Is It The Flu or an Undiagnosed STD? When to Pay Attention to Chronic Fatigue

Is It The Flu or an Undiagnosed STD? When to Pay Attention to Chronic Fatigue

Oftentimes, when we feel more tired than usual, we are quick to attribute it to a poor night’s sleep or even the flu. While both of those will result in some degree of fatigue, they aren’t the only factors that can cause irregular feelings of sleepiness and a constant need for rest. Believe it or not, undiagnosed STDs and STIs can result in chronic fatigue. In fact, according to Arc Point Labs, chronic fatigue is a potential indicator of several sexually transmitted diseases, including late-stage gonorrhea, chlamydia, and hepatitis. In turn, the CDC encourages regular STD testing, especially in those experiencing inexplicable fatigue.  

In this blog, we’ll discuss the most common STDs that cause fatigue and how to know when chronic fatigue could mean something more than a common flu. 


STDs are More Common Than You Might Think 

Despite major advancements in medical science, knowledge, and methods for prevention, STDs are still immensely common. The Center for Disease Control states approximately 1 in 5 Americans are afflicted with some sort of sexually transmitted infection. This is a daunting fact, especially when you consider that many sexually active people fail to get tested. According to PBS News Hour, only about 11% of those between 15 and 25 have NEVER been tested in any fashion. This is dangerous both to sexually active individuals and their partners, as going undiagnosed can cause various STDs to spread rampant. 

So, why aren’t more people being tested? Is it because they don’t believe they are at risk? Surprisingly, when asked, many people stated they either didn’t have access to healthcare or were concerned with the privacy of such sensitive medical information. This is especially understandable in young adults who remain on their parents healthcare. Because while their health information will typically remain private, insurers sometimes send notices to policyholders regarding services rendered– which, in this case, is their parents.  

Common STDS That Cause Fatigue 

Sadly, many STDs, STIs, and garden variety illnesses alike are capable of causing chronic fatigue–ranging from the common cold and the flu to gonorrhea and chlamydia. That’s why, it’s vital for sexually active individuals to understand the signs and symptoms of common STDs so they can recognize when it’s time for an STD test.  

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia 

People in the later stages of gonorrhea or chlamydia often complain of chronic fatigue. These highly common infections often occur simultaneously, with each presenting very similar symptoms. In addition to fatigue, there are many other symptoms that occur ahead of time that could prove useful in indicating the existence of these diseases. These include painful urination, rectal pain, abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina, swelling in the testicles or scrotum, and more frequent urination. 


Spread from skin to skin contact with infected areas, the herpes simplex virus is a visibly noticeable STD that, while rare, can still go undetected if you aren’t aware of the symptoms. The most common herpes symptoms include cold sores, pain and itching, ulcers, scabs, and tingling. Much like the STDs mentioned prior, herpes is easy to treat and should never be ignored. 

Hepatitis A, B, and C 

Hepatitis is a bit of a tricky one as each variation presents its own symptoms in addition to fatigue. At its most generalized definition, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. While there are more than three types of hepatitis, including alcoholic hepatitis and hepatitis D, hepatitis A, B, and C are the major sexually-transmitted diseases. If you suspect you may be afflicted with hepatitis due to chronic fatigue, the following are the symptoms for each variety. 

Hepatitis A 

Also known as hep A, symptoms of this variety include abdominal, joint, and muscle pain, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. 

Hepatitis B 

Hep B causes abdominal pain, yellowing of the eyes, swollen blood vessels, loss of appetite, nausea, and fluid in the abdomen. 

Hepatitis C 

Symptoms of hep C include abdominal pain and swelling, bloating, yellow skin and eyes, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and fever. 


As you are likely aware, HIV is the most threatening STD on this list. And one of the worst things you could ever do to yourself is ignoring such a disease. HIV or human immunodefficiency virus actively works to attack the body’s immune systen. If left untreated, it can ultimately lead to AIDS. Symptoms of HIV include abdominal pain, fever, malaise, loss of appetite, night sweats, nausea, persistent diarrhea, and a dry cough.  


Listen to What Your Body is Telling You 

When it comes down to it, our bodies do a lot to communicate and let us know when something isn’t right. As you can likely see, while chronic fatigue is a common symptom that occurs in everything from the common cold to bronchitis and many STDs, it isn’t one that should be ignored. In the future, not only is it wise to listen to what your body tells you, but also to check-in regularly through convenient, totally private at-home STD testing. At 247Labkit, we make it easy to get tested, all without leaving the comfort of home, leaving you no excuse when it comes to STD and STI testing. 

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