Sexually transmitted infections (STI), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and venereal diseases (VD), are infections that are commonly spread by sexual contact. You can get an STI by having vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex. There are several different types of STI. Some of the most common STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital warts, herpes and syphilis. Most STIs are treatable or curable. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are curable, whereas herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV) are treatable but not curable and Thomson Specialist Skin Centre offers treatments for all of these STIs.

What are the symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection? These are the common symptoms to look out for –

Discharge from the vagina or penis

Abnormal vaginal bleeding

A sore, ulcer, rash, or lump that appears on the penis or around the vagina, vulva or anus

Pain during sexual intercourse

Swelling of the scrotum

If you or your partner exhibit one or more of these symptoms, you should go for Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) screening. It is also important to note that some STIs cause no visible symptoms. However, you can still pass on the infection to others even if you have no symptoms. Thus, it is recommended that if you are sexually active you should go for STI screenings yearly. This can be done on either urine in both men and women, vaginal or cervical swabs in women, or urethral swabs in men.

If you suspect that you have a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), contact Thomson Specialist Skin Centre today to set up your first appointment for an STI screening.

The diagnosis of chlamydia infection involves sampling of the urethral discharge in males or cervical secretions in females, or sending a urine specimen, which is simple and non-invasive. Samples are analysed using PCR technology.
Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection caused by some sub-types of human papillomavirus (HPV). It is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected partner.
Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The usual symptoms in men are burning sensation with urination and penile discharge. Women, on the other hand, are asymptomatic half the time or have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain. In both men and women, if gonorrhoea is left untreated, it may spread locally causing epididymitis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Herpes is a contagious viral infection that is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). Infection of this virus causes blisters and sores anywhere on the skin especially around the mouth, nose, genitals and buttocks. Although generally a mild infection, they can be irritating because the blisters are itchy, painful and can recur periodically.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. It infects the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women. One usually gets syphilis from sexual contact with someone who has it. It can also pass from mother to baby during pregnancy.