7 Signs of an STD

STDs: No one wants one, but many people get them. Preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) starts with super-safe sex, but let’s be honest — safety can preclude spontaneity, and spontaneity makes for a fun sex life. 

Keep in mind that most STDs are treatable or manageable, so if you do get one, it’s not the end of the world (or sex). 

These seven signs of STDs apply to both females and males, with differences where appropriate. If you notice one of these symptoms, contact a qualified provider, like Dr. Leroy Charles at Women’s Pavilion of the Palm Beaches in Greenacres, Florida, to get tested for STDs so you can start treatment if necessary.

1. Itching or burning

Itching or burning in the genital area is often the first sign of an STD. This one can be tricky, because itching and burning may happen in response to non-STD causes, such as skin irritation from a new laundry detergent. If you experience itching that doesn’t stop after a few days, contact your doctor.

2. Redness and swelling

Any discoloration or swelling of the skin in your genital area should be checked out by a doctor, especially if your symptoms persist for more than a week. 

3. Sores or bumps

If you notice changes to your skin in the genital area, seek treatment right away. Sores and bumps around and on genitals are almost always signs of STDs, in both men and women. Sores might be small and sparse or large and dense. Sometimes, small sores form clusters that look like larger sores. 

4. Unusual discharge

Both men and women may experience unusual discharge as a result of an STD. Women may notice yellowish, grayish, or even greenish discharge from the vagina, while men may notice white or clear mucus-like discharge

5. Painful urination

Many people overlook painful urination as a sign of STDs because this symptom is most often associated with urinary tract infections (UTI). However, many STDs can cause painful urination, particularly burning sensations. 

6. Lower abdominal pain

Some STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis, cause abdominal pain and cramping. In any case, unexplained abdominal pain is always a good reason to seek medical care. 

7. Unexplained flu-like symptoms

When your body fights any type of infection, flu-like symptoms — fatigue, headaches, sore throat, and fever — may arise. If you experience these symptoms, you may write them off as a cold or the flu, but they are characteristic of several STDs, including HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis.

If your symptoms persist for more than a few days, you should see a doctor to rule out STDs. 

If you think you have an STD, visit Dr. Charles for a comprehensive STD test. If your test comes back positive for any STD, Dr. Charles prescribes the appropriate treatment so you can recover quickly.

Schedule an appointment using our online scheduling tool, or call our office at 561-264-2055.

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