Symptoms of STDs in Women

November 12, 2012

Symptoms of STDs in Women

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a group of diseases that are passed through contact with the anus, the genitalia and bodily fluids. The only exception is HIV/AIDS, which can be contracted through a transfusion of blood from an infected person. They cannot be transmitted through public toilet seats, residue left on doorknobs or by shaking someone’s hand. STDs in women are particularly insidious since not only is the woman affected but so can her unborn children. Particular diseases include:


  • Genital herpes

  • Human papilloma virus, which can cause genital warts or cervical cancer in women

  • Gonorrhea (or “the clap”)

  • Chlamydia

  • Syphilis

  • Chancroid

Depending on the particular disease, symptoms of STDs in women may not begin until days, weeks or even months after sexual contact with an infected partner.

Warning Signs

Although there are many different kinds of STDs in women, the symptoms are similar. If you have one or more of these symptoms, avoid sexual contact with anyone until your condition is cleared up. These symptoms include:

  • Smelly vaginal discharge

  • Blood-tinged urine or vaginal discharge

  • Discolored or cloudy urine

  • Pus in urine

  • Painful, burning urination

  • Pain during sex

  • Strange growths on the genitals, anus or inner thighs

  • Strange growths inside of the genitals or rectum

  • Pain in the lower abdomen that is not menstrual cramps

  • Intensely itchy genitals

  • Only able to urinate a small amount at a time.

These symptoms of STDs in women are also similar to a bladder infection or other urinary tract infection. Those are other conditions which needs treatment from a doctor.

Unusual Symptoms

Sometimes symptoms of STDs in women seem more like a virus or cold. They should still be checked out, especially if you recently had sex with a new partner or had unprotected sex:

  • Skin rash which may or may not itch

  • Sore throat

  • Open sores on the skin or mouth

  • Thinning hair or the development of bald patches

  • Low grade fever that does not go away in a few days

No Symptoms

It is possible for some STDs in women to not show any symptoms at all. For example, about half of women with gonorrhea do not show any symptoms. If left untreated, these STDs can cause fertility problems, birth defects or predispose a woman to cancer of the reproductive organs. Annual cervical smears, along with blood and urine tests for STDs, can help a woman discover if she is carrying an STD, even if she appears healthy.

  • When should women get tested for STDs?

  • When a woman get a new sexual partner

  • When a woman has multiple partners

  • When a man has had intercourse with her and did not wear a condom

  • When a woman is thinking about getting pregnant

  • When a woman is an intravenous drug user or “shoots up” to get high

  • When a woman has had a new partner since the last time she was tested

  • When a woman has previously suffered from an STD.


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