Getting frisky can be risky if you don’t use protection. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to book an appointment at your doctors or local sexual health clinic as soon as you can.
Tip: If you have any of these symptoms it’s a good idea to let your recent sexual partner/s know so they can get checked too. However awkward or embarrassing it is, they’ll thank you later.
Bleeding or discharge
Unusual bleeding or discharge from your genitals can often be a tell-tale sign that you’ve got a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like chlamydia or gonorrhoea. If you notice anything strange, it’s important to get yourself checked ASAP, before it gets worse.
STIs can cause unbearable itching. Whether it’s your eyes, throat or down below, if you’re itchier than usual you could have anything from chlamydia or gonorrhoea to genital herpes or warts. It might be nothing, but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?
Blisters or sores
Small, painful blisters or sores around your genitals, legs or face are a key symptom of herpes. If you spot these, get checked out straight away and avoid having sex (including oral) until they’ve cleared up. There is no way to completely cure herpes, but your GP or sexual health nurse can let you know how to help prevent future outbreaks.
Pain whilst peeing
STIs can cause you pain when you wee, but so can urinary tract infections (UTIs) or even kidney stones. It’s more likely to be an STI if you also have pain when you have sex or some of the symptoms above (like itchiness). Either way, head to your GP or clinic and they’ll sort you out.
Nothing at all…
Just because you don’t have any symptoms, doesn’t mean you’re STI-free. In fact, roughly 70% of women who have chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms at all.
So if you’re regularly having sex (particularly without a condom) then it’s a good idea to get tested regularly, just to be safe. You can do this by ordering a self-test kit online or booking an appointment at your GP or local sexual health clinic.