Understanding STIs: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

In personal wellness, staying informed about our health is crucial. One important aspect of this is understanding sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs are a common concern, and having accurate information is critical to making informed decisions about your sexual health. The CDC reveals that over 20 million individuals in the United States acquire these infections annually, with approximately half of them falling within the age group of 15–24. These statistics highlight the need for increased awareness, prevention, and access to STI testing and treatment to reduce the prevalence of STIs and protect individuals from potential health complications.

This blog educates on the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of STIs, emphasizing the importance of early detection and treatment.

What Are the Types of STIs?         

There are several types of STIs, each with its symptoms and causes. Some of the most common types include:

  1. Chlamydia

It is a curable infection caused by bacteria. Although symptoms may go unnoticed, it is essential to seek treatment promptly. Untreated chlamydia can lead to severe complications and permanent damage to reproductive organs.

  1. Genital Herpes

It results from herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), causing itchy sores and painful blisters on the skin that come in contact with the infected person's genitals.

  1. Genital Warts

Specific strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) cause genital warts, characterized by small bumps or growths in and around the genital and rectal areas. Although HPV is incurable, treatments are available for genital warts.

  1. Gonorrhea

It is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae), also known as "the clap" or "drip." As it usually does not present symptoms, regular testing helps detect it on time, containing its spread.

  1. Hepatitis B

It is a viral infection that impacts your liver by inflaming the liver tissues. Initially, it presents as an acute infection, but in some instances, it progresses into a chronic infection that persists indefinitely, potentially resulting in cirrhosis and liver failure.


HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) attacks and kills immune system cells, compromising the body's ability to defend against other illnesses. If left untreated, HIV can progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is characterized by a significant decrease in specific white blood cells and extensive damage to the immune system.

  1. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

It affects various human body areas, such as the face, feet, hands, and genitals. The strain of HPV that targets the genital region is a sexually transmitted infection transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact.

  1. Pubic Lice

Pubic lice, also known as crabs, are tiny parasites in the pubic hair surrounding the genital area. Transmission occurs when one person's pubic hair comes into contact with another person's infested hair.

  1. Syphilis

It is caused by a bacterium, which can be effectively treated with antibiotic medication. However, if left untreated, syphilis can result in blindness, brain damage, heart issues, eye problems, and damage to the nervous system.

  1. Trichomoniasis

Also known as "trich," the infection is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Many individuals may have trich without experiencing any symptoms. As trich is contagious, it is possible to transmit the infection to others through sexual contact unknowingly.

  1. Vaginitis

It is a medical condition encompassing several disorders that infect or inflame the vagina. When both the vagina and vulva (the external female genitals) are affected, it is referred to as vulvovaginitis, which is caused by yeast, bacteria, or viruses.

Additionally, vaginal dryness, a lack of estrogen, and irritations from sprays, creams, or even clothing can cause vaginitis. 

What Are the Causes of STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections are caused by various infectious organisms that are transmitted through sexual contact, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. These microorganisms can spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex and may also be passed from mother to child during childbirth.

What Are the Risk Factors for Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Sexually active individuals are at risk of developing STIs. Other factors that may increase your chances of acquiring STIs include:

  • Unprotected sex
  • A history of STIs
  • Sharing needles containing blood during unregulated piercings and tattoos and using
  • IV drugs
  • Having many sexual partners
  • Being forced to engage in sexual activity

What Are the Symptoms of STIs?

STI symptoms vary depending on the type of infection you have. Sometimes, you may not have any symptoms, but when you do have symptoms, they may affect your genital area and include:

  • Bumps, warts, or sores on or near your vagina, mouth, penis, or anus
  • Painful urination or frequent urination
  • Swelling or severe itching around your penis or vagina
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Discharge from your penis
  • Painful sex
  • Unusual vaginal discharge that has a foul odor and causes irritation

Besides, you may have other symptoms across your body, including:

  • Night sweats
  • Skin rash
  • Weight loss
  • Fever and chills
  • Jaundice (yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes)
  • Diarrhea
  • Aches and pain

How Are Sexually Transmitted Infections Treated?

Your STI treatment depends on the type and severity of your infection. Generally, treatments for STIs include oral/injectable antibiotics or antiviral medications.

As some STIs cannot be cured, your treatment is intended to:

  • Minimize your symptoms
  • Decrease the probability of spreading the infection
  • Cure some STIs
  • Regain your health and wellness

Final Thoughts

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are essential not only to alleviate symptoms but also to prevent further spreading of the infection. Many STIs can be effectively treated with antibiotics or antiviral medications, so following the prescribed treatment regimen and completing the full course of medication is enough to eliminate STIs. Also, communicate openly with your sexual partner about STI status and practice safe sex to prevent re-infection.

Receive the Most Reliable STI Treatment at North Atlanta Women's Care

At North Atlanta Women's Care, we are committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care for individuals dealing with sexually transmitted infections. With a focus on thorough STI screening and personalized treatment plans, our gynecologists ensure that patients receive the best care possible. Contact us today if you are looking for the best STI treatment across Suwanee/Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Cumming, and Lawrenceville, GA.


North Atlanta Women's Care

North Atlanta Women’s Care specializes in complete women's health care and is the preferred source of comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology services for many women in Johns Creek, Georgia, and the greater Atlanta area.

STD Treatment & Information

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