STI’s and when to be tested!
The truth about STI’s is that for many people they will never develop any symptoms. If you have had unprotected sex and feel you are at risk of an STI, the earlier you get tested, the sooner you will be able to be treated if need be.
An STI is passed through any form of sexual contact, this includes vaginal, anal and oral sex. STI’s can be passed in any sexual encounter whether between men and women or homosexuals encounters. It does not matter who you have sex with STI’s can still be passed. STI’s are usually easily treated with antibiotics, however, more serious STI’s like HIV is incurable but can be treated to prevent them so any symptoms do not get worse. There is no way of telling by looking at someone if they have an STI, so it’s important if you have unprotected sex to get checked as soon as possible.
Most people will not notice any symptoms when they contract an STI. Woman with chlamydia usually will have absolutely no symptoms, however, if left untreated can result in infertility issues.
Gonorrhoea is another disease which can affect a woman’s ability to conceive. Half of all woman with the disease and one in ten men do not show any signs of the infection at all.
Get tested if you have any of the below symptoms:
Both men and women
- Pain when you urinate
- Itching or burning around the genital area
- Spots or lumps on anus or genitals
- Black powder or white dots in underwear – this is a sign of pubic lice
- Yellow vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after sex or out of menstruation
- Discomfort or pain during intercourse
- Abdominal pain
- Irritable urethra
- Discharge from genitals
Left untreated an STI can have severe health ramification, so if you have any of the above symptoms it is advised to get checked. You can first seek online advice from a doctor if unsure. There are apps you can download and speak to GP’s powered by Babylon.
Note: The above symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have an STI, but it is worth getting checked so you can find out what is the cause of the symptoms. For example, thrush can cause some of the above STI symptoms but can occur without having sex.
Having Safer Sex
As important as it is to treat STI’s when a person is infected, it is even more important that we try to prevent them occurring in the first place. The first and most simple piece of advice we would give is to always wear a condom when having sex. This will help protect yourself from catching an STI. You should buy condoms with BSI or CE mark as this is an indicator they have been tested to the highest possible standards in the industry.
Where can I Get Tested?
- Most cities now have specific sexual health clinics
- Community contraception clinic
- GP surgery
- Some Pharmacies can test for chlamydia