Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) — or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — are usually acquired by sexual connection. The organisms (bacteria, viruses or parasites) that make sexually transmitted diseases may move from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.
Sometimes those diseases can be transferred nonsexually, such as from mother to infant while pregnancy or delivery, or through blood transmissions or shared needles.
STDs don't ever cause signs. It's possible to contract sexually transmitted diseases from people who look perfectly healthy and may not yet know they have a disease.
Sores or bumps on the genitals or in some oral or rectal area
Painful or burning urination
Discharge from the penis
Individual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge
Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Pain while sex
Sensitive, swollen lymph nodes, especially in the groin but sometimes extra widespread
Lower abdominal pain
A rash over the trunk, hands or feet
When to consult a doctor
You are sexually active and may have occurred exposed to an STI
You have signs and symptoms from an STI
Get an appointment with a specialist Doctor
When you think to become sexually active or when you're 21 — whichever happens first