The signs of sexually transmitted diseases are as varied as the women who get them. Some are obvious and even painful, while others are seemingly silent.
Both obvious and silent STDs can cause irreparable harm to women, their partners, and any future children. Getting tested for STDs on a consistent basis, especially if there has been a change of sexual partners or any intravenous drug use, is key for having any degree of certainty about one's health. (The only way to be 100 percent certain about not having an STD is to have never had sexually intercourse.)
Though not every STD has a physical symptom, it is important to recognize the signs that may be there. And even if there are no symptoms, these diseases can be passed on to others. Early detection of a STD can be life-saving in many ways.
Here are symptoms of the three most common sexually transmitted diseases in the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia is the most frequently reported and fastest-growing STD in the United States. Usually found in women ages 15 to 24, most cases go undiagnosed because for about 75 percent of women there are really no symptoms associated with this disease.
For the women who do have symptoms, they are minimal and quickly passing. Symptoms can include burning when urinating, abnormal vaginal discharge, and spotting between periods.
The good news is that once chlamydia has been diagnosed, it can be easily cured with a round of antibiotics. If left untreated, this disease can cause serious consequences like infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Another STD that is commonly underdiagnosed is gonorrhea. It is the second most frequently reported STD in the country. The symptoms, if there are any at all, are commonly confused with a bladder infection. They can include burning during urination, heavy menstrual periods, abdominal pain, or abnormal, thick, or bloody vaginal discharge.