This month’s Omega Health focuses on sexual health

Public Health England figures show there were 420,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in 2017, with cases of syphilis continuing to rise. In the UK the rise of sexually transmitted infections is a big concern as many people do not even realise they are infected. People with sexually transmitted infections(STIs) do not always get symptoms, so it’s worth getting tested even if you feel fine. If youthink you have an STI, the earlier you’re tested, the sooner treatment can be given if it’s needed.

An STI can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. You can contract or pass on an STI with whoever you’re having sex with. STIs can pass between men and women, and from women to women and men to men.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, Consultant Scientist and Head of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Section at PHE said “Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health, both your own and that of current and future sexual partners. The impact of STI’s can be considerable, with some causing infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and harm to unborn babies”

Chlamydiais the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK. Often known as the silent infection because often the symptoms become unrecognised.

How do you get Chlamydia?

Chlamydiais a bacterial infection. The bacteria areusually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids (semen or vaginal fluid).
You can get Chlamydia through:

  • Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
  • Sharing sex toys that aren’t washed or covered with a new condom each time they’re used, your genitals coming into contact with your partner’s genitals. This means you can get Chlamydia from someone even if there is no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation.
  • Infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye can also cause an STI.

To find your nearest Sexual health clinic and to get advice on all sexually transmitted infections and diseases please go to www.nhs.uk

You can find the offline version of this publication here