10 Common STD Facts and Key Differences Between Men and Women

March 5, 2019

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infections (STIs) affect millions of men and women every year and lead to significant healthcare risks and complications if left untreated.

According to the CDC, the most common STDs in the United States include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Over 1.7 million people in the U.S reported a chlamydia infection in 2017 infection while 555,608 cases of gonorrhea and 30,644 cases of syphilis were also reported.

STDs can lead to many painful and even chronic symptoms if left untreated. The list of STD/STI symptoms includes sores and bumps on the infected region, pelvic pain, unusual discharge or bleeding from reproductive organs, swollen lymph nodes, and even some forms of cancer from human papillomavirus (HPV).

Most STDs are preventable if sexual partners practice caution and awareness before engaging in sexual activity. Many STDs are also treatable if they are detected early by blood tests or similar screenings.

However, many adults may not be aware of some gender-specific facts about STDs including key risk factors, prevention methods, and other critical information about STDs. Here are ten common and important STD facts between men and women that you may not be fully aware of:

The 10 main differences between men’s and women’s STD risks

couple consults over STD facts and tests


  1. Women are less likely than men to have symptoms for some the most common STDs including gonorrhea and chlamydia: Which means that women are more likely to need an STD test to detect an infection early. For both women and women, symptoms can appear and go away even though a disease or infection still remains.
  2. Women are more likely to confuse STD symptoms for something else than men are: This is because symptoms like discharge are more common in women than men. In addition, because STD symptoms are more apparent in men, women may be less likely to consider that an STD is present.
  3. Women’s STD symptoms are not as detectable as men’s symptoms in general: Women may have sores or genital ulcers inside their vaginal canal that aren’t as easy to see whereas men can visibly notice these symptoms on their penis.
  4. Women are more likely to visit their doctor or a medical professional than men are for STD reasons: Women usually use more time with their primary provider or a medical professional to ask about STDs than men. While STD testing is part of an annual checkup, it is important to ask about more frequent tests.
  5. Women’s sexual anatomy puts them at a higher risk of STD/STI infection than men: A woman’s vagina is more likely to allow bacteria and viruses to penetrate it, which likely contributes to increased STD risks among women.
  6. Untreated STDs can lead to serious implications for a woman’s future pregnancy plans: STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women which causes infertility and other types of pregnancy complications.
  7. STDs can be inherited by a woman’s child during pregnancy: STDs that are transmissible from a mother to her newborn include genital herpes, syphilis, and HIV/AIDs. Additionally, STDs in newborns can cause stillbirth, blindness, deafness, and brain damage.
  8. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women: HPV is not nearly as dangerous for men who may have the virus. Most men with HPV don’t develop serious chronic conditions that women do.
  9. Vaccinations can help protect women against HPV-related risks for cervical cancer: Most medical providers offer the HPV vaccination for women in order to protect them against the disease and cervical cancer risks.
  10. Prevention basics and abstinence are the best ways for both men and women to avoid STDs: For both men and women, the basic tools of STD prevention help both gender groups drastically decrease STD risk. These prevention strategies include using protection while having sex, getting routine screenings, and limiting the number of sexual partners they have. Ultimately, the most efficient way to prevent STDs is through abstinence and not partaking in sexual activity.

For your screening needs try any of our AFC Urgent Care Denver locations!

AFC Urgent Care Denver Speer exterior image

Women are disproportionately affected and impacted by STDs than men. But men can also experience a variety of healthcare risks without proper screening and treatment. Whenever you can’t wait for a doctor’s office or ER for testing services make sure you visit your nearest AFC Urgent Care Denver clinic!

All four of our locations provide convenient STD testing access for our patients at flexible hours and on weekends. All AFC Denver locations also provide testing services at affordable self-pay rates and accept most major insurance plans.

Your sexual health is an important part of your life and plays a role in maintaining peak overall. At AFC Urgent Care Denver, we’re here to provide you with private STD tests with same-day results when you visit.

We’re all over the greater Denver area: Our clinic locations include the Denver Speer neighborhood, Denver Highlands, Cherry Creek, and Denver Park Hill. If you need help finding urgent STD testing services use the portals below to find directions fast!

In addition, all AFC Urgent Care Denver locations offer an have an STD cash package of $299 for patients that need a variety of STDs but don't have insurance. Included in the package are visit with the doctor and below tests:

  • Gonorrhea/Chlamydia
  • HIV
  • RPR (Syphilis)
  • Hepatitis B Antigen
  • Hepatitis B Antibody
  • Hepatitis C

Call any of our locations today to get your STD tests completed ASAP!

AFC Urgent Care Denver Speer:303-733-4000

AFC Urgent Care Denver Highlands: 303-447-6000

AFC Urgent Care Denver Park Hill: 303-639-1000

AFC Urgent Care Cherry Creek: 303-692-8000

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