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Three Conditions Regularly Misdiagnosed as STDs


Whether you’re feeling a burning sensation when you urinate or a general itching in the genitals, when you experience symptoms “down there,” you probably book it to the doctor ASAP.

The problem is that many times, physicians misdiagnose genital problems, particularly if you are not fully forthcoming about your sexual practices. STDs may be misdiagnosed for several conditions due to symptom similarities.

Here are some of the medical problems that STDs are commonly mistaken for.

Conditions With Symptoms Similar to STDs

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

A recent study found that 66% of women who visited the emergency room presenting with UTI-like symptoms were diagnosed with a UTI — and less than half of them actually had one.

This happens because physicians failed to perform routine urine cultures and tests to differentiate UTIs from STDs, and as a result many STDs were missed or improperly treated. This shows that you can’t base diagnosis solely on symptoms without the proper testing.

Yeast Infections

Vaginal discharge is a shared symptom of both yeast infections and STDs. As a result, sometimes STDs are misdiagnosed as yeast infections, and vice versa.

Often, women “diagnose” yeast infections themselves and attempt to treat them with over-the-counter medications that do not treat the actual problem: an STD. That’s why it’s best to get yourself checked out when something is going on in your genital region.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis, commonly abbreviated as BV, is an infection that occurs when the regular bacterial balance of the vagina is altered by the influx of too much of a particular bacteria. It’s not known what initiates the onset of BV, and although having a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners can impact the balance of vaginal bacteria, it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease. It can increase STD risk, though.

Symptoms of BV include thin white or gray discharge from the vagina; pain, itching, odor, and burning in the vaginal region; and burning during urination. Many of these are also STD symptoms, which is why an STD might be mistaken for BV.


Want to be sure that you know if you have an STD or not? TEST SMARTLY LABS nationwide can provide confidential and accurate STD testing for a variety of common infections. Just walk in to your nearest wellness-certified location for service!

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