Guess what? Pregnancy isn’t the only consequence of unprotected sex.
If you have sex without a condom you are at risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). STI’s are infections that are shared via sexual contact.
Some symptoms of STIs could be:
- pain when peeing
- lumps around the genitals or anus
- a rash
- unusual vaginal bleeding when you’re not on your period
- itchy genitals or anus
- blisters and sores around the genitals or anus
Some STI’s have visible symptoms, whilst some don’t show symptoms right away - examples of STIs like this are chlamydia, gonorrhea and even HIV. If you don’t know that you’re infected, you could even pass it on to your partner.
Untreated STI’s can also cause further health complications and illnesses. This is why it’s important to get to know your own body, and to know what is normal and healthy for you. When something seems different, get it checked out.
How to prevent STI’s
Using condoms is the most effective way to prevent STI’s as not all birth control protects you. For example even though the contraceptive pill helps to prevent you from getting pregnant, it won’t stop you from getting infected with an STI. So when you’re thinking of contraception remember to ask about the different levels of protection it gives you. Talk to someone you trust like your mum, aunty or healthcare professional to find out more.
In a relationship? Keep reading!
One of the most important things when it comes to sexual health is how you and your sexual partner communicate with each other. When you’re ready to start having sex make sure you are open with each other about your sexual histories. If your partner has had an STI in the past you deserve to know and vice-versa.
Before you enter into a relationship involving sex, It’s always a good idea for both of you to go to a clinic and get tested. This way you can find out if either of you has an STI. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you think there’s a good chance that you might have an STI, don’t panic. Go to a clinic or the hospital to get tested.
Find a trustworthy doctor whom you’re comfortable with. Be honest with him or her, so you can be given the proper tests and medication.
You’re doing the right thing by seeking professional help and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. With the right medical care many STI’s are easily treated.