Top 10 STD Symptoms in Women
Here Are the Top 10 STD Symptoms in Women:
Not to be confused with a periodic tickle or even a one-off scratch session, itching that may indicate a need for concern is incessant and overwhelming. Originating from inside the vagina, this itch won’t be tamed and is usually accompanied by some of the signs below. Some of the most common STDs (including chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and trichomoniasis) are known to cause itching.
2) Abnormal discharge
Vaginal discharge is totally normal and can tell you a lot about your health. Certain types of discharge–like yellow, green, chunky, or smelly–can indicate an infection. Yeast often causes infections, but STDs are also common culprits. Trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are known to perpetrate abnormal vaginal discharge.
3) Pain with urination
Often associated with Urinary Tract Infections, this common symptom is also a hallmark of many STDs. The same bacteria that infects the vagina can creep its way into the urethra and mimic the well-known signs of a UTI. A simple urine test will reveal the source of your discomfort.
4) General discomfort in the pelvic region
Many women are familiar with pelvic discomfort associated with PMS, and for this reason it’s often not recognized as an STD symptom. This discomfort might stem from inflammation caused by an infection. It’s a warning sign that microbes may be on their way to cause long-term damage to your organs.
Ingrown hairs and rogue shaving tactics may be to blame for genital sores, but more serious STDs may be to blame. Herpes, HPV, and syphilis exhibit various types of skin bumps and lesions, all of which can impact your life significantly when left undiagnosed.
6) Pain during sex
Your feminine parts may sometimes be more sensitive than usual, but if you’re experiencing sharp pain during sex, it may be the result of an STD. If pain persists–especially coupled with other symptoms–get tested ASAP.
7) Flu-like symptoms
It may be the flu…or it may be Hepatitis or HIV. Flu symptoms suck regardless of the cause, but fever, headache, nausea, and swollen lymph nodes indicate your body is fighting something off. If you’ve had unprotected or risky sex within the last six months, there’s a chance that it’s more than the flu.
8) Sore throat/difficulty swallowing
Have you heard about the dreaded chlamydia throat? Well, you get the idea–your sore throat may have an unexpected backstory. The good news is: it’s simple to treat!
9) Lower back pain
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a typical result of an untreated gonorrhea and/or chlamydia infection and can result in lower abdominal pain. HSV (herpes) can also cause back pain during outbreaks.
10) Nothing at all
As many as 80% of people with an STD have few symptoms or none at all and signs may take months to show up from the time of exposure. The only way to know for sure is to test before each new partner and to practice safe sex in between.
If you are worried you may have contracted an STI/STD get tested.
Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA
- Clinical Manifestations of Vaginal Trichomoniasis. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1989. .
- Does Bacterial Vaginosis Cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? Sexually Transmitted Diseases. February 2013. .
- Clinical Course of Patients With Serologic Evidence of Recurrent Genital Herpes Presenting With Signs and Symptoms of First Episode Disease. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 1999. .