Sexually transmitted infections

Symptoms & Treatment of Common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Diseases (STDs)

Below is a list of the most common SDIs/STDs and typical symptoms of each. It is very important to remember that many of the symptoms listed below are also common signs of other health issues, such as a urinary tract infection. If you have any of the symptoms below, its best to consult your SmartClinics GP before assuming you have one of these sexually transmitted infections. CLICK HERE if you want to learn more about what will happen at your GP appointment.


Common Symptoms:

  • pain and burning while urinating
  • pain during sex
  • lower abdominal pain
  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • bleeding between periods
  • pus or abnormal discharge from the penis
  • swollen or tender testicles
  • pain, discharge and/or bleeding from the anus
  • sometimes the symptoms are so mild that you won’t notice them, or you might mistake them for symptoms of something else
  • symptoms may take several weeks to show up

Important Notes:

  • most of the time people will not know that they have chlamydia, which is why it is so common. This is why tests for sexually transmitted infections is so important even if you feel healthy
  • Chlamydia can lead to permanent infertility in women if left untreated


Genital Herpes

Common Symptoms:

  • flu-like symptoms
  • small blisters around the genitals, anus, inner thigh, and mouth
  • small cracks in the skin
  • redness or rash
  • painful urination due to urine touching the blisters near the genitals
  • you may not experience any symptoms at all or they may be so mild that you do not notice them.

Important Notes:

  • even if the symptoms of Herpes go away, it does not mean that the infection has left your body so you still may infect other people
  • do not have sex while sores or blisters are present


  • Genital herpes can be treated but not cured. Your Doctor will help you manage outbreaks and reduce the severity of the infection. You may continue to be sexually active without infecting others but only with correct management of the condition.
  • Book an appointment with your local SmartClinics Doctor for tests or treatment.



  • pain or burning when urinating
  • abnormal discharge from vagina that may be yellowish or bloody
  • bleeding between periods
  • yellow, white, or green discharge from penis
  • pain or swelling in testicles
  • itching in or around anus
  • discharge from anus

Important Note:

  • untreated Gonorrhoea can cause infertility in women



The symptoms of syphilis can be difficult to notice and may come and go over time. Often the signs and symptoms will also depend on the stage of the disease. It is most infectious in the first two stages.

Primary stage occurs 10-90 days after infection. Symptoms may include:

  • The first sign is a painless sore at the sight where the infection entered the body such as the vagina, cervix, mouth, or anus
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Secondary stage usually occurs 7-10 weeks after initial infection. People are very infectious at this point. Symptoms include

  • a red rash
  • fever
  • enlarged glands in the armpits and groin
  • sore throat
  • hair loss
  • weight loss
  • headaches
  • tiredness
  • ulcers in the mouth, nasal cavities, or genitals

Important Notes:

  • The next stage is called the Latent (or hidden stage) where symptoms disappear however it then leads to the tertiary stage of syphilis that can be life threatening.


  • Primary and secondary stages can be easily treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, the damage caused by late syphilis cannot be reversed.
  • Book an appointment with your local SmartClinics Doctor for tests or treatment.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B (Hep B) is the most common liver infection in the world. The symptoms of Hepatitis B depend on whether the person has acute or chronic Hepatitis B infection. Many people with acute hepatitis (during first 6 months after infection) do not experience symptoms but if you do they can include:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • tiredness
  • abdominal pain
  • muscle and joint pain
  • jaundice (yellowish eyes and skin, dark coloured urine, and pale coloured faeces)

Important Note:

  • Chronic hepatitis can be fatal.


  • Hep B can be treated but not cured. The course of treatment depends on the severity of liver damage. the most common course of treatment is anti-viral tablets taken daily for a year or more. Your Doctor will be able to recommend the treatment options for you.
  • Book an appointment with your local SmartClinics Doctor for tests or treatment.


Symptoms of becoming HIV Positive:

  • during weeks 2-4 after being infected, you may feel feverish, achy, and sick
  • these symptoms can then disappear, and the person looks and feels totally healthy, which is why it is important to get tested if you have had unprotected sex


  • a HIV positive person who is on treatment can live a long and healthy life. They can also continue to have sex with no risk of passing on the disease if they are on adequate treatment.
  • Book an appointment with your local SmartClinics Doctor for tests or treatment.