STD Symptoms

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Understanding the symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be confusing. With so many different types of STDs and various symptoms, many may seem like a regular medical condition; the common flu or cold. It is important for sexually active teens to learn that some of the STD symptoms are also akin to other common issues like bladder infections. Many STDs can be completely healed through STD treatment. However, there are some STDs that are with you for life and can only be managed if treated regularly. It is important for sexually active teens to remember that sometimes, if a doctor does not know what they are looking for, signs and symptoms of STDs can produce a misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis could result in mistreatment and prolonged suffering and pain, which is why it is important for teens to participate in regularly scheduled STD testing.

Basic STD symptoms include:
  • Genital sores, including blisters filled with fluid, warts and ulcerations
  • Unusual discharge from your penis or vagina
  • Abdominal pain or fever along with unusual vaginal discharge in women, which can also be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Because more than 90 percent of sexually active teens and adults will get at least one type of STD in their lifetime, it is important to know which are the most common types of STDs and what you should specifically watch out for

Most common STDs and related STD symptoms:

  • Chlamydia: A bacterial infection in your genital tract. In the beginning, signs and STD symptoms are not easily noticed. Even when present, the STD symptoms are minor at first so they are easy to over look. This type of STD can cause increased risk to more serious STDs like HIV/AIDS and syphilis. Symptoms include painful urination, lower abdominal pain, discharge from the penis or vagina, testicular pain in men and pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Gonorrhea: Also known as “the clap” gonorrhea is a bacterial infection in the genital tract.  STD symptoms usually occur after the first 10 days of infection. Symptoms include thick and cloudy discharge from the penis or vagina, frequent/painful urination and pain during sexual intercourse.
  • HIV: The Human Immunodeficiency Virus interferes with the body’s ability to fight off infection. This can lead to AIDS, which is a lifelong and potentially fatal disease. Symptoms include fever, headache, swollen lymph glands, rash and chronic fatigue.
  • HPV: The Human Papillomavirus often does not show any STD symptoms. There are various strains. Some of which can lead to cancer. Genital warts may develop on the cervix, groin, thigh or genitals.
  • Genital Herpes: There is no cure for herpes, which can spread through open sores during both oral and regular sex. STD symptoms include pain, itching and open sores on or around the genitals. The misconception behind genital herpes is that it can only be transferred during sex while there is a breakout. This is a myth. herpes can be transferred to your sexual partner at any time.
Out of the three types of STDS: parasitic, bacterial and viral, only parasitic and bacterial can be cured with medicine. However, those STDs can still cause lingering damage and permanent scarring. Most viral STDs never go away, although some go away over time. However, many persist and cause chronic problems, which can sometimes be fatal throughout the rest of your life. If you or your sexual partner may be exhibiting these symptoms and you are a sexually active teen, it is a good idea to get checked by a doctor or physician through your local hospital or clinic. There are various tests for different types of STDs. There is not just one type of test to check for all STDs. Tell your doctor about your STD symptoms to find which STD is best for you depending on which types of STD(s) you need to test for.
Sources: www.mayoclinic.com, www.webmd.com