In the past few years, the UK has experienced a significant number of reported cases of sexually transmitted infections. For instance, between the years of 1995 and 2005 the number of people who were diagnosed with Chlamydia tripled. Other common STIs are: genital herpes, hepatitis B, non-specific urethritis, trichomoniasis, pubic lice, syphilis, HIV, and gonorrhoea.

If you should have any of the following symptoms you may have a STI:

  • Abnormal discharge from the anus, penis, or vagina.
  • In women – bleeding between periods or after sex.
  • Discomfort during urination.
  • Increased frequency in urination.
  • Lower abdominal pain or pain in the pelvic region.
  • Infection in the throat or rectum.

It is also possible that you have an STI without any noticeable symptoms as some infections can remain dormant for several years. If you feel that you are at risk of having an STI you should take the time to be tested. If STIs are left untreated and allowed to run their course they can cause many unwanted complications later on in life. Female specific complications may include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, ectopic pregnancies, and infertility. Complications for men may include pain during erections or inflammation of the testicles and prostate gland.

Generally, STIs are brought on by harmful bacteria or viruses that are passed during sexual intercourse or intimate bodily contact. This includes genital contact, sexual intercourse, sharing sex toys, and oral sex. Those that have multiple sexual partners are at greater risk of transmitting a STI.

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