STDs hold the rare distinction of being both extremely common and deeply misunderstood. Indeed, while sexually transmitted infections occur frequently, many people don’t know the signs and symptoms associated with these conditions. The good news is, modern medicine has made significant inroads in this field. In fact, London scientists recently discovered what many are calling a cure for HIV. Still, STDs are potentially dangerous (even fatal), so knowing how to identify them before they become a problem is important. Make sure to keep an eye out for these five signs and symptoms of STDs:
Painful, Stinging Urination
Several STDs can lead to burning, stinging, or tingling sensations during urination or intercourse. Furthermore, some individuals may experience general genital discomfort as a result of STDs. Even something as innocuous as itching in the genitals can indicate the presence of an STD.
STDs can cause unusual discharge in both men and women. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis can all contribute to discharge that may have an unpleasant smell. Women should consult with a gynecologist if they experience abnormal discharge.
Bumps and Rashes
Herpes often manifests in the form of small, fluid-filled bumps that can appear on the genital region, or on the lips, or in the mouth. It’s important to note here that STD bumps can look similar to acne. In addition, syphilis typically causes a chancre (or small sore) to appear where the infection entered the body. As syphilis develops, individuals may also notice brown discolorations or rashes on the soles of their feet or on their palms.
It’s a scary thought, but symptoms typically associated with HIV bear a resemblance to influenza. Having a fever, a sore throat, feeling tired, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite may occur a few weeks after initial contraction. Certain groups of people are at particular risk for picking up HIV, including individuals who share needles, engage in anal sex, or have sex with multiple partners.
As mentioned above, there are a number of myths and misconceptions associated with STDs. Unfortunately, STDs are often much more clandestine than how people typically consider them. In truth, many who have an STD never know they have it; or, they may experience only mild symptoms and ignore them. STDs symptoms can go away on their own, but that doesn’t mean the infection has. Rather, STDs can lay “dormant” for years before expressing in dangerous ways. Bottom line: if you have an STD in your system, you’re at risk for developing a number of troubling conditions such as infertility, nerve damage, blindness, and even death. As such, all sexually active individuals should visit a local STD testing clinic regularly to ensure their well-being and the well-being of their partners!