STIs (sexually transmitted infections), also known as STDs, are stigmatized in our society. We associate having an STI with being immoral or promiscuous. This may not be the case, but it still makes telling your current, former, or new partner about an STI difficult.
If you think you may have exposed a partner to an STI or gotten an STI from your partner, you should tell them.
Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is a serious infection of the fallopian tubes and uterus. This infection, which may result in blockage or scarring of the tubes, is the most common preventable cause of infertility in women. It is estimated that over one million women in the U.S.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal condition. It is thought to be caused by an overgrowth of a bacterium called gardnerella vaginalis and certain other bacteria often found in the vaginal fluid.
Symptoms may include:
A condom (rubber, prophylactic) is a sheath worn over the penis. Condoms originally were designed to block the escape of sperm, but now have been shown to be effective in blocking entry and exit of bacteria and some viruses. Most condoms are made of latex but some, called "skin condoms," are made of sheep intestine. Only the latex condom should be used for disease protection because the AIDS virus, and possibly other disease agents, are able to penetrate the larger pores in the skin condom.
A colposcope is a magnifying instrument used to look closely at the surface of the cervix. A colposcopy is an easy office procedure, which is performed very much like routine gynecological exam.