Early Symptoms of STDs

Sexually transmitted diseases can cause a variety of symptoms that may or may not be visible right away. Some sexually transmitted diseases can exhibit very mild and unnoticeable symptoms while others may show up immediately. Some early symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases can include skin sores or bumps, fever or flu-like symptoms and unusual discharge from the genital area.

Sores or Bumps

Depending on the type of sexually transmitted disease, a sore or bump may appear on the exposed area shortly after an infection. An individual infected with the herpes simplex virus may experience an outbreak the day after they were infected. According to an article on genital herpes by the Mayo Clinic, a herpes outbreak may begin with a slight tingling, itching or burning sensation. This period is followed by the appearance of small, red tiny bumps that may or may not turn into sores. These bumps rupture and become ulcers that can bleed or ooze. Eventually scabs form and these ulcers heal. Genital warts or HPV is another sexually transmitted disease that may form tiny warts around the affected area immediately after infection. For women, if HPV is left untreated, it can cause cervical cancer.

Fever or Flu-Like Symptoms

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center nearly two-thirds of all sexually transmitted diseases occur in people 25 years of age or younger. An individual infected with a sexually transmitted disease may also experience early signs of fever or flu-like symptoms. A fever typically occurs while the body is fighting off a new bacterial or viral infection. HIV can lower the body’s ability to fight off infection early on and cause the immune system to significantly weaken leaving the body vulnerable to other infections including the common cold. The Mayo Clinic reports that herpes symptoms may be flu-like. Headache, fever and aching joints may all be experienced with a primary infection of herpes. Early syphilis can cause sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes and aching.

Discharge from the Genital Area

Another early symptom of a possible sexually transmitted infection can be unusual discharge from the genital area. Sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis can all cause unusual discharge. According to an article on sexually transmitted diseases by the Mayo Clinic, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States is Chlamydia. An estimated 4 million people in the United States are infected with Chlamydia each year. The discharge experienced with these diseases may be accompanied by painful urination, itching, burning and redness.

About this Author

Antonius Ortega is a 13-year veteran of the fitness industry and an athletic trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. His articles on fitness, health and travel have appeared in newspapers such as the “The Hornet,” “The Daily Bruin,” and “Stars and Stripes.” Ortega trains in Orange County.