There are many misconceptions about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – one of them being that not everyone can catch an STI. The truth is that anyone who is not practising safe sex is at risk of getting an infection.
You could be at a lower risk if you and your partner are in an exclusive relationship (maintaining one partner) and get tested regularly. On the other hand, you could be at a higher risk if you have multiple sexual partners.
Not many people even know the signs and symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection. Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, scabies, pubic lice, hepatitis, HIV and others can all have different signs and it’s important to know them so you know what to look out for.
If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, you must contact a medical professional:
- Painful Urination
Painful urination can be a sign of a urinary tract infection. However, the pain in sexually transmitted infection would be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms.
Painful urination is seen in STIs such as trichomoniasis, gonorrhoea and herpes.
- Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
A woman who has contracted a sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia might complain of vaginal bleeding between regular periods. Bleeding may also be experienced after sexual intercourse.
- Blisters Around Genitals
Small, painful blisters can be seen around the genitals in the case of genital herpes and syphilis. There can also be itching around the blisters.
- Growths Around Genitals
Fleshy growths or warts could be seen growing on the genitals and also around the anus of a person who has a sexually transmitted infection.
- Green Or Yellow Discharge From The Vagina Or Penis
Anyone suffering from an STI like chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis is likely to present with greenish or yellow discharge from their penis or vagina. The discharge may have a pungent smell.
- Rashes Around Genitals
Small, painful and itchy red rashes can be seen around the genitals of a person who has contracted an STI such as scabies, syphilis and even HIV. There can be one or more rashes around the genitals.
- Severe Itching Around Genitals
A woman infected with an STI may complain of itchiness and discomfort around the opening of the vagina. The itchiness is likely to get worse during the night. However, this can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
- Pain In Scrotum Or Testes
A man suffering from a sexually transmitted infection would complain of pain in his testes and scrotum.
- Lumps Or Bumps Around Genitals
Painless lumps or bumps may be seen around the genitals and anus in case of an STI. These bumps can be small and itchy.
- Flu-like Symptoms
A person with an STI may present with any of the above signs along with flu-like symptoms such as high temperature, chills, sore throat, headache and joint pains. These symptoms are usually seen in the case of STIs like HIV and syphilis.