A number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) are asymptomatic, meaning that an infected person won’t always show symptoms.
But even without symptoms it’s possible to pass on infections to any sexual partners, which is why protection such as condoms or another barrier method are important!
Have a look at these common STD symptoms and how you can protect yourself from infection.
1. Vaginal/Penile Discharge
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of your genital tract that may be difficult to detect during the early stages, when very few symptoms occur.
If symptoms do occur, they usually start one to three weeks after exposure, and can include
- painful urination
- lower abdominal pain
- vaginal/penile discharge
- and pain during intercourse.
2. Burning when urinating
Pain or a burning feeling when urinating is a symptom associated with bacterial STD infections like Gonorrhea or Chlamydia, for example.
But unlike chlamydia, Gonorrhea can also spread to grow in your mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.
The first symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear within 10 days of infection, but some individuals may be infected for months before symptoms occur.
3. Blisters, open sores or itching
Genital herpes is a highly contagious virus that enters the body through small rips or tears in the skin or mucous membranes.
Symptoms can include
- small red bumps
- open sores pain, or itching in the genital area.
Not everyone will experience symptoms in the same way.
Some people will never experience symptoms, some only have one episode, and others continue to have recurrent episodes for the rest of their lives.
Remember, the best way to know if you’re infected is to get tested at the hospital, clinic or by your doctor.
Protecting yourself from STDs
The best way to protect yourself and your partner, if you’re sexually active, is to use condoms.
The great thing about condoms is that they come in different flavours, textures and types.