Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections you can get by having sex with someone who has an infection. These infections are usually passed from person to person through vaginal intercourse. Swelling in the lymph nodes could indicate your risk.
A person can acquire a sexually transmitted infection (STI) if they have sexual contact with someone else with an infection.
STIs can cause serious health problems if left untreated. For example, chlamydia can lead to problems that can cause women not to be able to have children (infertility).
HPV can lead to cancer of the cervix or penis.
Syphilis can lead to paralysis, mental problems, heart damage, blindness, and even death.
STIs, such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, and HIV, can cause swollen lymph nodes in the groin.
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Symptoms of STIs can vary widely but may include:
- Pain, swelling, or itching in the genital area
- Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
- Blisters, sores, or warts on the genitals
- Intermenstrual bleeding
- Fever, headaches, or fatigue.
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Can condoms help to reduce your risk?
Male latex condoms can reduce your risk of getting an STI if used correctly.
Female condoms aren’t as effective as male condoms.
However, you should use them when a man won’t use a male condom.
It’s important to remember though, that condoms aren’t 100 percent safe.
They can’t protect you from coming into contact with some sores (such as those that can occur with herpes) or warts (which can be caused by HPV infection).
According to Familydoctor.org, questions to ask your healthcare provider if concerned about STIs include:
- Do I have a viral or bacterial STI?
- What treatment is best for me?
- Is it possible to have sex with my boyfriend/girlfriend without giving him/her my STI?
- How can I stop from getting an STI?
- If I have one STI, am I at higher risk of getting another?
- How long will my treatment last?
- Are there any side effects of my treatment?
- Are there any support groups in my area?
- If my symptoms get worse, when should I call my doctor?
“If you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), go to your GP or local sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic,” says the NHS.
The national health body adds: “Most STIs can be successfully treated, but it’s important to get any symptoms checked as soon as possible.
“Some GP practices, pharmacies, contraception clinics and young people’s services may also provide testing for some STIs.”
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