Safer Sex Guide

Bacterial STI basics

Chlamydia often has no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they usually take two to three weeks to appear, but they can also take up to six weeks. Symptoms include
unusual discharge from the vagina, urethra (pee hole) or anus and painful urination (a burning feeling when you pee). Chlamydia can also infect the throat, causing it to be sore. It can be effectively treated and cured with a short course of antibiotics. Undiagnosed or untreated chlamydia can damage the reproductive organs.

Gonorrhea often has no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they often appear two to seven days after infection and can include discharge from the vagina, urethra or anus and painful urination. Gonorrhea can also infect the throat, causing it to be sore. It can be effectively treated and cured with antibiotics but some strains of gonorrhea have become resistant to some antibiotics. Undiagnosed or untreated gonorrhea can damage the reproductive organs.

Syphilis involves several stages but often has no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can take anywhere from three to 90 days to appear. In the first stage, one or more painless sores may develop on the genitals, anus or mouth. The sores and flids in them are very infectious. In the second stage of infection, some people may get a rash. Syphilis can be effectively treated and cured with antibiotics. Undiagnosed or untreated syphilis can cause damage to the brain, heart and other organs in the long term.