Teenage Health

 

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STI's)

What are they?

STI's, sexually transmitted diseases, STD's are diseases passed on through bodily fluids like saliva, blood and sexual fluids (e.g. sperm). We get and STI by having sex (influding oral sex) with someone who is infected.  All are unpleasant and can cause lasting damage but most are treatable and preventable.

How do I make sure I do not get an STI?

Use a condom every time you have sex.  This is the best protection we have.  Condoms are little latex life savers!

How will I know if I have caught an STI?

You may not know you have an STI and this means that you or your partner might be infected also and know nothing about it.  The best way to be sure is to come and see the doctor or nurse or visit your local sexual health clinic to rule out any infections.  Sometimes it is necessary to take a swab or blood test or urine.

Common symptoms

Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea

  • Unusual discharge from the genitals (penis or vagina)
  • Pain on weeing
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • 80% of women who have Chlamydia have no symptoms at all

Genital Warts

  • Flat or cauliflower like bumps around the genitals

Genital Herpes

  • Painful blisters or ulcers on the mouth or genitals.  Flu like symptoms like headache or swollen glands

Syphilis

  • Ulcers (which are often painless) on the genitals
  • Rashes and Flu like symptoms

Pubic Lice

  • Itching around the genitals
  • Black powder on underwear
  • White specks in pubic hair

What if I think I might have one?

Make an appointment to see your doctor or nurse or go to the local sexual health clinic.  Don't be embarrassed!  The professionals are used to dealing with people and screening them for STI's.  Any shape, size or sexuality.  No one will judge you.

Chlamydia

http://www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/

 

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