Now that Freshers' Week has died down, you're ready to focus on the year ahead. But what happens when a one-night stand comes back to haunt you? If you've had unprotected sex, whether it was oral, anal, vaginal, or genital touching, you may be at risk of contracting or spreading a sexually transmitted infection (STI), sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted disease (STD).
How will I know if I've contracted an STI?
You won't, because not all STIs have recognisable symptoms. It's not possible to know if your partner has an STI either, so if you are in any doubt, get yourself checked out by your GP straight away.
If you think you might be at risk:
• Make an appointment to see your GP. Most STIs can be easily cured and early treatment is vital to avoid more serious, possibly life-endangering health problems.
• Avoid having multiple partners and unprotected sex.
• Barrier methods of contraception such as condoms can help reduce your risk of transmitting or contracting an STI, but nothing is 100% effective.
You can also find help and advice from the following sources:
• Online: Reputable sources include Patient, WebMD, and NHS Choices.
• University Student Health Services: Refer to any leaflets you were given at the start of term for a contact name or number.