Every FOUR MINUTES a young person is told they have an STI – these are the signs you need to know

Cases of chlamydia and gonorrhoea are on the rise with more than 144,000 diagnoses in people aged 15-24 last year.

The number of people diagnosed with gonorrhoea rose 22 per cent from 2016 to 2017.

Of the 420,000 new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England last year chlamydia accounted for nearly half.

If left untreated these STIs can lead to  pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, swollen or painful testicles, reactive arthritis and in pregnant women.

The infections can also lead to a higher risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

Those aged 15-24 make up 63 per cent of chlamydia diagnoses and 37 per cent of gonorrhoea cases.

Public Health England (PHE) is reminding people to be safe and use a condom as part of their Protect Against STIs campaign.

While other forms of contraception, like the Pill, protect against unwanted pregnancy, they don't protect against infection.

TV doctor and GP, Sara Kayat, said: "Rates of STIs remain high in young people, and we want to make sure people know that the best way to protect themselves from getting an STI, is to use a condom.

"Often STIs don’t have any symptoms, with seven in 10 cases of chlamydia in women and around half of cases in men symptomless, and they can have serious consequences.

"You can easily contract an STI or pass one on without even knowing it so, as I tell my patients, make sure you use a condom."

Made in Chelsea's Sam Thompson, who is joining PHE for their campaign, said: "We’re not talking about safe sex or normalising the use of condoms enough and finding out all the facts about STIs has taught me so much, which I want to let everyone know about too, so we can limit the spread of STIs.

"The most shocking thing I’ve learnt is that some STIs are symptomless and that some are actually becoming harder to treat – that’s scary.

"The best thing I’ve learnt is that if you're under the age of 25 you can get condoms for free by just looking online for a free condom finder; I’m spreading that message far and wide.

"There’s really no excuse for people not to use condoms and we should all feel empowered to use them and to see condoms as a normal part of a healthy sex life."

These are the signs you need to watch out for…

It's important that you know all the signs and symptoms – and get tested regularly.

1. Gonorrhoea

The bacterial infection spreads through all forms of unprotected sex, as well as by sharing unwashed or unprotected sex toys.

Pregnant women can pass the infection on to their baby, which can cause blindness if it isn't treated in time.

The signs of a gonorrhoea infection can vary between men and women.

In women, symptoms can often include:

  • unusually watery or off-colour vaginal discharge
  • burning pain when weeing
  • pain in the lower gut (less common)
  • bleeding between periods or after sex, also less common

In men, symptoms can include:

  • an unusual discharge from the penis
  • burning after urinating
  • swelling in the foreskin
  • pain in the testicles, in rare cases

2. Chlamydia

In the majority of cases, people with chlamydia don't notice any symptoms at all.

Worryingly, this can mean they go undiagnosed.

The NHS outlines some warning signs to look out for…

  • pain when urinating
  • unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or rectum
  • in women, pain in the tummy, bleeding during or after sex, and bleeding between periods
  • in men, pain and swelling in the testicles

If untreated, these symptoms may develop into something a lot more serious.

Sufferers can end up with long-term health problems including pelvic inflammatory disease, reactive arthritis and infertility.


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