What should I do if I think I've got an STI?

Information written and reviewed by Certified Doctors.

If you think you may have a sexually transmitted infections (STIs), go to your doctor or local sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.

Most STIs can be successfully treated, but it's important to get any symptoms checked as soon as possible.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

STIs are infections that are passed on through unprotected sex (not using a condom) or genital contact.

They include:

When should I go to a sexual health or GUM clinic?

Go to a sexual health or GUM clinic if you have any of the symptoms listed below.

In women:

  • yellow or green discharge from your vagina, or discharge that smells
  • bleeding during or after sex
  • bleeding between periods
  • pain during sex
  • pain in your lower abdomen

In men:

  • discharge from your penis
  • pain in your testicles

In women and men:

  • pain when passing urine
  • itching, burning or tingling around your genitals
  • blisters, sores, spots or lumps around your genitals or anus
  • black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear (this could be droppings or eggs from pubic lice)

Some health practices, pharmacies, contraception clinics and young people's services may also provide testing for some STIs.

Not everyone with an STI has symptoms. You should get checked if:

  • you have had unprotected sex with a new partner
  • you or your sexual partner have had sex with someone else without using a condom
  • your sexual partner has any symptoms
  • you're planning to get pregnant and may have been at risk of infection.
Content supplied by NHS Choices