Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness
You don't need panic, if you think that you might have a sexually transmitted disease (STI). You simply need to get tested and treatment can then be given if it's needed. Many people with STIs don't get symptoms, so it's worth getting tested even if you feel healthy.
Usually STI are transmitted from one individual to another via sexual contact, oral sex, vaginal and anal sex. You can get or pass on an STI whoever you're having sex with.
Antibiotics can be used to cure many STIs. Only a few like HIV can’t be cured, but can be treated to prevent them getting worse.
It is very difficult to tell by looking at someone to know if they have got an infection. This is why the importance of knowing your sexual health status is highly emphasised.
What are the Symptoms of knowing you probably have an STI?
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. Around 50% of women and 10% of men with gonorrhoea don't have symptoms.
If you have any of the symptoms listed below, get tested.
In women and men:
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)
Yellow or green vaginal discharge
Discharge that smells
Bleeding between periods or after sex
Pain during sex
Lower abdominal pain
Discharge from the penis
Irritation of the urethra (the tube where urine comes out)
Having these symptoms doesn’t really mean you have an STI, but there might be a high chance that you have an STI or a UTI. But it most importantly worthwhile that you see a doctor the moment you notice any of these symptoms. 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. The earlier you discover STIs, the more your chance of protecting your sexual and reproductive health.
Where can I get tested for STIs?
General hospitals, private hospitals, medical laboratory and health centres.
Have safer sex, always use condoms to help protect you from catching or passing on an STI.
The 12th of February is sexual and reproductive health awareness day, every young people should be advised by their doctors or other medical practitioners about the importance of doing a sexual health screening. A healthy sexual habit will decrease ones chance of having reproductive defects such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy in future.
Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM