Sexually transmitted ailment (STD) indicators

Find out about widespread and doable STD indicators and how major they might be.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have sex — oral, anal or vaginal intercourse and genital touching — you can get an STD, also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI). No matter of your marital standing or sexual orientation, you happen to be vulnerable to STIs and STI indicators. Thinking or hoping your lover will not have an STI is no protection — you need to have to know for confident.

Condoms, when properly applied, are hugely effective for lessening transmission of some STDs. But no approach is foolproof, and STI indicators are not normally noticeable. If you think you have STI indicators or have been uncovered to an STI, see a doctor. Also, notify your lover or partners so that they can be evaluated and dealt with.

Some STIs are simple to handle and heal other folks call for extra-challenging therapy to deal with them.

If untreated, STIs can boost your threat of acquiring a different STI this kind of as HIV. This comes about due to the fact an STI can stimulate an immune response in the genital region or result in sores, both of which might elevate the threat of HIV transmission. Some untreated STIs can also lead to infertility, organ damage, selected sorts of most cancers or demise.

Asymptomatic STIs

Many STIs have no indications or indicators (asymptomatic). Even with no indicators, however, you can go the infection to your sex partners. So it is vital to use protection, this kind of as a condom, in the course of sex. And check out your doctor regularly for STI screening so you can recognize and handle an infection in advance of you can go it on.

Chlamydia indicators

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of your genital tract. Chlamydia may possibly be tough to detect due to the fact early-stage bacterial infections generally result in number of or no indications and indicators. When they do come about, indicators commonly begin one particular to a few weeks soon after you’ve been uncovered to chlamydia and may possibly be gentle and go rapidly.

Symptoms and indicators may possibly incorporate:

  • Painful urination
  • Lower belly suffering
  • Vaginal discharge in women
  • Discharge from the penis in gentlemen
  • Suffering in the course of sexual intercourse in women
  • Bleeding amongst intervals in women
  • Testicular suffering in gentlemen

Gonorrhea indicators

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection of your genital tract. The germs can also develop in your mouth, throat, eyes and anus. The initially gonorrhea indicators commonly surface within 10 days soon after exposure. Even so, some people today may possibly be infected for months in advance of indications or indicators come about.

Symptoms and indicators of gonorrhea may possibly incorporate:

  • Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Suffering or burning sensation when urinating
  • Hefty menstrual bleeding or bleeding amongst intervals
  • Painful, swollen testicles
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Anal itching

Trichomoniasis indicators

Trichomoniasis is a widespread STI caused by a microscopic, one particular-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. This organism spreads in the course of sexual intercourse with another person who presently has the infection.

The organism commonly infects the urinary tract in gentlemen, but generally will cause no indicators. Trichomoniasis usually infects the vagina in women. When trichomoniasis will cause indicators, they may possibly surface within five to 28 days of exposure and assortment from gentle irritation to intense inflammation.

Symptoms and indicators may possibly incorporate:

  • Distinct, white, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Solid vaginal odor
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Itching or irritation within the penis
  • Suffering in the course of sexual intercourse
  • Painful urination

HIV indicators

HIV is an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV interferes with your body’s potential to combat off viruses, germs and fungi that result in disease, and it can lead to AIDS, a continual, existence-threatening ailment.

When initially infected with HIV, you may possibly have no indicators. Some people today develop a flu-like disease, commonly two to 6 weeks soon after being infected. Continue to, the only way you know if you have HIV is to be tested.

Early indications and indicators

Early HIV indications and indicators commonly vanish within a week to a month and are generally mistaken for individuals of a different viral infection. Throughout this interval, you happen to be hugely infectious. Far more-persistent or -intense indicators of HIV
infection may possibly not surface for 10 decades or extra soon after the initial infection. Early-stage HIV indicators may possibly incorporate:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Rash
  • Tiredness

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you may possibly develop gentle bacterial infections or continual indications and indicators this kind of as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes — generally one particular of the initially indications of HIV infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Fat decline
  • Fever
  • Cough and shortness of breath

Late-stage HIV infection

Symptoms and indicators of late-stage HIV infection incorporate:

  • Persistent, unexplained fatigue
  • Soaking night time sweats
  • Shaking chills or fever larger than one hundred.four F (38 C) for many weeks
  • Inflammation of lymph nodes for extra than a few months
  • Serious diarrhea
  • Persistent headaches
  • Strange, opportunistic bacterial infections

Genital herpes indicators

Genital herpes is a hugely contagious STI caused by a style of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that enters your entire body through smaller breaks in your pores and skin or mucous membranes. Most people today with HSV never know they have it, due to the fact they have no indications or indicators or the indications and indicators are so gentle they go unnoticed.

