Catch It in the Early Stages
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), often referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) affect one in five Americans and can have effects varying from rashes to a decreased quality of life.
However, when noticed in its early stages, an STD can be treated through various doctor-prescribed medications, which is why it is crucial to know the signs of one. As such, this article will outline eight signs of an STD that are worth keeping an eye out for.
1. Urination Pain
A healthy body should not feel pain while peeing. If you notice pain around the genital area while going to the bathroom, this could be a sign of an STD. For some, the pain is always there but will become worse during urination because the urine irritates the infection. This means that your infection could be getting worse on each trip to the bathroom, so setting up an appointment with your doctor should be a priority.
2. Warts Near Genitals
It may sound unpleasant, but paying attention to your genitals in case of any wart development is important. Warts are generally painless but could cause some irritation depending on their placement. Therefore, if you notice what appears to be a bubble of some sort filled with fluid, then it is worth getting checked out by a doctor. If the wart can be seen near your genitals, then you may have contracted an STD like genital warts.
Although also most common around the genital area, a rash anywhere on the body could be a sign of an STD. Of course, many other health conditions will also have rashes as a symptom, so this on its own is not generally a surefire determination of infection. That being said, if you notice a rash near the genital area or in combination with any of the other signs listed here, then it is worth getting a medical checkup right away.
4. Genital Discharge
Discharge from the genital area can be found in both men and women with STDs. Infection-related discharge from the vagina, penis or anus can range from having a clear and watery consistency to being thicker, yellow or green. If you find yourself dealing with an abnormal genital discharge, taking notes of when you first noticed it could be beneficial to help your healthcare provider determine the cause.
5. Itching or Burning Around Genitals
If you feel itchiness and burning around your genital area, it may be a sign that an STD is present. This includes irritation in the vagina, penis or anus. Although this could also be the result of other health issues such as eczema, getting checked out by a doctor is the best course of action to be sure. It is also worth noting that contrary to what may seem logical, applying creams and lotions around the affected area can worsen the itchiness and burning.
6. Swelling or Pain in the Testicles
Although uncommon, some STDs can cause swelling in the testicles along with pain. This could be a sign of an infection like chlamydia and gonorrhea, both of which should be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. This symptom applies to men in particular, although women could notice similar symptoms in their ovaries.
7. Unusual Bleeding
Unusual bleeding, either during sex or in between periods, could be a sign of an STD. This is particularly concerning if it occurs in women who normally have regular period cycles. Some STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to symptoms like painful periods and bleeding between cycles. For men, blood may also be found around the anus, which can be a direct result of an STD.
8. Unpleasant Odor
While the genital area may not have a pleasant odor normally, if you happen to notice that there is an unusual scent you never used to detect, this could be a sign of an STD. An infection like trichomoniasis can cause a strong and distinct odor that will become noticeable after some time. This is an especially important sign to watch out for if you have recently had unprotected sex.
The thought of having an STD embarrasses many people, however, this is no reason to hide it from your doctor. Early diagnosis of an STD is the key to finding treatment options, and if left too long, could become a problem for both you and your partner’s health. Don’t be ashamed to reach out for help if you notice any of the eight warning signs listed above.