More than 340 million new cases of sexually transmitted bacterial and protozoal infections occur worldwide every year. We want to equip you with the best knowledge out there to ensure that you can protect your sexual health.

Introducing the LetsGetChecked STD list. We know it can be difficult to understand all of the information out there when it comes to your sexual health, which is why we have compiled the ultimate STD list including signs, symptoms and when to test.

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Contents



What Is An STD?


A sexually transmitted disease, often abbreviated as an STD or a sexually transmitted infection (STI) are so called because they are conditions which are most commonly contracted through sexual contact.

  • STDs may be congenital, meaning that they are passed from mother to child during pregnancy and/or childbirth.

  • STDs may be contracted through the use of intravenous drugs, such as needles in a medical setting or during the use of recreational drugs.

There are over twenty different STDs and four different causes which are responsible for each type of STD including bacterial infections, parasitic infections, viral infections and yeast infections which often mimic the symptoms of an STD.

STDs are often associated with embarrassment, but when it comes down to it, they are simply a possible negative side effect of having sex, especially if you don’t use a protection. To simplify what causes STDs, let’s break it down and take a look at the causes of the most common sexually transmitted diseases worldwide.

Bacteria causes:

  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Mycoplasma
  • Gardnerella (also known as Bacterial Vaginosis, BV)

Parasites cause:

  • Trichomoniasis

Viruses’ cause:

  • Human Papillomavirus
  • Herpes
  • H.I.V

Quick Facts About Sexually Transmitted Diseases


  • The incidence rate of sexually transmitted diseases are continuing to rise worldwide with more than 1 million STDs being acquired each day worldwide.

  • The majority of sexually transmitted diseases are asymptomatic, meaning that they have no signs or symptoms.

  • Untreated gonococcal and chlamydial infections in women result in pelvic inflammatory disease in up to 40% of cases. One in four of these results in infertility.

  • New vaccines against human papillomavirus infection could stop the untimely deaths of about 240,000 women from cervical cancer every year in resource-poor settings.

  • The most common risk factors for contracting an STD include having unprotected sex, having sex with multiple partners, using recreational drugs and those with a family history or those who have had an STD previously, most notably, herpes.

  • The most foolproof ways to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted disease is to abstain from sex, have one sexual partner, use condoms every time you have sex, get tested when you are entering a new sexual relationship.


What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases?


If you have had unprotected sex, you need to get screened immediately because the majority of sexually transmitted diseases will not have any signs or symptoms.

In instances where you do have a sexually transmitted disease, you will most likely experience:

Men

  • Pain or burning 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

Women

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bumps on the genitals or anus
  • Ulcers on the genitals or anus
  • Unusual vaginal discharge

Chlamydia: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-chlamydia-bacteria

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the world after HPV.

The Facts

  • Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis.
  • Chlamydia is most commonly contracted through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • The symptoms of chlamydia may become apparent 1-3 weeks after exposure, however, it is common to not notice symptoms for months or even years.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Men And Women?


Chlamydia Symptoms In Men

  • Painful urination
  • Discharge from penis in men
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Testicular pain in men
  • Rectal pain, bleeding or discharge
  • Prostate gland infection

Chlamydia Symptoms In Women

  • Painful urination
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding after sex
  • Pain during sex in women
  • Rectal pain, bleeding or discharge
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

HPV: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-HPV-virus

HPV is so common that nearly all men and women contract the virus at some point in their lives, however some strains of the virus by be cancer-causing and detrimental to your health.

The Facts

  • HPV is caused by a group of more than 150-related viruses. HPV can cause cancer, warts (papillomas), or may present with no symptoms at all.
  • HPV is most commonly contracted through vaginal or anal sex.
  • The symptoms of HPV may take years and sometimes decades to develop.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of HPV In Men And Women?


HPV Symptoms In Men

Most men will not experience symptoms associated with HPV, however if they do, men may experience:

  • Warts on the penis, scrotum or anus
  • Warts on the back of the throat
  • Abnormal skin changes on the penis, scrotum or anus
  • Penile cancer (high-risk strains of HPV)

HPV Symptoms In Women

Most women will not experience symptoms associated with HPV, however if they do, women may experience:

  • Warts on the vagina, cervix or anus
  • Warts on the back of the throat
  • Abnormal skin changes on the vagina, cervix or anus
  • Cancer of the vagina, vulva, or oropharyngeal (back of throat)

Gonorrhea: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-gonorrhea-bacteria

Gonorrhea has become increasingly drug resistant which contributes to the rising incidence rates of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide.