When indications and indicators are visible, the initially episode is commonly the worst. Some people today never have a next episode. Some others, however, can have recurrent episodes for decades.

When current, genital herpes indications and indicators may possibly incorporate:

  • Modest purple bumps, blisters (vesicles) or open up sores (ulcers) in the genital and anal parts and parts close by
  • Suffering or itching all over the genital region, buttocks and interior thighs

Ulcers can make urination agonizing. You may possibly also have suffering and tenderness in your genital region right up until the infection clears. Throughout an initial episode, you may possibly have flu-like indications and indicators, this kind of as a headache, muscle aches and fever, as effectively as swollen lymph nodes in your groin.

In some cases, the infection can be active and contagious even when sores are not current.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and genital warts indicators

HPV infection is one particular of the most widespread sorts of STIs. Some sorts of HPV place women at significant threat of cervical most cancers. Other sorts result in genital warts. HPV commonly has no indications or indicators. The indications and indicators of genital warts incorporate:

  • Modest, flesh-colored or grey swellings in your genital region
  • Various warts shut alongside one another that just take on a cauliflower shape
  • Itching or pain in your genital region
  • Bleeding with intercourse

Normally, however, genital warts result in no indicators. Genital warts may possibly be as smaller as 1 millimeter in diameter or may possibly multiply into massive clusters. Warts can also develop in the mouth or throat of a human being who has experienced oral sex with an infected human being.

Hepatitis indicators

Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are all contagious viral bacterial infections that have an effect on your liver. Hepatitis B and C are the most major of the a few, but each and every can result in your liver to develop into infected.

Some people today never develop indications or indicators. But for individuals who do, indications and indicators may possibly come about many weeks soon after exposure and may possibly incorporate:

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach suffering or pain, primarily in the region of your liver on your correct facet beneath your decrease ribs
  • Decline of appetite
  • Fever
  • Darkish urine
  • Muscle mass or joint suffering
  • Itching
  • Yellowing of your pores and skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

Syphilis indicators

Syphilis is a bacterial infection. The ailment impacts your genitals, pores and skin and mucous membranes, but it can also involve several other elements of your entire body, which include your mind and your heart.

The indications and indicators of syphilis may possibly come about in a few stages — major, secondary, and tertiary. Some people today also encounter latent syphilis, in which blood assessments are constructive for the germs but no indicators are current.

At initially, only a smaller, pain-free sore (chancre) may possibly be current at the web site of infection, commonly the genitals, rectum, tongue or lips. As the ailment worsens, indicators may possibly incorporate:

  • Rash marked by purple or reddish-brown, penny-sized sores about any region of your entire body, which include your palms and soles
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Tiredness and a imprecise sensation of pain
  • Soreness and aching

Without therapy, syphilis germs may possibly unfold, primary to major inside organ damage and demise decades soon after the authentic infection.

Some of the indications and indicators of late-stage syphilis incorporate:

  • Deficiency of coordination
  • Numbness
  • Paralysis
  • Blindness
  • Dementia

There is certainly also a issue identified as congenital syphilis, which takes place when a expecting lady with syphilis passes the ailment to her unborn toddler. Congenital syphilis can be disabling, even existence-threatening, so it is vital for expecting women with syphilis to be dealt with.


At any stage, syphilis can have an effect on the nervous procedure. Neurosyphilis may possibly result in no indications or indicators, or it can result in:

  • Headache
  • Habits variations
  • Movement difficulties

If you suspect you have an STI, see your doctor

If you suspect that you have these or other STIs or that you may possibly have been uncovered to one particular, see your doctor for screening. Well timed prognosis and therapy is vital to prevent or delay extra-intense, potentially existence-threatening health and fitness difficulties and to prevent infecting other folks.