Your sexual health is an important part of your overall well-being, which is why it’s important to be aware of the risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Left untreated, these can go on to become sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In 2018 alone, there were 26 million new cases of STDs in the U.S., so the dangers of these diseases aren’t going away anytime soon.
For women, STDs also involve an increased risk of complications including pelvic pain and reproductive issues. Women living in the Las Vegas, Nevada area looking for relief from STDs and STD complications can find relief with Dr. Staci McHale, and the medical team at her award-winning practice, New Beginnings OB-GYN.
The connection between STDs and pelvic pain
As the name indicates, STDs are often transmitted by unprotected sex where your genitals are directly exposed to an infection. STDs are generally caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite. Many of them come with similar symptoms, such as genital sores, painful urination, vaginal discharge, unusual vaginal bleeding, painful sex, lower abdominal pain, and rashes.
Though both men and women have unpleasant symptoms from STDs, women can have unique complications from STDs including pregnancy complications, pelvic inflammatory disease, and pelvic pain.
STD-related causes of pelvic pain
Here are some specific STDs that can cause pelvic pain:
One of the most common STDs, this particular condition may not even show symptoms initially. When it does happen, pelvic pain is one of the symptoms you can expect, along with a yellowish or white vaginal discharge, painful intercourse, painful periods, genital itching and burning, and dull abdominal pain.
Another very common STD, this illness has many of the same symptoms as above (including pelvic pain) but it can also affect other parts of your body, such as your rectum, eyes, throat, and joints.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
If you have untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia, it can eventually lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which spreads throughout your reproductive system (fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus). It doesn’t always cause symptoms, but symptoms can include chronic pelvic pain, fever, chills, painful periods, painful intercourse, unusual vaginal discharge, and painful, frequent, or difficult urination.
Methods of treatment
Antibiotics are a common method of treatment for all of the above conditions. To prevent STDs, make sure to use a barrier method of protection (such as condoms or dental dams) or another method such as abstinence. Be sure to inform your partner(s) if you have an STD so they can be treated and prevent the spread of the infection.
Pelvic pain can come from many different sources, but regardless of the cause (including STDs), we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today to get treatment for STDs and pelvic pain.