There are many different types of STIs as well as a host of other infections that can affect our genital areas. These can affect us in different ways and produce different symptoms and some infections may have no symptoms at all.
If you think that you may have an infection, then the best way to get the right diagnosis and treatment is to go to your local sexual health clinic (sometimes called G U Clinics)
In fact, it is recommended that anyone who is sexually active should have regular sexual health check-up. Most of us go to the dentist for a regular check-up and most of us get our cars regularly serviced to make sure they are running well – so why not make sure our sexual bits and bobs are in fine working order?
Don’t put it off
Lots of things may get in the way of us going to a sexual health clinic. We may be embarrassed at the thought of a doctor or nurse examining our genitals, think that the tests will be painful or maybe worried about other people knowing we have been to a sexual health clinic. We may hope the problem goes away by itself – it won’t.
If you go to a sexual health clinic, it will be completely confidential and the staff are specialists who will try their best to make you feel comfortable and at ease. As to the thought of painful tests, some may be uncomfortable for a second or two but they don’t hurt – in fact, many tests are now done from urine or blood samples.
There is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed if you think you may have an STI. It happens to lots of people – they are one of the most common infections you can get.
You can get free and confidential advice and information about sexually transmitted infections from your local GP, Nurse or from Sexual Health STI Screening and Treatment Service.
If used correctly and consistently, condoms can help reduce the chance of the sexual transmission of fungal infections. Find out more with our Condom User Guide.
Making Sex Safer
You can help to avoid getting many STIs by having safer sex – that’s using a condom for vaginal, anal and oral sex.
There are many different types of condom available and condoms are free from all sexual health clinics including Sexual Health Sheffield. If used correctly and consistently, condoms can be an effective barrier to many STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV. For straight couples, they can also help stop unwanted pregnancies.
Sex should be pleasurable and fun. Knowing that we are protecting ourselves and our partners from STIs can take away some of the worries about sex so that we can relax and enjoy it more!
For more information about condoms and condom use, see our Condom User Guide.