Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

What are Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

There are at least 25 different STIs. What they all have in common is that they can be passed on through sexual contact, including vaginal, oral and anal sex. STIs you may have heard of include chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea.

If you have an STI, it's important to find out so that you can get it treated as soon as possible, and so that you don't pass it on to someone else. If left untreated, some STIs can cause serious and permanent damage. In some cases it can damage your fertility, meaning that it can be harder for you to get pregnant in the future, or make you unable to have children at all. If you are pregnant, some STIs can be passed to your unborn baby.

Having sex should be fun and enjoyable, but having unprotected sex may increase your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection or becoming pregnant. Using condoms during sex will help you feel more confident and relaxed about sex as condoms protect you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections.