two categories: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is the strain that causes cold sores, and HSV-2 produces genital herpes. However, both strains are very contagious. Nearly 70% of the world’s population under the age of 50 has with HSV-1. Though there are several ways to transmit herpes, sexual contact is the primary source.

In many cases, symptoms of herpes never develop in those who become infected. Herpes is identified as watery blisters found on the mouth, nose, lips, or genitals. Unlike several other sexually transmitted diseases, herpes is a lifelong infection; there is no cure for this STD. The virus can go into dormancy, but you can still transfer it to a sexual partner during this time. Doctors prescribe antiviral drugs for treatment. They lower the chance of transmission and reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. You can use condoms to help reduce the risk of spreading herpes. However, herpes transmission is through skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, condom use is not 100% effective against herpes.


18. Zika Virus

Most people know of the Zika virus spreads through mosquitoes. However, did you know people can transmit it via sexual contact? Doctors document sexual transmission of the Zika virus in six countries: the United States, France, Argentine, Chile, Italy, and New Zealand. The CDC recommends that men who have traveled in areas known for having Zika should refrain from sex or use condoms for six months after returning home. It’s essential to do so because even if you don’t show any symptoms, the virus is transmissible.

Zika virus causes Zika fever, which mildly resembles dengue fever. Joint pain, fever, headaches, and rashes are symptoms of Zika and typically last less than a week. Infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other brain defects in children. Furthermore, no vaccine for Zika exists, and neither does a specific treatment. Doctors recommend rest and acetaminophento treat symptoms. Using condoms and avoiding mosquito bites are the best ways to reduce your risk of developing the Zika virus.

17. Hepatitis

There are many strains of hepatitis, but the most common one associated with sexual activity is hepatitis B. Hepatitis B affects the liver and can cause scarring, cirrhosis, and cancer. It can take one to six months for symptoms to appear, and many infected with hepatitis B don’t experience any after the initial infection. Yellow skin, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dark urine are all indicators of hepatitis B. This sexually transmitted disease spreads via exposure to infected blood or bodily fluids. It’s also possible for a mother to pass it to her child during pregnancy.

Aside from transmission from mother to child, sexual contact and intravenous drug use are the most common infection methods. Kissing, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding cannot spread hepatitis B. The infection is commonly diagnosed 30 to 60 days after exposure. Fortunately, a vaccine is available, and it’s effective 95% of the time. One-third of the world population has been affected by hepatitis B at some point in their lives. Doctors treat chronic hepatitis B infections with antiviral drugs to stop the disease from replicating and minimize liver damage.


16. Chancroid

Although chancroid, or soft chancre, is unusual in the western world, it’s the most common reason for genital ulcers worldwide. Chancroid presents itself as large, painful sores on the genitalia. Ulcers can range from ⅛ to two inches and bleed easily. Swollen lymph nodes occur in 30 to 60% of those with chancroid, affecting the rest of the immune system. Women with chancroid can also experience pain during sex or urination. Half of the men infected have just one ulcer, while women can have four or more.

A bacterial infection found mostly in developing countries is the cause of chancroid. Only one case of chancroid per two million people in the western world has been diagnosed. Those people have contracted the disease after visiting a developing country. Chancroid comes with an increased risk of contracting HIV. Roughly 10% of those with chancroid also have another sexually transmitted disease like HIV/AIDS or syphilis. There are treatment options that cure the infection and prevent transmission of the disease to others. Thankfully, there are no adverse effects of chancroid infection in pregnant mothers to have healthy normal births.

VeryWell Health

15. Chlamydia

Chlamydia rarely presents symptoms. In turn, it is the most common STD. If symptoms do develop, it’s several weeks after infection. Men may experience painful, swollen testicles, discharge, and burning with urination. For women, painful urination and vaginal discharge may occur. Chlamydia can spread to a woman’s upper genital tract, possibly causing pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, or future infertility. Frequent Chlamydia infections that go untreated can cause trachoma, a common cause of blindness.

It’s possible to transmit chlamydia via oral, vaginal, and anal sex as well as during childbirth. Doctors recommend yearly screenings for sexually active women under the age of 25, people with a higher risk of STDs, and pregnant women. Using condoms, not having sex, and having just one uninfected partner can reduce your risk of contracting chlamydia. This infection is easy to treat; people cure it with a round of antibiotics. It’s common to wait seven days after the end of treatment before having sex. You should also be tested three months again following procedure. Worldwide, chlamydia affects 4.2% of women and 2.7% of men.


