No one wants to get an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) or an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) whenever they are sexually active with a partner. These infections can cause a lot of problems for people, but how do you know if you have one? And if you don’t have one or are just starting to become sexually active, how do you prevent yourself from getting one?

How To Identify An STI 

Thankfully, if you have an STI, most of the time you are going to know about it! Some of the common symptoms are a pain when using the bathroom, unusual discharges from the vagina or penis, rashes, warts, or blisters around the anus or genitals, and pain during sex. These are things that you are going to notice no matter what, and if you do notice them, stop any and all sexual activity unless you have a condom until you get checked up at a sexual health clinic. 

Still, some STIs such as HIV don’t have any symptoms, and you will not know you have them unless you get tested at a sexual health clinic. Whenever you go to a sexual health clinic, you will be inspected and you can describe your sex life to them and answer questions the doctors will ask. They might prescribe in-office or at-home tests to diagnose you with a specific STI, and then you or the clinic will need to tell your current partner(s) and any ex-partners. 

Is STIs Treatable?

Some STIs, such as Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics and injections. Other diseases need to have their symptoms managed, either by waiting for the virus to leave your system or by taking medication to keep the symptoms dormant. Some STIs are untreatable, but people with them can still live normal and sexually active lives as long as they manage their symptoms.

Having an STI or STD is not the end of the world. Many STDs can be fully cured and all of them can be treated in some way to mitigate or lessen the symptoms, and if you or your partner are infected then you need to start treatment immediately to prevent being reinfected.

How Do You Lower The Risk Of Getting An STI?

First, you should use condoms to place a barrier between yourself and your partner’s skin. They can lessen the risk of getting an STI, and ensuring that you keep yourself and your partner protected is one of the safest ways to be sexually active. Speaking of partners, you can also lessen the risk of getting an STI by only having sex with one partner who agrees to only have sex with you.

The more partners you both introduce into the relationship, the greater the risk of an STI showing up and then infecting everyone involved in the relationship. Still, healthy communication regarding both sex and STIs is another way to keep everyone safe and healthy, as well as build trust with your partner. This is a hard topic to talk about, but the discussion can make everyone feel at ease about the relationship.

Also, making sure to clean and disinfect any sex toys you and your partner might be using and cleaning the environment around you can also help keep you and your genitals healthy too. 

Finally, you can get vaccinated against one of the most common types of STIs, which is HPV (Human papillomavirus) which can cause genital warts and in some cases cancer. The vaccine is safe, effective, and can help you if you want to have a sexually active lifestyle. Whether you have HPV or not, if you want to be sexually active it is best to eliminate the risk. 

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

Visiting a sexual wellness center or getting some aciclovir 400mg tablets might seem like a hassle, and you might find it frustrating that you need to manage your symptoms like this until the virus leaves your system or the symptoms go away, but if you can protect both yourself and your partner from STI’s- you owe it to yourself and them to get tested.

Then once you have the information about your sexual health, you can move forward with your partner(s) and have a detailed conversation about your health, and you can also be happy you are doing everything you can to keep yourself and your partner(s) safe.