STD Symptoms and Testing

If you have had sex you should get tested.

That’s the bottom line.  Any time you are sexually active there can be risk of getting an STD.  The only way to not be at risk is to have sex with only one other person for life and for the two of you to only have sex with each other.  Other than that, there is risk of STDs.

Do condoms lower the risk of a STD infection?

Using condoms can reduce your risk of STD infection, but doesn’t get rid of it.  Some STD’s such as Herpes only need skin to skin contact to spread.  Makes you wonder what that condom might not be covering…


  • Oral sex, anal sex and intimate touching can transmit infection just like vaginal/penile intercourse.
  • There are 18.9 million new STD infections per year (51,780 per day).
  • At least 8 out of 10 women with Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections are without symptoms. These infections are detected primarily through screening.
  • Each year, there are almost 3 million new cases of Chlamydia.  The CDC recommends that sexually active females 25 and under should be screened at least once a year for Chlamydia, even if no symptoms are present.
  • As with other inflammatory STDs, Chlamydia infection can increase your risk of contracting HIV infection.
  • Cervical cancer in women is linked to high-risk types of HPV.  However regular testing and pap smears significantly reduces your risk.
  • At least 15 percent of all American women who are infertile can attribute it to tubal damage caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), the result of an untreated STD.
  • Less than half of people who should be screened receive recommended STD screening services.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Social Health Association
Medical Institute of Sexual Health
Bacterial Vaginosis


Bacterial: Curable with antibiotics. Can take 1-3 weeks to show a positive result. 75% of women have no symptoms at all so proactive testing is a good idea.

Signs and symptoms: Female: Abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain/cramping, abnormal bleeding.  If left untreated, may lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which may cause chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, or infertility.

Male signs and symptoms: Burning with urination, discharge from penis, swollen genitals, If left untreated, may lead to epididymitis (which is the swelling of the tube inside the man’s genitals.) Modes of transmission: Vaginal, oral or anal sex. Mother to child.



Bacterial: Curable with antibiotics. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired. Complications: infection of the eye, gonorrhea of the throat and mouth, systemic infection, PID in women, epididymitis in men.

Signs and symptoms in females: Often no symptoms, vaginal discharge, burning with urination, pain/bleeding with sex.

Signs and symptoms in males: Often no symptoms, burning/pain with urination, discharge, swollen genitals.
Modes of transmission: Vaginal, oral and anal sex. Mother to child.





Viral: no cure. Most people will show positive within 3 months from infection.

Signs and symptoms: rapid weight loss, frequent fevers, night sweats, swollen lymph glands, pneumonia

Modes of transmission: Vaginal, oral and anal sex, blood, body fluids, mother to child


HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

Viral: no cure. Most common infection-causing STD. Many different types of HPV. Some strains cause genital warts, and others can lead to cervical cancer or other kinds of cancer. Most people who have HPV don’t know they are infected.

Signs and Symptoms: Genital warts, cervical cancer that may be detected by a routine pap test, Other forms of cancer- may not have symptoms until they have advanced.

Modes of transmission: vaginal, anal, oral contact and genital to genital contact.



Viral: No cure. 1 in 5 adolescents and adults have genital HSV. Two types of viral herpes infection: HSV- type 1: often causes fever blisters on the mouth or face. HSV-type 2: typically affects the genital area.

Signs and symptoms: Most individuals don’t know they are infected with HSV type 2. If symptoms occur, they may include: Painful skin lesions, vulvar irritation, swollen lymph glands, genital discharge, fatigue, body aches.


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)



Bacterial: curable in the early stages. Three stages of syphilis, so early treatment is important.

Modes of transmission: point of contact disease passed through direct contact with syphilis sore- vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Mother to child.

Signs and symptoms: sores and spots appear where the syphilis entered the body, red brown rash (in stage 2). If left untreated and in the third stage, death can occur.



Bacterial parasite: curable with antibiotics. Most common curable STD.

Modes of transmission: penis to vagina intercourse, or vulva to vulva

Signs and symptoms for females: Foul smelling, frothy discharge, vaginal irritation/redness, pain during sex, burning with urination? Signs and symptoms for males: Most men do not have symptoms but some have: irritation inside the penis, mild discharge, burning with urination or ejaculation.

Pregnancy Decision Health Centers
Main address: 665 E Dublin Granville Rd #120 43229 Columbus, OH