In women, warning signs of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can be hard to notice. That’s because the sex organs outside the body (the genitals) aren’t easy to see. STDs also often affect the organs inside the body that let you get pregnant. Damage to these organs can sometimes cause sterility — meaning you won’t be able to have kids. So learn about your body. Find out what’s normal for you. And be sure to have any changes or symptoms checked out.
For women, symptoms of an STD can be inside or outside the body (or both). Common symptoms may include:
Discharge (fluid) from the vagina or rectum (some vaginal discharge is normal, but discharge caused by STDs may be heavy and have a strong odor)
Burning or pain during urination
Sores or blisters in or around the mouth, vagina, labia, or rectum
Sore throat (from oral sex)
Pain in or around the anus (from anal sex)
Lumps or bumps on the genitals
Itching on or around the genitals
Pain in the lower belly or rectum
Scale-like rash under your feet and on the palms of your hands
Enlarged glands, aching body, and fever
Keep in mind: You may not have any symptoms. So get checked if you’re at risk of STDs.