Q:

How can you tell if you have an STD?

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Quick Answer

Sexually transmitted diseases present symptoms that may include irregular periods, fever, genital itching, nausea, burning during urination, fatigue and open sores on the mouth or genitals, notes Laura Berman, Ph.D. for EverydayHealth. Many STDs go undetected and remain dormant in the body with no symptoms at all, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

Genital herpes is one of the most common STDs in America and causes itching and burning on and around the genitals, explains MedicineNet. The disease can also create unusual vaginal discharge in women, and people may experience abdominal pressure or swelling in their lymph nodes. As of 2014, human papillomavirus is the most common STD in the United States and is categorized into at least 40 different strains of virus. Some of the strains are responsible for the development of genital warts and cervical cancer, but the majority of HPV versions show no symptoms in people who are infected.

Sexual contact with an asymptomatic person infected with HPV can still cause the disease to spread, so MedicineNet recommends having blood work done to detect the presence of the virus. Women who show signs of HPV infection can undergo a Pap smear, or a doctor may recommend taking a biopsy of the genital warts or a woman's cervix to test the origin of the cells.

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