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Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDS)

Update Date: Feb 19, 2020 08:46 PM EST
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Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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If you have sex, oral, anal or vaginal sex and genital contact, you can get an STD (sexually transmitted disease), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Even if you are a homosexual or heterosexual person, married or single, you are vulnerable to the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. Believing or hoping that your partner does not have a sexually transmitted disease is not protective, you need to know. Although condoms are highly effective (when used correctly) to reduce the transmission of some sexually transmitted diseases, no method is infallible.

The symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases are not always obvious. If you think you have symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases or have been exposed to an STD, consult a doctor. Some STIs are easy to treat and cure, others require a more complicated treatment to control them.

It is essential to undergo an evaluation and, if an STD is diagnosed, be treated. It is also essential to inform your partner or partners so they can be evaluated and treated. Check which STD test you should get, here.

If left untreated, STDs may increase the risk of acquiring other STDs, such as HIV. This happens because a sexually transmitted disease can stimulate an immune response in the genital area or cause blisters: either can increase the risk of HIV transmission. Some untreated sexually transmitted diseases can also cause infertility, organ injuries, certain types of cancer or death.

Asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections

Many sexually transmitted infections have no signs or symptoms (they are asymptomatic). However, even though you have no symptoms, you can spread the infection to your sexual partners. That is why it is important to use protection, like a condom, during sexual intercourse. Also, visit your doctor periodically to get tested for sexually transmitted infections, to identify and treat an infection before you can transmit it.

Some of the following diseases, such as hepatitis, can also be transmitted without sexual contact, by coming into contact with the blood of an infected person. Others, such as gonorrhea, can only be transmitted through sexual contact.

Chlamydia symptoms

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of the genital tract. Chlamydia can be difficult to detect because infections in the early stages usually cause few signs and symptoms or have none. When they appear, in general, they start one to three weeks after being exposed to chlamydia. Even when they manifest, these signs and symptoms are generally moderate and disappear, which makes it easier for them to go unnoticed.

These are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • Painful urination

  • Pain in the lower abdomen

  • Vaginal discharge in women

  • Penis secretion in men

  • Pain during sexual intercourse in women

  • Bleeding between menstrual periods

  • Testicular pain in men

Gonorrhea Symptoms

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection of the genital tract. It can also affect the mouth, throat, eyes and, anus. Usually, the first symptoms of gonorrhea appear within 10 days after exposure. However, some people may have been infected for months before presenting signs or symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of gonorrhea are as follows:

  • Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina

  •  Pain or burning sensation when urinating

  • Intense menstrual bleeding or bleeding between menstrual periods

  • Pain or swelling of the testicles

  • Painful bowel movements

  • Anal itching

Symptoms of trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a microscopic unicellular parasite called "Trichomonas vaginalis." This organism spreads during sexual intercourse with a person who already has the infection.

In men, the microorganism usually infects the urinary tract, but often causes no symptoms. In women, trichomoniasis usually infects the vagina. When trichomoniasis causes symptoms, they may appear within 5 to 28 days of exposure and include mild irritation to severe inflammation.

These are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • Transparent, white, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge

  • Penis secretion

  • Strong vaginal odor

  • Vaginal itching or irritation

  • Itching or irritation inside the penis

  • Pain during sex

  • Painful urination

HIV symptoms

HIV is an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV interferes with the body's ability to fight viruses, bacteria and, fungi that cause disease, and can cause AIDS, a chronic life-threatening disease.

When you get the human immunodeficiency virus, you may not have any symptoms. Some people have a flu-like illness, usually two to six weeks after contracting the virus. However, the only way to confirm if you have HIV is through analysis.

Initial signs and symptoms

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of HIV are:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Acne

  • Fatigue

These early signs and symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month and are often confused with those of another viral infection. During this period, the level of contagion is very high. The most persistent or severe symptoms of HIV infection may not manifest for 10 years or more after the initial infection.

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you can manifest mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as the following:

  • Swollen lymph nodes - often one of the first signs of HIV infection -

  • Diarrhea

  • Slimming

  • Fever

  • Cough and shortness of breath

Advanced HIV infection

These are some signs and symptoms of an advanced stage HIV infection:

  • Persistent unexplained fatigue

  • Night sweats with soaking

  • Chills with tremor or fever above 100.4 ° F (38 ° C) for several weeks

  • Swollen lymph nodes for more than three months

  • Chronic diarrhea

  • Persistent headaches

  • Opportunistic and unusual infections

STDs tests at home

Self Collect is a confidential, highly accurate STD testing service you collect in the privacy and comfort of your own home. It's a convenient, anonymous way to gain important information about your body.

Symptoms of genital herpes

The highly contagious genital herpes is caused by a type of herpes simplex virus (herpes simplex virus, HSV) that enters the body through small lesions on the skin or mucous membranes. Most people with HSV never know they have the virus because there are no signs or symptoms, or they are so mild that they go unnoticed.

When signs and symptoms are observed, the first episode, in general, is the worst. Some people never have a second episode. However, others may have recurring episodes for decades.

When present, the signs and symptoms of genital herpes may include the following:

  • Small red bumps, blisters (vesicles) or open sores (ulcers) in the genital, anal and surrounding areas.

  • Pain or itching around the genital area, the buttocks and the inside of the thighs.

The initial symptom of genital herpes is usually pain or itching, which begins a few weeks after having sex with an infected partner. After several days, small red bumps may appear, which then break and become ulcers that suppurate or bleed. Eventually, scabs form and ulcers heal.

In women, the sores may appear in the vaginal area, the external genitals, the buttocks, the anus or the cervix. In men, the sores may appear on the penis, scrotum, buttocks, anus or thighs, or inside the duct that extends from the bladder to the penis (urethra).

Ulcers can cause painful urination. You may also have pain and tenderness in the genital area until the infection disappears. During the initial episode, you may have signs and symptoms similar to those of influenzas, such as headache, muscle aches and, fever, and also swollen lymph nodes in the groin.

In some cases, the infection can be active and contagious, even when there are no sores. Know about other STDs here.

Symptoms of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and genital warts

HPV infection is one of the most frequent types of sexually transmitted infections in men. Some ways increase the risk of women suffering from cervical cancer. Other forms cause genital warts. In general, HPV has no signs or symptoms. Some of the signs and symptoms of genital warts are:

  • Small, flesh or gray swelling in the genital area

  • Several warts together that take the shape of a cauliflower

  • Itching or discomfort in the genital area

  • Bleeding during intercourse

However, often, genital warts do not cause symptoms. Genital warts can be up to 1 millimeter in diameter or they can multiply and form large clusters.

In women, genital warts can grow on the vulva, on the walls of the vagina, in the area between the external genitalia and the anus, and on the cervix. In men, they can appear on the tip or body of the penis, in the scrotum or anus. Genital warts can also occur in the mouth or throat of a person who had oral sex with an infected person.

Hepatitis symptoms

Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and, hepatitis C are contagious viral infections that affect the liver. Of the three, hepatitis B and C are the most serious, but they can all cause the liver to swell.

Some people never show signs or symptoms. But in those that do manifest them, signs and symptoms may appear several weeks after exposure and may include the following:

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen, especially in the liver area or on the right side of  the body under the lower ribs

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fever

  • Dark urine

  • Muscle or joint pain

  • Itch

  • Yellowing of the skin or white part of the eyes (jaundice)

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