6 Signs you Need to Get Tested for an STD

Health Insurance Plans starting at Rs.15/day*

Health Insurance Plans starting at Rs.15/day*

Sexually Transmitted Diseases – What is it? 

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are diseases that are acquired by any type of sexual activity, which may be through the mouth, anus, vagina or penis.

STIs are also referred to as Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. STIs come in various types. The most typical symptoms are burning, itching or discharge in the vaginal region. Some STIs are asymptomatic, which means there aren’t any visible symptoms.

Sexually transmitted diseases are very contagious. While engaging in sexual activity, a person may get STD without even knowing it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise routine STI screenings or testing for sexually active individuals.

STIs are severe conditions that require medical attention. Some, like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), have no treatment and can be fatal if left untreated.

First signs of STD – Symptoms to look out for 

It’s possible to have a sexually transmitted disease without showing any STI symptoms. Up to 70% of women and 90% of men with chlamydia never show signs of an Infection. 

However, many STD patients experience symptoms. These symptoms frequently fit into one or more of the following.

  • Discharge
  • Physical pain
  • Bumps and genital warts
  • Other body ailments.

List of common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Chlamydia
  • Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV/ AIDS)
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
  • Genital Herpes
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Hepatitis

Signs that a person has STD 

Change in discharge 

Even though vaginal discharge is still considered taboo, it’s important to the vagina’s health. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ. The cervix and vaginal glands produce a clear fluid that carries bacteria and old cells away.

Changes in vaginal discharge may indicate infection, whether it is a yeast infection or a sexually transmitted infection.

It’s important to understand what is typical for the body and watch for variations in colour, texture and, most significantly, scent.


Patients with STI may suffer uncomfortable urination and soreness in the lower abdomen if they have a symptomatic chlamydia infection. There is a chance that sexual activity will hurt.

The same holds true for gonorrhoea. Those who have gonorrhoea may have painful urine and bowel movements. They could also experience joint, muscle and stomach pain from Hepatitis A, B or C.

There may also be external symptoms of an STD. Changes in vaginal discharge are one of the signs of an STI in women.

Sick feeling 

In some instances, sexually transmitted infections show symptoms similar to other common ailments. Even though these signs may not always indicate an STI, keeping track of any other changes in the body will help the doctor determine the exact cause of the symptoms.

Genital warts and bumps

A sexually transmitted infection may occur if lumps emerge on the vagina, lips or labia. Clusters of red lumps may appear around the vagina if an individual has the herpes simplex virus and genital herpes. 

If left untreated, they may develop into painful blisters to urinate as they may rupture or release blood or other bodily fluids.

Syphilis is an STD that also makes new lumps appear on the body. A firm, circular sore in the vaginal region is one of the early signs of syphilis. It is known as a chancre and is usually painless, though it may seem open or wet.

Pain during urination or sex 

An STI or a hormonal imbalance usually cause pain during sex. Several common STIs, including chlamydia and gonorrhoea, can induce inflammation, which can make  intercourse painful.

Urinary tract infections frequently go hand in hand with painful urination. Infections frequently result from the spread of bacteria into the female urinary tract during intercourse. Frequent and painful urination might indicate an infection.

Change in genital appearance 

It is important to understand what is usual for the body since only by knowing can someone tell if there are any noticeable changes.

While some changes could be overt and clear, others might be milder. About 90% of instances of genital herpes go undiagnosed.

Other symptoms

An individual might have an STI if they experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Painful urination
  • Coloured fluid or pus coming from the genitals or penis
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Burning while urinating
  • Bleeding
  • Discharge
  • Sores anywhere close to the vaginal or anal region
  • Loss of blood
  • Genital region swelling
  • Genital or itching in the genital area 
  • Foul-smelling vaginal or penile discharge
  • Redness and irritation.
  • Prominent sores or warts.

In some cases, STIs may be asymptomatic (there may occur with no symptoms). Despite having STD, many men do not exhibit any symptoms.

Who is at risk? 

A person might be suffering from a sexually transmitted disease or is at risk if they have 

  • Engaged in unprotected oral, anal, or genital intercourse, 
  • Several sexual partners, or 
  • Are aware that a partner is infected with an STI. 

Also, if the person used unwashed sex toys, they could have unintentionally contracted an infection.

Why should you worry? 

STDs are widespread. Each year, there are around 20 million new STD cases in the United States. Almost half of the adults will experience one at some point in their lives. 

If the patient hasn’t had a test, they run the risk of infecting someone else with an STD. Even if the patient is asymptomatic, it could still be harmful to both the partners involved.

