Treatment usually involves a course of antibiotics; this is effective in curing 95 percent of cases.
Symptoms of sexually transmitted infections
Some illnesses, such as chlamydia, do not display any symptoms but most do have obvious symptoms; some of the most common symptoms include:
- Abnormal discharge
- Pain during urination
- Itching and irritation around the genitals
- Irritation of the urethra (this is the tube that urine comes down)
Preventing sexually transmitted infections
The only way to prevent sexually transmitted infections is to wear protection during sex; the only contraceptive method that protects against STIs, as well as pregnancy is condoms.
Most contraceptive methods are taken by women, rather than men. The most common contraceptive method used by men is condoms; these can be worn by both males and females but the male condom (98%) is more effective than the female condom (95%). Condoms are also the only means of protecting against sexually transmitted infections. You should always use condoms that have the CE mark on them; this means they have met European standards. Condoms are available to buy from a number of pharmacies and high street retailers, as well as from machines in pubs and nightclubs. Condoms are available free of charge from NHS walk-in centres, GP surgeries, sexual health clinics, community contraceptive clinics and GUM clinics.