Commonly asked questions on STIs
- Am I at risk after an unprotected sexual encounter with a new partner?
- I have smelly discharge and my private part is itchy, what is the cause?
- Why do I have some lesions on my private part?
What is STI?
Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are infections which spread from one person to another through sexual contact either through oral, vagina or anus contact. Organisms which cause STI include bacteria, parasites, yeast, and viruses. The most common organisms include:
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- HIV (AIDS virus)
Most STI may have no symptoms initially. Symptoms may appear after 2-3 weeks (known as the incubation period) and they include:
- Painful passing water
- Vagina or penile discharge (which may be smelly)
- Pain during sex
- Lower abdominal pain
- Itch or discomfort in the penis or vagina
- Swollen lymph nodes around the groin region
- Warts (which can be small or in clusters)
- Testicle discomfort (in men)
- Bleeding in between periods (in women)
Photo of Genital Warts
Treatment of STI
It is important to make the diagnosis and treatment early to prevent the disease to spread because it can cause infertility to both men and women. If you have any suspicion that you may be affected by STI, see your doctor as soon as possible to get a:
- thorough body check up
- genital swab of the discharge
- urine test
- blood test
The only way to reduce the risk of STI is to either wear a condom or get tested before getting into a sexual relationship with a new partner.