How do I know if I’ve been infected?
It is often impossible for you to know for sure whether you have an STI unless you have been clinically tested, as many STIs have no obvious signs or symptoms.
You may think that you are okay because you don’t have any unusual symptoms, and you may think that your sexual partner is safe because he or she looks ‘clean’ or seems ‘normal’. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and many people pass on STIs without even realising that they are infected.
Getting yourself and your partner tested is the only way to be sure that you are safe, and you should make regular testing a part of your routine sexual health practice.
However, some people do experience symptoms when they have an STI. The most common symptoms are:
a burning sensation when weeing or just afterwards
itching in or around the genital area
unusual discharge (fishy smelling, yellow, green, pink, or an unusual texture)
bleeding or pain during sex
bleeding between periods
sore/inflamed pelvic area
rashes, lumps, bumps or broken areas of skin
discomfort, especially in the abdomen (in women) and testicles (in men)
You should see your GP or a sexual health professional immediately if you ever experience any of these symptoms.
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