A sexually transmitted disease is any condition spread through sexual contact. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are way more likely than men to suffer severe, long-term consequences of STDs. If you fear you may have been exposed to an STD, book for an STD testing in Winter Park.
Each year, at least 24,000 women develop STD-related infertility. This is because they experience symptoms that most times go unnoticed and, as a result, untreated. Case in point, chlamydia is estimated to be symptomless in 70 percent of women.
Since the complications of STD infections are more severe in women than men, it is highly recommended you go for regular screening even when you feel completely healthy.
Here is a list of 7 common symptoms of STDs in women to keep an eye out for:
1. Unusual vaginal discharge
Women typically produce a clear or milky white discharge from their vaginas. However, any change in the color, smell, or consistency of your discharge can be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease. Keep track of your discharge and speak to your doctor if you notice any abnormality, such as a fish-like odor. A frothy discharge, for example, is a sign of trichomoniasis. Likewise, a greenish-yellow discharge may indicate gonorrhea.
2. Pain When Urinating
Peeing should be a boring, mundane task. But if it becomes a painful experience, you may need to see a doctor. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause inflammation in your urinary tract and genital area. This may lead to you experiencing a burning sensation every time you urinate.
The most common infections signaled by pain when urinating are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.
Genital herpes can also cause this pain as it causes tiny, painful blisters to form around your genitalia. However, with herpes, the pain has to be accompanied by the presence of cysts.
Another symptom to look out for is the need to pee more often than usual.
3. Pain During or After Sex
It is relatively normal for women to experience occasional pain during sex. Consequently, this is one of the most overlooked symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.
A stabbing pain that is new or has changed, or that started with a new sexual partner is a significant warning sign. It can be a symptom of chlamydia or gonorrhea. If the pain is accompanied by unusual bleeding, you should see a specialist immediately.
Pain and bleeding during or after sex can also be a result of other factors like vaginal damage, vaginal dryness, or other non-STD infections. Either way, they are a clear indication that your vaginal tissues are inflamed; therefore, you should still seek professional help.
4. Spotting Between Periods
Bleeding between periods can be a side effect of hormonal contraception. On the other hand, it can result from STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause cervix inflammation, which is what leads to spotting or particularly heavy periods.
5. Itching Around the Vagina
STDs can cause sensation changes in your vaginal area. You may experience soreness or persistent itching. However, since vaginal discomfort can also be caused by bacterial or yeast infections, the best way to find out if you are suffering from an STD is to see a doctor.
6. Fleshy Growths Around the Genitals
You may develop small, painless, fleshy growths on or around your vagina, vulva, cervix, anus, and upper thighs. In rare cases, these growths can become itchy and bleed.
7. Other Symptoms
Other common symptoms of an STD infection include:
· Pelvic pain that is distinctively different from cramps
· Rashes and sores in the genital area
· Lesions, blisters, or warts
· Fever and flu-like symptoms
There is good news. Although detecting STDs is difficult, most of them are completely treatable. What’s more, most institutions offer confidential testing and treatment, so you do not have to worry about privacy.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, book an appointment with a healthcare provider and get tested.