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Itchy and embarrassed? Wondering what’s causing your discomfort that leaves you unable to sit still plus causes an urge to scratch your private parts in public? You’re not alone. You can find many conditions, including STDs, that cause itching.
While many factors can cause itchy conditions in your pubic or vaginal area, most of them merit a medical treatment. Some are contagious, while others are not. But either way, you need help to stop that itching!
If you suspect that you have a sexually transmitted disease or STD that’s making you itch, the chances are that you’re pretty worried. Sexual health is a sensitive topic and can be hard to discuss. Call our discreet professionals at 866-872-1888 for a free, confidential consultation with a certified sexual health counselor at Rapid STD Testing. We offer full panels as well as individual STD tests.
Do Any Common STDs Make You Itch?
Are you having a lot of itching “down there” and wondering what’s causing it? Itching, burning, and other irritation in your genital area can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences.
These symptoms can have a number of causes. Sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STIs or STDs) can certainly be one cause. Other causes may be vaginosis (bacterial), jock itch or yeast infection (fungal), or allergic reactions to chemical products in household substances like laundry detergents or soaps.
STDs are extremely common and often treatable. In this article, we’ll review five common STDs that can cause vaginal and/or anal itching:
- Genital Herpes
- Genital Warts
We’ll also look at other conditions that can cause itching, like pubic lice and yeast infections.
Five STDs That Cause Genital Itching
Chlamydia, or Chlamydia trachomatis, is a common contagious bacterial infection that affects both men and women. You can get it even if you use contraception. You contract it through vaginal, oral, or anal contact with someone else who has it. It can also pass from mother to child during labor, causing eye infections or even pneumonia in the newborn.
If you’re wondering about whether you can catch chlamydia without cheating on your partner, the answer is yes. If your partner has undiagnosed chlamydia from a previous relationship, you can catch it, even years after the initial transmission.
Chlamydia may be asymptomatic at first, but you can develop symptoms, including:
- Vaginal itching
- Pain during sex or your periods
- Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis
- Painful urination in men
Chlamydia can also cause itching or discharge from your anus.
If you have any of these common STD symptoms, it’s time to get a rapid STD test.
Testing for Chlamydia
Doctors will take a urine sample and they may also test for gonorrhea. Rapid STD Testing offers a dual-panel test for both STDs.
Treatment for chlamydia is straightforward: a course of antibiotics for either one day or one week. Since chlamydia can spread through skin-to-skin contact, you should avoid having sex until both partners have undergone treatment.
Complications of Untreated Chlamydia
If you don’t treat it, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancies in women.
Trichomoniasis, also known as trich, is an STD that a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis causes. It is a common STD that spreads through sexual contact, including oral sex.
You can get trichomoniasis even if no one cheats. Sometimes a partner gets an infection years before he or she has started a relationship with you.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between an STD and a yeast infection. Trichomoniasis is usually asymptomatic at first, but it can present with symptoms that are similar to yeast infections, such as:
- Burning while urinating
- Itchiness in the genital area
- Pain during sex
- Penile discharge
- A vaginal discharge with a strong odor
Testing for Trichomoniasis
To test for trich, your doctor may take a swab sample of the inside of your vagina or perform a simple urine test.
At Rapid STD Testing, we can help you find same-day, confidential testing at a location near you. Call us!
The treatment for trichomoniasis is a single dose of antibiotics, usually tinidazole or metronidazole. Couples should avoid sex for at least one week after treatment to avoid reinfection.
Complications of Untreated Trichomoniasis
Untreated trich in men can lead to impotence or prostate cancer and may increase their risk of acquiring another STD such as HIV. Women may develop cervical cancer or have issues with fertility, leading to premature childbirth and low birth weight if they do manage to conceive. This is why it’s essential to get a test and treatment right away.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that affects both men and women. It spreads through sexual contact and can cause serious. long-term health problems.
If you’re wondering what STDs cause a rash, this is one of them. Gonorrhea is typically asymptomatic at first. However, it often causes a rash, swelling, or thick white discharge from the penis or vagina.
The discharge from gonorrhea may be white, green or clear. You may not develop symptoms immediately after exposure, but the infection will show up on a rapid STD test.
