Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are very common. About one half of sexually active young men will catch an STD before the age of twenty-five. It is common for men with STDs not to know they have been infected. The most important things a man can do to protect his sexual health are to practice safe sex and get regularly tested for STDs. However, it is also valuable to know the symptoms of STDs. If you suspect you have an STD, contact your doctor. Early treatment can prevent serious health consequences.
Symptoms Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Trichomoniasis
Some STIs have similar symptoms. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis are all curable STIs that can cause unpleasant symptoms in men. Most of the time, symptoms will occur around a week after exposure. All three of these infections can cause painful urination, unusual discharge from the penis, and testicular pain. A cloudy, thick, or bloody discharge from the penis is a serious symptom of infection that should never be ignored. Even if it goes away, the disappearance of symptoms does not mean the infection is gone. If left untreated these STIs can cause male infertility. Fortunately, all three of these diseases can be cured with fairly short courses of antibiotics.
Symptoms of Syphilis
Another common, curable STI is syphilis. It is particularly important to know the early symptoms of this disease, as they are easy to ignore. The first sign of syphilis is a small, painless sore on the part of the body where the infection was transmitted, such as the penis or lips. This sore, called a chancre, develops ten days to three months after exposure. The sore will go away on its own, but that does not mean that the infection is over. If a man does not seek treatment for syphilis his body will not fight off the infection by itself. Eventually, syphilis will cause problems in the brain, heart, and other major organs, leading to death. The infection can be cured with antibiotics, but it is best to treat it early on.
Symptoms of Genital Herpes
Other STIs that cause genital sores are not curable. Herpes is caused by a virus. A man infected with herpes may start to feel genital itching a week or so after contact with an infected partner. Small painful blister-like sores will erupt. They will eventually become open sores that scab over and heal in a few days. Not every man infected with herpes will develop these sores, and many will only ever have one outbreak. However, some men experience multiple serious outbreaks. Prescription medicines are available to decrease the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks.
Symptoms of Genital Warts / HPV
Genital warts are also caused by a virus, called HPV. Genital warts are often grey or flesh colored. Sometimes the warts will grow in clusters with a cauliflower-like appearance. The warts can appear on the head or shaft of the penis, and can become very large. The warts can be removed, but removal doesn’t cure the virus. The warts can regrow, and even if no warts are visible the virus can still be transmitted during sex. Because of this, it is recommended that boys be vaccinated against HPV before they become sexually active.
Other serious STIs, such as HIV, can cause flulike symptoms within the first few weeks of exposure. A person with an STI may not develop sores or other symptoms on their genitals. It is common for men to have STIs without developing any visible signs of infection, but even so these diseases can have serious health consequences. There are online medicianal portals where you can buy STD tests online and get tested for STDs at home. Every sexually active man should get regularly tested for STIs and STD’s to protect his health.