However, this sexually transmitted disease (STD) is nothing more than a rumor started on the internet. There is no medical evidence that it exists.
According to online sources, blue waffle disease is a condition that can disfigure a person's vulva and vaginal area and turn it blue. While there are many real and life-changing STDs, none of them turn the vulva blue.
Misinformation about sexual health can be dangerous. People aged 15–25 years old are much more likely than older people to catch an STD. Young people who turn to the internet for sexual health advice may find incorrect information and engage in unsafe sex practices.
In this article, we discuss the truth about blue waffle disease. We also discuss real STDs, their symptoms, and why it is important to keep up-to-date with reliable sexual health information and safe sex practices.
The truth about blue waffle disease
Blue waffle disease is a fake STD.
Blue waffle disease does not exist. It is a fake STD that originated from online rumors. Pictures showing a woman's vulva that appears blue and displays scabs or lesions usually accompany these rumors.
It is unclear whether people have photoshopped these pictures, but, regardless of this, they do not represent the symptoms of any existing diseases. There are no known STDs that cause the genitals to turn blue.
The internet is full of false information about this fake condition, and its definition varies between websites.
The rumors say that blue waffle disease affects only women. However, most STDs affect both males and females, though the consequences for females can be more severe. STDs can also affect an unborn baby.
The supposed causes of blue waffle disease range from poor hygiene to having frequent sex to having multiple STDs. Some websites even claim that men can get blue waffle, but only from women who practice poor hygiene.
This is not true. Poor hygiene or having frequent sex do not cause the genitals to change color.
Can you get blue waffle 'symptoms' from frequent sex?
Sex is a healthy part of life, and people rarely experience side effects from having frequent sex. However, a person may experience discomfort from some sexual practices.
While the vagina produces its own natural lubricant, too much sex can cause vaginal dryness and uncomfortable friction. Rough intercourse can cause swelling in the vagina and even tear vaginal tissue. A tear can make someone more likely to develop a vaginal infection.
The signs of some real vaginal infections are similar to those associated with fictitious blue waffle. Symptoms of a vaginal infection include:
- unusual, odorous vaginal discharge
- itching, burning, and swelling around the vagina
- burning sensation when urinating
- pain during sex
STDs with similar symptoms to blue waffle
Some of the symptoms associated with fictitious blue waffle can occur with real STDs and vaginal infection, including:
- a red or swollen vulva
- unusual discharge from the vagina
- itching or irritation around the vagina
These symptoms may signal that a person might have vaginitis.
Infections often cause vaginitis. Some vaginal infections are transmitted through sexual intercourse, while others occur due to allergic reactions or changes in the typical chemical or bacterial balance in the vagina.
Advice for safe sex and preventing STDs
Safe sex refers to practices that lower a person's risk of catching or passing on STDs. Safe sex keeps people healthy as well as safe.
Using barriers, such as male and female latex condoms and female dental dams, are very effective in preventing the spread of viral and bacterial STDs. Contraceptive pills do not protect people against STDs.
People who are sexually active should get tested for STDs regularly, even if they use condoms. Many STDs produce no symptoms, so people could have an STD without knowing it. The only way to know for sure is by being tested. Early detection makes treating STDs much easier.
The importance of sex education
Young people may use the internet and receive false information about sexual health.
The blue waffle phenomenon is a good example of people seeking sex education from the internet and accepting false information as truth.
Sex educators throughout the United States have debunked blue waffle as nothing more than an urban myth, but rumors continue to spread across the internet.
The widespread nature of these rumors indicate that children and teens may require a more comprehensive sexual education.
According to the 2016 School Health Profiles issues by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of high schools and less than a quarter of middle schools across the U.S. are teaching all 19 recommended sexual health topics.
Without proper knowledge of STDs and safe sex practices, young people may look to the internet to educate themselves and may receive false information.
Unfortunately, not all children receive comprehensive sex education. Inadequate sex education is one of the leading factors that explain the high frequency of STDs among youths.
There are several additional reasons why young people are more affected by STDs than older people. The reasons include that they are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as having multiple sexual partners and not using protection in the form of condoms.
Blue waffle is a fake STD that people have falsely associated with symptoms similar to those of vaginal infections and real STDs that include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.
The widespread rumors about this fictitious disease indicates that people are not receiving enough sex education. Without the proper information, people may seek answers themselves and end up believing false information from the internet.
Comprehensive sex education is necessary to ensure that educators are giving young people the facts and know-how to protect themselves, and others, against STDs.