Uncomfortable down there: A quick low-down on everyday STIs

Have you experienced itching (vaginal itching or on penis) ? Literally itching, but haven't spoken to anyone because you are too shy. The good news is that most STIs are easily treated. Here are five most common STIs - their causes, symptoms and cures.

Also known as Herpes Simplex, it is basically a skin infection virus that shows up around the border of your lips (cold sores, HPV-1) or your genitals (genital herpes, HPV-2). The disease has a lot of stigma attached to it but it can be easily controlled through an anti-viral medicine.

The disease cannot be cured but its debilitating symptoms can be easily treated by taking the required doses of the medicine. Most people who have herpes don’t even know that they have the disease because the symptoms do not show up for everyone. There will be no infections (vaginal infections or vaginal dryness or on penis ). 

Genital Warts

Also called venereal warts, are caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can cause pain, discomfort and vaginal itching or vaginal infection. They are found in both men and women but women are more vulnerable to their complications. Genital warts have a way of coming back unless the underlying infection is treated.

After a person has contracted the disease, it may take weeks for the warts to show up. However, the symptoms (warts) are treatable and the disease (virus), curable.


Chlamydia Trachomatis is the most common STI globally. Many people infected with the disease show no visible symptoms and that makes it very easy for someone to be affected by it and not know it for years. Yellowish discharge from the genitals of the affected person, along with pain in the area are the known symptoms of Chlamydia.

The disease is curable and can be easily treated by a medical practitioner. If left untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women (vaginal infection) and urethral infection in men. 

Pubic Lice

Popularly known as Crabs, this infection happens when lice start infecting your pubic area. A person can contract pubic lice by having sexual contact with someone who already has it and they can even get infected by coming in contact with bed linen, towels or the clothes of an infected person. The common symptoms of pubic lice are vaginal itching or vaginal infection in the genitals along with visible nits (lice eggs) in the area or crawling lice.

There are various oils and solutions that can effectively treat pubic lice. It is not as debilitating as the other diseases in this list but it is definitely the most embarrassing. 


Also known as 'the seven year itch', Scabies is an infection caused by the mite known as Sarcoptes Scabiei. This disease is contagious and spreads through skin to skin contact with an infected person. The mites burrow into the skin of the infected person and this causes rashes and itching in the area (penal or vaginal itching or vaginal infection). More than one million cases of scabies are recorded in India every year.

The disease is curable and the mites can be killed by applying a skin ointment all over the body from the neck down and keeping it for eight hours or by taking oral medicine.


Do you have any questions on STIs? Do you suffer from vaginal itching or vaginal infection? Read our resource page on STIs here. If you have a particular question, please visit our discussion board. You can also visit our Facebook page for more discussion on STIs.

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