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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.

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free women’s preventive services, including mammograms, birth control and well-woman visits. Learn more.

Health Insurance Center

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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 16, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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