Sexually Transmitted Infections: Are You Ignoring These Symptoms?

Sexually Transmitted Infections and symptoms

Sexually transmitted infections are preventable with effort; they are treatable too by making sure you take stock of your health when you are sexually active. Here’s a look at signs and symptoms of eight leading STIs that just can't be ignored:

Common STIs and Their Symptoms

Genital herpes

  • Small red bumps, blisters or open sores/ulcers in the genital area, anus and surrounding areas
  • Pain or itching around the genital area, anus and inner thighs
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection or condyloma acuminatum

  • Itching or discomfort in your genital area
  • Tiny, gray or flesh-colored swellings in genital area
  • Multiple warts that form in a cluster or cauliflower shape close together
  • Bleeding with intercourse
  • In men, warts can grow on the scrotum, the tip or shaft of the penis, or the anus.
  • For women, warts can grow on the walls of the vagina, the vulva, the area around the external genitals, the anus, or the cervix.
  • Warts can also grow in the mouth or throat of a person in case of transmission through oral sex.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

1. HIV symptoms - early stage: These early signs often disappear within a week or month, making it difficult to distinguish it from a common viral infection. The affected individual is highly infectious during this period. After the initial infection, more persistent or severe HIV symptoms may not appear for 10 years or more.

  • Fever and fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Rashes
  • Swollen lymph glands

2. HIV symptoms - progressive stage: This stage will show more chronic symptoms as the virus spreads, destroying immune cells.

  • Swollen lymph nodes - one of the noticeable signs of an HIV infection
  • Fever
  • Cough and breathing difficulty
  • Weight loss

3. HIV symptoms - later stage:

  • Persistent fatigue
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Persistent headaches
  • Soaking night sweats
  • Fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C) and shivers for weeks
  • Unusual infections
  • Swelling of lymph nodes for more than three months


  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycles
  • Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from vagina or penis
  • Painful, swollen testicles
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Anal itching


Syphilis symptoms can come to light in these four stages — primary, secondary, latent and tertiary. 1. Primary syphilis symptoms:

  • Symptoms occur from 10 days to three months after exposure
  • Single or multiple painless sores on the part of the body where infection was transmitted - usually mouth, genitals, or rectum
  • Sores may heal without treatment, but the disease remains and may reappear in later stages

2. Secondary syphilis symptoms:

  • Symptoms begin to appear three to six weeks after the sores appear.
  • Red or reddish-brown rashes
  • Sores over other parts of the body, including palms and soles
  • Fever
  • Fatigue, discomfort, soreness and aches
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Once again, symptoms may disappear without treatment after a few weeks, or may reoccur on and off for a year

3. Latent syphilis symptoms:

  • Occurs in few instances where no symptoms are present following the secondary stage
  • Symptoms may never return, or the disease could progress to the tertiary stage

4. Tertiary syphilis symptoms:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Blindness
  • Numbness, paralysis
  • Dementia
  • Without treatment, the syphilis bacteria can spread, causing serious internal organ damage and leading to death years after the original infection


  • Symptoms typically surface within 5 to 28 days of exposure
  • Symptoms may vary from mild irritation to severe inflammation
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Itching or irritation inside the penis
  • Clear, white, yellowish or greenish vaginal discharge
  • Strong vaginal odor
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Painful urination


  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue, muscle or joint pain
  • Fever
  • Dark urine
  • Itching
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain, particularly on the right side beneath your lower ribs around the liver


  • Painful urination
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse in women
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycles in women
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Testicular pain

[av_promobox button='yes' label='Book a consultation on MediBuddy' link='' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']There are preventive steps that can be taken to avoid contracting or transmitting
STIs, such as health screening, immunization and preventive medication. Do you
know all your options? Reach out for a consultation with a physician to know

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