Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

What is an STI?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital contact.

You can be tested for STIs at a Sexual Health Clinic, (click here for list) genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or GP surgery.

This page provides an overview of the different STIs and the treatments.

Condoms are the best protection against being infected with a STI. FREE condoms are available from DHIVERSE or through C Card for under 25s

 

Chlamydia

Signs and symptoms

  • Around 70-80% of infected women and over 50% of men will not have any obvious signs or symptoms
  • Signs and symptoms can show up to 1-3 weeks after coming into contact with Chlamydia
  • WOMEN: bleeding between periods
  • MEN: white, cloudy and watery discharge at the tip of the penis
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Pain after sex
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Possible pain in testicles

Treatment

  • Women may be asked to use a swab or a urine sample
  • Men are asked to produce a urine sample
  • Antibiotics

 

Gonorrhoea

Signs and symptoms

  • Around 10% of infected men and 50% of infected women will not have any obvious signs or symptoms
  • Can show up to 1-14 days after coming into contact
  • WOMEN: unusual discharge
  • MEN: unusual discharge from the tip of the penis
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Lower abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier periods
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain or tenderness in the testicles (rarely)
  • Inflammation of the foreskin

Treatment

  • Women may be asked to use a swab or a urine sample
  • Men are asked to produce a urine sample
  • Antibiotics

 

Genital Warts

Signs and symptoms

  • Small fleshy growths
  • Bumps
  • Can cause bleeding of the anus or the urethra
  • Urine distorted
  • Warts can be found on the vulva, cervix and upper thighs (women)
  • Penis, scrotum and urethra (men)

You can still have genital warts if your partner doesn’t have any visible warts.

Treatments

  • Freezing
  • Laser

 

Public Lice and Scabies

Signs and symptoms

  • Some people will not have any symptoms or may not notice the lice or eggs
  • Itching in affected areas
  • Irritation and inflammation in the affected area
  • Sky-blue spots or very tiny specs of blood on the skin

Treatments

  • Cream applied to whole body
  • Shampoo
  • Effective treatment needs to be repeated after 3-7 days
  • Wash bedding and clothing and towels at high temperature
  • You can also receive treatment from pharmacies

 

Thrush

Signs and symptoms

  • itching and soreness around the entrance to the vagina
  • pain during sex
  • a stinging sensation when you urinate
  • vaginal discharge, although this isn’t always present; the discharge is usually odourless; it can be thin and watery, or thick and white,

Treatments

  • Over the counter anti-fungal creams and pessaries are available or through you GP.

 

Syphilis

Signs

  • Sores can appear all over body
  • Warty looking growths
  • Flu-like illness
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • White patches on tongue or roof of the mouth
  • Can after many years cause damage to the heart, brain, eyes and nervous system

Treatment

  • Single antibiotic injection
  • Prescribed tablets, Course can last for 10-14 days

 

Trichomonas Vaginalis

Signs and symptoms

  • Up to half of infected men and women will not have any signs or symptoms at all. If symptoms come up within a month you may notice-
  • WOMEN: Soreness, inflammation and itching in and around vagina
  • MEN: Discharge from the penis
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Inflammation of the foreskin
  • Discomfort when having sex

Treatments

  • Antibiotics

 

Herpes

Signs and symptoms

  • Many people will not have any visible signs or symptoms at all, or not be aware of them
  • Some people will get symptoms within 4-5 days of coming into contact with the virus
  • Feeling unwell, flu like symptoms
  • Stinging, tingling or itching in the genital/anal area
  • Small, fluid-filled blisters anywhere in the genital/anal area
  • Pain when passing urine

Treatments

  • Women may be asked to use a swab or a urine sample
  • Men are asked to produce a urine sample
  • The aim of the treatment is to relieve the pain, and to prevent the virus from multiplying
  • Treatment is recommended when you have your first outbreak as this may provide some relief
  • The is normally starts within 5 days and involves taking antiviral tablets daily for 5 days

 

Non Specific Urethritis

Signs and symptoms

  • Inflammation of the genital area
  • White discharge
  • Difficulty or pain when urinating
  • The feeling you need to pass urine more frequently
  • Itching or irritation

Treatment

  • Antibiotics

 

Hepatitis A, B, C

Signs and symptoms

  • B + C Tiredness
  • Intolerance of Alcohol
  • Swelling around Liver
  • Jaundice
  • Often symptomless

Treatment

  • A- Bed rest and avoiding alcohol
  • B + C – Antiviral Drugs