STD Symptoms in Women
No one wants to get an STD. They can be painful, embarrassing, and, in some cases, permanent. STDs are particularly harmful to women too because some can impair a woman’s ability to have children or can be passed on to an unborn child. For these reasons and for their health in general, all women are encouraged to practice safe sex each and every time they engage in oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Each and every unprotected encounter poses a serious risk! Women should also be aware of the common STD symptoms in women and should monitor themselves for these symptoms in addition to getting tested regularly. However, it is important to understand that being on “symptom watch” is not a substitute for regular STD testing. Many STDs do not produce symptoms, so it’s possible to have a disease and to be spreading it to others even if you haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary with your body!
Talk to a Medical Professional
If you do happen to notice any symptoms or if you engage in unprotected sex, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. You have a lot of options at your disposal; most healthcare professionals are familiar with and capable of handling STD testing and treatment. You can speak with your regular general care physician or with your gynecologist. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about these matters with their regular doctors. If you do, you could visit Planned Parenthood or another clinic in your area. Many schools and workplaces also offer anonymous STD testing on a regular basis. Whatever healthcare professional you choose, the important thing is that you get tested for all of the major STDs, that you understand your risk, and that, after the testing, you receive treatment for and education on any STDs you may have contracted and information about how to fully prevent STDs in the future.
Unusual, Vaginal Pain
STD symptoms in women, as you might imagine, can vary from one woman to the next and from one STD to the next. However, one of the most telling signs, which can occur with many different STDs, is if you have unusual vaginal pain. This pain will often be most noticeable when urinating or when engaging in intercourse. Having pain during these activities is not necessarily proof that you have an STD: the pain could be related to a yeast infection, a urinary tract infection, or some other issue. However, pain definitely does represent a problem and should be dealt with promptly.
Perhaps one of the most disturbing indicators of STDs in women is the appearance of physical symptoms. Any physical signs of an STD are cause for immediate concern and should be looked at by a doctor. You should also avoid engaging in any sexual contact with others until you have had the problem looked at. Common physical manifestations of an STD include open sores or bumps on or near the genitals, genital warts, discharge from the genitals, and redness or swelling of the genitals.
Remember, all of these symptoms can be avoided by practicing safe sex!