No matter how many partners you’ve had, engaging in any kind of sexual activity can result in a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you’re sexually active, you may be wondering how to tell if you have an STI. Although you could have an STI without any symptoms at all, here are 5 tell-tale signs that might point to you having one.
5 Common STI Symptoms to Look Out For
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s best to go for testing and get treatment as soon as possible. Leaving an STI unchecked can result in serious health problems, including infertility, organ damage, and even cancer. Even if your symptoms are so mild that they don’t bother you, you should still protect your health and see a doctor or nurse if you feel like something is off.
STI Symptoms in Males and Females:
- Pain when urinating or having sex
- Unusual discharge from genitals
- Itchiness around the genitals
- Pelvic and testicular pain
- Small blisters or sores around the genitals
For women, bleeding between periods or after sex might also be a symptom of an STI. Learn more about the symptoms of various STIs and when they start appearing.
STIs Don’t Always Cause Visible Symptoms
It’s possible to have an STI with no symptoms at all and the infection could go unnoticed for a long time. Symptoms can come and go over time, but it doesn’t mean the STI has been cured. You could even contract an STI from someone who seems healthy and doesn’t know that they have an infection. This is why it’s important to get tested for STIs regularly if you are sexually active.
With or without visible symptoms, the only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get tested. You should definitely get tested and treated before the infection becomes more serious.
Get Confidential STI Screening
It can feel scary and embarrassing to go for STI testing, but remember that healthcare professionals are there to help you, not to judge. They do screenings all the time and nothing you tell them will likely be new to them. There are options for at-home tests, but without proper instruction, you might end up with a poor sample that returns a false negative result. You’re more likely to receive accurate test results by going to a healthcare professional for screening.
The Pregnancy Help Center offers confidential, professional screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea with a painless urine test. The testing is free, however we suggest making a $15 donation to cover the cost of the test.