Sexual health: Four unfamiliar STDs you need to know about

Contracting any sort of STD can have a disastrous impact on our sexual and mental health, but here are four that are seldom talked about.

Gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV are some of the most-talked about sexually transmitted diseases all over the world. However, there are four rather unknown but equally life-altering diseases that are lurking around in society.

Mycoplasma genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium is actually a type of bacteria which causes an STD. In females, the disease can cause severe urethral infections and it can lead to inflammatory pelvic disease. According to WebMD, this bacteria isn’t transmitted only through penetration, it can also be spread through ‘sexual touching or rubbing.’

Men who have this bacteria could experience symptoms like watery discharge from the penis, or a burning or stinging sensation during urination. While women can face pain and bleeding during sex, along with discharge from the vagina and pain in the pelvic area (below the belly button).


Donovanosis is a sexually transmitted genital ulcer diseasethat causes ulcers and lumps around the genitals, groin, mouth, or anus. If left untreated, the ulcers will grow progressively bigger, destroying normal skin in the surrounding areas. It can also become painful and foul-smelling if infected with other bacteria.

Symptoms normally appear within one to four weeks of infection and are primarily spread through sexual contact.


Like the other STDs, chancroid is also a bacterial infection that causes open sores on and around the genitals. These open sores could bleed or excrete fluid that can then spread the infection on to other people during oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse. While that is the primary mode of transmission, a person can be infected with the bacteria with just skin-to-skin contact.

The symptoms can vary from person to person, but experts at Healthline state that they begin four to seven days after exposure. Those with male genitalia may initially notice small red bumps, which then turn into painful open sores within 24 hours. People with a vagina will develop bumps in more areas, including the labia, anus, and thighs. When the bumps turn into open sores, they may experience a burning sensation during urination.


Cytomegalovirus, also known as CMV, is a more common virus that infects your body for life. It may sound scary, but unlike other life-long viruses like HIV, it doesn’t cause problems in people who have healthy immune systems—which is why most people are unaware that they have been infected most of the time.

However, CMV may pose a problem for those who are pregnant or are immunocompromised. Symptoms in these people include fever, sore throat, fatigue, and swollen glands.

The disease can be transmitted through bodily fluids, like saliva or semen.

Unlike the other three diseases that can be cured through medication and antibiotics, CMV will stay with you for life, but its symptoms can be treated.

Sexual health: Can you catch an STI from a public toilet? Sexual health: Can you catch an STI from a public toilet?