Blue Waffles: An STD or Pastry?

There have been a lot of myths and exaggerations of the Blue Waffle vaginal disease. It refers to a vulva so swollen from an STD that it looks like a blue waffle. Doesn’t sound gross but once you google it, it’s gross. Some might ask, well what disease on earth is this horrid STD or STI that makes the vulva this way? And some might ask if a blue waffle is going to appear on appetizing on a menu ever again.

Here’s the good news: Blue Waffles can be a pastry dish you can buy and it can’t be an STD you can ever contract because it’s fake as hell. (If you believe in hell, then it’s just fake). 

Who Started the Blue Waffles Myth?

The original meme contained a blue waffle and text which read “Bet you can’t find me on Google image search”.

Blue Waffle was a typical meme that was created to shock or horrify the person who has the courage to look up “Blue Waffle.” This meme is old news today, but it’s still quite shocking and weird enough to still hold the test of time.

Let’s just say that the people too curious for their own good or were expecting to find literally blue waffles discovered the very graphic image of a blue colored vagina which turned out to be nothing more than a prank and a figment of some lowlifes imagination.

Coming back to pranks, a councilwoman from New Jersey brought Blue Waffle back to light in 2013 after falsely claiming that Blue Waffle was a sweeping epidemic and demanded the public’s attention. According to her, the disease had claimed 85 lives in just Trenton alone, and it was “a virus that is 10 times greater at this point than the AIDS virus.”

In her defense, her wildly inaccurate claims had good intentions as she was just trying to look out for her community. The false information she received was unfortunately sourced from a “concerned citizen” which turned out to be an April Fool’s joke. Her statements only furthered the confusion in the public regarding the fictional disease and ended up highlighting the general lack of knowledge regarding STDs.

What Do Doctors Say about Blue Waffle?

Blue Waffle: “an elaborate internet hoax with extensive, beautiful photoshopping skills”.

When the Women’s Health Foundation blog asked Dr. Amy Whitaker, an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology at the University of Chicago Hospital, about Blue Waffle, she said:

“There is no disease known as “Blue Waffle Disease” in the medical world. No disease can cause a blue appearance on the external genitalia. I had never heard of this until you wrote to our section and asked about it.”

So whatever symptoms you may have heard with regards to Blue Waffle, as well as the methods of how to obtain it, are all completely fictional and false. There certainly was something seriously wrong with whoever’s genitals were in that picture, but it was caused by SSP- Seriously Smart Photoshop not an STD. 

The same blog article by the Women’s Health Foundation concluded that cursed image was the result of either photoshopped or vaginal manipulation.

In 2017 the Annals of Internal Medicine website featured Anita Ravi, MD, a family medicine physician based in New Jersey, confirmed that the disease was not real. 

“It is an elaborate internet hoax with somebody who has extensive, beautiful photoshopping skills,” Dr. Ravi said. She addressed Blue Waffles two years ago, but the image, like any infamous viral meme,  continues to circulate, and unsuspecting people fall for it.

Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at Orlando Health in Florida, confirmed to Health that she has never heard of Blue Waffle disease and doesn’t believe it could be real. 

In case you are experiencing itching, or any other discomfort or symptom on or around your vulva or vagina, it’s important to get them checked, she said. You won’t be diagnosed with blue waffle disease, but tests might show that you have another infection. 

“If someone is having STI or STD  symptoms, regardless of whether they were recently exposed or not, it is important that they see their doctor,” says Dr. Greves. “Sometimes a symptom doesn’t present (itself) immediately.”

Certain STD or STIs and vaginal infections may have symptoms that are similar (but not as disgusting) as those in the blue waffle disease “photo”. Herpes Simplex Virus-2, or genital herpes, can cause blistering sores and ulcers that eventually become scabs. And a yeast infection can cause redness and swelling outside the vagina. Neither conditions will make your labia turn blue but you’ll want to see a doctor to address the symptoms immediately. 

What does waffle mean sexually?

Waffle doesn’t mean anything sexually as the term Blue Waffle is a fictional sexually transmitted infection. That being said, waffle is slang for “vagina”. 

