Good sexual health is an important part of general and health and well being. It is imperative to practice safe sex by using a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STI). Many STIs have no obvious symptoms and can affect general health, as well as fertility.
Sexually transmitted infections include, among others, chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea, syphilis, Mycoplasma genitalium, genital herpes, scabies, pubic lice (crabs), hepatitis and HIV.
If you think you have been exposed to an STI, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP or sexual health service about having a check-up, even if you do not have any signs or symptoms of an STI. Don’t try to diagnose your symptoms yourself, and remember that not all genital signs and symptoms are caused by an STI.
Testing for STIs
For people with no symptoms, testing for STIs depends on how sexually active you are and whether you use condoms consistently. It is recommended that you get tested:
- after any sexual contact with a new or casual sexual partner
- after any sex, if you know or suspect that your partner has had other sexual partners
- after any unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact
- after any sexual contact in countries where HIV and other STIs are common
- if your partner tells you that they have been diagnosed with an STI.
If you are a gay man or a man who has sex with other men, it is important to get regular check-ups for STIs, including HIV and syphilis, at least every year. Have more frequent (three-monthly) check-ups if you have an increased number of sexual partners (for example, more than 10 partners in three months).
For more information speak to your doctor or go to: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/sexual-health