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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

Mercer County Health Department provides counseling and testing regarding the prevention of transmission and the effects of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.

We offer patients testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and syphilis and provide treatment for patients diagnosed with, exposed to or suspected or having these diseases. These services are confidential and no one will be refused testing/treatment because they are unable to pay.

Furthermore, we also offer free HIV counseling and testing. Testing can be done confidentially or anonymously.

 

Signs and Symptoms

In Women:

Most STDs don’t produce symptoms or, if they do, result in vague or generic flu-like symptoms that could be the result of many different conditions. Without getting tested it can be difficult to determine the cause of symptoms due to an STD. Women are more likely than men to suffer symptoms such as bumps, itching, or burning urination due to a sexually transmitted disease/infection, especially in the genital region.  Infections often go unnoticed and untreated which can cause long-lasting or even irreversible effects if left untreated.

Common STD Symptoms in Women:

  • No symptoms
  • Discharge (thick or thin, milky white, yellow, or green leakage from the vagina)
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal blisters or blisters in the genital area (the region covered by underwear)
  • Vaginal rash or rash in the genital area
  • Burning urination
  • Painful urination
  • Pain during intercourse

Less Common STD Symptoms in Women:

  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual cycles
  • Painless ulcers on the vagina
  • Pelvic pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat (after oral sex)
  • Swelling of the joints (knee, elbow, etc.)
  • Rectal pain, bleeding, or discharge (after receiving anal sex)

When symptoms do occur, they typically appear within days or weeks of exposure to an STD. Often, symptoms never appear or go unnoticed. Even if an infection never results in obvious symptoms, the STD can still be transmitted and progress into a more serious condition that may result in irreversible side effects. Regular comprehensive STD testing is the only way to guarantee a clean bill of sexual health. It is especially important to get tested for STDs after risky or unprotected sexual contact

 

In Men:

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.

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.

Mercer County Health Department participates in the Brown Bag Program during operational hours by providing free brown bags of condoms. The brown bags are located inside the clinic door to the left and may be taken on an anonymous basis.​


  


 

Kentucky Department for Public Health Sexually Transmitted Disease Program