Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) can be passed on if a person has unprotected sex (does not use a condom) or through sexual contact where a person touches someone else’s genitals and then their own.
Some symptoms of STI’s include:
- red / sore genitals
- pus oozing from genitals
- smelly discharge
- pain when passing urine
- bleeding during / after sex
- spots / warts on the genitals
You won’t always know if you have an STI – Chlamydia has no symptoms but is the most common STI around. Chlamydia produces pus that blocks the fallopian tubes in girls and the tubes attached to the testicles in males which reduces fertility. You may not be thinking about having children right now but it could cause problems for you when you do.
You can reduce the risk of getting an STI by using a condom! Carrying condoms is not just up to the boys – girls should too, especially if you are already, or are thinking about having sex. It shows you are mature enough to care about not getting infected or getting pregnant.
You can get free condoms in East Sussex by joining the C-Card system. It’s available to people under 25 years old and to register you only need to give the first part of your postcode and your date of birth. You can register with your School Nurse then you can collect free condoms, no questions asked, from School Nurses, Pharmacies, Health Centres and Family Planning Clinics.
To stay registered you have a review with your School Nurse every six months if you’re 15 and over and every three months if you're under 15. All information is confidential - please see the Sexual Health section for information on confidentiality.
If you have had unprotected sex or sexual contact you should get tested for STI’s. Generally males only have to give a urine sample and girls insert a thin cotton bud like swab into their vagina (like a tampon). If you have an STI it is usually treated with antibiotic tablets that are free - it’s that simple and painless so what are you waiting for?
Most School Nurses offer Chlamydia testing and Sexual Health Clinics offer testing for other STI’s. Click here to find your nearest Sexual Health Clinic.
Condoms are the only method of contraception that protect against STI’s, the others only stop you getting pregnant. There are many types of contraceptives around, for advice on these contact your School Nurse, Sexual Health Clinic or Doctor.