Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections spread from person to person during sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) or close intimate contact. STDs also called sexually transmitted infections, or STIs. It's important to learn about STDs so you can protect yourself.

Most STDs can be prevented by using a condom the right way, every time someone has sex.

Read more about the signs and symptoms of the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they're diagnosed and treated:

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Talking to Your Partner About STDs

You know you should talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before the action starts. But what if the thought of having "the talk" makes you nervous? These tips can help.

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Telling Your Partner You Have an STD

People who have STDs might feel apprehensive about discussing their disease with a partner. Here are some tips on talking to a partner when you have an STD.

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Talking to Your Partner About Condoms

Some people - even those who are having sex - are embarrassed by the topic of condoms. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner.

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Birth Control Methods: How Well Do They Work?

Some birth control methods work better than others. This chart compares how well different birth control methods work.

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Vaginal Discharge: What's Normal, What's Not

Normal vaginal discharge has several purposes: cleaning and moistening the vagina and helping to prevent infections. But sometimes discharge indicates there's a problem. Get the facts on what's normal and what's not.

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Gyn Checkups

Girls should get their first gynecological checkup between ages 13 and 15. Find out what happens during a yearly gyn visit -- and why most girls don't get internal exams.

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About Birth Control

Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.

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How Do I Get Checked for STDs Without My Parents Knowing?

Find out what the experts have to say.

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Chlamydia

Chlamydia is an STD that often has no symptoms, so lots of people can have it and not know it. Read this article to learn how to protect yourself.

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Genital Warts (HPV)

You've probably heard lots about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. For information on how to protect yourself and how to treat genital warts, read this article.

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Gonorrhea

The STD gonorrhea can be very dangerous if it's not treated, even in someone who has mild or no symptoms. For information about how to protect yourself, read this article.

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease, sometimes called PID, is an infection of the fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, or ovaries. Learn how to protect yourself.

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Pubic Lice (Crabs)

Pubic lice, or "crabs," are tiny insects that usually spread through sex.

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Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Early treatment can cure it and prevent long-term problems.

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Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a curable disease that can be passed from one person to another during sex. The good news is that it can be prevented. Read about how to protect yourself.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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