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Jun 3, 2021
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“Romantic surprise”: what to do if you suspect you have an STI?

The insidiousness of sexually transmitted diseases lies in the fact that they have a very different incubation period, that is, the time interval between infection and the manifestation of the first signs. Bacterial infections usually appear faster, within 3-7 days, while with viral “lulls” can last for months, and HIV – up to a year. In addition, the symptoms of these infections are not the same, that is, with syphilis, it is very different from genital herpes in its manifestations.

In addition, in men, in contrast to women, the manifestations of STDs are often mild. This is due to the structural features of the male genitourinary system. Women have a wider and shorter urethra, which increases the likelihood of infection of the urethra itself and the bladder.

STD symptoms in women

All these signs can indicate other conditions, but often sexually transmitted diseases become the reasons:

  • Dryness of the mucous membranes of the vagina;
  • Frequent urination, which may be accompanied by pain, cramps, or discomfort in the urethra;
  • The appearance of atypical vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor;
  • Violation of the menstrual cycle and sudden bleeding;
  • Painful sensations in the genitals, which intensify during sex;
  • Rash on the genitals;
  • Swelling and redness of the genitals.

STD symptoms in men

  • Urinary disorders, and a feeling of cramps when trying to empty the bladder;
  • Discharge from the urethra, mucous or purulent. They can also be transparent, cloudy, yellowish, greenish or reddish;
  • Blood or purulent impurities in the semen;
  • Decreased sex drive or painful ejaculation;
  • Skin rashes on the penis, groin, or buttocks
  • Pain in the perineum and scrotum.

Signs of infection in the mouth

Did not know? Alas, some sexually transmitted diseases can be transmitted not only through vaginal or anal contact, but also during oral sex.

Signs of STIs in the mouth are much less common and can often be confused with another medical condition. So, chlamydia and gonorrhea mainly makes itself felt with a sore throat. Syphilis may cause a painful ulcer (chancre) in the mouth that may go away even without treatment (but the disease does not stop). In any case, all atypical changes in the oral cavity should alert you, especially if you have recently had experience of oral sex with a new partner.

What to do, where to run?

Even if you unmistakably identified your venereal disease and checked the pictures on the Internet and the reviews of comrades in misfortune, you are unlikely to be able to provide yourself with effective treatment. STIs are treated with a course of antibiotics, antiviral and antifungal drugs, but only a doctor can choose the drug and dosage.

Untreated diseases lead to damage to the genitourinary organs, provoking the appearance of cystitis, urethritis, inflammation of the kidneys and rectum. In advanced cases, a “romantic surprise” can lead to male and female infertility.

Therefore, the only reasonable way to get a full diagnosis and treatment in case of infection is to consult a venereologist. An experienced specialist can determine the diagnosis even during the initial examination, which is confirmed by tests and bacterial culture. Pathologies such as syphilis or molluscum contagiosum have rather specific skin manifestations that, by external signs alone, one can understand what kind of disease it is.


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