19 April 2021


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are generally contracted through sexual contact. The organisms that cause the infection may pass from one person to another via blood, semen, vaginal fluid or other bodily fluids. Therefore, the infections can sometimes be transmitted non-sexually, such as through blood transfusion or from pregnant women to baby during pregnancy or birth.

Some common sexually transmitted infections are gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, genital warts and HIV. Symptoms of the infections vary widely. Here are five common symptoms of sexually transmitted infections you should never ignore.

Painful Urination

Painful urination is often described as the experience of urinating needles. Some people may only feel the pain during the end of urination, similar to a spasm, while others may constantly feel a spasming feeling like they still need to pee after emptying their bladder.

Those who experienced heavy pain and burning when urinating may have gonorrhoea or chlamydia. Ulcers associated with genital herpes can also cause painful urination.

The urine colour can also hint at some STIs, such as hepatitis. Other STIs can cause bloody urine or hematuria. If you experience painful urination, abnormal urine colour or urine with a strong odour, you should visit women’s clinic Singapore and opt for STIs screening services.

Abnormal Discharge

Your discharge typically signifies what is going on inside your reproductive system. Generally, normal vaginal discharge is clear or milky and may give off a subtle scent that is not foul-smelling or unpleasant. 

Abnormal discharge, that is, discharge with an unusual colour, smell or texture, might be a sign of bacterial infection or STIs. For instance, discharge with a fishy smell might be due to bacterial vaginosis, discharge accompanied by pelvic pain or bleeding could be a sign of gonorrhoea or chlamydia and discharge with sores or blisters might signify genital herpes.

Green, yellow or forty discharge might be a sign of Trichomoniasis. While this infection is treatable, when left untreated, it may increase the patient’s risk of developing HIV when exposed and is more likely to infect others when infected.

Nevertheless, you should not self-diagnose, be sure to go testing if you notice any abnormal discharge.

Bleeding in Between Periods

If you notice spot or bleeding in between periods, schedule an appointment with a gynaecologist to identify the source. The bleeding can also be caused by other non-STI conditions like endometriosis.


Certain STIs appear in the form of bumps, warts, rash or open sores. The constant need to itch at these bumps or rashes can make an STI unbearable. Open sores can also result in intense pain. These symptoms may lead to a severe diagnosis when not treated promptly.

For genital herpes, you will usually notice small blisters, red bumps or open sores around the genital or anal area. These bumps can cause itchiness and pain around the genital area as well as its surrounding. Genital herpes typically begins with itching or pain. After several days, red bumps may appear that can open or blister.

Rashes can lead to a more severe diagnosis, including HIV and syphilis. Red bumps filled with fluids can be related to HIV. On the other hand, rashes with large red sores spread all over the body may signify the presence of syphilis. If you notice any strange rashes and suspect you have come into contact with people with an STI, be sure to seek medical help as soon as possible.

Frequent Urination or Lower Abdominal Pain

Apart from painful urination, frequent and urgent trips to the toilet, along with pelvic pain or lower abdominal pressure, may also indicate STIs like chlamydia or gonorrhoea.

Seeking Help for STIs in Singapore

Gynaecology or women’s health clinic Singapore provides a comprehensive range of sexual health services, ranging from fertility consultation to Pap smear screening. Some clinics also offer anonymous HIV testing. You can schedule an appointment at any of these clinics. 

Some specialised clinics in Singapore that provide more support on STIs include the National Centre for Infectious Diseases and the Department of STI Control Clinic.

If you suspect you have an STI, you should see a doctor immediately. Early detection and treatment are critical to lower the risk of complications and prevent the infection from spreading to others.


Symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection differ widely. Common symptoms that you should not neglect include painful urination, abnormal vaginal discharge, bleeding in between periods, rashes or bumps and frequent urination with lower abdominal or pelvic pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to seek for medical attention as soon as possible for early treatment.