Unfortunately, humankind has been troubled with several infections transmitted through intimate sexual contact for centuries. Commonly called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), these diseases are relatively common and annoying to less common but far more severe.
It takes a bit of time for noticeable symptoms to develop in many instances, regardless of the organism. The symptom onset may vary from a few days to several weeks or months after exposure. In some situations, there are no noticeable signs of infection at all. In these scenarios, the infected individual is more likely to pass the condition without knowing it to future partners. Getting tested for STDs if you’ve engaged in unprotected sex is essential to limit the spread and protect your health.
Understanding the Early Signs for Women
Women may present several symptoms if they’ve contracted an STD. These symptoms commonly include:
– Itching of the vagina or vulva
– Vaginal sores or blisters on the vulva
– Vaginal discharge
– Rash on the vulva or vagina
– Burning or painful sensation during urination or sex
– Sore throat
– Pelvic or hip pain
– Lower back pain
– Rectal bleeding, pain, or discharge
– No symptoms at all
The Early STD Symptoms for Men
– No symptoms at all
– Blisters adjacent to or on the penis
– Bumps, lesions, or spots on the penis
– Discharge from the penis, including various colors or consistencies
– Pain upon ejaculation or urination
– Itching at the tip of the penis
– Rash on the groin, testicles, or penis
– Flu-like symptoms that don’t go away
– Tenderness, swelling, or pain in the testicles
– Rectal discharge, pain, or bleeding
How Long Does It Take for STD Symptoms to Appear?
The time from infection until notable symptoms will vary widely and depends significantly on the specific pathogen and person. Many times, symptoms go unnoticed or fail to appear. People should never ignore an STD. Left untreated, many STDs progress into permanent and irreversible harm. Additionally, an infected individual can transmit the infection to other people despite symptoms. For some, the pathogen may appear within four or five days. Different strains may take four to five weeks. A few infections may take several months to show symptoms after the initial infection.
Protecting Yourself Against STDs
The easiest way to protect yourself against STDs is abstaining from sexual activity. If you’re choosing to engage in intimate relationships, always choose protection whenever possible. Using condoms and dental dams will limit the probability of exposure. Likewise, selecting relationships carefully and having only one monogamous partner at a time can lower your risk. If you engage in risky behavior, using preventative medications like PrEP can help lessen the chance of becoming HIV-positive. Anyone wanting to start these antiviral medications must locate a PrEP clinic in Toronto and undergo complete STD panels before beginning the drug.
How Do You Know if You Have an STD?
The only way to confidently know if you have an STD is to undergo testing as soon as possible. Although home testing kits are available, visiting a qualified physician will help identify and rule out specific infections. A doctor can also prescribe appropriate treatments for any positive infection. Most patients will also receive counseling for effective ways to prevent future infections.
Currently, many STDs are circulating. A few are relatively new and emergent diseases. Others, like syphilis, have bothered humankind for centuries. Thankfully, modern antibiotics can improve our ability to eliminate such conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment are still essential for successful intervention.