STD symptoms in men may start with an itch, burn or a bump. Whatever you may notice first, the infection can sometimes bring with it a major source of anxiety - but try not to be too hard on yourself; these things do happen and many STDs can be easily treated.

Some of the most common symptoms of STDs in men include:

  • Pain or a burning sensation during urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bumps on the genitals or anus
  • Ulcers on the genitals or anus
  • Unusual discharge or drip from the penis
  • Testicular pain

If any of the above sound familiar, read on for the symptoms of some of the most common STDs in men and find out a bit more about testing for an STD.



Chlamydia


Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the world in men and women. In 2019, the World Health Organisation reported that there are 127 million new cases of chlamydia globally each year [1].

The most common symptoms of chlamydia in men include:

  • Painful urination
  • Discharge from penis
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Testicular pain
  • Rectal pain, bleeding or discharge

See also: What is Chlamydia?


Gonorrhea


According to the CDC, Gonorrhea has been the second most common STD reported in men for a number of years [3].

Gonorrhea is sometimes referred to as “the clap” or “the drip” due to the fact that one of the greatest tell-tale signs of gonorrhea in men is an unusual discharge from the tip of the penis.

The most common symptoms of gonorrhea in men include:

  • Increased need to urinate
  • White, yellow, beige or green discharge or drip from the penis
  • Swelling/pain of the penis or testicles
  • Redness or swelling at the opening of the penis
  • A sore throat (infection after oral sex)

H.I.V.


H.I.V. (human immunodeficiency virus) is one of the most common STDs in the world. In 2017, it was reported that men accounted for 81% of all new H.I.V. diagnoses in the United States [4].

The most common symptoms of H.I.V in men include:

  • Sore throat and/or swollen glands
  • Painful mouth sores
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight Loss

Herpes


Herpes is an example of a viral STD that can’t be cured though it can be managed.

The most common symptoms of Herpes in men include:

  • Pain or tenderness in genital area
  • Small red bumps or tiny white blisters
  • Ulcers
  • Sores on the buttocks, thighs, anus or mouth

See also: Viral STDs: What are they?


STD Testing


If you’re experiencing symptoms you should take a test and or/consult your doctor.
Some infections may not test positive until weeks after exposure so consider taking a broad test panel after at least 1 month to check whether the infection is now detectable.

When it comes to getting tested, you should always consider getting tested if and when:

  • You’ve become sexually active
  • You have had unprotected sex
  • You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
  • You are entering into a new sexual relationship
  • You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected (STIs can remain dormant for years and/ or take up to three weeks to become detectable.)

With LetsGetChecked's range of at-home STI Tests, you don’t need to worry about taking time out of your busy schedule, having to visit a doctor’s waiting room or needing to speak with someone face to face.

Your results will also get to you within a week along with prescription options for certain infections.



References

  1. World Health Organization. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Online: WHO.int, 2019

  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Bacterial Vaginosis (Gardnerella Vaginitis). Online: Health.Harvard.Edu, 2019

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonorrhea. Online: CDC.gov, 2019

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV and Men. Online: CDC.gov, 2019

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines. Online: CDC.gov, 2015

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Syphilis - CDC Fact Sheet (Detailed). Online: CDC.gov, 2017

  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Syphilis & MSM (Men Who Have Sex
    With Men) - CDC Fact Sheet. Online: CDC.gov, 2017

  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet. Online: CDC.gov, 2017