Some health problems are glaring and obvious, like a broken leg or bloody nose. Others, like some common STDs, show very few signs that they have invaded your body. While it’s easy to assume that STDs only affect people who are reckless in their decision making, the truth is that any sexually active person is at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. So how can you determine if you do have an STD?
Signs of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Chlamydia is the most common STD in America, and it can be spread through any type of sex. This means that condoms cannot prevent this disease. The most noticeable symptoms of chlamydia include abnormal discharge that has an odor, painful periods for women, itching and burning, and abdominal pain with fever. Fortunately, chlamydia is a bacteria that can be treated easily with antibiotics.
Gonorrhea is so closely linked to chlamydia that they are usually treated together. Unusual discharge and pain and burning during urination define gonorrhea. Again, as long as this ST is diagnosed, all it takes is antibiotics to resolve.
Signs of Syphilis
This is a trickier STD than chlamydia and gonorrhea because it develops in four stages. The first stage is a sore that might appear like a cut or ingrown hair, so it’s hard to immediately identify. The second stage of syphilis creates a rash on the body and sores in the mouth, vagina, or anus. It’s actually possible for syphilis symptoms to disappear in the third stage, but the fourth stage can cause organ and nerve damage. A drug test can indicate the need for antibiotics that eliminate the later stages of syphilis.
Signs of Herpes
Herpes develops in one of two strains, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both can cause genital herpes in the form of very painful blisters around the penis, vagina, and anus. Since skin-to-skin contact is the only action needed to spread herpes, this STD is very easy to pass along. Unlike other bacterial STDs, herpes is a virus that will not respond to antibiotics. Instead, medications can be used to manage herpes and prevent outbreaks.
If you have started to experience any of the above symptoms, the right thing to do for yourself and your partner is undergo STD testing. This will enable you to seek proper treatment and protect the people you care about.