The Facts

  • Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  • Gonorrhea is most commonly contracted through oral, anal or vaginal sex.
  • The symptoms of gonorrhea may become apparent 2-5 days after exposure, however it may take upto 30 days to become aware of your symptoms.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Gonorrhea In Men And Women?


Gonorrhea Symptoms In Men

  • Increased need to urinate
  • White, yellow, beige or green discharge or drip from the penis
  • Swelling of the penis or testicles
  • Redness or swelling at the opening of the penis
  • A sore throat

Gonorrhea Symptoms In Women

  • Increased need to urinate
  • White, beige or green discharge from the vagina
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Heavy periods
  • Spotting between periods
  • A sore throat
  • Pain similar to cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Higher than normal temperature

Syphilis: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-syphilis-virus

Syphilis infection can last for decades if left undetected, and may causes significant health complications including the increased risk of H.I.V transmission or acquisition.

The Facts

  • Syphilis is caused by a bacteria called Treponema pallidum.
  • Syphilis is most commonly contracted through oral, anal and vaginal sex, however it is easily passed through skin to skin contact by sores known as chancres, which may be painless but are highly contagious.
  • The primary symptoms of syphilis may become apparent upto three weeks after infection, however it may take 10-90 for them to become noticeable. More chronic symptoms can take years to present themselves.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Syphilis In Men And Women?


There are three stages of symptomatic syphilis and the symptoms for men and women are similar. Let’s take a look at the symptoms for each stage of syphilis.

Primary Syphilis
The first sign of syphilis is a lesion known as a chancre on the external or internal surface of your skin. The sore appears at the point of bacterial contact. Chancres are usually painless and may be hidden within the vagina or rectum which is why testing in the early stages is so important. Chancres often heal themselves but it doesn’t mean that you no longer have syphilis.

Secondary Syphilis
A few weeks after your chancre heals, it is likely that you will experience a full body rash, this often appears on the palms of your feet or on your hands. There is a high chance that you will feel ill. Fever, headaches and skin growths on the genitals are also common.

Tertiary Syphilis
Tertiary syphilis follows the “latent stage” of syphilis, in which symptoms of syphilis are not apparent. The tertiary stage can occur upto years following the unsuccessful detection of syphilis. It may affect the function of the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints.


Herpes: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-herpes-virus

Did you know that cold sores are classified as a sexually transmitted disease? The herpes simplex virus comes in two strands, one strand causes painful blisters on the genitals, while the other causes a small painful blister on the mouth. Herpes Simplex I most commonly causes cold sores and genital herpes. 80% of the population has herpes simplex I. It causes 40% of genital herpes cases.

The Facts

  • Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
  • Herpes is most commonly contracted through skin to skin contact through kissing (saliva) and vaginal, anal or oral sex (semen and vaginal secretions.)
  • The symptoms of herpes may become apparent 2-20 days following infection.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Herpes In Men And Women?


Herpes Symptoms In Men

  • Small bumps on the penis and/or anus
  • Ulcers which make urination painful
  • Oozing or bleeding from blisters
  • Tenderness in the penis and/or anus
  • Scabs on the penis and/or anus
  • Sores on the testicles or scrotum
  • Burning or itching at the point of sexual contact
  • Pain in your lower back, buttocks and/or legs

Herpes Symptoms In Women

  • Small bumps on the vagina or anus
  • Ulcers which make urination painful
  • Oozing or bleeding from blisters
  • Scabs on the vagina or anus
  • Sores on the eyes, buttocks, anus, cervix, mouth or urethra
  • Burning or itching at the point of sexual contact
  • Pain in your lower back, buttocks and/or legs


Trichomoniasis: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-trichomoniasis-parasite

Trichomoniasis is a condition that is more common in females, older women are more likely to become infected with trichomoniasis than younger women. 30% of those who have trichomoniasis do not experience any symptoms.

The Facts

  • Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.
  • Trichomoniasis is most commonly contracted through oral, anal and vaginal sex.
  • The symptoms of trichomoniasis may take 1-4 weeks to become apparent following the initial infection.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Trichomoniasis In Men And Women?


