If you didn’t know already, sexually transmitted diseases impact women differently than men. For starters, STD symptoms in women are not always obvious. Many women are asymptomatic, which means they don’t present any symptoms.
And if the symptoms do appear, they are usually vague, making it really challenging to know the cause without getting tested. For example, if you are experiencing STD symptoms such as itching, burning, or discharge, you may think it’s a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that women are specifically vulnerable to severe complications of STDs. This is partly due to the fact that women are less likely than men to display symptoms for common STDs like gonorrhea or Chlamydia.
In addition, ulcers and sores (from syphilis or herpes) may occur inside the vagina where they are not easily visible, making it harder for women to notice something is wrong. As a result, sexually transmitted infections can go unnoticed and undiagnosed in women, leading to irreversible health issues including cervical cancer.
In this post, we have made a comprehensive list of STD symptoms in women so you can educate yourself and be on the lookout for any signs. Let’s get started.
Common STD Symptoms in Women
STDs are infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or even fungi. As the name suggests, these are specifically transmitted from one person to another through any kind of sexual contact.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that STDs can only spread through vaginal or anal sex. Kissing, oral sex, and using sex toys can also be culprits. There are several common STD symptoms in women that can hint to a sexually transmitted disease or infection:
Heavy periods or bleeding between periods
If you have contracted gonorrhea or Chlamydia, you could experience particularly heavy periods or bleeding between your periods. In some cases, it could be a sign of other kinds of infection or allergic reaction to hormonal contraception.
Unusual vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge is a completely natural and healthy thing. But when the discharge suddenly changes in smell, consistency, or color, it can be a symptom of an STD.
- Yellow or green discharge
- Frothy discharge
- Creamy, white discharge indicates thrush or yeast infection (this is not usually considered an STD but it can happen)
- Foul-smelling discharge
If you notice any abnormal discharge or a significant change in the presentation of your discharge, it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor.
Bleeding or pain during or after sex
Unusual pain or bleeding during or after intercourse is a common STD symptom in women. Pain or bleeding is commonly associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia, but these symptoms also happen as a result of vaginal damage, vaginal dryness, or cervical cancer.
Itching or soreness around the vagina
If you are experiencing a lot of itching or soreness around the vagina and vulva, it could be an STD, pubic lice, herpes blisters, or scabies. Genital warts can also lead to itchiness around the vagina. These warts are usually painless, fleshy growths that develop on or around the vagina, cervix, vulva, upper thighs, and anus. Depending on your case, these warts can sometimes bleed but that’s very rare.
Burning sensation or pain when urinating
Pain when urinating is an extremely common sign of an STD in both men and women. If you are experiencing pain or a burning sensation while peeing, it could be a sign of trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, or Chlamydia. If you have also developed painful blisters around your genitalia, it could be genital herpes.
Order Your STD Test Online Today!
Experiencing any of the symptoms listed above? If yes, then you need to get tested as soon as possible; any delay may lead to severe consequences. Most of the STD symptoms for women are treatable and curable, but if you let them go untreated, they have the potential to turn into something incurable—like infertility or cervical cancer.
You can visit your general practitioner or a sexual health clinic to get tested, but if you don’t want to wait weeks for an appointment, 24 Hour Docs has you covered. Just order your test online and you will receive your test results within 48 hours of visiting your nearest center.