Which STDs Have No Symptoms

Many STDs are accompanied by symptoms which indicate their presence. Depending on the STD in question, symptoms may include pain during urination, sores, or other signs. Some STDs, however, frequently will appear without symptoms, particularly during the early stages. In reality, a large number of STDs can appear without symptoms, making regular testing even more critical for those who are at risk of infection.

Defining Asymptomatic STDs

STDs which do not have any symptoms are frequently referred to in the medical community as asymptomatic STDs as the term asymptomatic simply means “no symptoms.” Many STDs will at some point or another be present in a person without any symptoms. Even when this occurs, however, the person will be contagious.

Increased Risks

Asymptomatic STDs pose an additional risk compared to those which do include symptoms. That is because unless the infected person is tested, they will be unaware that they have an STD. This may lead to increased risk taking during sexual intercourse, such as failing to use a condom. In fact, it is also possible for asymptomatic STDs to be causing long-term damage within your body without any indication that you are even infected3. They may lead to damage of the reproductive tract or eventual damage to organs or the entire body. Because not all STDs will have symptoms, it is crucial to get regular screening for STDs, especially before and after beginning a new sexual relationship.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs to not include any symptoms. This bacterial infection affects the genital tract and it will typically have very few (or no) symptoms during the early stages. Symptoms don’t typically begin until one or three weeks after exposure, and they don’t always appear. They are also easily ignored as they are frequently mild in nature and do not last for long.

Gonorrhea

Unlike chlamydia, gonorrhea does typically include symptoms, which begin to appear two to ten days following exposure. For some people, however, gonorrhea may not have any symptoms, making it impossible to diagnose without testing.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is incredibly common and caused by a parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis. This organism is spread during intercourse and infects the vagina in women and the urinary tract in men. In a large number of cases, trichomoniasis will not cause any symptoms when it infects men. Whether it affects men or women, the majority of symptoms can be severe inflammation or a simple, mild irritation, the latter of which can easily go unnoticed.

HIV

Although HIV is associated with symptoms during the later stages of the infection, most people will not show any symptoms for at least several weeks, making it impossible to diagnose without testing. The majority of people will then experience flu-like symptoms starting between two and six weeks following infection, which can be mistaken for the common flu. Because symptoms are mild in nature and short-lasting in the beginning, it possible to mistake HIV for a different viral infection despite its highly contagious nature.