(Sexually Transmitted Disease - STD)
Sexual health is an important part of overall health. It means the absence of disease and infections but also covers well-being, the ability to maintain fertility and to have children and the ability to enjoy fulfilling relationships free from discrimination.
At DF Medical Centre, we screen and treat or refer for treatment all sexually transmitted diseases, including partners/contacts.
The service is confidential.
We also treat a large spectrum of sexual problems, including psychosexual (please see relevant page).
HOW DO I PREVENT STIs?
Most STIs are passed between sexual partners through unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex.
Some STIs are passed by skin-to-skin contact.
Using condoms correctly and every time you have sex will reduce your risk of getting an STI.
If you or your partner has any sign of an infection, cuts or sores in the genital area, do not have any form of sex, including oral sex, until you have been tested and treated.
If you have a new partner, it is a good idea for both of you to have an STI test before having any sex without a condom. You may not have any symptoms, or know you have an STI.
Even when you don’t notice any symptoms, you can still pass an STI to a sexual partner, so it is important to be tested. Your partner should also be tested.
If you do test positive for an STI, it is really important that you don’t have sex with your partner before they are tested and treated as you could become infected again.
Use a condom
- Condoms offer protection against most sexually transmitted infections and HIV if used correctly.
- A male condom covers the penis and can be used for oral (mouth to penis), vaginal and anal sex.
- A female condom lines the vagina and can be used for vaginal sex.
Use a dental dam
A dental dam is a square of latex which is placed over the vagina or anus during oral sex (mouth to vagina or mouth to anus). You can also make a dental dam by cutting up a condom.
Do not share sex toys
You can reduce the risk of an infection being passed on, by not sharing sex toys.
If you choose to share sex toys, you can reduce the risk of an infection being passed on by:
- washing the sex toy properly between each persons’ use
- applying a new condom for each use
Vaccinations are available for some infections that can be contracted through sexual transmission. In particular, men who have sex with men (MSM) should be vaccinated against both hepatitis A and B.
Use PEP if you may have been exposed to HIV
HIV post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a course of HIV medication that aims to prevent HIV infection following a recent exposure to HIV, for example following a sexual contact or a needle-stick injury.
Medical massage therapist vs. general massage therapist
The work of a medical massage therapist differs from that of a general massage therapist. Medical massage therapists have advanced training and experience that allows them to provide care focused on healing injuries, improving function, or increasing circulation. They typically work in hospitals or clinics, may receive orders from a physician as to the type of massage treatment they should give their patients, and can even be paid through the patient’s health insurance.
On the other hand, general massage therapists typically work in spas with the main goal to provide relaxation for their clients. They may use similar techniques as a medical massage therapist, and they may even be able to alleviate some pain, too. However, a general massage therapist’s main goal is not treating a medical condition, but rather reducing stress and promoting relaxation for their client.
TYPES OF STIs
Chlamydia is a common bacterial STI that affects men and women. Many men and women will not notice any symptoms.
It is caused by a type of bacteria.
Many people with chlamydia don’t notice anything wrong or anything different.
Chlamydia can infect the cervix (neck of the womb), urethra (the tube through which you pass urine), the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes, ovaries, testicles, rectum (back passage), pharynx (throat) and sometimes the eyes.
If the infection is untreated, a person with chlamydia risks health problems. This is particularly true for women.
Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Ireland. Most cases occur in young people under the age of 25.
In most cases, chlamydia is passed from one person to another from:
- unprotected sex (oral, vaginal or anal)
- using unwashed sex toys
- mother-to-baby during delivery
You cannot catch chlamydia by:
- sitting on toilet seats
- sharing cutlery or towels
Most people with chlamydia don't experience any symptoms.
If symptoms do occur, they are more likely to develop between one and 28 days after sexual contact with someone who has the infection.
If you do have symptoms, how they show will depend on where the infection is.
- No symptoms in half the men infected.
- Discharge from the tip of the penis.
- Pain or discomfort passing urine.
- Bowel symptoms such as diarrhoea, pain, mucus discharge or bleeding from the back passage.
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles.
- No symptoms in 7 out of 10 women with the infection.
- Bleeding after sex.
- Bleeding between periods.
- Change in your normal vaginal discharge.
- Pain passing urine.
- Pain in your abdomen (tummy).
Testing for chlamydia is simple and painless.
Chlamydia is diagnosed by taking a urine sample in men and a vaginal swab in women. Sometimes a swab is also taken from the rectum (back passage) or pharynx (throat).
Chlamydia infections are easily treated with antibiotics - sometimes a once-off dose.
In most cases, no, but your doctor or nurse will tell you if you need to come back for a repeat test.
If you have chlamydia, your current partner (or partners) will also be offered testing and treatment.
It is important that all of the people you have recently been in sexual contact with are given the option to be tested and treated. Your doctor or nurse will discuss this with you.
You will have to wait at least one week after finishing treatment before having sex again. Make sure your partner is tested and treated too.
It's really important that you don't have sex with your partner before they are tested and treated as you could become infected again.
If your chlamydia is untreated, it can be passed on to your sexual partners.
Chlamydia can spread from the neck of the womb (cervix) up into the womb (uterus) the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This is called pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. PID can increase the risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes).
Chlamydia can spread from the urethra (the tube through which you pass urine) to the testicles, causing pain and swelling of the testicles. This is known as epididymo-orchitis.
Women and men
In rare cases, chlamydia may cause pain and swelling in joints such as the ankles or knees. This is known as sexually-acquired reactive arthropathy (SARA) and is more common in men. Sometimes it can cause your eyes to become inflamed (conjunctivitis).
Using condoms correctly and every time you have sex will reduce your risk of getting chlamydia.
If you have a new partner, it is a good idea for both of you to have a sexual health screen before any unprotected sex.
Genital herpes (HSV)
We Are Always Glad to Help
If you would like to book an appointment with our Medical Massage Therapist.
Please contact Mr Eugen Bria on