Introduction to Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Sexually transmitted infections are very common.
- You don’t have to have lots of partners to catch one!
- Many infections have no symptoms and so the only way to be sure that you do not have an infection is to have some tests.
- Even if you have no symptoms, this does not mean that the infection is not causing damage to your health or to your fertility. For example, Chlamydia often does not cause symptoms, but can cause damage, which results in infertility many years later.
- Condoms do reduce the risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection if used properly, however some infections can be transmitted during close genital contact or by having oral sex.
You should be screened for sexually transmitted infections if you are a woman, are sexually active and have any of the following symptoms:
- A change in vaginal discharge,
- Pain or bleeding during sex,
- Bleeding between your periods,
- New, lower abdominal pain.
And if you are a man and sexually active and notice any of these symptoms:
- Pain in the testicles,
- Pain passing urine,
- Discharge from the penis.
And if you are either sex with:
- Lumps or blisters in the genital area.
You should also be tested for sexually transmitted infections if you have no symptoms or signs but have:
- Had sex with a partner who has been found to have a sexually transmitted infection.
- Have been contacted by the sexual health clinic and told that you may have been in contact with a sexually transmitted infection.
- Had unprotected sex with a new partner.
- Had unprotected sex in the past.
It is sensible to have a sexual health screen if you are planning a pregnancy and want to be sure that you don’t have any infections that you could transmit to your baby.
If you have any questions about sexually transmitted infections, or have noticed something related to your sexual health about which you are worried, please contact a health advisor at Ninewells for further advice on 01382 632 600.