14. Scabies

Known as the seven-year itch, scabies is a severely contagious skin infestation. People do not commonly know this condition as a sexually transmitted disease. However, people can be share it through skin-to-skin contact. Scabies causes a pimple-like rash and extreme itchiness. Symptoms typically appear two to six weeks after being infected. The disease may appear all over the body or just in certain areas like between the fingers, wrists, and genital regions. Pain and itchiness associated with scabies tend to get worse at night.

With scabies, a female mite burrows into the skin and lays eggs. An allergic reaction to the bugs is what causes symptoms. Between 10 and 15 mites are responsible for creating an outbreak of scabies. A relatively long period of direct skin contact with an infected individual can result in transmission. At least 10 minutes of sexual contact or another method of touch is needed to get scabies. Latex condoms are ineffective at preventing scabies transmission because the mites tend to travel from person to person via other areas of the body, not the sexual organs.

Harcourt Health Doctor

13. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

The pelvic inflammatory disease occurs when bacteria from another STD travel from the vagina or cervix into the uterus. Like many other sexually transmitted diseases, PID usually displays no symptoms. When present, symptoms include fever, vaginal discharge, irregular menstruation, and pain or bleeding during sex. If left untreated, PID can cause extreme complications like infertility, cancer, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. 75 to 90% of PID cases result from gonorrhea and Chlamydia infections. 10% of chlamydia and 40% of gonorrhea infections left untreated will lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.

Among risk factors of developing PID include STDs, drug use, and a high number of sexual partners. Doctors say vaginal douching can affect PID. Doctors consider PID when treating women of childbearing age with abdominal pain. Using condoms and having few sexual partners can reduce your risk of developing PID. Also, if a woman is at risk for contracting chlamydia screening and treatment reduces their risk of developing PID. A single antibiotic injection and two weeks of oral antibiotics can treat PID for women with mild symptoms. More severe cases require intravenous antibiotics. PID affects an estimated one million women in the United States every year.

Verywell Family

12. Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)

Inflammation of the urethra caused by something other than gonorrhea is known as nongonococcal urethritis. NGU is more common in men. The main cause is from touching the mouth, genitals, or anus with an infected penis. Symptoms include burning while urinating, discharge, itching, and tenderness of the genitals. There are many causes of NGU stemming from the wide variety of organisms that live in the urinary tract. This sexually transmitted disease comes from an infection that is viral, fungal, bacterial, or parasitic. Conducting tests and urine samples may determine what kind of condition it is so that you can start treatment immediately.

Testing for NGU is relatively simple. Does the person’s discharge shows any signs of gonorrhea bacteria? If not, the doctor’s diagnosis is NGU. A strain of chlamydia bacteria causes roughly 23 to 55% of cases. Doctors recommend a broad range of antibiotics to treat NGU because many different bacteria can cause the infection. Infertility and infected testicles can occur if NGU is left untreated. Using condoms is the best way to reduce the occurrence of NGU infection.


11. Molluscum Contagiosum

People occasionally call this STD water warts. Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection with small, dimpled pink lesions. They can be sore or itchy and commonly affect the abdomen, genitals, arms, legs, and face. Injuries tend to appear seven weeks after infection and fade away within a year. The molluscum contagiosum virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact like sexual activity. People can also transmit it by using a contaminated object like a towel. An infected individual also spreads the infection to other areas of their body, making treatment options more complicated.

A weak immune system, crowded living conditions, and eczema are risk factors for developing molluscum contagiosum. It’s also possible to become reinfected after the initial infection, so care should be taken in washing clothes and other household objects properly to minimize the chance of reinfection. Avoid sharing personal items, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands to reduce your risk of developing molluscum contagiosum. Treatment isn’t required, but having warts frozen or scraped off can help your skin look better and prevent spreading. A topical cream can also help reduce the infection. Roughly 1.8% of the world’s population has molluscum contagiosum.

Advanced Gynecology

10. Penile Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that is a result of a type of yeast. That is similar to what is in yeast infections, but it can be sexually transmitted in some instances. Penile candidiasis is rarer than yeast infections, but engaging in anal sex with an infected person can result in the fungal infection spreading. Thankfully, it is scarce for the disease to spread to the rest of the body. The most common symptoms of penile candidiasis are red skin around the head of the penis, irritation, itchiness, lumpy discharge under the foreskin, and pain during urination or sexual intercourse.

You can prevent such yeast infections by wearing cotton underwear so that the skin can breathe, minimizing the risk of yeast infections. Washing the area regularly with antibacterial and antifungal soap can also help reduce the risk. In the event of an illness, you can take a range of antifungal medications orally. Alternatively, you can apply topical medications to the skin.


