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Before my next relation

To avoid taking a stupid risk, here are four things that you should know before having your first or next sexual relation.

1. No condom, no sex!

The condom or the dental dam are the only two efficient ways to protect yourself against most STBBIs if you use them well. Don’t take unnecessary risks!

Whether it’s during a one-night stand or with your boyfriend or girlfriend, always wear a condom.

The condom must be used before any contact of the penis with the mouth (oral sex), the vagina (vaginal sex) or the anus (anal sex). It must be used from the beginning until the end of the sexual relation.

2. I don’t have any symptoms, so I don’t have an STBBI?

FALSE. You can’t necessarily see an STBBI. The majority of people infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia don’t have any symptoms. Consequently, it’s not a good reason to not get tested.

If they happen, the symptoms are:

  • pain while urinating;
  • abnormal discharge from the vagina, penis or anus;
  • pain to the rectum or the lower abdomen;
  • pain during sexual relations;
  • sore throat or pharyngitis in the case of an oral-genital transmission.

3. No symptoms, no risk to my health?

FALSE. There are many consequences to an untreated STBBI. An untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia can cause:

  • infertility;
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • pain while urinating;
  • pain during sexual relations;
  • trouble getting pregnant;
  • trouble during pregnancy;
  • increased risk of contracting or transmitting HIV.

Also, even if you don’t have any symptoms, it doesn’t prevent you from being contagious and from transmitting an STBBI to your partner.

4. I am embarrassed to go get tested!

It’s normal to feel embarrassed when getting tested. Don’t hesitate to talk about it with the nurse or doctor. These professionals are there to put you at ease, to help you, to reassure you and to give you information.

A screening test is entirely confidential, free and simple. No reason not to go!

What happens during a screening test? First, the nurse or doctor will ask you questions about your recent and past sexual behaviours as well as your life habits. These questions are to evaluate your risk level and infection sites. Then, you will do a urine test. Also easy! It becomes more embarrassing NOT to do it!

Source: www.itss.gouv.qc.ca