7 Common STI Signs That Doesn’t Always Mean You Have An STD

7 Common STI Signs That Doesn’t Always Mean You Have An STD

When your body is doing some­thing unusu­al, it may be cause for alarm. Accord­ing to doc­tors though, not all signs of an STI (sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted infec­tion) is actu­al­ly an STD. For exam­ple, a cot­tage-cheese-like dis­charge may be wor­ry­ing to women who recent­ly had unpro­tect­ed sex. How­ev­er, this symp­tom is also indica­tive of a yeast infec­tion, not just an STI.

The only way to know if you have a sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted dis­ease is to actu­al­ly get test­ed for it. There are about 20 mil­lion new STI cas­es each year, which means you shouldn’t be ashamed when you get one. Just know that they can be pre­vent­ed if you prac­tice safe sex.

Now, what are some of the clas­sic signs of an STI that could also be from some­thing else altogether?


Gen­i­tal itch­ing is often wor­ri­some, as it’s a sign of tri­chomo­ni­a­sis, chlamy­dia, HPV and gon­or­rhea. How­ev­er, experts say itch­ing may also be a sign of der­mati­tis, which can be caused by using cer­tain soaps, mate­ri­als and pads. Bac­te­r­i­al vagi­nosis can also cause itch­ing down there. If you’re not sure and have had unpro­tect­ed sex recent­ly, it’s always a good idea to get checked out.

Gen­i­tal Bumps or Scales

Most peo­ple, when they feel bumps in the gen­i­tal region, auto­mat­i­cal­ly think they are infect­ed with the her­pes virus. How­ev­er, bumps in the gen­i­tal region may actu­al­ly be from a hair fol­li­cle, caus­ing inflam­ma­tion and infec­tion. It’s known as fol­li­culi­tis, which is sim­i­lar to pim­ples in nature. They often occur after a per­son has shaved and sweat and fric­tion from cloth­ing can cause bumps to appear.

Fol­li­culi­tis shows up in a line or patch­es along the vul­va. They are gen­er­al­ly round, smooth bumps about two mil­lime­ters in size. Using lubri­cants and new con­doms can also lead to con­tact der­mati­tis in the region, caus­ing these bumps to appear.

Since it’s not gen­i­tal warts, they tend to clear up on their own.

Lip Bumps

Anoth­er com­mon her­pes-like con­di­tion is called Fordyce spots, small yel­low bumps found on the gen­i­tals and around the lips. They are the result of the body’s oil-pro­duc­ing glands that main­tain mois­ture in the area. They also require no treatment.

Unusu­al Bleed­ing Or Spot­ting After Sex

When women have unusu­al bleed­ing after the sex act, it can be quite scary. After all, this sign is tied to both chlamy­dia and gon­or­rhea. How­ev­er, it’s also tied to oth­er things such as uter­ine fibroids, ovar­i­an cysts and so much more. If it hap­pens reg­u­lar­ly or you have pain along with it, you need to see your doc­tor right away.

Odd-Smelling Vagi­nal Discharge

Vagi­nal dis­charge is often mis­tak­en for a sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted dis­ease symp­tom, but it’s a very com­mon occur­rence. It’s actu­al­ly the body’s way to keep the vagi­na moist and clean. The thick­ness that occurs will vary because of the hor­mone fluc­tu­a­tions tak­ing place. The dis­charge can look white or clear in col­or and be even a lit­tle watery, and noth­ing to be too con­cerned with.

How­ev­er, if the col­or or con­sis­ten­cy changes or you’re also expe­ri­enc­ing itch­i­ness along with it, you need to see your doc­tor to rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an STD.

Odd Smelling Pee

Many uri­nary tract infec­tion symp­toms are also signs for an STI such as the fre­quent need to pee, blood in urine, odd smell and pain while pee­ing. In most cas­es, these symp­toms are due to a blad­der infec­tion and not an STI.

Pain Dur­ing Intercourse

Bac­te­r­i­al vagi­nosis has many STI-like symp­toms such as painful inter­course, itch­ing and vagi­nal dis­charge. How­ev­er, pain dur­ing inter­course is also pos­si­ble when the vagina’s bac­te­ria not in balance.

Still, if you notice any one of these symp­toms, you should still be seen by your doc­tor. While in most cas­es, it won’t be a sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted infec­tion. If you have had unpro­tect­ed sex recent­ly with some­one new or sus­pect your part­ner has cheat­ed on you, bet­ter safe than sor­ry. Get test­ed to ensure you don’t need an STD treatment.

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