9. Cytomegalovirus

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a STD that spreads through bodily fluids. You might be surprised to see that it is widespread, and there is no way to tell if someone has it. Some people might develop a mild rash or cold-like symptoms. However, some infected people have no signs or significant consequences. Since there is a considerable lack of symptoms, people are usually completely unaware they have it. Doctors estimate that more than 80 percent of the U.S. population are carriers. CMV is sexually transmitted. However, most of the time, it is entirely asymptomatic.

The most common symptoms will include fever, pneumonia, diarrhea, ulcers, or behavioral changes. That is, if you show symptoms. More severe symptoms might consist of inflammation of the brain, seizures, blindness, and even coma. There is no cure for CMV. Once you are infected, your body will retain the virus for the rest of your life. The largest population at risk with CMV includes pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. One shocking fact about CMV is that about four in 10 Americans become infected with CMV before puberty. However, they are not necessarily infected through sex but rather through contact with saliva.


8. Mucopurulent Cervicitis

Mucopurulent cervicitis, aka MPC, is a STI of the cervix. Many different germs can cause MPC. These include germs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other germs that are unknown. Females can get MPC through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. That person has the germs that cause MPC. Oral, vaginal, or anal sex without a condom can cause MPC if they are with an infected partner. What’s incredibly scary is that you can pass on the germs without even knowing it. The best way to prevent MPC, similar to any other STD or STI, is to use a condom. 

Similar to some other STDs, some people with MPC do not display any symptoms. On the other hand, others may experience some symptoms, including vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods or after sex, pain in the abdomen, or pain during or after vaginal sex. Get tested by a doctor to determine if you have MPC. If left untreated, MPC can be harmful. It can spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. The good news is that MPC is treatable with antibiotics. You will still need to be careful, though, because you can get reinfected if you again have unprotected sex with an infected partner.

The Sun

7. Mononucleosis 

You have likely heard of this illness; people commonly refer to it as mono or the kissing disease. It is typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Mono generally isn’t too serious of an illness, but it can lead to many complications that can make it more dangerous. Symptoms of this disease can range from mild to severe. EBV is part of the herpes virus family. You might even carry the virus in your body for your entire life without having any symptoms of mono. It spreads through bodily fluids, including blood and semen. Mono can also be caught through medical procedures such as blood transfusions or organ transplants, although it is rare.

Mono can cause different symptoms in different people. Interestingly, you might not display symptoms for seven weeks! Some of the most common symptoms can include fever, fatigue, sore throat, and sore muscles. Some individuals might have no signs or ones that are mild that they don’t even notice them. It usually takes a few weeks for people to recover from mono, but it can take up to six months in some cases. Your doctor can usually diagnose mono based on your symptoms. They can confirm the diagnosis with a complete blood count or antibody tests. Mono can be challenging to detect if you’re not aware because the symptoms are common in many illnesses. 

The Scientist Magazine

6. Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus

One of the very few STDs that can cause cancer is the human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV). This scary virus is in the same class of viruses as the HIV/AIDS virus. It is passed on through a few potential avenues. The most common is through sexual contact. However, you can contract the virus through exposure to contaminated blood such as a transfusion or used needle and potentially through breastfeeding. Although not as common in some areas, this particular HTLV virus is endemic in Japan, the Caribbean, South and Central America, West Africa, and the southeastern U.S. 

One of the most alarming aspects of HTLV is that there are little to no symptoms upon infection upon infection. Instead, the virus tends to manifest later in life. When it has all that time to grow and mutate, it can create much more extensive health issues. Roughly five percent of patients with HTLV will be diagnosed with adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma. It can also cause the incapacitating neurological disease HAM/TSP. HTLV can cause uveitis, an inflammation of the eye that can cause blindness and rheumatic syndromes, which causes your immune system to start attacking your own body tissues. Currently, there are no prospects for an effective vaccine.


5. Shigella flexneri

Shigella flexneri is a nasty bug that is a family of pathogens that cause extreme diarrhea. It can result in E.coli and salmonella. You can pass it on by direct or indirect contact with human feces. Typically, shigella flexneri spreads when people do not wash their hands. However, it can also occur when people unknowingly drink contaminated water. People commonly associate this disease with young children and travelers in some low and middle-income countries. The reason it is on this list is that it can also spread through rectal sex. Small outbreaks occur, and there is concern about antibiotic resistance.

