According to the most recent data, about 26 million people were diagnosed with a new sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2018. STDs are a significant public health, but many people may not get the help they need because of the stigma surrounding these infections.
And, if you have a symptom like anal discomfort, you may dismiss it as something else or ignore it because of its location. But ignoring your pain won’t make your STD go away and may put your future health at risk.
At Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Town and Country, Missouri, our board-certified family physician Dr. Betsy Clemens is an expert at diagnosing and treating all types of anorectal disorders that cause anal pain. She understands how hard it is to seek help for conditions that involve sensitive areas of your body.
We want to discuss the link between STDs and anal discomfort and why you need treatment.
STDs are bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections passed from person-to-person through sex, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Some STDs are spread from skin-to-skin contact by touch, not intercourse, like herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV).
Anyone can get an STD. It’s not unusual to have an STD and not have any symptoms. When left undiagnosed and untreated, an STD may lead to serious health complications like infertility or cancer.
If you’re sexually active, you should talk to your primary care provider or a trusted health professional about STDs and STD testing. It’s the best thing you can do to protect your overall health.
STDs and anal discomfort
Anal discomfort is a symptom of some STDs, causing anal itching, burning, or bleeding. Some of the STDs linked to anal discomfort include:
These STDs may also cause a condition called proctitis, inflammation of the rectum, causing blood in stools, constipation, or rectal pain.
Anal discomfort is also a symptom of other conditions like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Treatment for STDs
Though not an easy symptom to discuss, you shouldn’t ignore anal discomfort that doesn’t improve within a few days or gets worse. Because of our area of specialization, we take great care in making sure you feel comfortable when you come in with concerns about anal pain.
We review symptoms and medical history and complete a physical and rectal exam. If we suspect your pain is due to an STD, we run lab tests to check for infection so we can provide the proper treatment.
Antibiotics can clear up chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, but there aren’t any cures for herpes and HPV, which are viral infections. However, some treatments can reduce herpes outbreaks, and the immune system may eradicate an HPV infection over time.
Many people suffer from anal pain for a long time before seeking help. But delaying care prolongs your pain and may cause long-term health problems.
If you have anal discomfort from an STD or any other condition, let us help you get the correct diagnosis and treatment. Call our office at 314-669-2758 today to schedule an appointment with our compassionate and nonjudgmental specialist.