STI Symptoms and Treatments Chart

The following chart contains common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their symptoms for both males and females. Common treatments for the infections are also noted. For more information on each type of infection, click on the name of the STI and a more detailed article specific to that infection will appear. If you believe that you have contracted an STI, see a doctor immediately, no matter how severe the symptoms or treatment seem. Many STI’s share similar symptoms; therefore, it is important to seek the help of a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

*Disclaimer: In most cases, STIs have no symptoms. If you do not have any of the following symptoms, that does not mean you might not have any of the following STIs. The information below should not serve as a substitute for that of a doctor. If you at all believe you may have contacted an STI, whether you have symptoms or not, consult a medical professional. 

If you believe you may have contacted an STI, refer to the following chart for common symptoms of these STIs.

  STI

Symptoms in Females

Symptoms in Males

Treatment 

(always see a doctor)

Chancroid

Chancre-like ulcers in the genital region, usually appear on the outer vaginal lips 1-2 weeks after exposure. 1Ulcers are sensitive to touch, and may bleed if irritated.

Chancre-like ulcers on the foreskinshaft or head of the penis, or on the scrotum 1-2 weeks after exposure. More common in males. 1

Simple with generic, single doses of antibiotics. 1

Chlamydia

Inflammation of the urethra or cervix, resulting in slight vaginal discharge and/or a burning sensation during urination. Further infection may result in PID.

A burning sensation during urination, penile discharge (NGU), and epididymitis; heavy sensation in the testiclesscrotalinflammation, and/or small hard swelling at the bottom of the testicle.

Depending on the medicine, either a single or repeated dose of oral medication. Usually uncomplicated. 1

Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus)

Cauliflower-like warts on the vulvavaginal walls, or cervix. High risk HPV that can cause cancer. Often has no symptoms until more serious medical conditions arise. 

Cauliflower-like warts around the head or shaft of the penis, or the scrotum. High risk HPV that can cause cancer. Often has no symptoms until more serious medical conditions arise. 2

As the most common STI worldwide, a vaccine does exist. 1 The vaccine also protects against various cancers caused by HPV.2 There is no cure for HPV, but most cases go away on their own. Severe cases can lead to cancers. 2

Gonorrhea

Discharge from the cervix that is yellow-green in color, and irritates the vulva; burning during urination from urethral infection; vaginal bleeding between periods; if untreated the infection may result in PID. Rectal infections have symptoms of: discharge, anal itching, soreness, bleeding, painful bowel movements. 5

Inflammation of the urethra (gonococcal urethritis) resulting in thick white or yellow-green discharge; burning sensations during urination; painful or swollen testicles. Some men have no symptoms at all.5 Rectal infections have symptoms of: discharge, anal itching, soreness, bleeding, painful bowel movements. 5

The CDC recommends dual therapy with 2 drugs for treatment. This antimicrobial therapy is usually very effective; antimicrobial resistance is of concern. 4

Hepatitis

Fever, fatigue, jaundice (yellowish skin or whites of the eyes), vomiting, or liver tenderness.

Fever, fatigue, jaundice (yellowish skin or whites of the eyes), vomiting, or liver tenderness.

See article on Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E for more info on specific treatments. 

Herpes (HSV-1 & HSV-2)

Often a-symptomatic; periodic outbreaks of small blisters, usually on vaginal lips, that last from 7-14 days; also, fever, painful urination, and headaches. Often more severe in women. 1

Often a-symptomatic; periodic outbreaks of small blisters, usually on the penis, that last from 7-14 days; also, fever, painful urination, and headaches.1

There is no cure for herpes; treatment usually involves an oral medication; some cases will require a topical medicine. 6

HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

Swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases such as HerpesHPVcervical cancer, or PID.

Swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases such as HerpesHPV, or Kaposi’s sarcoma (a type of skin cancer).

No current cure for HIV/AIDS; drugs do exist to help with prevention (PreP) and if you think you may have been infected (PeP). Additional drugs known as ARTs (Antiretroviral Therapies) often grant longer survival for patients. 1

Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)

Does not occur in females.

One of the most commonly seen STI’s in men; thin discharge from the penis; itching burning sensations during urination.7Often a-symptomatic or minimally symptomatic.

Difficult to achieve an accurate diagnosis; often treated with drugs typically used for both chlamydia and gonorrhea.7

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID

Chronic pelvic pain, nausea, fever, disruption of menstrual periods, vomiting, headaches. Can cause permanent damage to the reproductive system if untreated. 8 Often a side-effect of other STIs. 

Does not occur in males.

Early diagnosed PID can be treated with antibiotics, but any damage already done to the reproductive system before diagnosis cannot be undone. 8

Pubic Lice

Itching in affected regions, visible lice, or eggs.

Itching in affected regions, visible lice, or eggs.

Over the counter topical lotions are available to treat pubic lice; additional prescription medications exist.10

Scabies

Small bumps and rash at infestation site, intense itching.

Small bumps and rash at infestation site, intense itching.

Usually, various topical agents are used; oral medications can also be taken.1

Syphilis

Painless chancre on the cervixvulva, or vaginal walls during initial phase. Later phases include a body rash, hair loss, and heart and brain damage.

Painless chancre on the penis or scrotumduring initial phase. Later phases include a body rash, hair loss, and heart and brain damage.

Penicillin is the most common drug used for treatment; other antibiotic medication alternatives are also available.1

Vaginitis

Thick, white vaginal discharge, unpleasant smell, irritation of vaginal tissue, frequent painful urination, backache.

Does not occur in males.

There are a variety of treatments ranging from oral medications to gels. 9

 

For information on clinics to get tested for STIs in your area, follow this link. More information on STI testing can be found here.

Other resources for learning about STIs besides our website:

CDC

Planned Parenthood

Mayo Clinic

References

  1. "Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm. Accessed 16 May 2019.
  2. "Gonorrhea - CDC Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm. Accessed 16 May 2019.
  3. "Gonorrhea Treatment and Care." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Dec. 2016, www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/treatment.htm. Accessed 15 May 2019.
  4. "HPV Vaccines: Vaccinating Your Preteen or Teen." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/vaccine.html.
  5. "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - CDC Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/std/pid/stdfact-pid.htm. Accessed 16 May 2019.
  6. Singh, Sunit K., editor. Diagnostics to Pathogenomics of Sexually Transmitted Infections. PDF ed., Wiley Blackwell, 2019.
  7. "Treatment."Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/pubic/treatment.html. Accessed 16 May 2019.
  8. Tsai, Chia-Chun, and Ching-Chia Li. "Nonchlamydial Nongonococcal Urethritis in Men." Urological Science, 15 Aug. 2013, pp. 73-77. Science Direct, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1879522613000675?via%3Dihub. Accessed 16 May 2019.
  9. "Vaginitis."Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc.... Accessed 16 May 2019.
  10. "What Are the Symptoms of HPV?" Planned Parenthoodwww.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/hpv/what-are-symptoms-hpv.
  11. Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels 

Last Updated: 2 June 2019

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