Health Lifestyle

Trouble Down Below: How to Tell If You Have an STD

Many people feel that they don’t have to worry about STDs. They think that because most of them are treatable, they’re not a big deal. Or they think that they’re too old to contract an infection, that they use a condom and so are protected from everything, or that the withdrawal method will help them. But, in reality, anyone can contract an STD, even seniors. Condoms won’t protect you from everything, and the withdrawal method isn’t an effective way of preventing pregnancy or infection. There are lots of different STDs you could contract, many of which often go undetected. If you don’t know how to tell if you have an infection, here’s how to recognize some of the most common ones.


Go for a Test


Many sexually transmitted infections can lie undetected for a long time, as they don’t present any symptoms. For example, not everyone gets symptoms when they have chlamydia, and HIV can also be undetected for years. Contrary to what some people think, it’s not just incurable infections like HIV and herpes that can have a lasting effect. An advanced infection in your genitals could lead to a loss of fertility, and there are other complications that could occur too. The only sure way to tell if you have an infection is to visit one of the testing locations in your area and to have some tests done. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms, you should do this regularly.


Chlamydia Symptoms


Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, which is often asymptomatic in its early stages. You might not get any symptoms until you’ve had chlamydia for one to three weeks. They often appear to be mild too, so it’s easy not to notice them or to ignore them. Symptoms associated with chlamydia include painful urination and lower abdominal pain. You could also get vaginal discharge or penile discharge. You could also experience pain during sexual intercourse in women, or in the testicles in men. Women might also notice bleeding between their periods.


Gonorrhea Symptoms


Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection, but as well as occurring in your genital tract you can also get it in your mouth, throat, eyes and anus. Some of the symptoms include thick, cloudy or bloody discharge, a burning sensation when urinating or heavy menstrual bleeding. Men might experience painful and swollen testicles. You could also get painful bowel movements.


HIV Symptoms


HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, is one of the most serious sexually transmitted infections. It can lead to Aids, which is a life-threatening disease. It usually has no symptoms when you first contract it, though some people experience flu-like symptoms. In its later stages, you could experience swollen lymph nodes for more than three months. You might also notice persistent fatigue or headaches, and unusual infections.


There are several other STDs that you could become infected with, including HPV and genital warts, herpes, syphilis, and hepatitis. Though they can present noticeable symptoms, the best way to ensure that you don’t have an infection is through the proper tests. You should visit a clinic regularly to make sure that you’re healthy.

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