Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

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Chlamydia

What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is an infection caused by bacteria and can effect the urethra, but also effect your arse, throat or eyes.

What are the symptoms?
Many people may have chalmydia and show no symptoms, but these may include: a white discharge from the penis or vagina, pain when pissing, and pain in the anus, stomach, throat, eyes can also become swollen through infected. It may also cause men to become infertile.

How is chlamydia is passed on?
It can be passed on by having sex with someone who is already infected. It is passed on through penetrative anal or vagina sex without a condom. Can also be passed on via intimate contact: fingering, mutual masturbation or oral sex.

How is it prevented?
Using a strong condom when having penetrative sex. Washing your hands after intimate contact

How is it treated?
It is treated with a course of anti-biotic, and you have to finish the course. In women, swabs are usually taken from the cervix (entrance to the womb) and urethra. In men, swabs are usually taken form the tip of the penis. HAVING A SWAB IS NOT A PAINFUL PROCESS.

There is a common myth that when taking the swab an umbrella device is inserted into the penis THIS IS NOT TRUE. It is a cotton wool bud and causes only slight discomfort.

Long term effects for women
Inflammation of the fallopian tubes and may cause infertility. Can also cause a Ectopic pregnancies, which is pregnancy outside the womb.

Long term effects for men
Inflammation of the testicles which can cause infertility.

 


Herpes

What is herpes?
Herpes can cause blister usually on the moist skin around the penis or inside the arse?

What are the symptoms?
Flu like symptoms and pains in feet, lower back and stomach, itching in infected area’s – this is a warning that blisters are to appear. Within the blister there is a infectious fluided, the blister will burst and a scab will form – it may take 10 to14 day for the scab to heal. If the blisters return it will not be so painful as before.

How it’s prevented?
Aviod sex if your partner has a coldsore or herpes blister, by using a strong condom and washing hands this can prevent herpes.

How is it treated?
Your immune system should keep it under control most of the time and clear the blisters. Tablets and creams can be used, also certain drugs can stop blisters before they appear (a clinic will tell you which creams and lotions to use). Tiredness, stress or sunbathing can bring on the sores.

What are the effects?
Same effects as chlamydia.

 


Syphilis

What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a form of bacteria, that live in warm, and moist parts of the body, e.g. inside the arse and lining of the urethra.

What are the symptons?
The disease has 3 different stages:

Stage 1: painless red sores around the penis, mouth, throat, or arse. it scabs over then heals. The glands near the sore may swell up.

Stage 2: skin rash appears, possibly a fever, headaches,sickness or hair loss.

Stage 3: years later serious damage to the heart, brain and nervous system.

How is it prevented?
By using strong condoms, preventing contacts with sores, and using latex gloves.

How is it treated?
Clinics check your blood for syphilis. Antibiotics given by injection, and follow up blood tests, are used to treat the infection.

 


Gonorrhoea

What is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria that lives in most warm parts of the body, such as inside of the arse, mouth, throat and urethra. Gonorrhoea is also called the “clap”.

What are the symptoms?

Men
Inflammation of the testicles and prostate glades., a yellow or white discharge from the penis, irritation or discharge from the arse.

Women
A change in colour, white or green liquid from the vagina, pain when passing urine.

If untreated, gonorrhoea can do serious damage (arthritis, blindness and sterility and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, this is where the falllopian tubes are infected, it can also cause infertility – stopping woman from having children).

How is it prevented?
By using a strong condom for anal sex. Oral sex can be made risk free if condoms are used.

How is it treated?
You can get free confidential advice and treatment form sexual health clinic. The doctor or nurse will test you for gonorrhoea by taking a small sample with cotton wool or a swab; in women – from the cervix, in men – from the tip of the penis. (Taking a swab is not painful although it may be uncomfortable)

You’ll be given a course of antibiotics in table in table form, a liquidor injection can sometimes be given.

 


Pubic Lice

What is pubic lice?
Pubic lice is also called “Crabs”, this is very common and easy to pick up. The lice are very small crab like shaped insects that live on body hair, feeding on the blood of the victim (but they cannot pass on H.I.V.). Sometimes they’re found in the eyebrows and hair on the face (but not hair on the head). Lice can live away from the body for 24 hours, so they could survive on clothes, bedding and even towels.

What are the symptoms?
You could have crabs / pubic lice and not notice them, but two or three weeks after infection the lice usually cause itching especially at night, this sometimes cause a rash.

How is it prevented?
There is no way of preventing infection with crabs, washing clothes, bedding and towels on a hot wash is necessary, this kills the lice and their eggs. Leather clothing can be clean dry.

How is it treated?
Treating pubic lice is cheap, it can be done at home. Lotions can be bought from the chemist for a few pounds (no prescription needed). You can also get free lotions at your G.U.M clinics.

Brand names of lotions include: Quellada, Prioderm and Lyclear. You put the lotions over your whole body, but not your face or head. If it doesn’t work go to your G.U.M clinic for advice. Shaving off your pubic hair Will not get rid of pubic lice.

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