What Is Usually the First Sign of an STD?

Reviewed on 6/25/2021

The first sign of an STD (sexually transmitted disease) depends on the infection and sometimes there are no symptoms. Symptoms may include abnormal vaginal or penile discharge, pain or burning sensation when urinating, rectal or anal pain, discharge, itching, soreness, or bleeding; genital blisters or sores, genital warts, and others.
The first sign of an STD (sexually transmitted disease) depends on the infection and sometimes there are no symptoms. Symptoms may include abnormal vaginal or penile discharge, pain or burning sensation when urinating, rectal or anal pain, discharge, itching, soreness, or bleeding; genital blisters or sores, genital warts, and others.

STD stands for sexually transmitted diseases (also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs), which are common infections transmitted from person-to-person through sexual activity such as vaginal, oral, and anal sex. 

Common STDs include: 

The first signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can vary depending on the infection and people frequently have no signs of STDs. In addition, symptoms of an STD may develop within a few days or weeks, but in some cases, they may not occur until months or years after exposure to the infectious agent.

Symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal or penile discharge
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Urinary frequency
  • Rectal or anal pain, discharge, itching, soreness, or bleeding 
  • Blisters or sores in the genital area  
  • Blisters on the mouth or lips
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Genital warts 
  • Painful sexual intercourse 
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach/abdominal upset or pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness/fatigue
  • Headache
  • Pain and swelling in one or both testicles in men (less common)

If you have any symptoms of an STD, is important to see a doctor to be diagnosed, because treatment varies depending on the cause. 

What Is the Treatment for STDs?

Treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) varies depending on the infection. 

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are treated with different kinds of antibiotics, depending on the infection. 

  • Sexual partners should also be treated because reinfection is possible
  • Patients and their partners should avoid sex until both have been treated
  • Patients should be retested three months after treatment 

Hepatitis A and B are treated with: 

  • Drinking adequate fluids
  • Getting enough rest
  • Proper nutrition
  • Hospitalization (severe cases)
  • Herpes is treated with: 
  • Antiviral medicines 
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Keeping the genital area clean and dry
  • Sitz baths
  • Avoiding tight clothing

There is no treatment for human papillomavirus (HPV) (genital warts) and it may go away on its own. Treatments for health problems caused by HPV include:

  • Prescription medication for genital warts
  • Cervical precancer treatments

QUESTION

Condoms are the best protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). See Answer

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Reviewed on 6/25/2021
References
https://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/chlamydia-beyond-the-basics?search=Chlamydia&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/gonorrhea-beyond-the-basics?search=Gonorrhea&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2#H13

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/genital-herpes-the-basics?search=herpes&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/human-papillomavirus-hpv-the-basics?search=HPV&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/syphilis-the-basics?search=Syphilis&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/trichomoniasis?search=Trichomoniasis&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~87&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/how-soon-do-sti-symptoms-appear/