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STD Symptoms in Men

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Overview

Many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are characterized by ambiguous or even flu-like symptoms in the early stages, making it difficult to specifically identify a sexually transmitted infection. For men, especially, a lack of symptoms is not a reliable measure of whether an STD is present. The symptoms that usually alert men to the presence of an STD are bumps or rashes on the genitals, discharge, discomfort or itching in the penis or testicles, or pain while urinating or ejaculating. Even a symptomless STD infection can have long-lasting or irreversible effects if left untreated.

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Common STD Symptoms in Men:

  • No symptoms
  • Blisters on or around penis
  • Spots, bumps or lesions on the penis
  • Discharge (clear, white, or yellow)
  • Oozing from the tip of the penis (thick or thin)
  • Painful urination
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Itching on the tip of the penis
  • Rash on the penis, testicles, or groin

Uncommon (But Possible) STD Symptoms in Men:

  • Sore throat (after oral sex)
  • Fever
  • Chronic flu-like symptoms
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Swelling of the testicles
  • Swelling of the epididymis (known as Epididymitis)
  • Swelling of the urethra (known as urethritis)
  • Swelling of non-sexual joints (elbow, knee, etc.)
  • Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding (after receiving anal sex)

STD symptoms in men usually take a few days to develop, but can take up to weeks (if there are symptoms at all). A lack of symptoms is often mistaken for a lack of an STD, but an infection can continue to progress even in the absence of symptoms. Because men so often don’t show symptoms, the only way to be sure that an STD is not present is to get tested regularly, especially after unprotected sex.