Flu Like Symptoms STD
If you’re experiencing some bodily discomfort, don’t be so quick to chalk it up to the flu. There are a lot of flu-like symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that disguise themselves as normal body ailments. If you’re sexually active, and you’re experiencing some unfamiliar symptoms, read this list! These symptoms may seem like a normal allergy, cold, or flu symptoms, but in reality, they could be STD symptoms in disguise. So please, for your sake, if you have any of these STD symptoms, get tested immediately!
STDs That Cause Flu Like Symptoms
These symptoms aren’t usually associated with STDs, but they can indicate that an STD has progressed and is now wreaking havoc on your body. Many of these symptoms are viral infections or are caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea, which are infamous for being asymptomatic STDs (not displaying symptoms) in their early stages. Don’t wait until it’s too late; any symptom may not be as innocent as it appears.
Flu-Like Symptoms: Fatigue, Fever, Nausea, Vomiting, or Headaches
Fatigue is a symptom of a late-stage chlamydial or gonorrheal infection. It can also be caused by Hepatitis A, B, and C. When experiencing fatigue, it’s easy to chalk it up to a late night out, but it could be an indication of something much more serious.
Fevers can be caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis A, or herpes. Fevers always indicate that your body is trying to fight off an infection, but a lot of people may not know that the infection could be the result of a burgeoning STD.
Nausea and Vomiting are symptoms of syphilis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Thinking you might have just eaten something bad or that you have the flu and your body will take care of it is a surefire way to continue spreading the virus and allowing the virus to burrow deeper into your system.
Headaches can be caused by HIV, syphilis, or herpes. Headaches are easy to ignore. You simply take some ibuprofen and move on with your day. But if you have a headache and you may be at risk for an STD!
STD Back Pain: What You Need to Know
STD back pain is a common symptom of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Various STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause it. While it may not always be easy to tell if you have an STD, lower back pain is one of the more common signs.
Lower Back Pain STD
Lower back pain is one of the most common symptoms of an STD. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two STDs that can cause lower back pain. Women who contract these infections may experience abdominal or pelvic pain and lower back pain. Other signss include discharge from the vagina or anus, bleeding between periods, burning or pain when urinating, nausea, or fever. In some cases, women may also experience high fever and other std flu-like symptoms such as chills, weight loss, and diarrhea.
STD Back Pain in Men
Men can also experience lower back pain due to an STD. Common symptoms of chlamydia in the urethra include discharge from the penis, burning or itching around the opening of the penis, and pain when urinating. Other signs that you may have an STD include painful ejaculation and swollen testicles. If left untreated, these infections can become serious health complications such as infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Pain in your abdomen may be a sign of a chlamydial or gonorrheal infection that has progressed. Late-stage chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the pelvis and cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). If left untreated, PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, tubo-ovarian abscess, and/or ectopic (out of the womb) pregnancy.
Pain in your lower back may be a sign of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or herpes prodrome. Herpes prodrome is a physical pain that typically means a herpes breakout is about to occur. The pain can be located in your lower back, thighs, butt knees, or feet. Herpes prodrome also indicates a time when you’re most susceptible to spreading the virus. But even though you may not be exhibiting herpes lesions, you’re still at risk of spreading the virus.
Joint Pain can mean that Hepatitis B, syphilis, or HIV have infiltrated your body and have gone untreated or may be, a symptom of gonorrhea or chlamydia. When gonorrhea or chlamydia begin to cause joint pain, it’s called Gonococcal Arthritis or Venereal Arthritis. This reactive arthritis occurs when gonorrhea or chlamydia go undetected and the bacteria infects one or multiple joints. If left untreated, this arthritis can lead to chronic joint pain, chronic joint inflammation, permanent joint damage, and/or deformity.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a severe health concern for sexually active individuals. While many people associate STDs with physical symptoms, they can also cause headaches. In this section, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for STD headaches.
What is an STD Headache?
An STD headache is a type of headache that occurs due to contracting a sexually transmitted disease. STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV can all cause headaches in some individuals. These headaches may vary in severity and can last for days.
Causes of STD Headaches
The exact cause of STD headaches is not yet fully understood. However, it is believed that the headaches result from the STD affecting the nervous system. When an individual contracts an STD, their immune system produces antibodies to fight off the infection. It is believed that these antibodies can cause brain inflammation, leading to headaches.
In addition to inflammation, STDs can also cause headaches by disrupting normal brain function. For example, syphilis can lead to the formation of small blood clots in the brain, which can cause headaches and other neurological symptoms.
Symptoms of STD Headaches
The symptoms of an STD headache can vary depending on the underlying cause. Some common indicators include:
- A dull ache in the head
- Throbbing pain
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Nausea and vomiting
If you have recently engaged in sexual activity and are seeing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.
STD Diarrhea: Causes and Treatment
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause many symptoms, including diarrhea. This section explores the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for STD diarrhea.
What is STD Diarrhea?
STD diarrhea is a type of diarrhea that occurs as a result of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis can all cause diarrhea in some individuals. This diarrhea may be mild or severe and can last for several days.
Causes of STD Diarrhea
The exact cause of STD diarrhea is not yet fully understood. However, it is believed that the diarrhea results from the STD affecting the gastrointestinal tract. When an individual contracts an STD, their immune systems are expected to produce certain antibodies which fight off the infection, these antibodies are believed to cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea.
