STIs and STDs…
What’s the difference?
The terms STI (sexually transmitted infection) and STD (sexually transmitted disease) are often used interchangeably. But do you know the difference?
- The term “STI” (sexually transmitted infection) is used to describe the presence of an infection in the body, which may or may not be accompanied by symptoms.
- The term “STD” (sexually transmitted diseases) on the other hand, describes an infection that has caused damage in a person’s body—though, like sexually transmitted infections, an STD may or may not be accompanied by symptoms.
STI is the broader of the two terms. All STDs are STIs, though not all STIs become STDs.
STI & STD TESTING INFORMATION
Sexually transmitted diseases are diseases passed from person to person during sexual activity (e.g. vaginal, oral and anal sex, outercourse or mutual masturbation). STDs can be transmitted through bodily fluids and, in some cases, skin-to-skin contact.²
It’s important to remember that not everyone infected with an STD will experience signs or symptoms. But STDs can still cause severe damage, and can be passed to your partner(s) without your knowledge. You don’t need to be experiencing symptoms to be contagious. You can spread the disease at any time.
What about abortion?
If not treated prior to an abortion, these infections may cause serious health problems. During an abortion these organisms can be transferred from the vagina into the uterus. When this occurs, a second condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) may develop.³
Immediate symptoms of PID can be mild and even non-existent, but the effects are long lasting. According to the CDC, 1 in 8 women with a history of PID experience difficulty getting pregnant.⁴ PID is known to cause scarring of the Fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy may result in serious maternal complications, even death. Contact us to learn more about STIs and STDs.
Information taken from The Center for Disease Control (2016).
1. The Center for Disease Control (2021). CDC Fact Sheets. Retrieved December 3, 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/fact_sheets.htm.
2. The Center for Disease Control (2021). CDC Fact Sheet: Information for Teens and Young Adults: Staying Healthy and Preventing STDs. Retrieved December 3, 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/stdfact-teens.htm.
3. The Mayo Clinic (2021). Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Retrieved December 3, 2021 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pelvic-inflammatory-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352594.
4. The Center for Disease Control (2021). Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – CDC Fact Sheet. Retrieved Decemeber 3, 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/stdfact-pid.htm.