The infection causes severe stomach cramps and extreme causes of blood and mucus-filled diarrhea. Diarrhea helps to transmit the bacteria. The antibiotic azithromycin is the most common treatment for shigella flexneri. It is the same medicine doctors use for gonorrhea. However, there are concerns about future resistance to the antibiotic. It has caused doctors to suggest a less popular treatment strategy. For adults who do not have underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems, doctors are commonly recommending withholding antibiotics. They prefer to let the virus take its unpleasant but typically limited course. It is highly infectious, so you should always be extremely careful.


4. Donovanosis

Donovanosis is a genital ulcer disease. The bacterium that causes donovanosis infects the skin around the genitals, groin, or anal area, ultimately causing ulcers and destruction of the skin. Donovanosis is a known risk factor for the transmission of HIV. After infection, one or more painless ulcers, or lumps, will develop on the genitals or around the anus or mouth. However, doctors cure the disease with antibiotics. Without proper treatment, the ulcers can increase in size and form a raised red fleshy lump that progressively destroys the normal skin. Other bacteria can then infect the sores, which also causes them to become extremely painful and distressing. They might even have an unpleasant smell.

You can spread this sexually transmitted disease through sexual contact. Symptoms can appear anytime from one to four weeks after infection. However, it can take up to a year for the condition to develop in some rare instances. A very tiny amount of individuals might become infected through direct, nonsexual touch. It means that they simply had some form of skin-to-skin contact. If treated promptly, donovanosis will go away with an antibiotic, and the ulcers can start healing within days. Depending on the severity of the case and the infection stage, you might need to take antibiotics for several weeks. It is essential to take the full course of medication to ensure a full recovery.

Medical News Today

3. Intestinal Parasites

You might have heard of intestinal parasites before. Likely you associate them with contaminated food or drink. However, you might be surprised to learn that it spreads through sexual contact. Intestinal parasites are microscopic, one-cell animals that infect the intestines. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and even vomiting. The most frequent transmit avenues are sexually through oral and manual contact with the anus. You can test for intestinal parasites by examining a stool sample. Doctors recommend that you use appropriate protection during any form of intercourse.

You can also get intestinal parasites from contaminated sex toys that are contaminated. Performing oral sex might also be a problem. Generally, intestinal parasites people treat this STD with a prescription and an over-the-counter medication. It is typically not a lifelong infection. Millions of people have these parasites. The majority of the time, the conditions are usually asymptomatic and often go unnoticed. However, some can become chronic infections and can lead to serious health consequences if not adequately treated. For people with weakened or compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV, intestinal parasites can be severe and potentially life-threatening.

Transport Topics

2. Neisseria meningitidis

Neisseria meningitidis can cause invasive meningitis. It is a swelling of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. If not caught early and properly treated, meningitis can be deadly. Several things can cause this STD, including parasites, fungi, viruses, and specifically neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria has evolved to survive in the genitals causing them to be sexually transmissible. Surprisingly, neisseria meningitidis is exceptionally similar to neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea. People often mistake the symptoms for each other, although the neisseria meningitidis microbe doesn’t always cause symptoms.

Roughly five to ten percent of adults carry neisseria meningitidis in the back of their nose and throat. It means that they have the potential to transmit the bacteria through oral sex to their partners. These are scary facts because doctors believe that the gonorrhea microbe and the neisseria meningitidis may have exchanged DNA at some point. Gonorrhea is slowly becoming resistant to all but just a couple of antibiotics. That means that neisseria meningitidis may also develop the same resistance one day. Five types of neisseria meningitidis are responsible for most infections worldwide, but two vaccines can currently offer protection against all five.

News Center

1. Hepatitis A

There are several forms of hepatitis, including hepatitis A or (HAV). It is a contagious and acute liver disease that does not become chronic. The virus’s infection can be extremely mild, lasting for a few weeks, or more severe and several months. You can contract Hepatitis A when an unvaccinated person eats or drinks infected fecal matter through objects, food, or drinks that carry the virus. You can also transmit it through sexual contact whenever a partner’s fluids mix with infected fecal matter. The most commonly known way people contract hepatitis A is sexually through oral-anal contact with someone carrying the virus.

People can also contract it through anal sex. Hepatitis A is incredibly contagious. If you become infected, you are contagious even before you display symptoms. Most people with hepatitis A will feel ill for several weeks, but it is common to recover without any permanent or long-lasting liver damage. If you do experience symptoms, they are likely to be fatigue, stomach pain, and nausea. Your body will develop antibodies, after you contract this STD. That you, your body will be unable to get it again. The best method for prevention is to vaccination as it is highly effective at preventing infection. You should also always thoroughly wash your hands and practice safe sex.