Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are usually spread through sexual contact with an infected person, particularly vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex.
The most common sexually transmitted diseases include human papillomavirus infection, genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, AIDS/HIV, and syphilis.
Very often the symptoms of STDs are ignored until they develop into serious issues. Sometimes, particularly in women, there are no noticeable symptoms at all. However, there are certain warning signs that can help you tell if you have an STD if you pay more attention to the changes in your body.
6 Signs That Tell You Have A Sexually Transmitted Disease
1. Presence Of Sores, Warts, Or Rashes
A common sign of a sexually transmitted disease is the presence of sores, warts, or rashes in or around the genital area. Since these signs disappear in a few days, they are often ignored and untreated. They may be thought to be normal skin irritations or allergic reactions to some fabric.
If you observe any rashes or lesions in your genital region or that of your partner’s, you should get it checked immediately with a health professional to avoid the risk of developing the infection further.
2. Frequent Urination
Another common symptom of STDs is painful or frequent urination. This symptom is especially common if you have gonorrhea. Frequent urination or painful urination is often mistaken as a sign of a urinary tract infection. As with the previous symptom, this symptom also reduces with time and is often forgotten. In this case, the individual is infected and is left untreated.
If you observe that you are making frequent visits to the bathroom or you experience a burning sensation while urinating, it is important to visit the doctor to know the exact cause, thereby preventing the development of any disease.
3. Irregular Periods
An abnormal or irregular period is another sign of a sexually transmitted disease. If you’ve had regular menstrual cycles and observe a change, it is important to get it checked. Also, if you notice heavy bleeding during your periods, it should not be ignored. These are signs that tell that your body is not functioning like it should; therefore, delaying a visit to the doctor will only worsen the condition.
4. Abnormal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is normal and may be due to a yeast infection. However, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge if you have a sexually transmitted disease. Therefore, vaginal discharge should not be overlooked. The discharge may be gray, green, or yellow in color. This is definitely not normal and you’ll have to get them checked immediately.
5. Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain, which occurs in the lower abdomen area, is a sign that you have a sexually transmitted disease. This pain can be constant, or it may come and go. If the pain is severe, you may find it difficult to carry out daily activities.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a complication of a sexually transmitted disease and can cause damage to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This can advance into chronic pelvic pain; therefore, if you experience pain in the lower abdomen – even if it is as simple as period cramps, get it checked to be on the safer side.
6. Unpleasant Odor
Unpleasant or foul odor can be embarrassing to talk about to a health professional; however, if you observe any such symptom, you should get it checked immediately as it may be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease.
You can use products that can cover up the odor, but they may not be permanent. It is always safer to get the problem checked so you know what is causing the foul smell and you can even take measures to avoid the cause in the future.
Tips To Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Follow these tips to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.1
- Have safe sex – Using condoms and other safe sex methods can help reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases.
- Limit the number of sex partners – Reducing the number of partners you have sex with can reduce the chances of spreading STDs. However, it is important to get yourself and your partner tested before a sexual activity and share the results of the test as well.
- Communicate with your partner – It is always important to talk to your partner about an STD. If you’ve had them in the past speak to them about it and be honest. It also increases the trust and respect you have for each other.
- Get tested before a sexual activity – The only way to know if you have STD is to get yourself and your partner tested. If the results are positive, be honest and share them with your partner and follow the measures prescribed by the doctor.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs – Alcohol and other recreational drugs can lead to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancies. These may also reduce the ability to make good decisions.