You may have heard the term “VD STD,” but you weren’t sure what it meant. Is it another type of STD (sexually transmitted disease), or something else altogether? We’ll explore what VD disease is, its symptoms and its treatments.
What Does VD Stand For?
VD stands for “venereal disease.” The venereal disease definition refers to a wide range of infectious STDs. These diseases can be transmitted through:
- Anal intercourse
- Vaginal intercourse
- Skin-to-skin contact in the genital region
- Oral-genital contact
- Sharing sex toys
These diseases typically affect the genital area, including the vagina and penis.
So, which diseases are considered VDs?
Gonorrhea is one of the most common STDs, and it affects both men and women. It can cause infections in the throat, rectum and genitals.
While gonorrhea is primarily spread through sexual contact, pregnant women can spread the disease to their babies during childbirth.
If left untreated, the disease can cause:
- Fertility issues in women
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic/abdominal pain
Syphilis is an STD that can cause serious side effects if left untreated. The disease progresses in four stages: primary, secondary, latent and tertiary.
Each stage of the disease has its own set of unique symptoms. If left untreated, the disease can cause death. The tertiary stage damages the internal organs, and occurs 10-30 years after the infection begins.
Syphilis can be spread through sexual contact, and mothers can also transmit the disease to their babies during childbirth.
Hepatitis B or C
Hepatitis B and C are liver diseases caused by the Hepatitis virus. The disease is transmitted through contact with infected semen, blood, or other bodily fluids.
If left untreated, both diseases can cause serious health issues, including cirrhosis, liver damage, liver cancer and death.
Chlamydia is another common STD that can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. Spread through sexual contact, this disease can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system or cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.
The STD can also be transmitted to a baby during childbirth.
Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) if it goes untreated. PID can cause long-term pelvic pain, fertility issues, and other health issues.
HIV is a virus spread through bodily fluids, which attacks the body’s immune system. If untreated, HIV progresses to AIDS. The disease eventually leaves the body unable to fight off infection and disease.
Herpes is a common STD that’s caused by either the herpes simplex virus type 1 or the herpes simplex virus type 2.
There is no cure for herpes. If left untreated, it can cause painful genital stores in people with poor immune systems.
What You Need to Know about VDs
VDs can affect anyone – male or female – but they are most common in people aged 25 years and younger. The number of people with VDs is on the rise, as sexually active people today are more likely to have more sexual partners.
People who contract a VD may not experience any symptoms. When no symptoms are present, it’s easy to spread the infection to a sexual partner.
VDs can cause serious health issues if left untreated, particularly for women. Tubal pregnancy can be deadly, and many VDs can cause cervical cancer. These diseases can also be spread from mother to her baby during childbirth, which can cause serious health issues for the newborn or even death.
Venereal Disease Symptoms
VDs can cause a wide range of symptoms, which really depend on the disease itself. Some diseases cause more symptoms than others, and some produce no symptoms at all.
Possible symptoms of VDs include:
- Foul-smelling discharge from the penis or vagina
- Burning or pain during urination
- Rashes, blisters, sores or growths in the genital area or anus
- Burning, itching, or pain in the genital region or anus
Less common symptoms including:
- Pelvic pain
- Spotting or bleeding in between periods
- Sore throat
- Swelling in the joints
- Lower back pain
- Ulcers on the vagina
When symptoms do appear, they typically present within just days or weeks of exposure to the STD. If the STD does not present obvious symptoms, it can still be spread to other sexual partners.
It’s important to remember that many VDs do not produce any symptoms. Hepatitis B and C, and HIV (in the early stages) may not cause any symptoms. For this reason, it’s so important to get tested on regular basis.
Can Venereal Disease Be Cured?
Many venereal diseases can be cured, while others can be managed. Even if there is no cure, it’s important to seek treatment. Treatment will help stop the disease from causing more serious side effects later on down the road.
If left untreated, most VDs will cause serious health complications.
Prevention is Key
The only surefire way to avoid VDs is to avoid sexual contact, which is unrealistic for most people. Practicing safe sex can help prevent the spread of all STDs, including VDs.
Remember, birth control will not protect your from sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms can help prevent both pregnancy and STDs.
Keep in mind that condoms do not offer complete protection against genital warts, herpes or syphilis. These diseases can be spread through anal intercourse and in some cases, skin-to-skin contact.
Many VDs can also be spread through oral sex, so be cautious of who you have oral sex with.
Make sure that you and your partner get tested before having sex. Try to limit your sexual partners to just one, and make sure that person does not have an infection or is not sexually active with others.
Venereal diseases are serious STDs and should never be left untreated. If you think you might be at risk for VDs or are sexually active with multiple partners, do yourself a favor and get tested regularly. Practice safe sex and avoid having oral or anal sex to reduce your risk of contracting VDs.
Never be ashamed of getting tested. You’re taking proactive steps to protect yourself. If you’re worried about others finding out about you getting tested, you can opt for a private or at-home testing option.