Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs):
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are generally acquired by sexual contact. The organisms that cause sexually transmitted infections may pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids. Some of these infections can also be transmitted non-sexually, such as from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth or through blood transfusions or shared needles.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have a wide range of signs and symptoms.That is why they may go unnoticed until complications occur or a partner is diagnosed. Signs and symptoms that might indicate an STI include sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area, painful or burning urination, discharge from the penis, vaginal discharge, unusual vaginal bleeding and sore, swollen lymph nodes particularly in the groin.
A brief overview of the different sexually transmitted infections:
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs in the UK and is easily passed on during sex. Most people don’t experience any symptoms so are unaware they are infected.
Genital warts are small fleshy growths, bumps or skin changes that appear on or around your genital or anal area. They're caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
Genital herpes is a common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is the same virus that causes cold sores.
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial STI easily passed on during sex. About 50% of women and 10% of men don’t experience any symptoms and are unaware they’re infected.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that in the early stages causes a painless but highly infectious sore on your genitals or around the mouth. The sore can last for up to six weeks before disappearing.
HIV is most commonly passed on through unprotected sex. It can also be transmitted by coming into contact with infected blood - for example, sharing needles to inject steroids or drugs.
Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is an STI caused by a tiny parasite. It can be easily passed on through sex and most people are unaware they are infected.
Pubic lice ('crabs') are easily passed to others through close genital contact. They're usually found in pubic hair but can live in underarm hair, body hair, beards and occasionally eyebrows or eyelashes.
Scabies is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin. It can be passed on through close body or sexual contact, or from infected clothing, bedding or towels.
DO NOT DELAY
If you are concerned about your sexual health you should visit an STI clinic or seek professional medical advice before beginning treatments or remedies or having sexual relationships.