In a world where misinformation is rampant, it’s essential to arm yourself with accurate knowledge
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20 million U.S. residents contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI) each year. But why?
Often, infected people spread STDs without knowing they’ve contracted one. STDs with no symptoms frequently cause people to live for months or years without experiencing any reactions.
Learning about these silent operators and scheduling regular screenings helps protect your sexual health. At Rapid STD Testing, we provide same-day STD testing so you can learn about any possible conditions. Many STDs have no symptoms, so continue reading to learn about each.
The STDs That Don’t Show Any Symptoms
Every STD or STI with no symptoms is inherently more dangerous and contagious than others. Completing laboratory tests is the only way to confirm whether or not you have an asymptomatic STD. Below, we discuss the onset and symptom manifestation for each top silent operator.
Chlamydia is a common condition that frequently displays no symptoms of an STI. Women under 25 have the greatest risk of contracting chlamydia. If you suffer symptoms, you might feel painful urination or abnormal vaginal discharge a few weeks after contracting the infection.
Unfortunately, such symptoms also frequently come with conditions like yeast infections and vaginosis. By the time you notice the symptoms, the infection may have spread into your fallopian tubes and uterus, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID compromises your reproductive health since it can leave permanent scar tissue build-ups that block and damage the fallopian tubes.
Pregnant women with chlamydia have increased risks of ectopic pregnancies, which can be fatal for the child and the mother.
Women under 25, pregnant women, and anyone who participates in sexual activity with new sex partners should receive regular chlamydia tests. If your results return positive, doctors can easily treat the condition with antibiotics since you discovered it early on.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD, spreading via skin-to-skin contact, although not everyone experiences the common symptoms when they have it.
HPV comes in multiple forms. Frequently, people develop genital warts weeks or months after contracting the infection. Women with HPV have increased risk factors for cervical cancer, which can be fatal.
While some strains may lead to noticeable symptoms, most HPV strains don’t cause any reactions, particularly for men. Like other STDs with no symptoms, HPV easily spreads because people don’t realize they have it, and condoms don’t protect against contraction.
We recommend receiving HPV screenings from your healthcare provider. You can also order a rapid STD test online from Rapid STD Testing or visit a local clinic. Aside from testing, women should consider the vaccine for preventing the HPV strain that causes cervical cancer.
Herpes is a viral infection that comes in two common forms:
- Oral herpes: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) creates breakouts around the lips and mouth.
- Genital herpes: Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) causes painful genital infections.
The CDC believes one in six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 has herpes, though only 90% with HSV-2 notice their symptoms. Generally, symptoms would involve painful red sores in the inflicted area, though you can contract and spread the infection without any visible bumps.
Herpes spreads from skin-to-skin contact, so condoms aren’t always effective. To reduce your risk of infection, ask your partner to get tested and ensure that you use condoms and dental dams correctly without letting them slide off.
Currently, we have no cure for herpes, so if you contract the STD, you will continue living with it. Luckily, you can use different treatment methods to ease your symptoms if you have any.
Trichomoniasis is a lesser-known parasitic STD that 30% of people suffer symptoms from, according to the CDC. Women with symptoms often suffer painful, itchy, burning urination and foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Symptomatic men experience itching and burning sensations when ejaculating or peeing and penile discharge.
Untreated trichomoniasis compromises your sexual health and increases your chances of contracting other more severe STDs, like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), which can lead to AIDS. Women with trichomoniasis also might have pregnancy complications resulting in premature labor and low birth weights.
Certain U.S. regions have higher trichomoniasis rates. If you live near a high concentration of sex workers or frequently have new partners, you should regularly receive testing. With an early diagnosis, you can easily treat trichomoniasis using antibiotics.
Gonorrhea shares many similarities with chlamydia. Young adult women have the greatest risk of contracting it, and most won’t notice symptoms when they do. Often, those who do experience symptoms don’t realize the severity since they mimic common conditions like vaginal and bladder infections.
Untreated gonorrhea can lead to PID, which damages the reproductive organs and can lead to infertility. If gonorrhea spreads throughout the body, it can cause fatal blood, heart, brain, and joint infections. Getting gonorrhea also increases your chances of contracting HIV and AIDS.
You can cure gonorrhea with antibiotics before it advances into the conditions above, but you must get tested first.
Lower Your Risks of Getting STDs
If you’re sexually active, you can get STDs with no symptoms, regardless of your age, gender, or sexual orientation. Fortunately, you can reduce your risks by following these safe sex guidelines:
- Use latex condoms: Condoms don’t prevent all STDs, though they substantially reduce your risks. To use a condom correctly, wear it at all times during sexual contact and replace it with a new one if you notice any tears or sliding. Combining condoms with dental dams often offers the best protection.
- Don’t have sex with any broken skin exposed: Open wounds make it easier for your body to absorb infections. Deep cuts can cause bacteria or viruses to enter your bloodstream, causing severe side effects. If you have open wounds around the genital or mouth area, refrain from sex until they heal.
- Shower before and after sex: Showering can’t kill all bacteria, though it helps remove some. For example, some STDs commonly spread through fecal matter particles. With adequate washing, you can reduce this risk.
- Don’t share towels: You can minimize bodily fluid contacts by using separate towels to clean up after any activities. Using your partner's towel can infect you if they carry an STD.
- Disclose any conditions with your partner: Being honest with your sexual partner is critical. Doing your part to reduce the spread also encourages your partner to tell you whether or not they have an STD.
- Avoid having sex with partners you don’t trust: The more sexual partners you have, the more likely you’ll get an STD. Try minimizing your activities to only people you trust or people you know receive regular screenings.
In general, you should always wear condoms correctly and receive regular testing. Early diagnoses can save your life and prevent more people from getting infected.
We also recommend expanding your education on the subject. For example, learn about STDs that have no available cure yet to understand your risks better.
How To Prevent the Spread of STDs With No Symptoms
STDs spread like wildfires. Imagine that you carry asymptomatic HPV and have sex with two partners. Next, each of these people has sex with three more. Those six engage in activities with dozens, continuing until hundreds of people get the STD indirectly from you.
Most people who spread infections and viruses don’t do so intentionally. Rather, they don’t even realize they have an infectious disease and accidentally pass it on to others who may not show symptoms. You can only prevent such STD spikes by practicing the safe sex techniques above and regularly receiving tests.
Attempting to self-diagnose yourself if you do notice symptoms is a poor idea. Sensations like genital burning and itching could come from dozens of conditions, ranging from mild to severe. You should immediately get tested to confirm your diagnosis and begin treatment if you notice any common discomfort symptoms.
Even if you have zero issues, you should routinely get tested to learn about possible silent operators. The CDC recommends annual screenings for certain STDs, though it can’t hurt to check for them all. Anyone sexually active, pregnant, or recently seeing a new sexual partner should complete a 10-panel STD test for comprehensive results.
Luckily, getting tested is easy. You can visit a local health care provider or order a rapid online test from Rapid STD Testing.
Get Tested for Silent Operators Today With Rapid STD Testing!
STDs with no symptoms are silent killers. Luckily, with adequate testing and safe sex, you can reduce your risks of contracting one and quickly recover if you do. At Rapid STD Testing, we aim to educate you on all important sexual health matters.