The danger with many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is that many people who have them have no signs at all. This means that there’s a good chance you won’t even know that you have one! The person you are having sex with may not know they have one either! Or, they may know - but not want to tell you.
Here are the most common signs:
- any sores, blisters or a rash on or around the genital area or the mouth
- pain or burning when you pee
- an unusual or smelly discharge from the vagina or penis
- itching, swelling or pain in or around the vagina or penis
- pain in the pelvic area or abdomen (sometimes with fever and chills).
If you, or your partner, have any of these symptoms, you could have an STI, but they might also not mean anything serious. It makes good sense to check out your partner before you sleep with them. It makes better sense to have STI tests. It makes the best sense to get tested for STIs together and still use a condom!
If you are having unprotected sex, it’s very important to go for tests to check if you have any STIs. If you find out you do have one, then you can take medication to sort it out and also not pass your STI to others without meaning to. Visit a health facility near you and speak to a health worker and get it fixed!