Why did Blue Waffle even come into existence? While this is probably said and done in good fun, it’s also said and done in discrimination. Blue Waffle is allegedly an STD that only affects women. It has commonly been said to be caused by having lots of sex, and conveniently leaves genitals blue as proof of promiscuity. This is all, of course, completely false. Practice safe and responsible sex and there’s nothing wrong with having sex regardless of gender.

With gender discrimination, STDs have none. While there are a few, generally small differences between how they impact each gender, both men and women are equally as susceptible to all STDs.

STDs with Similar Symptoms to Blue Waffle

STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis, can produce symptoms similar to those associated with fictitious blue waffle. Similar of the symptoms associated with fictitious and unscientific 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.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is common and can affect all sexes. It’s spread by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious complications and affect female fertility. It can be cured, but successful treatment requires that you and your partner are treated.

Many people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, they can take several weeks to appear.

Vaginal symptoms may include:

  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • burning when urinating

Symptoms affecting the penis or testicles can include:

  • discharge from the penis
  • burning sensation when urinating
  • pain and swelling in one or both testicles

If you have anal sex or chlamydia spreads to the rectum from another area, such as the vagina, you may notice:

  • rectal pain
  • discharge from the rectum
  • rectal bleeding

Gonorrhea

Most sexually active individuals can contract this STD. Gonorrhea can affect the genitals, rectum, and the throat, and is transmitted by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has it. Gonorrhea may not cause any symptoms. What symptoms that can occur depend on your sex and the location of your infection.

A person with a penis may notice:

  • burning when urinating
  • yellow, white, or green discharge from the penis
  • pain and swelling in the testicles

A person with a vagina may notice:

  • pain or burning when urinating
  • increased vaginal discharge
  • bleeding between periods
  • pain during sex
  • lower abdominal pain

Rectal infections may cause:

  • discharge from the rectum
  • pain
  • anal itching
  • rectal bleeding
  • painful bowel movements

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a common curable STD. An estimated 3.7 million people have the infection of Trichomoniasis just in the USA alone but only 30% develop the symptoms  and signs of trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is very common with women than with men. Older women are more likely than younger women to have been infected with the same. 

70% of infected individuals do not have any signs or symptoms. But if trichomoniasis does cause symptoms, they can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation. Anyone infected with the symptoms of Trichomoniasis get them within 5 to 28 days after being infected. Others do not show signs until much later. Symptoms can come and go.

A person with a penis may notice:

  • Itching inside the penis;
  • Burning after urination/ ejaculation;
  • Discharge from the penis.

Women may notice:

  • Itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals;
  • Discomfort with urination;
  • A change in their vaginal discharge ( thin discharge or increased volume) that can be clear,  yellowish, or greenish or white with an unusual fishy smell.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) 

HPV is the most common STD. According to the National Cancer Institute Trusted Source, there are more than 200 types of HPV, 40 of which are spread through sexual contact. Most sexually active people will have some type of it during their lifetime. It’s passed through skin-to-skin contact and can affect your genitals, rectum, mouth, and throat.

Some strains can cause genital warts. Others can cause certain cancers, including cancers of the cervix, rectum, mouth, and throat. The strains that cause warts aren’t the same as those that cause cancer.

Most infections go away on their own without causing any signs or symptoms, but the virus remains dormant in your body and can be spread to your sexual partners. Genital warts caused by HPV can appear as a small bump or a cluster of bumps in the genital area. They can range in size, be flat or raised, or have the appearance of a cauliflower. Genital warts caused by HPV aren’t the same as genital herpes.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) 

BV is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15–44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source. It occurs when there is an imbalance of bacteria normally found in the vagina. It’s not entirely clear why some people get it, but certain activities that can alter vaginal pH balance increase your risk. These include having a new or multiple sex partners, and douching.

BV won’t always cause symptoms. If it does, you may notice:

  • thin vaginal discharge that is white or grayish
  • a fishy odor that becomes worse after sex
  • vaginal pain, itching, or burning
  • burning when urinating

If you notice any unusual changes, such as discharge, bumps, or sores, see your doctor for and STI or STD testing as soon as possible.

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