Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are not just a worry for those intheir 20s. STIs are infections that are passed on from an infectedpartner(s) during unprotected sex (vaginal, anal and oral). They arecaused by specific bacteria and viruses. In some cases, you may beat risk even if you don’t have full sex. Kissing and touching eachother’s genitals may pass on some STIs.It is important to get yourself, and your partner checked out(confidentially) at your GP, family planning clinic, an STI clinic orGUM clinic, and use condoms until you both have the all-clear.
Get advice if you are worried about STIs or are sexually active andnotice any of the following symptoms:
◆ unusual discharge from penis or vagina,
◆ pain when passing urine,
◆ unusual sores or blisters in the genital area,
◆ itching or irritation in the genital area, or
◆ pain during sex
Some STIs have no obvious symptoms, so you may not be awarethat you or your partner(s) is infected.Once diagnosed, most STIs can be cured with medication. However, some of them can only be treated to reduce symptoms but will stayin your system once you have been infected. It is important to get treatment early, as some can cause long term effects.
It is important to remember that you can get an STI at any age. If you have gone through or are going through the menopause you can still get an STI by having unprotected sex.
More information about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
List and location of STI screening services.
More information on your contraception choices
The best person to discuss your contraceptive needs with is a health professional such as your GP or doctor. You can also visit your nearest family planning (sexual health) clinic or, in some cases, speak to a pharmacist.