Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex, oral sex or genital contact. Most people with STI’s don’t have any symptoms so you should regularly have an STI test because if they are left untreated they can cause health problems in the future.
If you think that you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, go immediately to your nearest A&E.
Facts about STI's
1) You cannot always notice symptoms if you have an STI
Most people with Chlamydia don’t know that they have it. Protect yourself by using condoms or dental dams.
2) Not all contraception protects you from STIs
If you are using the contraceptive pill, implant, coil, injection, patch or natural family planning you are not protected from STIs. Make sure that you use a condom.
3) You can get a STIs from oral sex
Find out more here. Protect yourself by using condoms or dental dams.
4) If you have an STI, don’t panic!
Most STIs are easily treatable through antibiotics or creams.
5) If STIs are left untreated they can cause problems in the future.
For example, if gonorrhoea or chlamydia is left untreated it can causes of pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility.
Symptoms and Prevention
In your Region you can pick up free condoms from your health center (with a condom card/c-card).
You can discuss and find out about different contraception methods at the health center, your local GUM clinic or at the doctors.
If your condom broke during sex, or you have not correctly taken the contraceptive pill, or the effectiveness of your contraceptive at preventing pregnancy has been affected in any other way, you may need emergency contraception. To find out how the effectiveness of your contraception can be reduced, you should speak to your doctor and read the packet of your contraception.
1) There are different types of contraception. Speak to your doctor to decide which method of contraception is best for you.
2) You can buy latex free condoms. If you are allergic to latex condoms, latex free condoms are readily available.
3) Vomiting and diarrhoea can make your contraceptive pill less effective at preventing pregnancy. You may need to use extra contraception, such as a condom, while you're ill and during your recovery. Read the packet of the contraception pill and further advice can be found here.
4) Missing pills or starting a new pack late can make your pill less effective at preventing pregnancy. Read the packet of your contraceptive pill to find out whether you should seek emergency contraception.
5) The side effects of hormonal contraception are usually mild and temporary. As with all medications, there may be some side effects when taking hormonal contraceptives, but it will usually be mild or temporary. The side effects will differ depending on the person using them, so speak to your doctor is if you are experiencing unwanted side effects.
If you're still stuck then call/text 02920465250 to speak in confidence with the YMCA Sexual Health Outreach Team (SHOT). They give free advice to under 25s and they'll know what to do. Alternatively see the ‘useful links’ below.
Terrence Higgins Trust (HIV / AIDS)