Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

How to decide whether to worry or not!

Anxiety about a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) arises from two main reasons : either there has been sexual behaviour that may be unsafe or the person may have signs and symptoms that suggest a STD.

Sexually experiences that may cause one to worry

  • You recently started a sexual relationship with a new partner
  • Your partner has been 'playing around' and has been unfaithful to you
  • You’ve had casual sex with a person who is not well known to you
  • You find out that your partner has a STD
  • After a sexual assault
  • You have shared a needle with someone else for injecting drugs

Signs and symptoms suggesting a possible STD

  • Burning and stinging when urinating
  • A discharge from the urethra
  • A discharge from the vagina
  • Changes in the genital organs. Such as a sore which might be an ulcer, a hard nodule or a growth, itching or swelling of the vulva and vagina
  • Changes in the groin gland. Swelling of the glands, or ulceration, or a discharge of pus from the glands. These may be associated with pain or may be painless
  • Changes around the anus similar to those in the vulva
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Skin rashes of various sorts
  • Changes in other parts of the body including bones and joints, heart and blood vessels and nervous system.

It is important to remember that if you are worried that you may have a STD please get medical help. There are about 25 different diseases that are sexually transmitted. Of these only 3 are not totally curable. Some of the curable STDs can cause serious complications if they are not treated.