STD Treatment

Treating and Diagnosing Common Symptoms of STDs

March 31st, 2011  |  Published in STD Treatment

The U.S. CDC reports that STD infection rates among Americans continue to climb. Part of the problem stems from the fact that many rely on the presence of textbook STD or STI symptoms to signal the need to get tested. In reality, the most common symptoms of STDs do not always show following infection. Additionally, since many common symptoms of STDs are milder than expected, plenty of infections are ignored, assumed as normal, or mistaken for other ailments. Learning to recognize the most common symptoms of STDs can help limit the spread of infection and prompt those affected to seek treatment.

Common Symptoms of STDs in Women

STI symptoms in women can vary in severity. While some females will experience notable pain following STD infection, others will never display side effects at all. Some the most common symptoms of STDs in females include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge that is thick and colored (generally white or yellow)
  • A burning sensation during urination
  • Overall genital pain, especially during intercourse
  • Bleeding in between menstrual periods

Any or all of these side effects could be symptoms of gonorrhea or Chlamydia, two of the most widespread STDs in the country. Often, these common symptoms of STDs are mistaken for side effects of vaginal yeast or urinary tract infection. Many infected women will subsequently attempt to self-diagnose and thus deprive themselves of proper medication. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are both easily cured with antibiotics, but it important to be treated under the guidance of a medical professional.

Only STD testing can effectively detect these disease. Those at risk should get screened yearly even if these symptoms of gonorrhea and Chlamydia never surface.

Additionally, vaginal sores are among the most common symptoms of STDs like herpes and syphilis. While vaginal sores can be painful and cause major genital discomfort, in some women, they're mild enough to go unnoticed. Many women may mistake vaginal sores for shaving irritation or a mild rash. For this reason, STD testing is recommended if questionable sores appear on the genital, thighs, or anus. This holds true for men and women alike.

Common Symptoms of STDs in Men

As is the case with women, common symptoms of STDs in males will not always surface following infection. For example, symptoms of Chlamydia in men are only present 50 percent of the time. Common symptoms of STDs in men include:

  • Penile discharge that is generally white or yellow in color
  • Painful urination or pain during intercourse
  • Genital sores, which may or may not produce blistering and pain

While penile discharge and painful urination are typically indicative of gonorrhea and Chlamydia infection, the presence of genital sores often points to syphilis or herpes. Also, whereas women will often disregard genital discharge as normal or attribute it to a more common infection, the presence of genital discharge in men will usually prompt a high degree of concern. Unfortunately, even in the presence of these common symptoms of STDs, not all men will get tested as necessary.

Treating Common Symptoms of STDs

STD symptoms can be effectively treated once an appropriate diagnosis is made. Though certain infections do share similar side effects, the methods of treatment involved can vary tremendously based on the disease at hand. For this reason, even the most trained medical professionals rely on STD testing to accurately diagnose the most common symptoms of STDs.

When Chlamydia or gonorrhea is detected, antibiotics can be administered to alleviate symptoms and cure each disease entirely. Syphilis, when caught in its early stages, can also be successfully eliminated from the body. While there is currently no cure for genital herpes, antiviral medication can work to alleviate symptoms and reduce the frequency of outbreaks. It is therefore essential that anyone experiencing STI symptoms undergo testing to not only get relief, but also prevent the spread of infection to others.

Fighting Back Against STDs in Women

February 21st, 2011  |  Published in STD Treatment

It’s no secret that the spread of sexually transmitted diseases continues to be a major problem throughout the United States. In fact, occurrences of STDs in women are inspiring many to become more proactive in the fight against infection by undergoing regular screening.

Though STDs among men are serious in their own right, STDs in women are known to be particularly harsh. From a symptom-related perspective, certain STDs in women tend to produce immediate signs of infection, such as vaginal discomfort and discharge. And while common STDs like Chlamydia do not necessarily expose infected men to a host of problems down the line, Chlamydia is one of several STDs in women that, if left untreated, can cause permanent reproductive damage and chronic pelvic pain.

When it comes to STDs in women, reports on recent incidents of infection aren’t as encouraging as many would have otherwise hoped. According to the U.S. CDC, Chlamydia in particular continues to be among the most prevalent STDs in women. In 2009, approximately 3,329 new cases of Chlamydia infection were reported among every 100,000 teenage girls in the 15-19 range. Among women aged 20-24, about 3,274 new instances of Chlamydia were recorded per 100,000; and for females aged 25-29, 1,234 new Chlamydia cases per 100,000 were documented.

Chlamydia, however, isn’t the only STD facing women of late. Genital herpes continues to rank among the most problematic STDs in women, with approximately 21 percent of females infected. Furthermore, women are almost twice as likely to contract genital herpes as males, making this disease one of the most troublesome STDs in women today.
In fact, recent studies indicate that sexually transmitted infections perhaps more commonly associated with men—namely, syphilis and HIV—are also regarded as problematic STDs in women. Females actually account for about 27 percent of annual new HIV infections; and though rates of syphilis infection among women declined steadily from 1992 through 2003, the rate of syphilis transmission among women increased from 0.8 cases in 2004 to 1.4 cases in 2009.

Though many recent reports regarding STDs in women show a rise in infection rates, one disease that’s on the decline is gonorrhea, one of the most common STDs in the country. While some may regard this piece of news as encouraging, in reality, instances of gonorrhea infection among women are still too high for comfort. In 2009, there were 569 cases reported per 100,000 girls 15-19 years of age. Out of every 100,000 women aged 20-24, 555 new cases of gonorrhea were documented; and though infection rates began to decrease among women 25 and older, gonorrhea is still one of the STDs in women with the potential to cause a host of widespread health issues.

All of this recent data suggests one thing: that more needs to be done to prevent the spread of STDs in women. The frequency of STDs in women, as evidenced by recent reports, is a significant health problem that the country on a whole needs to address. Though women should, of course, do their part to prevent infection, additional resources must be dedicated for the purpose of treating and diagnosing STDs in women. Given the consequences at hand, when it comes to STDs, the stakes are simply too high to leave things status quo.