Common STI symptoms and how to treat them

Taking care of sexual health should be just as important as any other aspect of physical health. Here are some of the common symptoms of sexually transmitted infections to look out for and some ways to treat them, should you be diagnosed.

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Typical STI symptoms

Testicular pain is common in the likes of chlamydia and gonorrhoea. While there are various reasons for such pain, its important not to ignore it and get yourself tested.

Discharge thats yellow, green, white or cloudy in colour usually suggests an abnormality of some kind, and penis discharge is a common symptom of nonspecific urethritis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. These STIs can often cause pain during urination, so any burning sensation should be checked out.

STIs often display no symptoms. With chlamydia, for instance, around 50% of men and 70% of women experience no symptoms. With various STIs, it can take months or years to result in noticeable symptoms. HIV is one such example, where an infection can appear to lay dormant for years before showing symptoms.

Detecting STIs and treating them in their early stages can not only result in a better prognosis, but can help prevent the spread of infection. Testing is often via a swab or urine sample and can be done via sexual health (GUM) clinics, GPs and even from home, with home STI kits, available from the likes of

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The treatments available

While an STI diagnosis may be daunting, advancements in science and healthcare mean there are effective treatments to cure or manage most types.

A course of antibiotics is generally very effective in the case of chlamydia. Sex should be postponed during treatment, and if you are with a partner, then its a good idea for both of you to receive treatment at the same time.

With gonorrhoea, its estimated that around 78 million individuals are diagnosed each year, and its becoming increasingly antibiotic-resistant. To combat this, prevention is vital, as is early testing and diagnosis to be able to start treatment quickly. This usually involves antibiotics and Azithromycin taken orally. You should abstain from sex until you are tested two weeks after treatment and get the all clear.

When it comes to STIs, it pays to get checked regularly and speak to a pharmacist, GP or sexual health clinic for advice.

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