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How do I know if I have an STI?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Feature

How do you know if you have an STI? 

The short answer is, you don't.

Some STIs have symptoms, and you’ll probably know pretty quickly that something isn’t quite right… the itchy bumps, the pain when you wee, or the unusual discharge are usually clear giveaways.

But, did you know that many STIs have no symptoms at all?

This means that although you might not notice anything different going on, you could have a sexually transmissible infection.

If you feel healthy and aren’t having any trouble, it’s pretty easy to forget all about getting an STI check. It’s for this reason that people can go for months, or even years, without realising they have an STI.

The only way you can be sure that you don’t have an STI, is to get tested.

Ask yourself:

Could you have an STI?

What STIs don’t have symptoms?

STIs that often don’t have any symptoms are:

What happens if I have an STI and don’t realise?

If you have an STI and don’t know about it, anyone you’ve had unprotected sex with could also be at risk of getting the STI.

Leaving STIs untreated can also lead to more serious health problems later in life. It can cause infertility in both men and women, and can raise the risk of contracting other STIs.

Women also risk pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy, while men risk problems with their prostate, bladder and urethra. 

So what should I do?

Know when to get tested. If in doubt, make an appointment to book a test. Protect yourself from STIs and use a condom every time you have sex – even if you or your sexual partner is using other contraception, like the pill, IUD, injections or implant.

 

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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