What are female STI symptoms?

What are female STI symptoms? - welzo


According to statistics, there are approximately 300 thousand new STD infections annually in the UK.

And while STDs are often thought of as a problem that mostly affects men, that’s not the case. In fact, women are just as susceptible to STDs as men are—if not more so. What’s more, some STDs can have serious consequences for women.

For example, undiagnosed chlamydia and gonorrhoea infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause infertility and chronic pelvic pain. And while there are treatments available for PID, it’s often irreversible.

So, it’s important for women to be aware of the most common STDs and their symptoms—so they can seek treatment as soon as possible if necessary.

Why are females more susceptible to STIs?

There are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • Anatomical differences - The female anatomy makes it easier for STIs to go undetected because symptoms may be internal rather than external.
  • Hormonal changes - Certain hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy, can make women more susceptible to STIs.
  • Immune system changes - Some research suggests that a woman's immune system is weaker during certain points in her menstrual cycle, which could make her more susceptible to STIs.

Because of these anatomical, hormonal, and immune system differences, it's important for women to be extra vigilant when it comes to detecting STI symptoms.

Different types of STIs

It's important for women to be aware of the different types of STIs that are out there and how to protect themselves.

Here are five of the most common STIs that women should be aware of:


Human papillomavirus is a virus that can lead to cervical cancer. It is transmitted through sexual contact. There are many different strains of HPV, and some strains can cause genital warts. HPV is very common; most sexually active women will get it at some point in their lives. The best way to protect yourself from HPV is to get the HPV vaccine.


Herpes is a virus that is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. It can cause genital sores and blisters. Herpes is incurable, but it can be managed with medication.


Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is transmitted through sexual contact. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility. Chlamydia is curable with antibiotics.


Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is transmitted through sexual contact. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility. Gonorrhea is curable with antibiotics.


Trichomoniasis is a parasite that is transmitted through sexual contact. It can cause vaginitis, leading to inflammation and itching around the vulva. Trichomoniasis is curable with antibiotics.

Symptoms of STIs

Here are five STI symptoms in women you shouldn't ignore:

Abnormal vaginal discharge

One of the most common symptoms of an STI is abnormal vaginal discharge. This can take the form of vaginal discharge that is watery, bloody, or pus-like in appearance. It can also be accompanied by itching, burning, or redness around the vagina. If you notice any changes in your vaginal discharge, you must see a doctor immediately.

Burning during urination

If you experience burning or pain during urination, it could be a sign of an STI called chlamydia. Chlamydia is caused by bacteria and is one of the most common STIs among young women.

In fact, according to the CDC, chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial STI in the United States. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to infertility.

Lower abdominal pain

Lower abdominal pain is another common symptom of chlamydia in women. In some cases, this pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily activities such as going to work or school.

Other possible causes of lower abdominal pain include appendicitis and ovarian cysts, so it's important to see a doctor if you experience this symptom so they can rule out other potential causes.

Painful intercourse

Painful intercourse is another symptom of chlamydia infection in women. In some cases, the pain may only occur during penetration; in others, it may be felt throughout the entire sexual encounter.

If you experience painful intercourse, it's important to see a doctor so they can test for chlamydia and other STIs.

'Crawling' sensation

Lastly, the' crawling' sensation around your vulva or vagina is another common symptom of an STI called pubic lice (or crabs).

Pubic lice are tiny insects that attach themselves to hair follicles on the skin and feed on blood. They're usually spread through close contact with an infected person or through sharing contaminated bedding or clothing items such as towels or hats.

"If you notice any 'crawling' sensations around your vulva or vagina—or if you see small insects on your skin—it's important to seek medical attention right away so you can be treated for pubic lice.


There are a lot of myths out there about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For example, some people think you can only get STIs from unprotected vaginal or anal sex.

However, STIs can also be transmitted through oral sex and even just skin-to-skin contact in some cases. Another myth is that STIs are no big deal – after all, they’re just “sexually transmitted diseases”, right?

In reality, a sexually transmitted infection can have serious consequences. Some STIs, like genital warts and genital herpes, can cause lifelong health problems.

Others, like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the bacteria that cause syphilis, can be deadly. If you think you might have an STI, getting tested as soon as possible is important.

Many STIs do not have symptoms, so you might not even know you have one until it’s too late. If you do have symptoms, they might include flu-like symptoms, genital irritation or discharge, STD symptoms, or bumps on the genitals.

If you think you might have an STI, you should visit a sexual health clinic or your doctor.

They will be able to test you for STIs and provide treatment if necessary. Remember – there’s no shame in getting tested, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your sexual health!

Read more about STIs at Welzo. 

Learn how a home STI test works, or read about the signs and symptoms of a problem in your genitals.
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