Generally speaking, most STDs don’t go away on their own. They can be treated and resolved, or they are viral and will stay in the body. Here’s a breakdown of common STDs and whether or not they can go away on their own.
1. Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the most common STD in the United States. A virus spreads through sexual or skin-to-skin contact during sex. It goes away in 9 out of 10 cases within two years but without treatment it often leaves lasting health ramifications including scarring and infertility. However, if it doesn’t, it can lead to genital warts and cancer.
Some women discover they have HPV when new health problems arise, like genital warts or if they receive an abnormal pap test. There is no medical test for HPV status, but there is an HPV cervical cancer screening test for women over 30.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STD in the nation. Since it’s bacterial, it can be easily identified with STD testing and effectively treated with antibiotics.
This is an STD that you don’t want to wait and see if it will resolve. Sometimes asymptomatic, it can appear like nothing is wrong, while it could be damaging your reproductive system. The treatment will cure chlamydia but won’t repair any permanent damage caused by the disease.
Gonorrhea is also a bacterial STD that can typically be resolved through the right antibiotic treatment. Unfortunately, the bacteria have started developing resistance to treatment drugs. This means treatment will require more follow-up to ensure it’s completely gone.
Like Chlamydia, you don’t want to wait for gonorrhea to potentially resolve. It can also cause permanent damage by leading to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), so quick testing and treatment can help prevent future health problems.
Syphilis is a bacterial STD that you definitely don’t want to ignore.
It can be deceptive because it usually appears as one or more sores around the area where the bacteria entered your body. These sores can go away on their own, but that doesn’t mean you’re cured.
Without treatment, even if the sore has healed, syphilis will progress to a secondary stage. Syphilis has four stages in total, each more serious than the last.
The good news is it can be treated with antibiotics. As with all STDs, the sooner you can get tested and treated, the better for your long-term health and preventing further spread.
Trichomoniasis is a parasitic STD caused by parasitic protozoa. This infection will not go away on its own, but can also be treated and cured with medication. Reinfections are common, though, so if you have trichomoniasis, it’s important to get retested about three months after treatment.
STD Testing Protects Your Long-Term Health
STDs come in many forms and varieties, and swift testing and treatment can lead to better health outcomes. If you sense something is off with your reproductive health, it’s time for testing.