If you think you have a STD (sexually transmitted disease) or STI (sexually transmitted infection) the first thing to do is to not panic. To find out the cause get tested or if you have been told by your sexual partner that they have an infection get treatment. Many people with STDs/STIs don't get symptoms, so it's worth getting tested even if you feel healthy.
Women and men can each pass an infection onto one another. Similarly, women can pass infections on to women, and men can pass infections on to men. An STI can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. You can get or pass on an STI whoever you're having sex with.
Many STIs can be cured with antibiotics. Some, such as HIV, have no cure but can be treated to prevent them getting worse.
You can't tell by looking at someone (including yourself) whether they have a STD/STI, so it is important to get tested if you have had unprotected sex.
Many people don't notice symptoms when they have an STI, including most women with chlamydia. If it's left untreated, chlamydia can affect your ability to get pregnant. Around 50% of women and 10% of men with gonorrhoea don't have symptoms.
If you have any of the symptoms listed below, get tested.
In women and men:
Pain when you pass urine (pee).
Itching, burning or tingling around the genitals.
Blisters, sores, spots or lumps around the genitals or anus.
Black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear (this could be droppings or eggs from pubic lice).
Yellow or green vaginal discharge.
Discharge that smells.
Bleeding between periods or after sex.
Pain during sex.
Lower abdominal pain.
Discharge from the penis.
Irritation of the urethra (the tube where urine comes out).
These symptoms don't necessarily mean that you have an STD/STI, but it is worth getting tested. For example, it's possible to get thrush without having sex, but it can cause STI-like symptoms, such as soreness, itching and discharge. Thrush is easily treated and the treatment is available through Anytime Doctor.