STI - Sexually Transmitted Infections

An STI is an infection passed from one person to another person through sexual contact. An infection is when a bacteria, virus, or parasite enters and grows in or on your body. STIs are also called sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs.

These infections affect women and men of all age groups but nearly half of all new infections are diagnosed among young people in their 20s.

Common STI symptoms

Many STIs have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.  Some commonly reported symptoms include:

  • unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
  • pain when peeing
  • lumps or skin growths around the genitals or anus
  • a rash
  • unusual vaginal bleeding
  • itchy genitals or anus
  • blisters and sores around the genitals or anus

Long term effects

Women often have more serious health problems from STIs than men. For example, Chlamydia and gonorrhea, if left untreated can increase  the risk of chronic pelvic pain and life-threatening ectopic pregnancy. They may also cause infertility. Untreated syphilis in pregnant women can result in infant death in large majority of cases.

The most Common types of STI include:

You need to get tested so that you can be treated for the correct infection.

If you’re worried you have got an STI, you should get tested as soon as possible. The screening packages are available at our hospital and you can consult our gynecologists for getting tested.

STI Screening

Testing for STIs is also called STI screening. Your doctor will suggest what tests you may need. STIs often don’t cause any symptoms. People can have STIs and not know it. That’s what makes screening so important. It is usually recommended that people who are at risk for STIs be screened even if they have no symptoms and feel fine.

It usually involves the following:

  • Pelvic and physical exam. Your doctor looks for signs of infection, such as warts, rashes, or discharge.
  • Blood test. A nurse will draw some blood to test for an STI.
  • Urine test. You urinate (pee) into a cup. The urine is then tested for an STI.
  • Fluid or tissue sample. Your doctor uses a cotton swab to take fluid or discharge from an infected place on your body. The fluid is looked at under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing.

If tests show you have an STI, you should tell your sexual partner and any ex-partners so they can get tested and treated as well.

Treatment

If you have an STI, you will need treatment. The right treatment will depend on the type of STI you have. Treatment might include antibiotics or medicines called antivirals, which fight viruses.

Treatment can usually cure your infection or in some cases keep it from getting worse. It can also reduce the chances that you spread your infection to others.

Prevention

There is no absolute way to prevent all STIs, but certain measures can be taken to reduce your chances of catching one.

  • The most important thing you can do is to use a condom every time during sexual intercourse.
  • Ask your doctor if there are any vaccines you should have. For instance HPV or Hepatitis B vaccination can be considered if not already done.
  • If your partner has herpes, he or she can reduce the chances of infecting you by taking an antiviral medication

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