Signs and Symptoms Indicating STDs
There are many types of STDs and each present with typical signs and symptoms. Recognizing them requires a careful examination followed by investigations.
Caused by a bacteria called treponema pallidum. It is a sexually transmitted disease that affects the nerves and body tissue in an irreversible way.
How Do You Get Infected?
Infection spreads via syphilis sores. These sores may be present on the vagina, anus, inside the rectum, external genitals or lips and the oral cavity.
Syphilis has three stages. In the primary or first stage, there is a hard, circular, painless swelling. This may be solitary (most often) or in a cluster. This is called chancre, and is typical of syphilis.
This swelling may stay for a few weeks to disappear be itself. However, the disappearance of the swelling does not mean that the disease has got cured. The disease quietly progresses to the next stage.
The next stage is the appearance of a non itchy reddish brown rash on the palm or the sole. It may be present on other parts of the body as well.
Accompanying this, may appear flu like symptoms including swollen lymph nodes, patchy hair loss and weight loss.
Then comes the third or late stage of syphilis, in which the bacteria eats away the nerves. There may be damage to the brain, heart, eyes, bones and other organs.
The patent may show paralysis of a part of the body, dementia, loss of vision and impairment of certain muscle groups.
Go to the doctor if you note any discharge, rash or swelling in the genitals or mouth angles. You may screen yourself for syphilis on a regular basis if you have multiple sexual partners or are a sex worker.
Diagnosis is made by VDRL test, that screen antibodies in the blood formed against the syphilis bacteria.
Caused by herpes simplex virus, HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Initial symptoms are similar to common flu. The patient may have fever, cough, cold, swollen glands. There may be tender ulcers or blisters in the genitals, blisters on the lips (called cold sores).
Diagnosis may be made by blood test or direct examination from the sores.
Caused by trachomatis chlamydia.
Recognizing Chlamydia in Females
There may be a change in vaginal discharge. Read about normal vaginal discharge. If infected, the discharge may become smelly, change in color and texture of the discharge may be noted.
Blood after intercourse, in between periods may indicate chlamydia.
Pain or burning during micturition. Low back ache or groin pain may be there.
Recognizing Chlamydia in Males
Abnormal discharge from the penis. It may be pus like, cloudy or smelly. Burning, itching at the opening of the penis. Pain or burning during micturition.
Pain in or around the anal opening. Any foul discharge from the anal opening. Pain or swelling in one or both the testicles.
In females, a swab is taken from the cervix. In males, a swab is taken from the urethra. Samples are then sent for culture.
Alternatively, urine testing may be done.
Signs and symptoms resemble those of chlamydia. Swab test is done for diagnosis.
Caused by human papilloma virus. It causes warts in the genital region of both men and women. The virus may also cause cancer of some genital organs.
There are over 100 strains of this virus. A fraction of them are low risk ones, that may cause warts. Others may even lead to malignancies.
Warts appear commonly in the genital region of both men and women. They may be found on the vulva, anal opening, inner thigh region etc. They appear as bumps or lumps, which may be flat or raised. The lesions are usually in clusters, though may appear as solitary also.
The strain of HPV which causes warts is unlikely to cause cancer.
Diagnosis is made by taking the swab directly from the lesions. It may be from the cervix or vagina. This is called the pap test.
Sometimes, the lesions are not visible. In such cases, the doctor may pour vinegar over the lesion. Vinegar turns the HPV affected areas white in color. Hence, it makes them visible.
Also called trich infection. It is the most curable STD.
Symptoms in Women
A foul smelling thin vaginal discharge is usually there. This may be yellow, green or even clear in appearance.
Pain during intercourse, urinating.
Symptoms in Men
Penile itching or irritation. One may have burning while urinating. There may or may not be a discharge from the penis.