There are at least 25 different types of sexually transmitted infections including HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and genital warts. Some STIs have no symptoms, and the very serious concerns are for the long standing, untreated infections.
Women tend to suffer most of the worst consequences of STIs. If left untreated some STIs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which in turn can lead to infertility. Ectopic pregnancy, premature membrane rupture, premature labour and birth and eye or lung disease in newborn babies can all result from untreated STIs in women. Syphilis, if not treated, can be responsible for neurological or cardiovascular syphilis and can cause congenital syphilis in unborn children. Added to this some STIs can cause nerve pain, meningitis and, more commonly, psychological upset in the sufferer.
In saying this many STIs can be effectively treated if diagnosed early, avoiding long term complications. If you have unprotected sex (no condoms, dams), particularly with a partner whose sexual habits or partners are unknown it is important to have regular sexual health check ups so any STIs can be caught and treated early.
For more information Queensland women can call the Health Information on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).
Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer.
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