Signs, Symptoms, and Complications of STIs

The signs and symptoms listed below are a good indication that an STI is present. However, some common STIs (i.e., Chlamydia and gonorrhea) can show no symptoms. This is why Opt clinics offer testing to all our clients for Chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Because you may not show symptoms, you can have a STI for a long time without knowing it. Untreated STIs can lead to more serious health complications.

It is important to get to know your own body, and to know what is normal and healthy for you. When something seems different, get it checked out. Keep in mind that your body won't always show signs and symptoms, and that's why we recommend regular STI testing for anyone who is sexually active whether or not they have any symptoms.

The lists below describe some of the general symptoms that might accompany and STI.

Signs and symptoms

  • Sores or blisters on the genitals on or around the anus, or mouth
  • Irregular growths (warts) in genital area
  • Vaginal or penile discharge (may be unusual-smelling or discoloured)
  • Genital itching
  • Pain with urination or having a bowel movement
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting after sexual intercourse
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pain or swelling of glands in groin area
  • Rash

Possible complications related to STIs

  • Discomfort in the genital area
  • Infertility
  • Complications related to pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy or transmission of infection to a fetus
  • Reproductive system cancers
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Enhanced transmission of HIV
  • Epididymitis

 

 

 

All information on this page has been reviewed by Options for Sexual Health's Director of Clinical Services, Danielle Chard RN, BSN.