4 Dangerous STDs You Might Contract Unknowingly
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are often called a ‘silent epidemic’ for the very reason that they don’t typically have outward signs. That’s because STDs often show no noticeable symptoms.
This means that you and your partner could be infected and not even know it. Here are the 4 common STD you might contract unknowingly as shared by Men’s Health
This bacterial illness is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. As a result, it can cause infections in your genitals, rectum, or throat.
Condoms are nearly 100 percent effective at preventing transmission of the disease, says Khalil Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and infectious disease at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. (Dental dams can be protective if you’re giving oral sex to a woman.)
Signs of gonorrhea: Women often don’t have any symptoms, says Herbenick. And when they do, the signs are usually mild and may mimic a bladder infection—meaning she may not know she’s infected, and there’s no way for you to tell during sex.
As for guys: If the infection is in your throat or rectum, you probably won’t have any symptoms, says Dr. Ghanem.
If the bacteria is targeting your penis, you may see a greenish or yellowish penile discharge or a burning sensation when you pee, Dr. Ghanem says. Testicular pain is another possibility, although it’s rare. These problems usually creep up 3 to 5 days after an exposure.
Left untreated, gonorrhea can cause something called epididymitis, an inflammation of your testicles that may lead to infertility.
How to detect gonorrhea: The CDC recommends routine annual screenings for men. But ask your doctor what’s right for you, since it may depend on risk factors like how often you have new partners, says Herbenick.
How to treat gonorrhea: The good news is that gonorrhea can usually be cured with antibiotics.
But Some Gonorrhea Strains Are Resistant To Antibiotics, so make sure to follow up with your doctor to make sure all the bacteria has been killed, says Herbenick.
Chlamydia, another bacterial infection, is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
As with gonorrhea, condoms are nearly 100 percent effective at preventing the spread. And if you’re giving oral sex to a woman, dental dams can reduce your risk.
Signs of chlamydia: Chlamydia rarely has noticeable symptoms in either women or men, says Herbenick.
In the off-chance you do show signs of infection, the symptoms could include a penile discharge or burning when you pee, says Dr. Ghanem. These problems usually creep up about a week after an exposure.
Severe infections in men that are not treated quickly can cause scarring in your urethra, making it more difficult to pee—and it may even require surgery.
How to detect chlamydia: The CDC recommends annual screening for gay or bisexual men. However, straight men should ask their doctors about testing as well.
How to treat chlamydia: Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics.