STD Signs, Symptoms and Testing

STD test

A person can contract an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or STI (sexually transmitted infection) through oral, anal, vaginal sexual intercourse with an infected person. Such an infection can spread just by touching the genitals of an infected person. For different STDs, the signs and symptoms are different. An STD test can help diagnose the actual problem. This article discusses signs and testing options for different STDs. Please continue reading to learn more about it.

What’s a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?

A sexually transmitted disease is a disease that transmits through sexual activity. Such infections can spread through oral, anal and vaginal sexual intercourse. In some cases, mere touching the affected area can also infect the person. The people who have sexual relations with the same gender are also vulnerable to STDs. It is important to mention that some STDs do not have any signs and symptoms. Doctors have identified STD symptoms and STD tests to diagnose a particular sexually transmitted infection.

Signs and Symptoms of STDs

The signs and symptoms, as well as STD tests to diagnose the disease, have been discussed below:

Chlamydia Symptoms

This bacterial infection occurs in the genital tract. Its early stages do not have any symptoms and it is hard to know if it exists. Only a chlamydia test can confirm the presence of bacteria.

Some notable signs and symptoms are:

  • Painful urination
  • Testicular pain in men
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Vaginal discharge in women
  • Discharge from the penis in men
  • Bleeding between periods in women
  • Pain during sexual intercourse in women

Chlamydia Test

  • Urine sample or swab of the genital area

Gonorrhea Symptoms

This bacterial infection also occurs in the genital tract. Its bacteria can grow in the throat, mouth, eyes, and anus. For some people, the signs appear within 10 days after the exposure. It takes months for some people to experience signs.

Some notable signs and symptoms are:

  • Anal itching
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Swollen & painful testicles
  • Pain/burning sensation when urinating
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding/bleeding between periods
  • Bloody, Thick, or cloudy discharge from the vagina/penis

Gonorrhea Test

  • Urine sample or swab of the genital area.

Trichomoniasis Symptoms

This common STI is caused by a one-celled and microscopic parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis. Some notable signs and symptoms are:

  • Painful urination
  • Strong vaginal odor
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Itching or irritation inside the penis
  • Clear, white, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge

Trichomoniasis Test

Testing techniques include the following:

  • Cell culture
  • Antigen tests
  • Sample examination

HIV Symptoms

There are early stage symptoms and then there are late-stage symptoms. Both have been discussed below:

Early Signs and Symptoms:

Some early signs and symptoms are:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands

When this disease complicates, sever signs start appearing or existing symptoms start becoming severe. At this point, chronic signs and symptoms can be:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Cough and shortness of breath
  • Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection

Late-Stage HIV Infection:

Some notable signs and symptoms of late-stage HIV infection are:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Soaking night sweats
  • Persistent headaches
  • Persistent/unexplained fatigue
  • Swelling of lymph nodes for months
  • Opportunistic and unusual infections
  • Shaking chills or fever for several weeks

HIV Test

  • A swab from inside of the mouth or blood test.

Genital Herpes Symptoms

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) causes this highly contagious STD. This virus can enter the body through mucous membranes or small breaks.

Some notable signs and symptoms are:

  • Painful urination
  • Small red bumps, blisters or open sores in the genital or anal
  • Pain or itching around the inner thighs, genital area, and buttocks

Genital Herpes Test

  • With Symptoms: Swab of the affected area in case of symptoms.
  • Without Symptoms: Blood test is enough it does not have any symptoms.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection and Genital Warts Symptoms

Genital warts due to human papillomavirus infection are one of the most common forms of sexually transmitted infections. It often does not have any signs and some of its forms can cause cervical cancer.

Some notable signs and symptoms are:

  • Bleeding with intercourse
  • Itching or discomfort in your genital area
  • Small, flesh-colored or gray swellings in your genital area
  • Several warts close together that take on a cauliflower shape

HPV Test

  • Visual diagnosis by an expert can confirm.

Hepatitis Symptoms

Hepatitis A, B and C are contagious viral infections that affect the liver. Some notable signs and symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Fatigue
  • Dark urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale skin and eyes
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort

Hepatitis Test

  • A blood test is normally enough.


This type of STD can affect the nervous system of the person. In some cases, it has no and symptoms while some affected persons can have the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Behavior changes
  • Movement problems

Neurosyphilis Test

  • The antibody test is often recommended.

STDs: The End Result

In the end, we can say that sexually transmitted disease can be diagnosed using different testing options. A timely detection and treatment can avoid a bigger problem. If you are sexually active, you should get tested from time to time to make sure you are safe of any sexually transmitted infection. If you are interested in knowing more about it, it is better to book an appointment with an expert. So book a consultation session with your nearest doctor to stay healthy always.


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