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are two STDs that can lead to infertility. This is true, especially for women. These diseases have the potential to infect the uterus and other reproductive organs, leading to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can make a woman more vulnerable to ectopic pregnancies, which occur outside the womb.

Certain STDs, like syphilis and HIV, can be fatal. Syphilis can cause major harm to the heart, brain and neurological system if not treated for years.

Some HPV strains can lead to anus cancer in both men and women, penis cancer in men, and cervical cancer in women.

When to get tested for STDs? 

The frequency of the tests will vary depending on several factors, according to the CDC. These are as follows.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Women undergo testing more frequently than men due to their higher risk of infertility.
  • During pregnancy
  • Man who have intercourse with males
  • Number of partners or number of new partners
  • Engaging in unsafe sex, such as intercourse without condoms or sex where a person is exposed to the partner’s vaginal secretions, sperm or blood.
  • Sharing injectable medication supplies.

STD diagnostic tests 

A sexually transmitted infection (STI) test is required for patients who have a risk for STD or who have symptoms related to it. While reviewing the patient’s symptoms, a medical professional may suggest a test or series of tests help identify the underlying reason. 

Each type of STI is subject to a separate test. Tests for STIs include,

  • Urine test
  • Blood test
  • Cheek swab
  • Sample from the skin sores 
  • Discharge or a sample of the cells (usually the vagina, urethra, cervix, penis, anus or throat)

The tests usually are painless. One can feel a tiny pinch when a blood test or a swab touches an open wound.

To treat STIs, patients may need to take drugs like,

These medications can be administered intravenously by a medical professional or orally.

Does STD go away on its own? What to do after testing positive for STD? 

Most STDs require medical assistance to cure. If the STD test is positive, one must follow their doctor’s instructions to protect their sexual health.

A simple course of oral antibiotics will cure many STDs. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial diseases such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. 

To effectively treat the infection, it is essential to complete the entire course of medicine. Even if the STD symptoms have subsided, the infection could still be present in the body when the patient stops taking the medication too soon.

Several prescription drugs can treat other STIs, such as hepatitis C, if diagnosed early. On the other hand, hepatitis B cannot be treated. Only prescription drugs are available for treating the condition. However, there is a vaccination for hepatitis B. Similar to HIV, HPV cannot be cured but can be prevented with vaccination.

Finally, some STIs, like HIV and herpes, have no known treatments or preventative vaccines. Prescription treatments are available to treat herpes outbreaks, and antiretroviral medications can help treat HIV infection.

Contracting an STI can negatively impact long-term health. It is important to consult a doctor in that case. The best approach to avoid contracting an STD is to practise safe sex and receive regular STD testing.

Prevention of STD 

Avoid having intercourse with anyone who exhibits genital sores, a rash, discharge or other signs to avoid contracting an STD.

Always use latex condoms when having sex. Make sure the lubricant used is water-based. Learn the proper protection usage.

  • Try not to exchange underwear or towels.
  • Wash hands both before and after sex.
  • To prevent hepatitis B, be vaccinated. 
  • Get an HIV test.
  • Don’t hesitate to get assistance for struggling with drug or alcohol misuse. Drug or alcohol users frequently have unsafe sexual encounters.
  • The only way to prevent STDs is to avoid having sex.

To avoid infecting another person with an STD,

  • Quit engaging in sexual activity until treated by a doctor.
  • Use protections, especially with new partners.
  • As for treatment, go by a doctor’s advice.
  • Don’t start having sex again without a doctor’s approval.
  • Consult a doctor regularly.
  • Don’t forget to treat the sex partner or partners as well.


STDs are infections that can be passed from an infected person to an uninfected person through sexual interaction. Bacteria, viruses or parasites can cause STDs. 

Infections with the human papillomavirus, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, chlamydia and syphilis are a few STIs. Symptoms are not usually present with STIs. Sexually transmitted infections can be acquired from healthy individuals who may not even be aware that they are infected. 

Treatment depends on the disease, and consulting a healthcare professional can help cure the infections.


What are the 5 common symptoms of an STD? 

Common symptoms of Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are,
1. Pain during urination.
2. Unusual discharge from the vagina, anus or penis can be one of the signs of an STI.
3. A rash, bumps or skin growths at the genitalia.
4. Excessive vaginal bleeding.
5. Anus or itching genitals.

How long does it take for an STD to show up on a test? 

It can vary from person to person. HIV can take three months to show up on a test, but STDs like gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis only take a few days to a few weeks.

What is the most common STD? 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection is the most common STI. However, most people who carry the infection show no signs or symptoms.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

Scroll to Top