The organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases may pass from person to person in blood, semen, vaginally or through other bodily fluids. Some infections can also be transmitted non-sexually, such as from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth, or through blood transfusions or shared needles.

It’s possible to contract sexually transmitted diseases from people who seem perfectly healthy — people who, in fact, aren’t even aware of being infected. Many STDs cause no symptoms in some people, which is one of the reasons experts prefer the term “sexually transmitted infections” to “sexually transmitted diseases.”

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have a range of signs and symptoms.

That’s why they may go unnoticed until complications occur or a partner is diagnosed. Signs and symptoms that might indicate an STI include:

Signs and symptoms may appear a few days to years after exposure, depending on the organism. They may resolve in a few weeks, even without treatment, but progression with later complications or recurrence sometimes occurs.


See a doctor immediately if:

Make an appointment with a doctor for STI counselling and, if appropriate, screening tests