Not all STIs are symptomatic, but all should be treated. That’s why sexual health check-ups and STI screening are a good idea and nothing to feel ashamed about.
I’m worried about sexually transmitted infections
Once you start having sex, change partners or start a new relationship, you should consider regular sexual health check-ups.
If you have any symptoms or worries about your sexual health then book a sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening straight away. Some STIs show no visible symptoms, so you won't always know if you need a check up but, if left untreated, they may cause long-term problems like infertility.
There is no single test to detect all STIs. After discussing your sexual history and symptoms with your doctor, the appropriate tests will be chosen, and may include a urine test, a swab, a blood test, or a simple physical examination.
What happens when I get my STI test results?
If you test positive for an STI, your doctor will plan your treatment, which can range from antibiotics to creams to antiviral drugs. You will also need to tell your sexual partners so they can
be tested too.
If you test negative, we advise that you protect yourself and future partners by practising safe sex, and by having regular STI screenings.
What about HIV?
In addition, if you are a man who has sex with men (MSM), you may want to consider taking a daily Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to protect you against HIV. Dr Michael Flynn at Village Medical, Clondalkin, is a passionate advocate for PreP.