offering care, compassion and practical support, when it's needed most

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s).

Sexually transmitted infectionsAny sexual contact could put you at risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection. Using a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, will help to reduce this risk however only if used correctly.

Common Signs & Symptoms of STI’s include –

  • Unusual discharge or liquid from the vagina or penis
  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • Itches, rashes, lumps or blisters around the genitals or anus
  • Pain and/or bleeding during sex
  • Bleeding after sex and/or between periods

It is important to note that some infections have few or no symptoms and therefore it is best to have a routine check up periodically to ensure no infections are present.

We offer a free Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea screening service at the Centre if required.

Most infections can be completely cured if found early enough and may only require a course of antibiotics but, if left untreated, some of these infections can become very painful and at worst cause permanent damage to your health and fertility.

For more information:

Gonorrhoea
Symptoms - discharge from penis/vagina, pain when urinating, and sore throat (if mouth infected)
Treatment – Antibiotics. If untreated it can lead to serious problems such as blindness or pelvic inflammatory disease

Chlamydia
Symptoms – discharge from penis/vagina, pain in the lower abdomen or anus, localised itching. Eyes can also be infected displaying conjunctivitis like symptoms.
Treatment – Antibiotics. If untreated can lead to health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and fertility problems. Also can be passed from mother to baby during birth and this can lead to serious problems too.

Genital Herpes
Symptoms – Painful sores and ulcers in the genital area. There could also be pain during urinating, discharge and general symptoms such as fever, headaches, tiredness and enlarged glands in the groin.
Treatment – No Cure as this is a viral infection but antiviral drugs can reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms. The body in due course will overwhelm the virus.

Syphilis
Symptoms – three stages to this infection. Stage One – Painless sores that do not bleed easily on vagina/cervix/penis/anus/throat. These sores will disappear eventually. Stage Two – All over rash and headaches (possibly nausea, loss of appetite, fever & hair loss) Stage Three – Large Ulcers/Heart Failure/Deterioration of the nervous system leading to paralysis and death.
Treatment – Easily treated in the early stages with penicillin or antibiotics. If left untreated it can lead to the more serious complications. Damage done at the last stage cannot be reversed.

Genital Warts
Symptoms – Small cauliflower-like growths on and around the genitals/anus. These can be uncomfortable, itchy or may bleed.
Treatment – Freezing or burning them off or using specific creams. Treatment can take weeks and the virus remains in the body so growths may reoccur.

HIV
Symptoms – most people will not know they are infected until a blood test is done.
Treatment – No cure. Combinations of drugs can prolong and dramatically improve the quality of life. A healthy lifestyle is promoted to help control the progression of the infection.

Pubic Lice
Symptoms – itching of the genital area. Sometimes small black dots will appear on light clothing.
Treatment – Easy self applied lotion prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist.

Hepatitis B
Symptoms – Often no symptoms but may feel tired, fevers, aching joints, rash that can turn into jaundice, dark coloured urine, loss of appetite and/or stomach pains.
Treatment – This is a viral infection therefore no cure. An infected person needs lots of rest and must wait for their body to overcome the virus. Some people may become carriers and drugs are available to suppress the virus. Hepatitis B can be immunised against.