Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common and preventable causes of morbidity and serious complications. Untreated chlamydial and gonococcal infection may result in pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain in 10 to 20 percent of cases. STDs can also result in adverse outcomes in pregnancy, including spontaneous abortion, still birth, premature birth, and congenital infection. Finally, the presence of STDs can facilitate HIV transmission. Thus, primary prevention of STDs needs to be given high priority.
This topic addresses issues related to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Screening for sexually transmitted diseases is discussed elsewhere.