um... that's not right!
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are usually passed on between people during sexual contact (although close contact may pass on some infections). Using condoms reduces the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection.
STIs can fall into one of the following categories:
- Bacterial infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis;
- Viral infections such as genital warts, herpes, hepatitis and HIV;
- Fungal infections such as thrush;
- Parasitic infections such as pubic lice and scabies.
Some people with a Sexually Transmitted Infection will develop symptoms:
In females, this may include abnormal vaginal discharge, abnormal bleeding pattern during the menstrual cycle, deep discomfort during sexual intercourse and genital lesions or ulcers.
In males, urethral discharge, pain when passing urine, genital lesions or ulcers, and occasional discomfort in the balls or testicles.
Others may have mild symptoms that disappear without treatment, but many will not have any symptoms at all.
So it is really important that if you are worried that you may have put yourself at risk of an infection, such as having sexual intercourse without a condom (vaginal, anal or oral), that you seek medical advice. Undiagnosed infections can lead to long-term complications such as reducing fertility in women and men later on. This means it will be harder to have children when the time is right.
STI dangers are very important and you should contact a healthcare professional immediately if you feel at risk.