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Sexually Transmitted Infections: Symptoms in Women

Topic Overview

If you develop symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is important to be evaluated by a health professional soon after your symptoms start. Symptoms of an STI include:

  • A change in vaginal discharge (thicker, discolored, or bad-smelling) over a period of several days to 2 weeks.
  • Pain, burning, or itching while urinating that lasts more than 24 hours.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Pain or a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic or lower abdominal area.
  • Itching, tingling, burning, or pain on or around the genitals.
  • Sores, lumps, blisters, rashes, or warts on or around the genitals or anus.
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding after sexual intercourse.
  • General symptoms of an infection, such as fever and fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Sores in the throat.

Many STI symptoms will go away or change quickly. This does not mean that the STI has gone away. It will be harder for your health professional to diagnose your STI after the symptoms have changed. A delay in being evaluated may lead to a more serious illness.

Note:

If you suspect you may have symptoms of an STI, do not have sexual intercourse while waiting for your appointment. This will reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to your partner.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised November 16, 2012

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