Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Did you have a wild night or an out of control weekend? If you are sexually active and can’t remember part of the night (or an entire afternoon), then you need to get checked and get tested. Early detection and treatment of STDs is the only way to get healthy and stay that way.

Let’s be blunt, if you have sex — oral, anal or vaginal intercourse and genital touching — you can get an STD (sexually transmitted disease), or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It doesn’t matter if you are straight or a member of the LGBTQ community. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, engaged or divorced. If you engage in sexual activity you are vulnerable to STIs and STI symptoms. Let’s talk about what you need to know.

  • Condoms are effective in preventing the transmission of STDs, but nothing is 100% failsafe.
  • STI and STD symptoms aren’t always obvious. The worst of them can hide for many years before raising their ugly head. (No pun intended.)
  • If you contract an STD and don’t have it treated, it can increase your risk of acquiring another STI like HIV. This happens because an STI can stimulate an immune response in the genital area or cause sores, either of which might raise the risk of HIV transmission. Some untreated STIs can also lead to infertility.
  • Be respectful. If you have contracted an STD or an STI and get treated, do the right thing and let your partner(s) know. You may have spent only a couple hours or a night together, but that is not a reason for them to suffer with an illness they don’t know they have.

There are more than 20 types of STDs, including

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV/AIDS
  • HPV
  • Trichomoniasis

What are the signs and symptoms of the most common STDs?

Our doctors can diagnose and treat your STD or STI. They want you to know the following information, along with detailed definitions provided by the Mayo Clinic Foundation:

Chlamydia

  • A bacterial infection of your genital tract.
  • Symptoms may occur one to three weeks after you’ve been exposed, but may be easy to overlook.
  • Signs and symptoms may include:
    • Painful urination
    • Lower abdominal pain
    • Vaginal discharge in women
    • Discharge from the penis in men
    • Pain during sexual intercourse in women
    • Bleeding between periods in women
    • Testicular pain in men

Gonorrhea

  • A bacterial infection of your genital tract that can also grow in your mouth, throat, eyes and anus.
  • Symptoms generally appear within 10 days after exposure, sometimes not for months.
  • Signs and symptoms may include:
    • Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina
    • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
    • Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
    • Painful, swollen testicles
    • Painful bowel movements
    • Anal itching

Trichomoniasis

  • A common STI caused by a microscopic parasite spread during sexual intercourse with an infected person.
  • Usually infects the urinary tract in men, often with no symptoms.
  • Typically infects the vagina in women.
  • Symptoms may appear within five to 28 days of exposure.
  • Signs and symptoms may include:
    • Clear, white, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge
    • Discharge from the penis
    • Strong vaginal odor
    • Vaginal itching or irritation
    • Itching or irritation inside the penis
    • Pain during sexual intercourse
    • Painful urination

HIV

  • HIV is an infection that interferes with your body’s ability to fight off viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause illness.

It can lead to AIDS, a chronic, life-threatening disease. The only way you know you have the disease is to get tested.

  • When first infected with HIV, you may have no symptoms. Some people develop a flu-like illness, usually two to six weeks after being infected.
  • Early HIV signs and symptoms may include:
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Swollen lymph glands
    • Rash
    • Fatigue
  • These early signs and symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month and are often mistaken for those of another viral infection. During this period, you’re highly infectious. More-persistent or severe symptoms of HIV infection may not appear for 10 years or more after the initial infection.

HIV IS A SERIOUS DISEASE AND YOU MUST REMAIN UNDER THE CARE OF A PHYSICIAN.

Genital Herpes

  • A highly contagious STD.
  • Caused by a virus that enters your body through small breaks in your skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, vagina).
  • Signs and symptoms are so mild they go unnoticed.
  • When symptoms do occur, the first episode is generally the worst and occurs within a few weeks of exposure. Some people never have a second episode. Others can have recurrent episodes for decades.
  • Genital herpes signs and symptoms may include:
    • Small red bumps, blisters (vesicles) or open sores (ulcers) in the genital, anal and nearby areas.
    • Pain or itching around the genital area, buttocks and inner thighs.
    • The infection can be active and contagious even when sores aren’t present.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection and Genital Warts

  • HPV infection is one of the most common types of STIs.
  • Some forms put women at high risk of cervical cancer. Other forms cause genital warts.
  • HPV usually has no signs or symptoms.
    • The signs and symptoms of genital warts include:
    • Small, flesh-colored or gray swellings in your genital area
    • Several warts close together that take on a cauliflower shape
    • Itching or discomfort in your genital area
    • Bleeding with intercourse

The Centers for Disease Control recommend that all children who are 11 or 12 years old should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to twelve months apart. AG Urgent Care physicians administer this vaccine.

Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are all contagious viral infections that affect your liver. Hepatitis B and C are the most serious of the three, but each can cause your liver to become inflamed.
  • Some people never develop signs or symptoms but they may include:
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of your liver on your right side beneath your lower ribs
    • Loss of appetite
    • Fever
    • Dark urine
    • Muscle or joint pain
    • Itching
    • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

What are the treatments for STIs and STDs?

STDs/STIs caused by bacteria, yeast, or parasites, as described above, can be treated with oral, injected or cream antibiotics. You must take all of the medication prescribed. Do not stop when you see the symptoms subside.

Other STDs like HIV, genital herpes, genital herpes, human papillomavirus, or hepatitis are viruses that do not respond to antibiotics. Your physician will have to provide treatments that reduce the pain and discomfort of the symptoms. Individuals with HIV need to take special antiretroviral drugs. You must see a physician regularly to control HIV.

If you think you may have an STD or STI, see your doctor.

You may be embarrassed, but don’t hesitate to seek diagnosis and treatment. STDs aren’t just an inconvenience; if left untreated they can seriously impact your health for many years.

At AG Urgent Care, we don’t judge. We treat. Come see us. Get checked. Get treated. Get healthy.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn