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STD Symptoms in Men & Women
Updated on April 24, 2023
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STD Symptoms in Men & Women
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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) cause various symptoms. Some common signs and symptoms to look out for are:

  • Unusual discharges from your genitals
  • Itching in your private areas
  • Painful sex or urination
STD Symptoms in Men & Women 2

Left untreated, the infected partner might spread the infection to their sex partner.

Untreated STDs may also lead to serious health conditions such as infertility, cervical cancer, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Knowing the general signs of STIs may prevent the infection from spreading or worsening. It can prompt you to get treatment as soon as possible.

Signs of STD in Men

Undiagnosed STI cases aren’t uncommon among men. Even when STI signs appear, most men have no idea what they mean and mistake them for a urinary tract infection (UTI). 

The chances of diagnosis get slimmer when the STIs cause no symptoms. Nevertheless, a man should know what common STD signs look like so they can seek medical attention. 

Here are some signs of STI that men should look out for:

  • Painful urination
  • Bumps, warts, rashes, and blisters on or around the penis
  • Abnormal discharges from the penis 
  • Frequent urination
  • Penis pain or testicular pain
  • Dark urine color
  • Itching and burning in the penis 

Signs of STD in Women

STI symptoms in women may appear as abnormalities in their genital area. While they may be caused by another disease, they should be taken as signs that something's wrong.

The sooner she can seek medical care, the less likely she’ll infect her sexual partners. 

Common STD symptoms women should look out for include:

  • Painful urination 
  • Vaginal pain during sex
  • Unusual vaginal discharges 
  • Vaginal itching 
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding 
  • Genital warts, sores, blisters, or rashes
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Frequent urination 
  • Dark-colored urine 


STDs may cause symptoms that appear immediately or take time to develop. They can also lead to symptoms that you might mistake for a less serious condition—like a flu.

How Soon Do Signs of STI Appear?

Most STIs alert you almost immediately with symptoms that are hard to ignore. But in some cases, STD symptoms can take several weeks to a few years to develop.1

Other STIs may not present symptoms at all. When this happens, the infected person may unknowingly infect their sexual partner.

Can You Have Sexually Transmitted Diseases with No Symptoms?

Yes. An infected person may show no symptoms. That's why you should get tested regularly and follow the best practices to prevent STIs from spreading or getting worse.

Here are some STDs that may show delayed symptoms or no symptoms at all:2

  • HPV infection can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. However, some strains don’t cause any symptoms, and you may have no idea. 
  • Chlamydia may cause symptoms similar to a yeast infection, such as unusual discharge and a burning sensation during urination. Nevertheless, some people get no signs. 
  • Gonorrhea symptoms may be mild and include pain, burning, and discharge. However, not everyone with gonorrhea gets these symptoms. 
  • Genital herpes may be caused by Herpes simplex virus type 2 or type 1. Not every infected person gets the classic blisters or any other sign. But they can still infect others. 
  • Trichomoniasis affects 3.7 million people, yet only 30% of that population shows symptoms. Many people won’t get itching, soreness, or painful urination.3  

It’s also not unusual to get generalized symptoms after the initial infection.

For instance, an HIV infection can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, night sweats, muscle aches, and fatigue.4

What Are The Most Common STDs?

Each year, about 20 million Americans get an STI. This means that about 20% of U.S. residents are infected. Young people aged 15 to 24 years make up about half of that number.5,6

The most common STDs affecting Americans are:7

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Syphilis
  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Chlamydia

Keep in mind that each STI has a different cause. So even when there are signs and symptoms, they all don’t look the same. The type of STD will determine the symptoms you get. 

Despite these differences, you can watch for common STI signs and report them to your healthcare providers as soon as possible.


STIs can be spread through sex and certain bodily fluids, such as sharing infected needles or coming into contact with an infected sore.

What Causes Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are often transmitted through sexual activity.

All forms of sexual contact can expose you to them. These include anal sex, oral sex, and vaginal intercourse. 

Teenagers and young adults are most affected by STIs. However, anyone who is sexually active is at risk. 

Risky sexual behavior further increases your chances of becoming infected. Some examples include engaging with many sex partners and having unprotected sex.

Sexual contact isn't the only cause of STDs. Any activity that causes you to share bodily fluids (such as blood, semen, or vaginal fluid) may also result in infection. 

Other non-sexual causes of STDs are: 

  • If you share infected drug needles
  • Transfusing infected blood
  • Sharing infected razors
  • Giving birth to a baby while infected
  • Skin-to-skin contact with infected sores


You don't always need to see a qualified healthcare professional to be diagnosed with an STD. At-home STD tests can screen you for the most common STDs.

STD Testing at Home — Why You Need It

The thought of having a sexually transmitted disease can be embarrassing. Many people would rather try home treatments for STDs than seek medical help. 

While home remedies can relieve symptoms of STDs, they cannot treat the infection or stop them from spreading.

Early STD testing is your best option because it can:

  • Prevent the STI from worsening
  • Help you avoid health complications
  • Protect your sexual partners from infection

If you’re too ashamed to see a qualified healthcare professional, you can buy a LetsGetChecked At-Home STD Kit.

LetsGetChecked offers several kits that allow you to test for STDs at home. People who test positive can request a virtual medical consultation.

It only costs $39 and you get to talk about your treatment options with a medical professional.

After evaluating your symptoms, they can provide prescriptions for recommended treatments. If you're willing to pay extra, they can also send your medications.

At-home STD testing kits offers a private and convenient way to find out if you have a sexually transmitted infection.

The best STD home testing kits can provide medications to those who test positive for common infections.

Use code "YOURDNA" for 25% OFF

Updated on April 24, 2023
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15 sources cited
Updated on April 24, 2023
  1. How soon do STI symptoms appear?” National Health Service.
  2. STIs you can have with no symptoms.” Ohio State Medical Center.
  3. Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  4. HIV/AIDS. HIV | HIV Symptoms | AIDS “ MedlinePlus.
  5. Adolescents and Young Adults | Prevention | STDs |” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  6. STI Prevalence, Incidence, and Cost Estimates Infographic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  7. Sexually Transmitted Infections.” StatPearls.
  8. Adolescents and Young Adults | Prevention | STDs |” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  9. STI Prevalence, Incidence, and Cost Estimates Infographic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  10. Sexually Transmitted Infections.” StatPearls.
  11. HIV/AIDS. HIV | HIV Symptoms | AIDS “ MedlinePlus.
  12. How soon do STI symptoms appear?” National Health Service.
  13. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Symptoms, Treatments & Causes.” Cleveland Clinic.
  14. STIs you can have with no symptoms.” Ohio State Medical Center.
  15. Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ada Sandoval
Ada Sandoval
Content Contributor
Ada Sandoval is a B.S. in Nursing graduate and a registered nurse with a heart for abandoned animals. She works as a content writer who specializes in medical-related articles and pet health.
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