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5 Common Signs of a Sexually Transmitted Infection

5 Common Signs of a Sexually Transmitted Infection

Sexually transmitted infections are a major health concern, and women are disproportionately affected by the long-term consequences of STIs. 

A woman’s anatomy makes her more vulnerable to an STI, and left untreated, these infections threaten your reproductive health. Untreated STIs cause infertility in more than 20,000 women in the United States each year.

The Women’s Center at Life Point Medical is here to help you stay healthy and well throughout all phases of life. Sexual health encompasses more than protecting against and treating sexually transmitted infections

Women’s wellness specialist Monique Petteys, FNP-C, practices an affirming approach to sexual health and sexual expression. Recognizing the signs of a potential STI is part of having a safe and healthy sex life. Take a few moments to learn more about five of the most common STI symptoms. 

Painful urination

An STI can cause inflammation in the urinary tract, resulting in painful urination. You may notice a burning sensation when you urinate, or experience a sharp or dull pain. Several other conditions, such as bladder stones and a urinary tract infection, can also cause painful urination. 

One thing is for sure: Painful urination is not normal, so you should see a health care provider for further evaluation. 

Abnormal vaginal discharge

By now you’re likely familiar with what’s normal for you when it comes to vaginal discharge. It’s common for vaginal discharge to change throughout the month. It may range from an egg white color with a thin consistency to yellow and thicker. 

Discharge that is foul-smelling or an unusual color or consistency is a warning that something may be amiss. 

Vaginal itching

If vaginal itching strikes and doesn’t seem to resolve quickly, you could have an STI, such as trichomoniasis. There are also other causes of vaginal itching that are not related to STIs, such as low estrogen and irritants like detergent. 

Genital sores

Genital sores, whether painful or painless, can be a sign of an STI. Sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, genital warts, and syphilis can cause different types of sores. If something doesn’t look right in your genital area, you shouldn’t ignore it. 

Pelvic pain

Certain STIs not only cause pelvic pain but also raise the risk of chronic pelvic pain when left untreated. While your monthly menstrual cycle can cause pelvic pain, it’s best to see a health care provider about any unexplained pelvic pain. 

A condition such as pelvic inflammatory disease, which isn’t an STI, can also cause pelvic pain.

Having any of the symptoms we’ve discussed doesn’t mean you have an STI, but don’t ignore these symptoms if they appear. Scheduling a visit for STI testing is a wise step to take when potential STI symptoms strike. 

STI testing is a simple, painless way to detect sexually transmitted infections. If you receive a positive result, your provider discusses the next steps in getting treatment. 

To get started, call our Clayton, Georgia, office to schedule a visit with Monique Petteys, FNP-C, or request an appointment online today. 

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