Common STD Signs & Symptoms Everyone Needs to Know

Did you know that America is estimated to have over 110 million sexually transmitted diseases? 

STDs are highly stigmatized, and it might be terrifying to consider you might be one of those 110 million cases. But it’s much scarier to have an untreated STD, which may cause infertility, organ damage, and can even make you more susceptible to other infections. 

The worst part? Many STD signs and symptoms go unnoticed, putting you and your partners at great risk. 

While you should be getting tested at least once a year, there are some obvious STD signs and symptoms that you and your partner should be on the lookout for. 

Painful Intercourse or Urination

Painful intercourse or urination is often a big red flag when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases. There can be other health issues that cause these symptoms, but you never know. If you find yourself wincing during sex or crying out in pain when you urinate, it’s time to go get yourself checked out. 

These symptoms could be a sign of chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, genital warts, ureaplasma, or mycoplasma genitalium. 


A small amount of discharge is completely normal for women because it helps to clean the vagina. However, if you notice an unusual increase, color, or odor in your discharge, it could be a sign of an infection or STD.

Abnormal discharge is a symptom of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. In fact, a change in discharge might be the only visible sign that you’ve contracted an STD. So, anytime you see a change in your discharge, consider getting tested just in case you’ve contracted an STD.  

Sores, Bumps, or Warts

Another big red flag of an STD are sores, bumps, and warts. Genital, anal, or mouth blisters are a painful symptom of herpes, and they can appear after just 20 days of contracting the disease. In some cases, they don’t appear at all.

Unfortunately, you can still contract herpes even if your partner doesn’t have any visible sores or blisters. 

Genital warts are small, cauliflower-like warts around your genitals and anus, and they’re caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). While annoying, they are also treatable. 

Sores and grayish colored warts in moist areas, such as your genitals, anus, and armpits, can also be a sign of syphilis. 

Flu-Like Symptoms

Are you experiencing fever, sore throat, body aches, chills, fatigue, or swollen lymph nodes? You might have the flu. But you also could have an STD as many diseases, such as chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis A, HIV, or gonorrhea, have symptoms that can be confused with the flu. 

Obviously, you don’t need to get tested for STDs every time you have a fever. But, if you’ve recently had unprotected sex, it might be time to get tested. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? 

What to Do If You’re Experiencing STD Signs

If you’re experiencing any of these STD signs, the first step is to stay calm. STDs are highly stigmatized in society, but the reality is that one in two people will contract a sexually transmitted virus before they turn 25. 

Plus, many STDs are treatable. If they aren’t, there are a variety of medications that can help control untreatable STDs, such as herpes.

The first step one should take when experiencing STD signs and symptoms is to get tested. If that makes you anxious, then you should know that you don’t even have to be faced with an uncomfortable doctor’s appointment to get a test. 

Take a look at our website for more information on quick, confidential STD testing!