STD Facts: Summary - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Sexually Transmitted Disease Facts: STD Summary

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Signs and Symptoms
Testing and Treatment
For More Information

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STD Facts: STD Summary

Signs and Symptoms

See a Doctor or Clinic if These Symptoms are Present

For Women:
  • Unusual discharge or smell from the vagina
  • Burning or itching around the vagina
  • Bleeding from vagina not associated with period
  • Pelvic pain during sexual intercourse
  • Persistent, unexplained pain in pelvic area

For Men:

  • Pus or other discharge from penis

For Both Women and Men:

  • Sores, bumps or blisters on or near the genitals, mouth or anus
  • Burning and pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Swelling in the groin (the area around your genitals)


  • Many STDs have no signs and symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms go away but the STD is still present.
  • Some people believe that if a blood sample is taken during a visit to the doctor that they are checking for STDs. This may not be true.
  • People should talk to their doctors about being tested for STDs if they are at risk.
  • Testing for STDs may not be done during routine gynecological exams for women.


Most STDs are Spread by:

  • Vaginal sex
  • Oral sex
  • Anal sex
  • Infected mother to newborn


If left untreated, some STDs can:

  • Spread to sex partners or needle-sharing partners
  • Be serious and painful
  • Cause permanent damage to reproductive organs
  • Lead to infertility in men and women
  • Infect newborns, and may lead to serious complications and even death of infants
  • Cause heart disease, blindness, arthritis, brain damage or death


  • Avoiding vaginal, oral or anal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing transmission of HIV and most STDs.
  • Always use latex condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
  • Use a latex condom for oral sex on a penis.
  • Use a latex barrier (dental dam or condom cut in half) for oral sex on a vagina or anus.
  • Notify sex partners immediately if you have an STD.
  • Make sure partners are tested and treated at same time to prevent re-infection.

Testing and Treatment

  • Get a test from a medical provider if infection is suspected.
  • Some STDs can be cured using medication prescribed by a medical provider.
  • Don’t use home remedies.

For more information, contact:

STD, HIV and TB Section
Minnesota Department of Health
(651) 201-5414

Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline Attention: Non-MDH link
1-800-783-2287 Voice/TTY; (651) 645-9360 (Metro)

American Social Health Association (ASHA)
Attention: Non-MDH link

CDC National STD and AIDS Hotlines
Attention: Non-MDH link

1-800-CDC-INFO; 1-888-232-6348 TTY

Content Notice: This site contains HIV or STD prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV and other STDs are spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this web site.

Updated Friday, June 06, 2014 at 03:31PM