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What are STIs?

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STIs are sexually transmitted infections. They are passed on during sex, especially if you don’t use condoms. You might have symptoms, but sometimes you won’t notice anything. Do you think you have an STI? Go to your doctor or a GGD health centre for an STI test. 

What is an STI?

Most STIs are caused by bacteria or a virus. But some are caused by tiny bugs, like parasites or mites. 

How do you get an STI?

STIs are passed on during sex, especially if you don’t use condoms. For example:

  • When a penis goes into a vagina or anus
  • During oral sex
  • When you’re masturbating 
  • Sometimes from kissing

STIs are usually found in the vagina, penis or anus. They can also be in your mouth or your throat.

STI signs and symptoms

If you have an STI, you may have:

  • Discharge (fluid) or pus from your vagina, penis or anus, more than usual. The discharge may be watery, milky, yellowish or greenish. Or smell different
  • A burning sensation, irritation or pain before or after peeing.  Or passing small amounts of urine  
  • Sores, warts or blisters on your penis, vagina, anus or mouth
  • Itching in your pubic hair, or on the labia, anus or head of the penis
  • Swollen glands in your groin
  • Pain in your testicles
  • Pain in your lower abdomen
  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal bleeding after sex. Even if it’s not your period

Do you have 1 or more of these symptoms?It might not be an STI. It could be something else. To know for sure, make an appointment with your doctor or at a GGD health centre.

Could it be an STI, with no symptoms?

Could it be an STI, with no symptoms?
You can have an STI without having any symptoms. You just won’t notice anything. And you can still pass it on to someone else during sex. To find out whether or not you have an STI, get tested. Not sure whether that’s necessary?

Do the STI check

How not to get an STI

Do you use condoms when you have sex? Then you’re less likely to get an STI. Or to pass one on to someone else. Would you like to know when it’s best to use condoms? Read about what sex is safe and what isn’t 

Is talking about condoms difficult for you? Read our tips for talking about safe sex 


Want to know more about STI testing?

Do you want to know how an STI test is done?
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Make an appointment!

Do you have symptoms, or do you think you have an STI? Don’t ignore it! Make an appointment with your doctor.
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