STD Symptoms By Elizabeth Boskey, PhD | Reviewed by a board-certified physician Updated July 21, 2016 Print Sexually transmitted diseases have a diverse list of causes. As such, STDs also have a very varied set of symptoms. This is only further complicated by the fact that so many of the diseases start out having no symptoms at all. That's why STDs are often spoken of as a hidden epidemic. Some of the most serious infections show no signs until they've caused significant damage.Before reviewing the signs and symptoms of some common STDs, it's important to remember that the only person who can diagnose you with an STD is a health care professional. If you think you may have an STD, it is important to go see a doctor. That's true whether you currently have STD symptoms or not. It's also a good idea to get checked out if you know you are at risk of having an STD.If you don't have symptoms, it doesn't mean you don't have an STD. However, there are some symptoms which are most often associated with STD infections. These symptoms can be caused by other conditions. List Sorely Confused: Differences Between Cold Sores, Canker Sores, and Chancres Article When Should I Be Worried About Vaginal Discharge? Still, if you have them, you may want to get tested. Common STD SymptomsWarning: Photos Contained in Links Below May Offend Some ViewersNote: The first time a disease is listed, the name is linked to an overview of that disease. The "Symptoms FAQ" next to the name is a list of all symptoms associated with that disease. Discharge (vaginal or urethral)Vaginal discharge is defined as unusual liquids or solids coming out of the vagina. It is not the same as normal vaginal lubrication. All women have some discharge. It's only when abnormal/unusual discharge is present that it may signal an STD. Urethral discharge is pus or other fluids coming out of the penis. STDs that cause discharge include: Chlamydia - Symptoms FAQGonorrhea - Symptoms FAQNon-Gonococcal Urethritis - Symptoms FAQTrichomoniasis - Symptoms FAQBacterial Vaginosis - Symptoms FAQLymphogranuloma Venereum - Symptoms FAQ Itching STD-associated itching is usually around the genitals. The area around the butt may also itch because of an STD. STDs that cause itching include:Chlamydia Trichomoniasis Bacterial Vaginosis Pubic Lice - Symptoms FAQScabies - Symptoms FAQHerpes - Symptoms FAQLymphogranuloma Venereum Molluscum Contagiosum - Symptoms FAQMycoplasma Genitalium - Symptoms FAQPainful IntercoursePain during sex may be a sign of an STD. It may also be a sign of certain non-infectious conditions. New or unusual pain during sex should always be discussed with a doctor. STDs with the symptom of causing pain during sex include:Chlamydia Trichomoniasis Chancroid - Symptoms FAQHerpes Mycoplasma Genitalium Painful UrinationIf it hurts when you pee, you may have an infection. Sometimes it's a urinary tract infection. Other times, it's an STD, such as:ChlamydiaGonorrhea Non-Gonococcal Urethritis Trichomoniasis Bacterial Vaginosis Mycoplasma Genitalium Chancroid Herpes Lumps, Bumps, Sores, & Ulcers If you see any changes to your genitals, it's a good idea to get them checked out. Not all lumps and sores are infectious, but many are. Some STDs that cause genital ulcers and other bumps or sores are:Syphilis - Symptoms FAQChancroidHerpes Lymphogranuloma Venereum Molluscum Contagiosum Article What Are The Symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium? Article A Look at the Signs and Symptoms of Genital Herpes RashesRashes are a relatively uncommon STD symptom. They can, however, be caused by:Syphilis HIV - Symptoms FAQ (associated with kaposi’s sarcoma)ScabiesOdorChanging vaginal odor is often a sign that you may have acquired a vaginal infection. Some infections that cause the vagina to smell unpleasant are:TrichomoniasisBacterial Vaginosis Warts:HPV - Symptoms FAQPain (vaginal, anal, lower abdominal, throat)As with other infections, some STDs can be painful. Where they hurt, depends on the site that has been infected. STDs that are sometimes associated with skin or other pain include:Chlamydia Gonorrhea Trichomoniasis ChancroidHerpesLymphogranuloma Venereum Mycoplasma GenitaliumVisible Infestation/Parasites:Pubic Lice ScabiesNo Symptoms/Other SymptomsDon't forget. The vast majority of STDs have no symptoms at all. The only way to be certain if you have an STD is to get tested. Assuming that because you have no symptoms you have no STDs is a bad idea. STDs that are commonly asymptomatic include:ChlamydiaGonorrhea Non-Gonococcal Urethritis Lymphogranuloma Venereum Mycoplasma Genitalium Syphilis Trichomoniasis HIV Herpes Hepatitis B - Symptoms FAQ Hepatitis C A Word From VerywellWhile you may know the importance of getting tested, you may not feel comfortable talking to your doctor. It's true that some doctors refuse to test for STDs. However, this is not the case with all doctors; talk to your own. Otherwise, you might just need to do a little self-advocating to get your needs met around testing and sexual health. If, for one reason or another, you don't feel comfortable doing that with your PCP, STD clinics are also always a good option. Sources:Hazel A, Marino S, Simon C. An anthropologically based model of the impact of asymptomatic cases on the spread of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. J R Soc Interface. 2015 May 6;12(106). pii: 20150067. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0067.Satterwhite CL, Torrone E, Meites E, Dunne EF, Mahajan R, Ocfemia MC, Su J, Xu F, Weinstock H. Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008. Sex Transm Dis. 2013 Mar;40(3):187-93. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318286bb53.Workowski KA, Bolan GA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment Guidelines, 2015.. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2015 Jun 5;64(RR-03):1-137 Article Why Does My Vagina Smell Funny? Article Are Urinary Tract Infections Ruining Your Sex Life?