Many STDs can be present without symptoms for quite a while. Once they appear, STD symptoms in men can affect the genital area, the urethra, or the entire body. Symptoms vary based on the exact STD, but only an STD test can accurately determine if you have an STD and which one. Below are some common symptoms.
Common STD Symptoms in Men
Chlamydia Symptoms in Men
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterial infection and is often asymptomatic. When symptoms do appear in men, they include inflammation of the urethra and urinary tract infections. Chlamydia is usually easily treated with antibiotics.
Gonorrhea Symptoms in Men
Gonorrhea is also caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms such as pain and burning during urination usually appear 4 to 8 days follow infection. If left untreated, it can spread to the rectum. Gonorrhea can also infect throat and may spread throughout the body causing rash and joint pain. Antibiotics are used to treat gonorrhea.
Herpes Symptoms in Men
Herpes causes blisters or sores in the mouth or genital area. The sores usually begin as blisters which then open and crust over. Men with herpes will find these sores on the penis, scrotum, buttocks, anus, inside the urethra, or on the skin of both thighs. Once infected, herpes can be treated, but a new outbreak can occur at any time. Antiviral medications are used to treat outbreaks and may also be used on a regular basis to reduce the frequency of these outbreaks.
Hepatitis in Men
Of the hepatitis viruses, hepatitis B is most likely to be transmitted through sexual contact, although hepatitis C can be transmitted during sex. Symptoms of hepatitis may not be immediately apparent as the virus causes liver damage. In the case of hepatitis B, interferon or other antiviral medications can be used to treat the infection. There is also a vaccine available to prevent hepatitis B. Hepatitis C is often harder to diagnose because there are no immediate symptoms. Thus, the danger of long-term liver damage is higher.
Syphilis Symptoms in Men
Syphilis is caused by a bacterium and, if left untreated, progresses through three stages and may remain latent in the body. Stage one is a painless ulcer at the site of sexual contact that appears 10 to 90 days after infection. After 3 to 6, this ulcer, called a chancre, disappears in 3 to 6 weeks. If treated with antibiotics during this stage, the other two stages do not happen. If untreated, syphilis spreads to other organs in stage two, which can cause a variety of symptoms including skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, arthritis, and kidney disease. At this point, syphilis may remain latent in the body before moving into stage three which can cause brain infection, development of nodules, aortic aneurysm, blindness, and deafness. However, syphilis is curable with proper antibiotic treatment. Getting tested and catching it early makes treating and curing it easier.
HIV in Men
In many cases, there are no signs of HIV infection until many years later. Some people may develop flu-like symptoms 2 to 4 weeks after they’ve contracted the virus. On average, the time from infection to immune suppression symptoms is 10 years. Once immune suppression occurs, unusual infections, dementia, and certain cancers can develop. Although there is not yet a cure for HIV, many medications exist to prevent the progression of HIV.
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