Early Symptoms of an STD for Teens

Early Symptoms of an STD for Teens

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can occur in anyone who performs sex. Some STDs are treated easily, but others are incurable or even life-threatening. Though every sexually active person has an equal chance of getting an STD, teens have higher risk due to the lack of STD awareness. Therefore, it’s really crucial to know what puts you at risk of STDs and how to recognize early symptoms of an STD. Symptoms of STDs can vary from each disease you get. But abnormal discharge, sores, swollen glands, fatigue, and fever are early symptoms of an STD for teens you should know. Read to know more detail.

Why Do Teens Have a High Risk of Getting STDs?

According to the CDC, half of all STDs occur in young people between the age of 15 and 24. It means that teens are more likely to get an STD, what the reasons are. Take a look at the following reasons to know

  • They haven’t educated about STD enough before engaging with sex
  • Teens have many sexual partners
  • They may use alcohol and have high-risk behaviors while under the influence of alcohol
  • They may not use barriers when performing sex

Many teens with an STD even don’t know that they have had it because it doesn’t show up symptoms. These asymptomatic symptoms can be diagnosed through testing. But many teens are shy to get tested. Until they have specific symptoms, they get tested and detect their STDs.

Related: Why Teens Have a Risk of HPV Infections Even Without Having Sex

Teens have a higher risk of developing STDs

Teens have a higher risk of developing STDs

Early Symptoms of an STD for Teens

While many teens have STDs without symptoms, others may have early symptoms. If you see any abnormal signs in the body, especially the genitals, you should see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. These signs may be early symptoms of an STD, including

  1. Unusual Discharge and Burning Urination

Note if you have these symptoms as they may signal your STD. Generally, normal discharge should be watery and odorless. When the color, texture, and smell discharge occur, they signal some troubles in your body. Unusual discharge or burning urination could be early symptoms of some STDs, such as

  • Gonorrhea. Both males and females are put at risk of developing gonorrhea. But four out of five females and one out of 10 males who have it don’t reveal symptoms. If you see white, greenish, or yellow discharge and burning sensation, consult with your doctor soon.
  • Chlamydia. Most males and females who have chlamydia don’t present symptoms. But when you experience abdominal pain, and the need of urination is more frequent than usual, chlamydia is a culprit.
  • Trichomoniasis. This STD usually causes burning urination and unusual vaginal discharge (white, yellow, and clear) in both males and females. But about 70% of people with trichomoniasis don’t show up symptoms.
  • Bacterial vaginosis. It’s more likely to occur in female teens. Milky discharge and a fishy odor are early symptoms of this bacterial infection.
Burning urination and unusual discharge are the early symptoms of an STD

Burning urination and unusual discharge are the early symptoms of an STD

  1. Sores, Blisters, and Rashes

Pay close attention to some small sores, or a cluster of bumps in the genitals or mouth. They may tell some STDs, like

  • Genital warts. Genital warts are sometimes invisible for some people. However, if you see a cluster of small bumps in the genitals that look like cauliflower, it could be genital warts. These warts can be soft, skin-colored, painless, and cause discomfort. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own, but when it can’t, some strains HPV leads to cervical cancer in female teenagers.
  • Genital herpes. Blisters or sores in the genitals are another symptoms of genital herpes. Tingling, burning sensations in the affected area are the early symptoms of genital herpes. Then, you may see some small bumps after several days. Burning urination and painful sex are other symptoms of genital herpes.
  • Syphillis. Sometimes, painless sores could indicate syphilis in its primary stage. These sores often occur near the genital area and can appear about several weeks to 9 days after exposure.
  1. Flu-like Symptoms and Fatigue

Several STDs are hard to know because they don’t show up symptoms. Occasionally, the symptoms of these STDs are similar to the flu. They may be a cough or sore throat, stuffed nose, and fatigue. So many teenagers ignore them. If you experience flu-like symptoms, consult with your doctor soon. For example, flu-like symptoms can signal syphilis or HIV.

Besides, fatigue that combines with loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and nausea can indicate your hepatitis.

Flu-like symptom is another sign of an STD

Flu-like symptom is another sign of an STD

  1. Swollen Gland and Fever

STDs can also cause swollen glands and fever. If you’re suffering from fever and your glands are tender, it may be the sign of genital herpes. Generally, the glands are swollen near the area of infection or the groin.

  1. Abnormal Itching

Itching and burning sensations in the genitals aren’t normal symptoms. Itching in the genital area can be a sign of genital herpes, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. So if you usually notice itching in the genitals, you should think about an STD.

Itching in the genital area may indicate your STD

Itching in the genital area may indicate your STD

What Should Teenagers Do if Having Early Symptoms of an STD?

If you have some early symptoms of an STD, here’re things you should do

  1. See Your Doctor

Only your doctor knows what happens to you, so you should see your doctor if you think you have an STD. The doctor may examine your symptoms and give you some tests to diagnose what your STD is. Urine test, blood samples, a Pap smear test, and a swab test may help to detect your disease.

  1. Treat Your STD

You need to follow your doctor’s instruction to treat your STD. While some STDs are easily treated with antibiotics, others are incurable. For example, genital herpes and genital warts aren’t treated completely. But your doctor may prescribe medication and alternative therapies to treat. If you have genital warts, some topical creams, like Imiquimod or Vidarox are helpful to treat. Or if you’re diagnosed with herpes, antiviral medications and creams, such as Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Prosurx are helpful.

See your doctor if you think you have an STD

See your doctor if you think you have an STD

  1. Avoid Spreading

STDs are highly contagious through sexual contacts. Thus, it’s really important to know how to prevent them from passing.

  • Abstain from sex if you are developing an STD
  • Use protection when engaging with sex, like condoms or dental dams
  • Be in a monogamous relationship

STDs are common for sexually active people, but teenagers are put at high risk of developing them. Based on the above early symptoms of an STD for teen, you may recognize your STD and see your doctor check for sure.

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