Top 10 signs that you have an STD

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually treansmitted infections (STIs), are infections that you get from having sex with someone who is already infected. We review the most common signs of STDs here to help you know when to seek medical help.

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Types of STDs
Most STDs affect both men and women, but often cause more severe health problems for women. STDs are caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses. Antibiotics treat STDs caused by parasites and viruses. STDs causes by a virus have no cure.

Signs that you have an STD
Many people infected by an STD manifest little to no symptoms of the infection. However, if you manifest any of the following signs, see a doctor. Early and fast diagnosis of STDs increases your chance of minimizing effects of the disease. Many of these signs and symptoms appear a few days to three months after exposure. See a doctor for diagnostic testing if you notice any of the following signs:

1. Pain, itching, discomfort or swelling in the genitals or genital area
2. Bleeding or pain during sex; unusual vaginal bleeding
3. Sores on the genitals, rectum, tongue or lips
4. Thick, cloudy, bloody or discolored discharge from the penis or vagina
5. Painful, burning or frequent urination
6. Strong odor from the genitals
7. Fatigue
8. Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes or glands
9. Fever
10. Dark urine

To search for a doctor who can diagnose a possible STD, use the American Medical Association’s Doctor Finder tool.

Reference Sources: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) website
Medline Plus topic on sexually transmitted diseases
Mayo Clinic website topic on STD symptoms
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. It got me when you said that two of the signs of an STD are the pain, itching, or swelling in the genitals and a thick or bloody discharge in the sex organs. I have a feeling that my friend has an STD. He has been complaining about this for a while now, and he seems to be panicking. It might be a good idea if I take him to the doctor to see if there is a way to cure it.

  2. Does any one have any experience buying a good home HIV tests? I don’t want to go to the doctor or wait 2 weeks for mail in results. I’m looking to know that the test works as I hear a lot of them are no good. I need a test that is proven good. Any suggestions?

  3. a very informative post on sexual transmitted infections, and I think there needs to be more awareness. More education especially for the younger generation

  4. Men all over the world suffer from sexual dysfunctions – isn’t that crazy? No matter how different they seem in appearance or culture, they are still bound by a feeling of sexual failure….

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