A woman uses a magnifying glass to look for signs of STDs near her pelvis

Common Symptoms and Signs of STD

Whether you’re in a committed relationship or enjoying the single dating life, if you’re sexually active, you can be at risk for an STD. All sexually active adults should be tested for the most common types of STDs, but, unfortunately, many remain in the dark about their disease status especially when there are no easily identifiable signs of STD.

Some adults may focus on looking for visual symptoms of common diseases. STDs have many symptoms and signs, and these vary by the disease. However, some STDs are silent and may never present physical symptoms. Again, testing is the only way to find out if you’re disease-free or if you need to seek treatment.

If you are experiencing signs of STDs, you need to make an appointment with your doctor immediately! Here are some of the most common STDs and their symptoms. Keep in mind, though, that these symptoms could also be related to other conditions.

Herpes

The herpes virus may lead to a fever and swollen glands (lymph nodes). Blisters and sores will appear and these may be painful and have a burning sensation…or there may be little to no pain. The American Sexual Health Association notes that treatment is usually a course of antiviral drugs. However, there is no cure. An at-home herpes test can help you find out if you are infected, or you can make an appointment with your physician.

Chlamydia

The symptoms of Chlamydia vary. Planned Parenthood states that this disease may have no warning signs. However, the most common symptoms of chlamydia could include:

  • Pain during urination (and/or during intercourse)
  • Low stomach or belly pain
  • Vaginal discharge that has an odor (different from what you normally notice…and the color may be yellowish)
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (different from your cycle)
  • Penis discharge (this could be pus or watery)
  • Enlarged testicles
  • Pain near the rectum (bleeding or discharge near the rectum, too)

Once you’re diagnosed with Chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. And, yes, Chlamydia is curable!

Syphilis

According to the Centers for Disease Control, syphilis can cause many health issues, and a mother can transmit the disease to her unborn child. 

The CDC explains that there are multiple stages to syphilis; primary syphilis symptoms include sores (painless, hard and round) near the genitals; the symptoms of secondary syphilis include swollen glands, fever and a rash and/or sores in the mouth, vagina and rectum . Other symptoms can be present in this stage, too, and some may dismiss them as other illnesses (headache, fever, sore throat, hair loss, etc.).The third stage—noted as the “latent stage”—has no symptoms. When syphilis has reached the stage of “tertiary syphilis,” other organs in the body—including the heart and brain—can be impacted. 

Syphilis can be cured, and the treatment protocol is usually a prescription of antibiotics. Since syphilis continues to progress, it is important to get tested and catch this disease early so that it doesn’t cause other medical issues.

HIV

While HIV may pose no symptoms in some individuals, there are also many common symptoms associated with HIV. HIV.gov reports that those infected may experience symptoms that are similar to the flu (chills, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, etc.). 

Eventually, if left untreated, HIV could develop into AIDS. The only way to know for sure if you are HIV positive is to get tested.

Where to Get Tested for STDs

To get screened and tested for the most common STDs, you could make an appointment with your physician or visit a local clinic for testing. However, you may also use at-home tests to find out your disease status. myLAB Box offers multiple test options, including single tests to screen for a specific STD or combination tests that screen for many of the most common STDs. Choose the test option that works for you.

How to Get Tested for STDs

If you want to get tested, you may be worried about pain or discomfort. Most tests that screen for STDs only require a swab test or urine sample. However, the HIV test usually requires a tiny prick of blood. None of these tests require a blood draw or lead to much pain.

However, your doctor may order a full blood screen to detect STDs. It’s very common for pregnant women to have a full blood screen to rule out specific STDs as well as to test for other health concerns.

Is STD Screening Right for Me?

Everybody who is sexually active should be tested for STDs, including (and especially) HIV. Understanding your disease status leads to early treatment and disease management. In fact, many STDs including herpes, syphilis and Chlamydia can be cured with a round of antibiotics.

Don’t wait until you have symptoms to get tested; order your test from myLAB Box today!