When I was in college, I had a roommate who would bring home a girl every night. I envied his skill of picking up girls in a bar but one thing I didn’t envy was his chance of picking up what that girl may have.
We all would love to go out to a bar and end up with someone at the end of the night. It’s the reason we put so much time and effort into making sure we like what we see in the mirror before we go out. Most of the time is spent covering up our perceived flaws and making sure no one else sees them.
What if those flaws are something as severe as an STD? How much can you hide that you have an STD? What are the signs and how can you tell if someone has one? Read on for common signs and symptoms and how to determine whether you should go for the home run or play it safe.
STDs are often asymptomatic. That means that there are no immediate visual signs of an infection at first glance. Even though there may be no symptoms, you are still at risk for transmitting or getting an infection. That is extremely important and should always be on your mind while reading the rest of this guide.
Chlamydia signs and symptoms
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of your genital tract. Early stage Chlamydia may be hard to detect because there are often no or very little signs of infection and even when symptoms do occur, they are often mild and very easy to overlook. The most common signs include:
- Painful urination
- Lower Abdominal Pain
- Discharge in both men and women
- Pain during sex for women
- Testicular pain for men
Gonorrhea Signs and Symptoms
Usually signs and symptoms of gonorrhea appear within 10 days but some people won’t show anything for months. The signs are:
- Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from genitals
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Abnormal menstruation
- Painful swollen testicles
- Painful bowel movements
Guys, if your balls seem bigger than normal, go have them looked at. Better safe than sorry.
Trichomoniasis signs and symptoms
This is a parasitic infection that can affect men and women. Men usually show very little in the way of symptoms but women usually display the following signs:
- Clear, white, greenish or yellowish discharge
- Strong odor
- Itching or irritation
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urination
These signs can happen in both men and women but they are more common in women.
HIV Signs and Symptoms
There has been some concern among community members that they may or may not have HIV. The trouble is that early stage infections are treated very similarly in your body. The body’s response to an HIV virus and a Flu virus are initially the same and follow the same general steps. Later stage HIV can be distinguished using the following signs:
- Persistent, unexplained fatigue
- Soaking night sweats
- Shaking chills or fever higher than 100oC for several weeks
- Chronic diarrhea
- Persistent headaches
- Opportunistic infections
HIV is a serious issue and if you ever have any doubt that you may have contracted HIV, head to your nearest clinic or doctor and get screened immediately.
Genital Herpes Signs and Symptoms
This is a highly contagious infection caused by a virus called Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are subtle but specific signs of a herpes infection. They include:
- Small, red bumps, blisters or open sores in the genital area
- Pain or itching in the pelvic region
- Painful urination (later stages)
- Flu like symptoms (headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes in an early infection)
In some cases, an infection can be active and contagious even if the signs aren’t present.
Genital Warts Signs and Symptoms
Genital Warts are caused by another virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV). There is an HPV vaccine out now that works fairly well and is best when administered when you are very young. Common signs and symptoms include:
- Small, flesh-colored or gray swellings near genital area
- Several warts that take on a cauliflower shape
- Itching or general discomfort
- Bleeding with intercourse
Very often, genital warts can cause no symptoms and any symptoms that may be present can be very small (1mm). In both men and women, warts can appear inside and outside the genital tract. They can also affect the oral tract.
Syphilis Signs and Symptoms
Syphilis is a complex infection that evolves into a more complex infection over time. There are four stages. The symptoms of each stage are laid out below.
Primary (10 days to 3 months):
- Small painless sore near the transmission site
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Secondary (2 weeks to 10 weeks):
- Red or Reddish-brown rash over ANY area of your body
- Soreness and aching
Latent syphilis is a stage that often occurs between Secondary and Tertiary where no signs or symptoms are present. Many people falsely believe that their infection has cleared up when they actually still have the disease in their body and they are still contagious. Signs and symptoms may never return or they may continue on to the third stage
- Neurological problems such as stroke, inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain
- Poor muscle coordination, paralysis, deafness
- Cardiovascular problems such as inflammation of the aorta and valvular heart disease
It might be difficult to pin down any of these symptoms in a dim lit bar or a loud night club but you should be on the lookout for these signs. If you and your partner do end up having some fun at the end of the night and it constantly hurts either one of you, there may be an infection and you should go get screened as soon as possible.
If you are on your own and you notice any of these symptoms, go visit your doctor immediately and be honest with them. Your doctor made it through medical school because he knows his stuff. Tell him what is going on and follow his advice if you want to clear up or prevent any of these things from happening to you.
Sound off in the comments and over in the forums if you guys have any more advice and information for the rest of the community!