Think You Have an STD? Don’t Panic
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can happen to anyone who is sexually active, and depending on the disease, they can have different symptoms — or even none at all. Here are the top 4 most common STDs and how they can be resolved.
The symptoms of gonorrhea include burning during urination, a discharge that is white, yellow, or green coming from the penis, and painful or swollen testicles. Women with gonorrhea may experience increased vaginal discharge and bleeding between their menstrual periods.
A doctor can diagnose gonorrhea with a urine test or a swab of the oral area if that is where symptoms are present. Gonorrhea is a curable STD and can be treated by a physician. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you be seen by a physician for treatment.
This one used to be quite common, but is less common now due to improved hygiene practices. It is spread via direct contact with a syphilis sore during sexual contact. The primary sores of syphilis are usually found around the genitals. They are round, firm, and painless. Secondary syphilis infection symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, mild fever, and a skin rash.
If left untreated, the outward symptoms of syphilis will fade, but severe damage can be done internally. A blood test is used to diagnose syphilis. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics prescribed by your physician.
Most people with chlamydia do not exhibit any symptoms. For those who do have symptoms, they include abnormal vaginal discharge, burning while urinating, penile discharge, and pain and swelling in the testicles.
Like gonorrhea, chlamydia is curable. Chlamydia can be diagnosed through a urine test. Your physician may also take a swab of the vaginal area to diagnose this STD. If you think you have this STD, a doctor will be able to prescribe medication to treat the infection.
Herpes is characterized by outbreaks of sores in the oral or genital area. The virus that causes herpes in and around the mouth may or may not have been contracted sexually. However, it is possible to contract genital herpes through contact with someone who has oral herpes. Not everyone who has herpes will have sores and it is possible to spread the virus without the presence of sores.
A doctor will diagnose herpes by the appearance of the sores. Herpes is not curable but is treatable with antiviral medications.
Even when they think they have an STD, many people — especially teens — will try to hide it and avoid getting treatment. They may not be able to afford it, be worried about “getting in trouble,” or might assume that the disease will resolve on its own.
If you think that you have an STD, don’t put it off. There are many private free STD testing facilities across the US to help you get healthy again. These are advantageous because “at free STD testing centers, whether you book an appointment or not, it’s likely you will be required to sit in a waiting room with other patients who all know why you’re there. Depending on the clinic, your information may not be kept private. Private STD service providers ensure your health information is kept private and confidential…from the time you place and order…to receiving your results.” (Safer STD Testing)
If you are diagnosed with an STD, it is important to contact any previous sexual partners so that they can also get tested. Many times, STDs exhibit no symptoms, but can cause damage to your reproductive organs if left untreated.
Read more on this subject: How to Be Safe and Healthy as a Sexually Active Teen