Do I have an STD? Five signs of STDs
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or infections (STIs) have been on the rise for several years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cases of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea all increased in the U.S. even throughout the pandemic.
Are you concerned you may have an STD? If you have symptoms or think you may have been exposed to an STD during a sexual encounter, CityMD can help.
Read on to learn about the different kinds of STDs, common symptoms, and when to stop in for testing and treatment.
Signs of STDs
Not all STDs have noticeable symptoms, but these are the most common signs.
- Sores or bumps. STDs like genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid can cause sores or bumps on the genital area, anus, or mouth.
- Discharge. An unusual discharge from the penis or vagina can signify chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis.
- Burning during urination. Pain and burning when you urinate are common symptoms of chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes.
- Rashes or itching. Some STDs, like pubic lice and scabies, cause rashes or itching in the genital area.
- Painful sexual intercourse. STDs such as genital warts, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and some types of herpes can cause pain during sex.
It is important to note that other conditions can cause these symptoms as well.
The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. Walk into your neighborhood CityMD to see a provider or speak with a health care professional during a virtual care appointment.
Here are examples of some of the most common STDs.
- Chlamydia. This bacterial infection spreads through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It generally does not cause any symptoms and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
- Gonorrhea. A bacterial infection that is most commonly spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Gonorrhea causes a discharge from the penis or vagina, painful urination, and rectal pain in some individuals.
- Genital herpes. A viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus that spreads through sexual contact. Genital herpes causes sores, itching, and some flu-like symptoms. Herpes is extremely common with over half a million new cases diagnosed each year.
- Genital warts. This viral infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) is commonly spread through sexual contact. It shows up as small, fleshy growths in the genital area.
- Syphilis. Syphilis can cause a painless sore on the genitals or anus, followed by a rash, fever, and other symptoms.
- Trichomoniasis. This sexually transmitted infection is caused by a parasite and leads to itching, burning, and discharge from the penis or vagina.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus attacks the body's immune system and eventually leads to AIDS. HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. These are just a few of the most common STDs. The best way to reduce your risk of contracting an STD is to practice safe sex and get tested regularly.
How many STDs are there?
There are many different types of STDs, but the exact number of STDs isn't clear.
Since new strains can emerge, and some STDs may go undiagnosed due to a lack of symptoms, the types of infections are constantly changing.
Are STDs curable?
For the most part, STDs are treatable and curable. While STDs like herpes and HIV do not have a cure, there are treatment options available that can help.
Common STD treatments include:
- Antibiotics. Antibiotics are very effective at treating bacterial STDs. But they do not work for viral STDs like genital herpes or HIV. For these infections, antiviral medications can ease symptoms. Remember to follow your health care provider's instructions and complete the course of antibiotics even if your symptoms disappear. This ensures you fully treat the infection and reduces the risk of antibiotic resistance.
- Antiviral medication. Antiviral medications for STDs are highly effective. For example, with HIV, antiretroviral therapy (ART) suppresses the virus and can slow down the progression of HIV to AIDS.
Do I have an STD? Urgent care STD treatment
Are you feeling any of the above STD symptoms? Do you suspect you may have an STD? Put your anxiety to rest. Look after your health and get tested today.
CityMD offers comprehensive, confidential walk-in STD testing. Come in at any time that works for you. Being diagnosed or treated for an STD doesn’t have to be shameful or embarrassing. Simply walk in. No appointment is necessary.
We’re ready to care for you.
Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.