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About Sexually Transmitted Infection Symptoms

Sexually transmitted infections are caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites through sexual contact that is vaginal oral, or anal sex. Venereal diseases can also be spread from mother to child through childbirth, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

There are curable and non-curable viral infections. Curable STIs include gonorrhea, syphilis trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. Noncurable STIs include HIV, HSV(Herpes Simplex Virus), HPV(Human Papillomavirus), and hepatitis B.

This blog will tackle types of STIs and their symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatment, and management. By the end of this blog, you will know STIs and how to stay safe from contracting infections.

Common STDs in Women and People Assigned Female at Birth

There are STDs common in women or AFAB. It is important to get screening for the following viral infections.

  • Chlamydia. Chlamydia is the most common venereal disease in women globally 
  • Gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea can cause serious fatal symptoms if left untreated
  • HPV. There are HPV vaccines suitable for women below 45 years. Getting vaccinated protects you from the HPV.
  • Genital herpes. Genital herpes is common in teens and women below 49 years.

STIs and Pregnancy.

A woman can get an STI while pregnant. Pregnant women are recommended to have a full STI pane at the beginning of their pregnancy.

STDs are treatable during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may either recommend antibiotics for bacterial STIs or antivirals for viral conditions.

STI can pass from the mother to the child during childbirth, getting treated earlier is recommended during pregnancy.

Gonorrhoea Symptoms

Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The bacteria can be transmitted through semen and vaginal fluids. Clap can be spread between sexual partners since it doesn't show signs at the initial stage of exposure.

Symptoms in women are noticeable after 10 days of exposure. Men will notice symptoms after 5 days of exposure. N.Gonorrhoeae (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) survives in moist parts of the body such as

the mouth, penis, vagina, and eyes. Gonorrhea can cause your eyes to turn pink, if you touch an infected area then touch your eyes.

Gonorrhoea symptoms in men include:

  • Pain and burning sensation when peeing
  • Swollen testicles 
  • Pain in the testicles
  •  A white/yellow/green discharge from the penis 

Gonorrhoea symptoms in women include:

  • Pain on the pelvis 
  • White/yellow vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain while peeing

Gonorrhea symptoms in all genders:

  • Itchy anus 
  • Itchy throat and discomfort while swallowing

Gonorrhoea is diagnosed in various ways:

  • Taking sample fluid from the vagina or penis
  • Testing your urine 
  • Swapping the throat or rectum to test the fluid

Genital herpes Symptoms

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Herpes Simplex Virus. There are 2 types of HSV:

HSV 1 or oral herpes This virus affects your mouth or face and causes cold sores. The virus can be spread through saliva.

HSV 2 or genital herpes is an STI that causes sores on your skin. The sores are spread when you come into contact with the genitals of an infected person.

How can you contract genital herpes?

You can contact genital herpes if:

  • Touch open sores infected with the venereal disease 
  • If you give or receive oral sex to or from an infected person
  • Mother to child through birth 
  • Having sex with an infected person

Symptoms of genital herpes 

Genital herpes symptoms vary according to outbreaks. You may experience different symptoms if you have your first outbreak compared to repeated outbreaks. Some of the symptoms of genital herpes include:

  • Sores on the genitals 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Pain while urinating
  • Cold sores around the mouth, lips, or tongue
  • Itchy genitals
  • Muscle aches 
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Chlamydia Symptoms

Chlamydia is an STI caused by a bacteria. This STD is treatable and curable though it's hard to notice its symptoms. Due to unnoticeable symptoms, it's possible to spread the disease unknowingly.

Untreated Chlamydia can damage your reproductive system, so it's good to get treated at an early stage.

Chlamydia can commonly be spread through sex and sharing of sex toys with an infected person. Below are some of the symptoms of Chlamydia.

  • Pus in the urine
  • Increased urge to pee
  • Itching in the evagina 
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain during sex
  • Burning sensation when peeing 
  • Smelly yellow discharge 
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What are the Common Symptoms of STIs?

Each STI has a unique symptom that will help you understand the type of infection you have, however, there are common symptoms that you will find in almost every STD. These symptoms include:

  • Sores. These are pimples found on the genital areas  
  • Pain during sex
  • Itchy genital areas. This symptom is common in STDs, however, it can also be associated with other health problems such as yeast infection, scabies, allergy to latex condoms, and genital warts.
  • Pain while urinating. This symptom may be accompanied by blood in the urine

How to prevent STIs?

STIs are commonly spread through sexual intercourse. Below are some of the ways you can use to protect yourself from getting STIs.

  • Getting an STD test with your partner before sexual contact 
  • Using a Dental dam or condom during sex
  • Avoid having sex with someone with an active infection
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Getting a Hepatitis B and HPV vaccination

Treatments for STIs

Hepatitis B can be treated using antivirals. Antivirals help in fighting the virus and preventing further liver damage.HIV and Herpes can be treated using antivirals too though the disease cannot be cured.

Syphilis, Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are bacterial diseases that can be cured using a single dose of antibiotics.


What are the long-term health problems caused by untreated Gonorrhoea?

Some of the long-term problems caused by untreated gonorrhea include Infertility, the disease spreading to other reproductive organs, prostrate pain in men, swollen urethra, painful joints, and blindness/eye problems in infants birthed by an infected mother.

What happens if I get gonorrhea during pregnancy?

You may give birth to a low birth weight baby or blind child.

Can I have sex after getting gonorrhea treatment?

You will need to wait until your symptoms are gone before resuming sex with your partner.