Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed to another person during vaginal, anal or oral sex or through sharing sex toys. There are lots of different STIs but some are more common than others.

If you are having sex with someone new you may be more at risk. You don’t need to have sex with lots of different people to get an STI, just one who is infected.

Using a condom every time you have sex will make you less likely to pick up an infection and if you're under 25 condoms are free with the condom distribution scheme.

A lot of people with an STI don’t notice anything different with their body or their genitals. The only way to be sure you don’t have an infection is to have a check-up. You can go to the sexual health clinic at St Mary's when ever you want a check-up, you don’t even have to wait until you notice a problem. It’s best to get tested before you start having sex with a new partner, and when you split up with an old partner.

Some people start to notice something unusual. These are the things to look out for:

  • Bleeding after sex.
  • Bleeding between your periods or having more than one period a month. 
  • Pain during or after sex. 
  • A change to your normal vaginal discharge. 
  • Pain or soreness when you wee.
  • Discharge from your penis. 
  • Discharge or bleeding from your back passage.  
  • Pain in your stomach, testicles or back passage. 
  • Lumps, bumps, sores, rashes or blisters around your vulva, penis or back passage.

If you notice something wrong go to the Sexual Health Clinic during one of the drop-in clinics or phone up for an appointment. If you’re not sure about the best thing to do, phone the clinic (01983 534202) and ask to speak with a nurse.

All treatment is free and everything is absolutely confidential.

No symptoms- no worries? NO way!

Many people only find out they have a STI after having a check-up, especially women who often have no symptoms at all. If you’ve had some kind of unprotected sex and think you might be at risk of having an STI go along to the sexual health clinic where you can be checked out. The sooner you get treated the sooner you can stop worrying.

Click on the link above to find out more about visiting the sexual health clinic and to watch a short video clip.


Where to get help