Symptoms and Signs of STDs in Men

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/12/2021

Doctor's Notes on STDs in Men (Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Men)

Sexually transmitted diseases are those that are spread by sexual activity such as intercourse, kissing, oral-genital contact, and sharing sexual devices. Types of STDs include: 

Symptoms of STDs in men depend on the infection:

  • Chancroid starts out as a tender bump that then erupts into a painful genital or oral ulcers. 
  • Genital herpes causes genital or oral blisters.
  • LGV can cause rectal blisters, rectal or anal inflammation or pain, scarring, and narrowing, which cause diarrhea and a sense of incomplete evacuation of the bowels.
  • Syphilis may produce no symptoms or can cause oral or genital ulcers, rashfever, or neurological illnesses ranging from forgetfulness to stroke
  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause burning on urination and a penile discharge (dripping). 
  • HIV may cause nonspecific illness 2 to 4 weeks after they have been infected characterized by fever, vomitingdiarrhea, muscle and joint pains, headachesore throat, and painful lymph nodes
  • HPV causes genital warts and is associated with the development of anal or penile cancers in men. 
  • Hepatitis B and C cause liver inflammation.
  • HHV-8 has been associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (an unusual skin tumor), and possibly certain lymphomas (tumors of the lymph tissue). 
  • Pubic lice and scabies are tiny parasitic bugs that can cause small itchy bumps.

What Is the Treatment for STDs in Men?

Treatment of STDs in men depends on the type of STD. Bacterial STDs can be typically cured with antibiotics, while viral infections may persist throughout life. There is no cure for HPV infections, although they may go away on their own over time. Treatment options for STDs in men include:

  • Antibiotics for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis infections
  • Antiparasitic medications for public lice and scabies
  • Medications to eliminate Trichomonas
  • Antiviral medications to control HIV and herpesvirus infections, although treatment cannot cure these infections
  • Medications to manage chronic HCV infection

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.