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What are the symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection (STD/STI)?

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People with STDs/STIs may feel ill and notice some of the following signs and symptoms1,2:

  • Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Sores or warts on the genital area
  • Painful or frequent urination
  • Itching and redness in the genital area
  • Blisters or sores in or around the mouth
  • Abnormal vaginal odor
  • Anal itching, soreness, or bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever

In some cases, people with STDs/STIs have no symptoms, and over time the symptoms, if present, can improve on their own. However, it is common for individuals to have an STD/STI and pass it on to others without knowing it.3

If you are concerned that you or your sexual partner may have an STD/STI, talk to your health care provider. Even if you do not have symptoms, it is possible you may have an STD/STI that needs to be treated to ensure your and your partner's sexual health.


  1. NIH (2008). Understanding, Treating, and Preventing STDs/Questions to Ask Your Health Care Professional. NIH Medline Plus; 3(4): 18–19. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/fall08/articles/fall08pg18-19.html [top]
  2. Womenshealth.gov. (2009). Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Fact Sheet. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/sexually-transmitted-infections.html [top]
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats11/Surv2011.pdf (PDF - 4.91 MB) [top]

Last Updated Date: 04/02/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 05/28/2013
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