How to spot the signs of an STD
What is an STD?
STD stands for ‘sexually transmitted disease.’ It is an infection that is passed from one person to another during sexual intercourse. Sexually transmitted infections are among the most contagious and commonly caught diseases. The early signs of an STD can be ambiguous. For instance, you may experience symptoms such as tiredness or headaches. As these symptoms seem flu-like, they are not always recognised as the beginning of a STI. As it is difficult to spot the early signs of STD in men and women, carriers can unknowingly infect new sexual partners. Thus, it is important all men and women who are sexually active understand the risks and common symptoms of STDs, so they can recognise them if they begin to show. Leaving a sexually transmitted infection untreated can result in serious long term health implications, such as organ damage or infertility.
How do I know if I have an STD?
It can be difficult to know if you have been infected with a sexually transmitted disease. As mentioned previously, some strains of sexual diseases do not always produce warning signs. However, if a STD does start to produce symptoms, the signs are typically noticeable within days, or weeks, of being infected. There are some STD warning signs you should watch out for in both yourself and your sexual partners. Common STD symptoms experienced by both men and women tend to be itching or bumps in the genital area, or a burning sensation whilst urinating.
The most accurate way to find out if you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease is to undergo a test that will help identify all of the most common infections. Medicine Direct provide a whole range of sexual health medicaiton and testing kits that will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and identify which treatment will be best suited to treat the infection.
Do women have the same STD symptoms as men?
No, STD symptoms men experience can differ from female symptoms.
Some of the more common STD signs men may experience are:
· Painful ejaculation
· Penile discharge
· Swollen testicles
· Blisters on the or around all genital areas i.e. the testicles, anus, buttocks or thighs
· Tenderness in the groin
· Genital warts
STD symptoms in women which may become present are:
· Vaginal itching
· Discoloured discharge (this could also be a sign of Bacterial Vaginosis which is not a sexually transmitted infection)
· Pain experienced during or after intercourse
· Vaginal blisters
· Pain in the lower back or pelvis
· Rectal pain
Please note, the symptoms listed above are not always the product of an STD. However, if you or your partner begin to exhibit any of these STI warning signs, you should visit your doctor or local sexual health clinic as soon as possible. It is a danger to your health to leave an STI untreated.
What happens if an STD is left untreated?
If you are worried that you have spotted any sexually transmitted disease symptoms go to your local sexual health clinic as soon as possible. It is important that you do not have sex without the protection of a condom until you have been checked. The process of testing and treatment for STIs is confidential and simple. Moreover, testing for common STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea is free of charge. The test is a simple urine sample, or for women it can be a self-taken swab. If you ignore possible STD symptoms, you not only run the risk of infecting your partner, but also of developing long term health implications such as infertility.
How can I avoid getting an STD?
There are steps both men and women can take to avoid a sexually transmitted disease. Using a condom each time you have sex can help to prevent becoming infected. However, you can still become infected with some strains of sexually transmitted disease when using protection. STDs such as herpes and HPV are contracted through contact with a partner’s skin. With this in mind, one of the best ways to make sure you do not catch or spread an STI is by getting regularly tested. Also, ensure that each new partner has had an STD test since their last sexual partner.
How can I get rid of an STD?
If you begin to notice any of the early signs of a STD, make sure you visit your sexual health clinic as soon as possible. It is safe practise to be tested whenever you have a new sexual partner, as you cannot depend on warning signs to alert you to the presence of an STI. However, if you do discover through warning signs or test results that you have a sexually transmitted disease don’t panic. STI treatment is usually simple and quick. For instance, STD’s such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are treated with a course of antibiotics. Your sexual partners will also need to be treated. After treatment has ended, you will then need to be retested in around 3 months to be positive the STD has gone. This is due to some more uncommon strains of STIs being resistant to antibiotics.
Still unsure whether you are experiencing any symptoms of an STD? Take a look at our very graphic fruity guide to STI symptoms.