It can be easy to avoid catching the common cold or flu. After all, if you see someone coughing and sneezing, you can keep your distance and wash your hands to reduce your chance of exposure. It’s not always that easy with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
STDs get transferred through bodily fluids or skin-to-skin contact. And, like the common cold or flu, anyone can come in contact with these bacteria or viruses, regardless of age, sexual orientation, or relationship status.
Unfortunately, STDs can be quite dangerous, putting a person at risk of infertility, cancer, tissue and organ damage, and even death. While condoms provide an excellent layer of protection against many STDs, they aren’t fail-proof. The best way to keep yourself and your partner safe is through regular STD screenings and learning how to spot signs of a problem.
At Eve Medical of Miami in Florida, we can help you on both fronts. Our team of discreet, caring, and non-judgemental medical professionals can keep you healthy by testing you for STDs or infections and offering effective treatments to prevent further health complications.
To help get you started, we put together a list of the seven most common STDs and their symptoms. However, you can also have an STD without any symptoms and be contagious to your partner, so regular screenings play an essential role in your sexual health.
1. Genital herpes
Each year, approximately 572,000 new cases of herpes get diagnosed. This STD spreads by a virus that loves to travel through mucus and into tiny cuts and scrapes.
Genital herpes often shows no signs, making it a “silent” STD. When issues do occur, you may experience mild flu-like symptoms or itching or pain in your genital area, buttocks, or even your inner thighs. Herpes may or may not cause little blisters or open sore in those same areas. Either way, you’re still contagious.
2. Human papillomavirus (HPV)
More than 42 million Americans have HPV, an infection nearly everyone will get at some point during their lifetime. This virus can cause a couple of different health complications, from cervical cancer in women to genital warts.
If you notice itching in your genital area, along with small, fleshy warts, it’s time to get checked. HPV can also cause itching or bleeding during sex. It can also spread to your anus through anal sex and your mouth or throat through oral sex.
There are three types of hepatitis — A, B, and C — and each one inflames your liver.
Not everyone experiences symptoms from hepatitis. However, when they arise, it’s common to experience:
- Abdominal pain (especially under your lower right rib)
- Dark urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and loss of appetite
- Fatigue and joint pain
Hepatitis can also cause jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes.
This is the most commonly reported bacterial STD in the United States. Like other STDs, chlamydia doesn’t always cause symptoms. And, when they do, they can take up to three weeks to develop after exposure.
Signs of chlamydia often include pain during urination and pain in the lower abdomen. Women can also experience vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, and pain during intercourse.
Men may have discharge from their penis and pain in their testicles.
Syphilis is a serious bacterial infection that affects not only your genitals but also your brain and heart. It often starts out small, just a minor sore on your mouth, lips, or genitals. Over time, sores develop all over your body, including your hands and feet.
Without treatment, syphilis can lead to blindness, paralysis, dementia, and death.
Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection that can infect other parts of your body, including your eyes, mouth, throat, and anus. In most cases, symptoms emerge approximately 10 days after exposure and include:
- Painful, burning urination
- Vaginal or penile discharge
- Swollen testicles
- Itchy anus
- Painful bowel movements
- Excessive or between-period bleeding for women
You can have gonorrhea for several months before noticing these symptoms.
7. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
This serious viral infection attacks your immune system, making it very difficult to fight off diseases and infections.
The challenge with HIV is that you can be asymptomatic for weeks. Then, you develop symptoms that many people mistake for the flu, like headache, sore throat, fever, and fatigue. As a result, the only way to know if you have HIV or not involves getting tested.
Over time, HIV continues to deteriorate your immune cells, causing fever, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, shortness of breath, cough, and diarrhea. When your symptoms progress and become chronic, it can lead to AIDS.
Don’t put your health or the health of others at risk. Contact Eve Medical of Miami to schedule an STD screening by calling 305-707-6096 or requesting an appointment online today.