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Health & Sex

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Understanding Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases -- or STDs -- often are silent, meaning there are no symptoms. Women may not notice any symptoms until they have developed serious complications. Be on the lookout for:

  • A drip or discharge from the penis, urethra, vagina, or anus; the color may be white, yellow, green, or gray. The discharge may be blood-streaked, and it may or may not have a strong odor.
  • Genital and/or anal itching or irritation
  • A rash, blisters, sores, lumps, bumps, or warts on or around the genitals, anus, or mouth
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Swollen lymph glands in the groin
  • Pain in the groin or lower belly
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pain or swelling of the testicles
  • Swelling or redness of the vagina
  • Weight loss, loose stools, night sweats
  • Flu-like symptoms (such as aches and pains, fevers, and chills)
  • Painful sex
  • Bleeding from the vagina other than during a monthly period

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Call Your Doctor About an STD if:

You must see a doctor if you have any of the STD symptoms listed above. DO NOT have any kind of sex with anyone until you see a doctor. Don't wait to get help. STDs are very contagious. They may result in serious complications or death if left untreated.

If one of your current or former sex partners tells you he or she has or had an STD, see a doctor. Even if you don't have STD symptoms, you may have the disease.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on February 07, 2015

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