Testing for Gonorrhea
To test for gonorrhea, your doctor will take a urine sample. They may run a multi-panel test, which means they will screen for other STDs and also for urinary tract infections.
It’s easy to get same-day std testing near you. Just contact us at Rapid STD Testing by phone or schedule your appointment online. We are very discreet and maintain your confidentiality.
The CDC's recommended treatment for gonorrhea is a single dose of intramuscular ceftriaxone (500mg). In case ceftriaxone cannot be used, other medications may be given for rectal and urogenital gonorrhea.
You can contract gonorrhea more than once, so it’s important to use condoms or dental dams with current and future sexual partners. Also, you should abstain from sex until you complete the antibiotic treatment.
Complications of Untreated Gonorrhea
Untreated gonorrhea can put you at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can, in turn, affect your fertility. You may be unable to conceive or you may be at risk of developing ectopic pregnancies. This is a significant reason to get tested as soon as possible if you have a chance of having gonorrhea.
4. Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a viral infection that spreads through sex and skin-to-skin contact. There are two strains of the virus: HSV1 and HSV2. The first strain causes sores in and around the mouth, and the second strain causes genital herpes.
Genital herpes can be asymptomatic at first, but it can cause swollen lymph nodes in the groin and blisters on the penis or vagina. It can also cause unusual discharge from the penis or vagina.
Testing for Genital Herpes
Doctors administer a blood test that detects both strains of the herpes virus. Testing for genital herpes is tricky because, if you take the test too soon, you may have a false negative result.
If you suspect that you have herpes, you may have to get re-tested after the six-month mark.
After your rapid STD test confirms that you have genital herpes, your doctor will prescribe antiviral medication as treatment.
There is no known cure for genital herpes, but you can take medication to minimize your outbreaks and manage your symptoms.
Complications of Untreated Genital Herpes
If you don’t undergo treatment for genital herpes, you could be at risk for yeast infections, bladder trouble, and meningitis. You could also be more vulnerable to other STDs, like HIV.
Schedule a confidential, rapid STD test at one of 2,500 convenient Rapid STD Testing locations.
5. Genital Warts
HPV, or human papillomavirus, causes genital warts, also known as anogenital warts since they also occur around the anus. More than 75 million Americans carry the HPV infection, but many don’t realize they have it.
Genital warts spread through skin-to-skin contact without a condom, often through vaginal intercourse.
If you wonder what STD causes itching and bumps, this may be the answer. Genital warts often cause itchiness and groups of warts on the penis, vagina, or anus. These warts may bleed and reoccur.
Testing for Genital Warts
The easiest way to diagnose genital warts is by a visual exam. Your doctor will examine your vagina, penis, or anus, looking for clusters of warts.
To treat genital warts, your doctor may apply a chemical treatment directly to the warts, or they may freeze them off. Avoid having sex until you have fully undergone treatment.
An HPV vaccine exists that can reduce your chances of getting genital warts. Ideally, you would take this vaccine before you become sexually active.
Complications of Untreated Genital Warts
Genital warts will often go away by themselves after several months. Often, your immune system can fight the HPV off after two years. The virus can linger, however, even after treatment.
If you don’t treat the warts at all, the warts may expand and multiply over your genitals or anus. You may also pass the virus to your partner or partners.
Other Conditions That Can Cause Itching
If you take an STD test and your results come back negative, you’re one step closer to narrowing down the source of your itchiness. Several common conditions may cause itching but are not STDs:
- Menopause-related vaginal dryness
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Pubic lice (often referred to as “crabs”)
- Bacterial vaginosis, an imbalance of vaginal bacteria
While it’s difficult to summon the courage to get an STD test, not knowing can be nerve-wracking. If you are positive for an STD, then you can typically start treatment right away.
If your STD test is negative, your doctor may refer you to a medical specialist to determine the root cause of your itchiness. Remember—genital itching is a common problem that is worth further examination.
What Is the Key to a Healthy Sex Life?
Whether you’ve been sexually active for a few months or decades, the key to a happy, healthy sex life is safety and sexual health. Aim to take a multi-panel STD test twice per year if you are active with multiple partners, and once a year if you are in a monogamous relationship.
At Rapid STD Testing, we are here at locations across the country to help you to efficiently and discreetly test and receive treatment for STDs. Schedule your full panel STD test, and let us help you clear your mind.