Doing the wild thing?
Well, you’re always better safe than sorry, but if you haven’t been safe, at least check it out, and see your doctor to organise testing and treatment if necessary. This can make a huge difference to your life.
For example, Chlamydia is super-common, may not have any symptoms, and, if you’ve got it, you usually only need one antibiotic pill to treat it. Untreated? It can end up leaving you infertile. Big life decision right there if you don’t get tested.
Remember, often people don’t even have any STI symptoms, so anyone who’s had unprotected sex needs to see the doc.
Get the facts here on common sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs).
Illness: Treatment/Symptoms & Consequences
Often no symptoms; untreated can cause PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) & infertility
Genital herpes (can be spread skin-to-skin even when not visible): Anti-viral drugs can help manage attacks; also salt baths & pain meds
Recurring attacks (flu-like symptoms; swollen, painful genitals; blisters, cracks, redness or rash)
Women: often no symptoms; untreated can cause PID & infertility.
Men: burning urination, testicle pain & swelling and pus-like discharge from penis
Genital warts (HPV: human papilloma virus - often only visible with pap smear or doctor exam): Virus untreatable; visible warts can be treated, e.g. by freezing or creams
Often painless or invisible; may disappear in time but some strains increase risk of cervical cancer
Burning, itching genitals, yellow-green, frothy discharge, smelly
Hepatitis A or B: Varies: virus may clear itself or multiply and cause liver damage, needing drugs or a liver transplant
Hep A: jaundice/abdominal pain, possible liver damage
Hep B: potential fatal liver disease and damage
HIV virus causes AIDS but can take years (and be delayed by drug-treatments and therapies)
Weak immune system: flu-like illness, tiredness, fevers/chills, rapid weight loss, swollen glands, white spots in mouth, skin marks or bumps (usually painless and/or purplish), coughing, diarrhoea. Eventually fatal
May be no symptoms (or possibly swollen glands, hair loss, lumps on genitals, flu-like illness, rash on soles of feet, hands and/or body) then, up to years later, brain/heart complications can be fatal.