Sexually Transmitted Diseases can be highly contagious infections that spread from one person to another primarily through sexual contact. STDs can show numerous symptoms that can include sores, itching, bruising on the skin, fever, and genital discharge. These are some of the most commonly reported symptoms, however, they all tend to be different according to the nature of the STD you have acquired. STDs can often signal that you have one with more obvious symptoms like genital discharge, and unusual rashes, and itching.
What are STDs and their types?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are unique contagious infections that infect people through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 1 million new cases of STDs are being recorded every single day all around the world. This is due to a surge of increased online dating with unknown strangers and young people who fall between the age group of 15-24 are the most affected. Sexual health knowledge needs to be taught on a global scale to curb down the cases. STDs can be of different types and they all can differ in terms of symptoms and causing agents.
As per Healthline, more than two dozen types of STDs are there worldwide, however, not all of them are highly infectious or being recorded on a large scale. Only a handful of seven STDs are taking a major toll on the global most commonly reported STDs. They include the following;
However, the statistics also claim that the number of cases reported on a global level can be quite of the north as many cases go unreported and undiagnosed.
Symptoms and transmission of STDs
Symptoms of STDs are not like other types of diseases, when you get in contact with an allergen you get to sneeze immediately or skin rashes pop up after touching an unusual surface, indicative of something’s wrong. In the case of STDs, most of the types do not typically show their symptoms even after multiple days and some may even take several weeks for the signs to appear. This makes it difficult to detect and diagnose and during the meantime, you could have come in contact with many other strangers and spread the disease unknowingly to everyone.
Transmission can occur on any mode of intimate contact. Some people have a myth thought that oral sex is not as dangerous as otherwise. This is completely a misconception. STD causing agents can transmit to anyone through even genital touching and do not necessarily require intimacy. The bacteria are generally present on the genital fluids that can be transferred between partners, resulting in an infection.
STDs that cause itching signs
There are more than a dozen types of STDs that can cause various symptoms, but not all of them cause itching signs. The following are the five types of STDs that cause itching symptoms in both men and women:
- Genital herpes
- Genital warts
Chlamydia and itching
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the United States for the past few years. This infection is caused by a bacteria called “Chlamydia Trachomatis” that causes symptoms after a few days or even weeks after the initial exposure. Symptoms of Chlamydia include genital discharge, burning sensation while urinating, itching, unusual bleeding in women, and testicular pain women are some of the most commonly reported symptoms of Chlamydia. If you experience any of these symptoms, then it is highly recommended to get tested for Chlamydia.
Gonorrhea and itching
Gonorrhea is a bacterial STD that is caused by a pathogen called Neisseria Gonorrhoeae bacteria. Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported STD after Chlamydia, with thousands of new cases in the United States every year. Symptoms of Gonorrhea include Anal/Genital itching, pain or burning sensation when urinating, heavy menstrual bleeding (between periods), swollen testicles, painful bowel movements, and cloudy discharge from the penis or vagina are some of the most commonly reported symptoms of Gonorrhea. If you have any of these symptoms, then get screened for Gonorrhea and treated.
Genital herpes and itching
Genital herpes is not like the previous two. Herpes is caused by a virus unlike a bacteria, named Herpes Simplex Virus, which can be deadly if not diagnosed and detected for a long time. Genital herpes is also one of the commonly reported STDs in the US. Herpes can also be seen around the mouth and is commonly known as oral herpes. The symptoms of itching and sores can appear anywhere on the body depending on the exposure in the initial stage. If you are an avid oral sex player, you can expect the virus to get manipulated in your oral cavity, causing sores and white spots in your mouth. In the case of genital herpes, sores and itching around, buttocks, inner thighs, headache, muscle aches, and fever are some of the commonly known symptoms of genital herpes.
Genital warts and itching
HPV is another type of virus that causes STDs, HPV is expanded as Human Papilloma Virus. The primary symptom of HPV are warts that are nothing but small flesh-like skin-colored that develop around the genitals or anus, thus called genital warts. Typically they are smaller than 5 mm and they do not generally cause any pain but they can cause the itching symptom. Similar to herpes, this virus-based STD is no cure for this HPV STD. However, these warts can be removed with the help of a dermatologist, by using a painless laser minor-surgery or cream and ointments if the warts are typically small in size.
Trichomoniasis and itching
Trichomoniasis is generally not a major serious STD like the above ones, however, this too can cause itching signs. Trichomoniasis is caused by a bacteria called “Trichomonas Vaginalis” that can lead to symptoms like White, greenish, or yellowish vaginal discharge, discharge from the penis, strong vaginal odor, itching or irritation inside the penis, pain during sexual intercourse, painful urination
and vaginal itching or irritation in women.
Can itching and other symptoms be treated?
Itching symptom is a common sign of an STD that can be treated with antibiotics, however, the actual cause should be diagnosed in the initial stages to assess the risk of the infection, what type of STD you got and how to proceed further. If you have itching symptoms and suspect being exposed to STD, then get tested right away.
Depending on your test results, if you are tested positive for any of the STD, let’s say bacteria causing STDs like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, then the itching and other symptoms can be suppressed with the help of antibiotics and medications prescribed by your physician. On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed with HIV or Herpes, or other virus causing STDs, then you shall be prescribed antiretroviral drugs that help to suppress ad slow down the virus spread. In the case of a virus causing STDs, the disease is incurable and you are to live till the end with it.
What if STD symptoms are left untreated?
Leaving any disease untreated can lead to severe consequences. Leaving itching STD symptoms untreated can lead to multiple health issues which include spreading to other parts of the skin, and causing an outbreak of symptoms. In the long run, they can lead to infertility in both men and women, and women can be more prone to other fertility-related infections like Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID) and PCOS. Syphilis and Herpes STDs can cause neurological diseases like stroke and other disorders if left untreated till their final stage. It is important to get diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to avoid consequences in the long term.