Most doctors recommend their sexually active patients be tested for STDs at least every six months. For individuals who are in committed relationships, it is recommended they be tested once a year when they go in for their annual check-up. It can take anywhere from two weeks to several months for certain symptoms to appear. Some STDs exhibit very few symptoms and may lay dormant for several months before causing any type of reaction. It is extremely important to get tested as soon as possible, especially if a person has a partner who is showing signs of an outbreak or external symptoms.
STDs can cause a variety of symptoms. Itching and redness on or near the genitals, lesions or open sores, painful intercourse, burning sensation during urination, small clusters of bumps, or a yellow/green discharge that has a strong odor are all symptoms associated with STDs. It is important to remember that many STDs show no outward signs until well into their advanced stages. A person can have chlamydia, syphilis or gonorrhea for several weeks or months and show no signs whatsoever. It is important to know what the symptoms are for each of the different STDs so you can identify any possible outward signs and seek immediate treatment.
Viral STDs cannot be cured, but they can be treated. These include genital warts, herpes, and HIV/AIDS. Bacterial STDs, on the other hand, can generally be taken care of with a few rounds of strong antibiotics. Chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea are caused by bacteria and easily passed from one partner to another. If a person has been diagnosed with any type of STD, it is important that they abstain from any type of sexual activity until they have been cleared by their doctor. Both viral and bacterial STDs are contagious and most can be passed from one person to another during vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or oral sex.
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