How would I know I have an STI?
You might not know. Some STIs have no obvious symptoms, so you may not be aware that you or your partner(s) is infected. If you are sexually active, it is important to have regular check-ups.
Some STIs can cause long-term problems if they are not treated, such as infertility, complications in pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Get advice from your doctor, a family planning clinic or an STI clinic if you are worried about STIs or are sexually active and notice any of the following symptoms:
- Unusual discharge from penis or vagina
- Pain when passing urine
- Unusual sores or blisters in the genital area
- Itching or irritation in the genital area
- Pain during sex
Once diagnosed, most STIs can be cured with medication. However, some of them can only be treated to reduce symptoms but will stay in your system once you have been infected. It is important to get treatment early, as some can cause long term effects.
(Source: Health Service Executive (HSE), 2007)
Remember, it is good sexual health practice to get an STI check regularly
STIs don’t always go away by themselves, so get checked out!
Get your facts right
- You can get an STI the first time or anytime you have sex
- You may not know if you have an STI
- You may not be able to tell if your partner(s) has an STI
- You can catch an STI more than once
- You can be infected with more than one STI at a time