Even if you are with one partner, you can be at risk for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If you are using condoms, they do not protect you 100% against all STIs. According to the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, women with STIs are misdiagnosed by emergency departments nearly 50% of the time. This leads to missed diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections since symptoms can be similar to those of say a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Urinary tract infections are often overdiagnosed, and 64% of patients with an STI were diagnosed as having a UTI instead. Knowledge is power. Having an understanding of the common STIs can equip you to make safer decisions sexually and have better conversations with your doctor.
Here are some STIs you should be aware of which are commonly misdiagnosed:
Gonorrhea is an STI which can take two to 10 days to develop fully. Gonorrhea symptoms can be a copycat of the symptoms usually attributed to a urinary tract infection. However, these are the symptoms you should be aware of which could signal that you have gonorrhea:
- Bleeding after having sex
- Vaginal discharge which is dirty in color (yellowish brown)
- Fever and nausea
If you have these symptoms, immediately notify your physician or OB/GYN so that you can receive the proper treatment.