Trichomoniasis Symptoms In Men

  • Itching or a burning sensation inside the penis
  • Itching or burning sensation during urination
  • Unusual drip or discharge from the penis

Trichomoniasis Symptoms In Women

  • Itching or burning inside of the vagina
  • Redness or pain inside the vagina
  • Itching or burning during urination
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina: often the consistency and volume will change, the colour of your discharge may be clear, white, yellow or greenish
  • A fishy smell coming from the vagina

H.I.V: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-hiv-virus

H.I.V can be fatal if left untreated, as it progresses to AIDS. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, 70 million people have been infected with H.I.V and 35 million people have died from the virus.

The Facts

  • H.I.V named after the virus that causes it, this virus is called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (H.I.V).
  • H.I.V is may be contracted through unprotected oral, anal and vaginal sex, the sharing of injecting equipment, from mother to child during pregnancy, birth and blood transfusions and through the contaminated blood transfusions.
  • The symptoms of H.I.V may take 2-6 weeks to become apparent after infection, however they may take years to become noticeable to the person living with them.

What Are The Symptoms Of H.I.V In Men And Women?


H.I.V. Symptoms In Men

  • Sore throat and/or swollen glands
  • Painful mouth sores
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Lumps and bumps on your skin
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Shingles
  • Oral yeast infection

H.I.V. Symptoms In Women

  • Sore throat and/or swollen glands
  • Painful mouth sores
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Vaginal infections, most commonly yeast and bacterial vaginosis

Hepatitis B: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-the-hepatitis-virus

Hepatitis B is the most common cause of liver failure, cirrosis (liver scarring) or cancer of the liver.

The Facts

  • Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
  • Hepatitis B is most commonly contracted through anal, oral and vaginal sex, sharing the same injection equipment, working in a healthcare environment, and from mother to child.
  • The symptoms of Hepatitis B will most commonly become apparent 2 weeks-4 months after the time of infection.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis B In Men And Women?


The symptoms of hepatitis B in men and women are quite similar. Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Dark coloured urination
  • Feeling persistently feverish
  • Aches and pains in your joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes

Gardnerella: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


illustration-of-gardnerella-bacteria

Gardnerella is a condition which only affects women, it is also known as Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). 50% of women who are diagnosed with gardnerella will not experience any symptoms. Gardnerella is considered by some as a sexually transmitted disease but it can be contracted through a number of circumstances.

The Facts

  • Conditions associated with gardnerella are caused by an bacteria that combat lactobacillus bacteria .
  • It is not fully understood how gardnerella is contracted. However it is widely believed that it may be caused by lactobacillus being replaced by other types of bacteria that are normally present in smaller concentrations in the vagina.
  • The symptoms of Gardnerella circumstantial are dependent on the bacterial balance in your vagina.
  • Some risk factors for gardnerella include a history of multiple sexual partners, vaginal douching or washing the vagina, smoking and certain contraceptives, including an IUD (intrauterine contraceptive device.)

What Are The Symptoms Of Gardnerella In Women?


Symptoms Of Gardnerella In Women Include:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Pain or burning after sex
  • Vaginal discharge that may be white or grey in colour
  • Vaginal discharge that has a strong, foul order
  • Vaginal itching or dryness

Mycoplasma: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


Mycoplasma exists in two primary strands. Mycoplasma pneumoniae commonly causes respiratory tract infections, and in serious cases, pneumonia. Mycoplasma genitalium is an emerging sexually transmitted disease which causes physiological inflammation of the urinary and genital tracts in men and women.

In serious cases, it can cause arthritis as well as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women. Mycoplasma acts as a primer to other sexually transmitted diseases, most commonly, gardnerella (bacterial vaginosis).

The Facts

  • Conditions associated with mycoplasma are caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma genitalium (MG).
  • Mycoplasma is generally contracted through vaginal sex and foreplay.
  • The symptoms of mycoplasma may become apparent 2-35 days after the time of infection.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mycoplasma In Men And Women?


Mycoplasma Symptoms In Men


  • Itching or burning sensation when urinating
  • Unusual drip or discharge from the penis
  • Itching or burning during urination
  • Physical inflammation, especially around the genitals

Mycoplasma Symptoms In Women


  • Itching or burning sensation when urinating
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • A red or inflamed cervix, also known as cervicitis
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex
  • Stinging or burning when passing urine

Ureaplasma: Signs, Symptoms and Incubation Period


Ureaplasma bacteria have been found in both men and women with infertility problems. A genital tract infection may cause up to 15% of all cases of male infertility cases.

