“Blue waffle” is an internet hoax. Some claim that it is a sexually transmitted infection that turns the vaginal area blue. However, “blue waffle disease” is not a real medical condition.

The people who spread this misinformation also claim that blue waffle disease causes other symptoms, such as itching and irritation of the vaginal area and unusual discharge.

This article debunks the rumors about blue waffle disease and highlights the importance of easily available, reliable sexual health information online.

It also discusses sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the possible symptoms.

Blue waffle disease is a fictional STI, so nobody is at risk of getting it. However, there are other, real STIs that a person should be cautious of and take steps to avoid.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 26 million new infections in 2018. The organization notes that young people aged 15–24 years accounted for almost half of these infections.

Bacteria, viruses, or parasites can cause STIs, of which healthcare professionals recognize more than 20 types. Although sexually active individuals can get an STI, it is impossible to contract or develop blue waffle disease.

Blue waffle disease does not exist. Despite photographic “evidence” showing a person’s blue-colored vulva, there is no such infection.

So-called fake news can emerge from all areas of the internet, and rumors can spread quickly. A 2018 study showed that false rumors reach more people than the truth and that they spread at a quicker rate.

The internet contains false information about this fake condition, and its definition varies among websites.

Although the internet hosts many reliable and trustworthy sources of information about sexual and reproductive health, the persistence of blue waffle disease rumors highlights the danger of misinformation.

It also shows that many readers do not understand what causes STIs or how they spread between individuals. The CDC urges everyone who is sexually active to undergo tests for STIs and offers advice about how to prevent them.

Sex is a natural and healthy part of life, and people rarely experience side effects from having frequent sex. However, a person may experience discomfort from some sexual practices.

Although the vagina produces a natural lubricant, too much sex can cause vaginal dryness, leading to uncomfortable friction during sex.

Rough intercourse can cause swelling in the vagina and possibly tear vaginal tissue. Cuts or tears can make someone more likely to develop a vaginal infection.

The symptoms of some real vaginal infections are similar to those associated with the fictitious blue waffle disease. The Office on Women’s Health notes that the symptoms of a vaginal infection include:

However, a vaginal infection cannot turn a person’s vagina blue.

In a 2020 study, researchers showed that the most widely spread rumors are those that are more credible.

The blue waffle hoaxers included some genuine STI symptoms when describing their made-up disease. These include:

  • a discolored or swollen vulva
  • unusual discharge from the vagina
  • itching or irritation around the vagina

These symptoms may, in fact, signal vaginitis, which is inflammation of the vagina.

Infections often cause vaginitis. Some vaginal infections may transmit via sexual intercourse, while others occur due to allergic reactions or changes in the typical chemical or bacterial balance in the vagina.

Several STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis, can produce symptoms similar to the purported symptoms of blue waffle disease.

Some people use the term “safe sex” to refer to practices that lower the risk of STI transmission. Such practices help keep people healthy.

The CDC recommends using barrier methods of birth control, such as latex condoms and dental dams. These are very effective in preventing the spread of viral and bacterial STIs. Birth control pills do not protect people against STIs.

Sexually active people should undergo regular testing for STIs, even if they are using barrier methods. Many STIs produce no symptoms, so a person could have an infection without knowing it.

The only way to know for sure is to get a test. Early detection makes treating STIs much easier.

Learn more about safe sex practices.

The blue waffle phenomenon is a good example of people seeking sex education from the internet and accepting false information as the truth.

Sex educators throughout the United States have debunked blue waffle disease as nothing more than an urban myth, but rumors continue to spread across the internet.

The widespread nature of these rumors indicates that children and teens may require a more comprehensive sex education.

According to the CDC’s 2018 School Health Profiles, less than half of high schools and less than one-fifth of middle schools across the U.S. teach all 20 recommended sexual health topics.

Inadequate sex education is one of the leading factors that explain the high frequency of STIs among youths. Without proper knowledge of STIs and how to avoid them, young people may look to the internet to educate themselves but find false information there.

There are several additional reasons why STIs affect more young people than older people. These include a higher likelihood of having multiple sexual partners and an increased risk of using condoms incorrectly.

This section answers a couple of common questions about blue waffle disease.

What are the symptoms of blue waffle?

Blue waffle disease is not a real condition.

According to online rumors, blue waffle disease turns a person’s vulva blue. However, this is impossible.

The other supposed symptoms are possible. A person’s vagina and vulva may become sore or irritated, and their discharge may look and smell different than usual. However, these symptoms indicate the possibility of a real STI.

Other common symptoms of STIs include:

How long does blue waffle last?

Blue waffle disease is not a real condition.

However, a real STI, such as chlamydia, may be present until a person treats it by taking antibiotics. A person usually needs to take antibiotics for 1 week. After this, the infection should clear up.

Some STIs, such as genital herpes, hepatitis B, and human papillomavirus, are incurable. However, there are ways to manage the symptoms.

Blue waffle disease is a fake STI that supposedly causes symptoms similar to those of vaginal infections and real STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Hoaxers also claim that it turns the vaginal area blue.

The widespread rumors about this fictitious disease indicate that people are not receiving enough sex education. Without the proper information, people may seek answers and believe false information on the internet.

Comprehensive sex education is necessary to ensure that educators give young people the facts and help them understand how to protect themselves and others against STIs.