Safer Sex

Safe sex is important in protecting ourselves and our partners. Safe sex reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancies and reduces the spread of Sexually Transmittable Infections or diseases.

Many people with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) don't get symptoms, so if you have engaged in unprotected sex, it is advisable to get tested regularly even if you feel fine. If you think you have an STI, the earlier you're tested, the sooner treatment can be given if it's needed.

An STI can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact, You can get or pass on an STI whoever you're having sex with. Although many STIs can be cured with antibiotics. Some, such as HIV, have no cure, but can be treated to prevent them getting worse or reduce the risk of spreading to your partner.

You can't tell by looking at someone (including yourself) whether they've got an infection, so it's important to get a check-up if you've had unprotected sex or think you might be at risk.

Common Sexually transmitted infections:

Chlamydia

Genital Herpes

Genital Warts

Gonorrhoea

HIV

Syphilis

 

Symptoms

Many people don't notice symptoms when they have an STI, including most women with chlamydia. If it's left untreated, chlamydia can affect your ability to get pregnant.

Gonorrhoea can also affect fertility. Around 50% of women and 10% of men with gonorrhoea don't have symptoms.

Left untreated, STIs can affect your health. If you have any of the symptoms listed below, get tested.

In women and men common symptoms of STIs include:

  • Pain when you pass urine (pee)
  • Itching, burning or tingling around the genitals
  • Blisters, sores, spots or lumps around the genitals or anus
  • Black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear – this could be droppings or eggs from pubic lice

In Women specifically:

  • Yellow or green vaginal discharge/ discharge that smells
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex
  • Pain during sex
  • Lower abdominal pain

In Men specifically:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Irritation of the urethra (the tube urine comes out of)
  • These symptoms don't necessarily mean you have an STI, but it's worth seeing a doctor so you can find out what's causing the symptoms and get treatment.
  • For example, it's possible to get thrush without having sex, but it can cause STI-like symptoms, such as soreness, itching and discharge. Thrush is easily treated – find out more about treatment for thrush.

Where can I get tested for STIs?

You can get tested at:

  • A clinic or pharmacy that offers sexual health or genitourinary medicine services
  • AskNuma provides confidential from verified doctors

Have safer sex

Always use condoms to help protect yourself from catching or passing on an STI. Some facilities offer post exposure prophylaxis to reduce risk of contracting HIV if you believe you have been exposed to this.

For more information, AskNuma or speak to a Numa doctor.

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