Sexually transmitted infections, or why it burns when you pee

The most important thing to know is that if left untreated STIs can impact your future fertility. That means it’s important to take precautions to prevent them, recognise the signs if you have one and we recommend regular sexual health screens, especially if you have multiple partners. It is possible to have an STI without symptoms, hence why screening is so important.

Here are some of the symptoms you should be aware of:

  • Pain when urinating 
  • Unusual discharge or bleeding
  • Lumps, warts or skin growths around the genitals
  • Sores or blisters around the genitals

Getting a Check-up

If you are worried you might have an STI you should make an appointment at a sexual health clinic as soon as you can. You should avoid sex (including oral and anal sex) until you’ve received your results. It’s possible to visit your GP, however, they may refer you to a sexual health clinic for testing.

You should go to a sexual health clinic if:

  • You have symptoms of an STI
  • Your sexual partner has symptoms of an STI
  • You’re worried after having sex without a condom

Previous STIs and Your Fertility

If you’ve previously had an STI, you are not alone. Many people will have one in their lifetime. Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed at an STI clinic your GP won’t automatically be aware. It’s a personal decision whether you want to tell them but they can offer you further support or advice if they know, particularly when it comes to fertility. 

If you’ve had an STI which led to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) we recommend speaking with your GP who can offer you an earlier referral for investigations and/or treatments.   

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