In addition to inflammation, STDs can also cause diarrhea by disrupting normal gut function. For example, some STDs can lead to the colonization of harmful bacteria in the gut, which can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Symptoms of STD Diarrhea
The symptoms of STD diarrhea can vary depending on the underlying cause. Some common symptoms include:
- Loose stools
- Watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Nausea and vomiting
If you have recently engaged in sexual activity and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor.
Treatment of STD Diarrhea
The treatment of STD diarrhea will depend on the underlying cause. If the diarrhea is caused by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and alleviate diarrhea.
If the diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. For viral diseases such as HIV or Herpes, antiviral medications may be used to help manage side effects.
In addition to medical treatment, there are things you can do at home to help relieve the symptoms of STD diarrhea. These include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
- Eating a bland diet to reduce irritation in the gastrointestinal tract
- Taking over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications such as loperamide
STDs can cause a range of physical and gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea. If you are experiencing any side effects of STD diarrhea, it is critical to get medical attention asap. By working with your doctor, you can identify the underlying cause of diarrhea and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Treatment of STD Headaches
The treatment of STD headaches will depend on the underlying cause. If the headaches are caused by inflammation in the brain, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
If the headaches are caused by a bacterial infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. For viral diseases such as HIV, antiviral medications may be used to help manage symptoms.
In addition to medical treatment, there are several things you can do at home to help relieve the symptoms of an STD headache. These include:
- Resting in a quiet, dark room
- Applying a cold compress to the forehead
- Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
- Taking over the counter pain meds such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
STDs can cause a range of physical and neurological symptoms, including headaches. If you are experiencing any side effects of an STD headache, it is important to reach out to a medical professional immediately. By working with your doctor, you can identify the underlying cause of the headaches and develop a treatment plan that is ideal for you.
Swollen Lymph Nodes, Swollen Testicles, or Sore Throat
Swollen lymph nodes can be caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, or HIV.
Swollen testicles, or “orchitis,” is typically caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis. Orchitis occurs because of the spread of bacteria through the blood. It can be characterized by pain in one or both testicles, they may turn a purple or red color, they may feel heavy, and there may be blood in the semen.
A sore throat may be an indication of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or herpes. All of these diseases may cause pharyngeal or throat infections following oral sex. A sore throat is usually seen as just a mild annoyance, but it’s nothing to be taken lightly. If you’re having trouble swallowing, or have a persistent sore throat, be aware of the dangers that might be lurking.
Eye infections can be caused by STDs. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are three culprits who all cause eye infections. These infections occur either directly from the source of the STD, or from secondary exposure (having the STD on your hand and then rubbing your eye). If left untreated, these rare forms of conjunctivitis can lead to partial or permanent blindness.
A body rash isn’t usually thought to be associated with STDs, but both HIV and syphilis can cause rashes to appear on random parts of your body. If you notice a new rash after engaging in unprotected sex, be sure to get tested.
Diarrhea or Painful Bowel Movements
Diarrhea is never fun, and though it’s usually an indication that something’s not right, your first thought may not be that you’ve contracted an STD. HIV can give you chronic diarrhea, and chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes can produce diarrhea as well as painful bowel movements.
Common STD Symptoms
These are what you typically think of when you think of STDs.
Discharge or Bleeding Between Periods
If you’re experiencing discharge from your penis, vagina, or anus, this could be a sign of an STD. Discharge is one of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, and vaginal thrush.
Bleeding between periods can be a sign that you’re suffering from a late-stage chlamydia or a late-stage gonorrhea infection. If left untreated, both of them can infect the uterus causing inflammation and PID.
Basically, if anything is dripping and it shouldn’t be dripping, you need to get it checked out.
Lesions, Sores, Bumps, or Warts
If you have any lesions, sores, bumps, or warts on your genitalia, you need to be tested immediately. These are the early signs of a myriad of STDs, including syphilis, herpes, HPV, and HIV. Even if they are painless or only there for a short amount of time, don’t brush them off; sores can be the only sign of an STD in some cases!
Frequent Urination or Painful Urination
Frequent and/or painful urination are signs that something’s not right. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, herpes, and UTIs can all cause frequent and/or painful urination. Don’t wait and hope for the symptoms to disappear on their own because oftentimes, they won’t.
Are you itching down there? Itching can be caused by chlamydia, genital warts (HPV), herpes, trichomoniasis, pubic lice, and gonorrhea. Putting talcum powder in your underwear will help the symptom, but it won’t cure the disease.
Painful sex should be an indicator that something’s wrong. Most common STDs that cause painful sex are gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes. If you’re experiencing painful sex, you need to be tested.
So, Is It The Flu or an STD?
STD symptoms aren’t always obvious. What you think might be flu-like symptoms could easily be the sign of an underlying STD. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to undercover STD symptoms. Keep you and your partner(s) protected and get tested if you think you have an STD.
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Martin JR., MD on June 1, 2023
Author: Lauren Crain
Lauren Crain is a writer, designer, and joke-teller. With an academic background from Texas State University in communication and education, Lauren works tirelessly to find the best way to transform hard-to-grasp concepts into straightforward information. She's been a writer her whole life, but she began writing professionally in 2014. In 2018, she joined the STDcheck.com editorial staff because of her passion for communicating information about public health and destigmatizing sexual health. Before becoming a member of the STDcheck.com team, Lauren worked as a communication skills teacher, marketing coordinator, and freelance writer and designer. Her work has been featured on Forbes, The Muse, Insider, Clutch.co, Her Campus, and Business News Daily. When she's not researching, writing, or trying to communicate authentically, you can find her sitting outside.