How do you know if you have an STI?
You may think it would be easy to tell if you have contracted something dodgy downstairs. But some of the signs of an STI are slightly harder to spot.
Almost half of all people having an active sex life will get an STI in their lifetime and roughly one million people catch a type of sexual infection everyday. Hence, it’s a good thing to know some of the lesser known symptoms.
Here are 6 ways to tell if you have an STI:
1. Lumps and bumps
While often any lumpy areas may be completely harmless, caused by heat or by an ingrown hair, it is important to know when to check any problem areas out. If you notice that your swelling looks wart-like or feels rough to the touch, you may have contracted a strain of genital warts. On the flip-side, if the lump is soft and looks similar to a spot or a pimple, it is probably just an ingrown hair. If any sores or blisters erupt around your genitals or in/around your mouth, it may sound obvious but you should get to the doctors as soon as you are able – as this indicates you could have contracted herpes.
Listen to your body – if you ever feel a consistent pain in your tummy it is important not to ignore it.
Abdominal pain (or even testicles pain for men) that is continuous can indicate Gonorrhea or Chlamydia.
3. Change in urination
Burning or feeling pain when you wee can be a symptom of several STDs, including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis – as well as urinary tract infections, bladder infections, or kidney stones. And if you ever notice blood in your urine – get yourself to the doctors ASAP.
While discharge is perfectly natural for women, it has the potential to be serious. It all comes down to colour. If your discharge looks a green or yellow hue this it may be down to gonorrhoea. Any thick, white, or smelly discharge is also to be looked out for – and if it keeps happening should warrant a trip to the doctors.
While some itchy red patches can be harmless and may be due to eczema or a heat rash, any rashes or itching around your groin area is worth getting checked.
6. Bleeding irregularly
If you’re bleeding irregularly or often it could mean an infection or possibly even cancer.
While, in women, irregular bleeding can happen naturally every now and then, its still important to get yourself check out just in case.