Not all STDs have symptoms you can see. For example, chlamydia usually has no or only mild symptoms. But knowing common signs, such as irritation, feeling sore, and pain, will help. Pay attention to your body and your partner’s body. If either of you see or feel something that seems like a symptom, get checked.
Getting checked is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD. You can get tested at a health clinic or doctor’s office. Tests may include:
- Physical exam
- A sample (swab) of discharge from the penis, vagina, mouth, or rectum
- Urine and blood tests
- A sample of tissue, cell, or saliva
- A pelvic (vaginal) exam, or rectal exam
Many STDs can be cured or treated with medication. Early treatment can help keep things from getting worse. Follow all your instructions for treatment. And remember to:
- Avoid sex for as long as you’re told. Otherwise, you could infect someone else.
- Take all your medications. And don’t share medications with your partner unless you’re told to.
- Go back to your doctor or clinic if your symptoms don’t go away (or if they come back).
- Get treated for each STD you have.
Talk to your partner
If you have an STD, tell your partner so they can get checked. It may be embarrassing. But if you don’t talk about it, your partner could end up having serious health problems. They could also pass the disease back to you or on to others. If you’re not sure what to say, ask your doctor or nurse.