The Facts

  • Conditions associated with ureaplasma are caused by a group of tiny bacteria called ureaplasma urealyticum that live in the urinary and reproductive tracts.
  • Conditions associated with ureaplasma occur when bacteria overgrow and inflame healthy tissues. This creates a colony of infection causing bacteria which lead to negative symptoms and side effects. Ureaplasma may be contracted through sexual contact and from mother to child.
  • The symptoms of ureaplasma may become apparent 2-35 days after the time of infection.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ureaplasma In Men And Women?


Ureaplasma Symptoms In Men

  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Slow urine stream
  • Difficulty empty the bladder
  • Pain or itching during sex

Ureaplasma Symptoms In Women

  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Swollen vagina

Should You Get Tested For A Sexually Transmitted Disease?


The simple answer is yes. You should get tested for a sexually transmitted disease if you are sexually active.

LetsGetChecked understand that getting tested can be daunting. However, you should especially consider getting tested for a sexually transmitted disease if:

  • 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 (STDs can remain dormant for years and/ or take up to three weeks to become detectable.)

You should wait a minimum of 3 weeks from the time of sexual intercourse before taking your test. Sexually transmitted infections can take a period of time to become detectable. You might want to take a test as soon as you are experiencing symptoms, however, you must wait to ensure an accurate result.


How Can You Get Tested For A Sexually Transmitted Disease?


If you suspect that you have an STD, there are three options that you can explore. These include:

  • Visiting your local physician’s office.
  • Visiting your local STD clinic.
  • Using an at home STD test kit.

Today, it’s a relief to know that you can use at home testing options that are as accurate as those that you could take in a physician’s office.

Let's take a look at the difference between at home STD testing and going to a physician’s office or STD clinic.

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At home testing options and going to your physician's office have a few things that include but are not limited to; accuracy, affordability, quick results, medical assistance and guidance.

However, going to your physician’s office does not offer a convenient or confidential experience.

Whatever the reason, LetsGetChecked ensures that you can have a stress-free experience that offers the same level of quality as you would in a doctor’s office without the need to:

  • Sit in a waiting room
  • Have an uncomfortable conversation with your healthcare physician
  • Worry about the uncertainty of when you will receive your results

There are a number of reasons that we might feel worried when it comes testing our sexual health. Maybe you’re worried about receiving your diagnosis, or perhaps there are sensitive circumstances around how you might have contracted the STD. We are here to ensure that your testing process is convenient, confidential, cost effective and quick.


Here are a list of our sexual health testing options:


If You Only Want to Test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea or Trichomoniasis or Have a Tight Budget


simple-2-letsgetchecked-at-home-test

If you only want to test for for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea or Trichomoniasis then the LetsGetChecked Simple 2 or Basic 3 STD test kits are be a good option.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are the 3 most common STDs, representing 75% of contracted STDs in the U.S. each year. As a result, if you’ve contracted a STD there is a high probability it is one of these 3 sexually transmitted diseases.

As a consequence, these two tests are also good for those people who are on tight budget or who has just been informed that a recent sexual partner has one of these 3 diseases, if you have a little more money to spend then you are better off if you take a more comprehensive test as otherwise you might miss some of the other common sexually transmitted diseases.


When Your Want A Thorough Checkup or Have Recently Had Unprotected Intercourse With A New Partner


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If you have a little extra budget, the best test you can take is the LetsGetChecked Standard 5 STD Test.

In addition to the 3 STDs tested for with the Basic 3 test, the Standard 5 kit also tests for HIV (I, II, P24 antigen) and Syphilis. Two of the other most common sexually transmitted diseases.

This test will search for all the most common types of STDs, so you can be very confident that you are in the clear if you get a negative result.


When Looking For A Comprehensive STD Checkup


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If you want to get the most comprehensive STD check up then the Complete 10 test kit is your best option.

It tests for all the major types of STDs in one simple test: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis, Syphilis, Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis B, Gardnerella, Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma.

This test offers the most insight into your sexual health with the added insurance of testing for testing for common bacterial infections that most doctors do not test for including gardnerella, mycoplasma and trichomoniasis.


You can find our full suite of at home sexual health testing options at LetsGetChecked.com


Written by Hannah Kingston | Approved by Medical Director Dr. Dominic Rowley