What STI's are there?
Infections are out there, be vigilant about your sexual health to avoid contracting any of these...
Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of yeast called candida. Symptoms may include vulval and vaginal itching, pain and soreness on penetration, burning when passing urine, and a thick, white discharge.
Thrush can be triggered by wearing tight clothing, using perfumed soap or bubble bath, taking antibiotics and, sometimes, having sex.
It's possible for women to transmit thrush during sex through touching and sharing sex toys. Thrush can be treated with medicated cream, pessaries and tablets, which can be bought from a chemist. Go to your GP if your symptoms persist.
This is caused by a virus, which can spread if you have vaginal, anal or oral sex, or share sex toys. It can also cause cold sores on the mouth and nose.
Symptoms include painful blisters and ulcers around the genital area, although some women may have no symptoms. After an episode (occurrence), the virus becomes dormant but can come back in the future. There's no cure once you've been infected because the virus stays in your body for life, but you can remain symptom-free.
Anti-viral tablets can help the healing process and shorten the length of the episode.
These are fleshy growths in the vulval and anal region. They may be itchy but are usually painless.
They are caused by certain strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which are usually sexually acquired via skin contact, such as rubbing vulvas together.
Women with genital warts do not need more regular smear tests than those without. There are a variety of treatment options including freezing and medicated creams.
HPV can stay in your body for years and warts can return after being treated.
Trichomonas Vaginalis (TV)
TV can be passed between women during any sexual activity that involves the exchange of vaginal fluid.
Symptoms include a frothy discharge, discomfort when passing urine, vulval soreness, and sometimes an unpleasant vaginal odour. Some women don’t have any symptoms. TV is treated with antibiotics.
Chlamydia & Gonorrhea
These STIs are caused by bacteria, which can infect the cervix, rectum, throat and urethra. There may be a discharge but usually there are no symptoms.
If the conditions are not treated, the bacteria may lead to an infection in the fallopian tubes called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Untreated Chlamydia can lead to infertility so it's important to stay protected and get tested.
These infections can be passed between women through shared sex toys, hands and by rubbing vulvas together. Treatment is with antibiotics.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that causes a painless ulcer, usually in the genital area. It will disappear on its own but other symptoms may appear. These can include a rash on the body and swollen glands.
These too will disappear leaving no symptoms, but the bacteria will stay present. If it is not treated, syphilis can cause serious nerve and body organ damage later in life.
In its early stages, syphilis is extremely infectious and can be passed on by close skin contact during sex. Treatment is with antibiotic injections or tablets.