What are the Most Common STD Symptoms in Women?

A.E. Freeman

Common STD symptoms in women include unusual vaginal discharge, pain in the abdominal area or when urinating, and pain when having sexual intercourse. Depending on the type of infections, STD symptoms in women can appear a week after infection or not for months afterward. In some cases, STD symptoms in women may not be present, and a woman will only know she has a disease if her partner tells her he was infected or if a test comes back positive.

Swollen lymph nodes are a very common symptom of HIV.
Swollen lymph nodes are a very common symptom of HIV.

One of the more common STD symptoms in women is vaginal discharge. While some discharge is normal when a woman is well, when disease is present the discharge will change in appearance and quality. If a woman has trichomoniasis, an STD caused by a parasite, she may have discharge that is greenish-yellow in color. It will usually have a strong smell too.

Vaginal bleeding, itching, and discomfort are symptoms of an STD.
Vaginal bleeding, itching, and discomfort are symptoms of an STD.

Discharge that accompanies gonorrhea is usually thicker than normal and cloudy in color. There may be vaginal bleeding as well. Chlamydia can also cause an unusual discharge.

One of the most common symptoms of an STD is an increase in genital discharge.
One of the most common symptoms of an STD is an increase in genital discharge.

Other common STD symptoms in women include pain in the vaginal area. The pain may occur during or after sex or during urination. The area may itch as well. If a woman has anal or oral sex, she may have pain in the throat or anus as well.

Oral sex is just as risky for spreading disease as any other type of sex.
Oral sex is just as risky for spreading disease as any other type of sex.

Sexually transmitted infections such as herpes or genital warts can lead to symptoms such as warts or sores on the genital area. Genital warts usually do not hurt but can itch. They may be small and white or resemble cauliflowers. If a woman has a wart on the cervix, she may have some discharge or vaginal bleeding as well.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are increasingly referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by medical professionals.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are increasingly referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by medical professionals.

Herpes sores start out as blisters that then burst and scab over. The sores are very painful and can cause urination to be painful as well. Herpes is a very contagious and very common STD. Usually, symptoms appear a few days after infection and last for several weeks.

STDs such as herpes or HIV can also commonly cause symptoms that resemble the flu. A woman may have a headache, feel worn down, or have a fever after being exposed to HIV or herpes. Usually, flu-like symptoms from HIV resolve within a week.

Symptoms of a later stage of HIV infection include night sweats and extreme fatigue. Swollen lymph nodes are a very common symptom as the disease progresses. As the disease grows worse, a woman may have a persistent fever and headaches. The lymph nodes may stay swollen for months.

STD symptoms in women can appear a week after infection.
STD symptoms in women can appear a week after infection.

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