Do I Have an STD? (STD Symptoms in Women)
How much do you know about STDs and their symptoms?
According to the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC), 15-24 year olds make up half of all new STD infections in the United States and 1 in 4 sexually active women has an STD. These numbers can seem scary, and you may be worried that you have an STD.
The good news is that most STDs can be treated. But to be treated, you first have to know you have an STD. So what are the symptoms of an STD in women?
According to the CDC’s fact sheets about STDs, these are the most common symptoms for STDs in women:
- Unusual discharge from vagina
- Pain, itching or burning in vaginal area
- A strong fish-like odor, especially after sex
- Burning or pain when going to the bathroom
- Rectal pain or itching
- Rectal discharge or bleeding
- Blisters or sores around the vagina or rectum
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Genital warts
Very often, though, women with an STD have no signs or symptoms or they mistake the symptoms for some other common problem (like a urinary tract infection or a yeast infection). So the STD goes untreated.
When STDs go untreated, women can develop something called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). The symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) are:
- Pain in lower abdomen
- An unusual discharge or bad odor coming from the vagina
- Pain or bleeding when you have sex
- Burning when you pee
- Bleeding between periods
If PID is diagnosed early, it can be treated. But the longer you have PID without knowing it, the more damage it can do to your reproductive system, and that damage can’t be undone. So it’s really important to identify STDs and treat them as quickly as possible.
If so many women don’t have any symptoms of STDs, then how are you supposed to know you have one?
That’s a really good question, and this is why it’s so important to get tested. The only way to completely prevent STDs is to be in a mutually monogamous sexual relationship – that means you both only have ever had any kind of sex (oral, vaginal, anal, or mutual masturbation) with each other. If you or your partner has had any kind of sexual contact with more than one person, then you may be at risk for an STD. The only way to know for sure is to be tested.
At Collage, we care about you and want you to have all the information you need to take care of yourself and your sexual health. If you’re at risk for an STD, please know that we test and treat for some STDs at no cost to you. Call us and we’ll schedule a time for you to come in so we can answer your questions about STDs.