1. Health

Do STDs or STIs Cause any Health Risks to Women and Not to Men?


Updated November 08, 2009

Question: Do STDs or STIs Cause any Health Risks to Women and Not to Men?
Answer: Yes. Women may develop pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. Although PID is usually sexually transmitted, often developing in women with undiagnosed chlamydia, it may also occur as a result of any type of vaginal procedure including abortion and childbirth. PID travels from the vaginal opening into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, and causes often tragic consequences such as infertility or ectopic pregnancy.

It's now known that nearly 100% percent of cases of cervical cancer occur in women infected by the human papillomavirus or HPV. While this virus is quite common, having it significantly raises your risk of developing cervical cancer. If you have ever been diagnosed with HPV, it is particularly important for you to have regular Pap smears. Your health care provider will tell you how often you need to been examined.

Pregnant women with STDs face a significant risk that their babies could experience infant death or be disabled. Sexually transmitted diseases may be passed between mother and baby. The particular STD the mother has may be the cause of death in some infants, while other babies are born with severe health problems.


STD information. CDC.gov. http://www.cdc.gov/std/general/. Accessed 08/24/09.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Women's Health
  4. Sexual Health
  5. STDs - STIs - VD
  6. STD and STI FAQs
  7. STD Consequences - Do Women Experience STD's or STI's Differently Than Men

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.