Sexual Health

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that can be passed between partners through sexual activity. It might feel a little awkward talking with your GP about your sex life, but it’s an important part of looking after your health.  

Your GP will ask you questions about your sexual history.  They don’t do this to be nosy, but to assess your risk and arrange appropriate testing, advice and treatment. 

Routine STI screening, even if you don’t have symptoms, is recommended when you have new sexual partners.  

Check in with your GP if you have any symptoms of an STI, if a sexual partner has symptoms or a sexual partner has been diagnosed with an STI. 

Symptoms of an STI may include:

  • unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus 
  • pain with passing urine
  • lumps, ulcers/sores, itching, warts or growths around your genitals or anus
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding – after sex or between periods.
  • PrEP is where those at risk of HIV, but who are HIV negative, take medication to prevent acquiring HIV.  Chat to your GP to discuss your risks and whether this is appropriate for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes but there may be other causes such as thrush or bacterial vaginosis which are not sexually transmitted. An examination with your doctor can help to work out what is the best treatment and swabs are usually needed. New vaginal discharge with abdominal pain and fever needs to be see and treated as soon as possible to prevent fertility complications later.

If you are under 30 years of age and have no symptoms a self collected swab or urine test is recommended yearly to check for chlamydia. Many people can have chlamydia with no symptoms and it is easy to treat.
If you have a new partner we would recommend using condoms for the first three months of the relationship and both having an STI check before stopping their use.