There Are 6 STIs You Can Have Without Showing Any Symptoms

by | Jun 3, 2019

Associate sexually transmitted infections with nasty rashes, nagging itching and burning wee? Sure, that’s the sort of thing that you’re commonly told to watch out for.

But, there are also a host of health complications that arise from getting down (sans condom) that won’t give you so much as a whisper that all is not rosy in your garden. Yes, STIs without symptoms are a thing.

RELATED: How To Avoid Sexually Transmitted Debt

‘Pretty much any STIs can be asymptomatic,’ explains Dr Rashid Bani, medical director for test providers Your Sexual Health and a GP. ‘That’s why my advice is that if you’ve had unprotected intercourse even once, to go and have a test.’

Oh – and if you think that your days of being at risk for these issues are as long gone as American Apparel disco pants and flattening your hair with straighteners, know that cases of antibiotic-resistant ‘super gonorrhoea’ were reported in 2018 and this year, and that there was a 20 per cent spike in syphilis diagnosis between 2016 and 2017.

STIs without symptoms: the infections that might not let you know that they’re there

Chlamydia

This one often goes unnoticed – which, thanks to its potential implications for your fertility, could be a big issue. ‘A lot of people experience this as a silent infection,’ says Dr Bani.

‘Though you may experience vaginal or anal discharge [depending on the entry point for the sort of sex you’ve had] or have a burning feeling when they urinate.’

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Gonorrhoea

When it comes to STIs without symptoms, this is a biggie. ‘Similarly, many people might experience no signs that they have gonorrhoea,’ says Dr Bani.

And if you do experience symptoms? ‘Though you may experience a thicker, greener discharge and burning when you urinate, and you may experience vaginal bleeding when you’re not on your period.’

RELATED: How Many Sexual Partners Is Normal, Really?

Herpes

This is one that you imagine should be pretty visible, with red sores and blisters. But it can be way more subtle than that.

‘Some people might see just one small Herpes sore and think it’s just a spot,’ says Dr Rani. ‘It’s not always painful or obvious.’ 

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Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG)

This little known STI is both stealthy and nasty – untreated, it can result in pelvic inflammatory disease.

This ‘can damage your fallopian tubes and cause issues with fertility,’ elaborates Dr Rani. It only affects between 1 and 2% of the population, but it’s worth being aware of, natch.

Again, some people experience more-than-normal discharge, burning wee and vaginal bleeding that’s nothing to do with periods – but plenty do not. 

Because the bacteria associated with it can take months to grow, it’a also possible to be infected for years, without realising.

HIV

Some of the signs of HIV – fatigue, weight loss, fever – don’t, at first, appear to indicate something severe, and might be thought to be a passing illness.

As such, if you do experience these symptoms and you have had unprotected sex, it’s time to get checked, quick sharp.

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Syphilis

Similarly, the key symptom of this Victoria-era infection that’s making a serious comeback is small sores – which, if you only get one, can easily be dismissed as a spot.

Remember, though, as Dr Bani says – any STI can be asymptomatic. Make sure that you go and get tested regularly, and, if you’ve started have unprotected sex with a new partner, go together to make sure that you’re squeaky clean.

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health UK.

RELATED: The STI Symptoms All Women Should Watch Out For

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Women Fleeing Domestic Violence Can Now Receive A One-Off Support Payment

It’s been labelled the shadow pandemic and the fact remains that for many women across Australia, domestic violence is a lived reality that doesn’t discriminate by age, occupation, or socio-economic status. Researchers have found that during Covid-19 lockdowns, there was a surge in family and domestic violence, with agencies experiencing a surge in demand as nearly half their clients reported an increase in controlling behaviours. 

As many who have lived through such turmoil and trauma can attest, the roadmap to fleeing such situations at home can be fraught with challenges and extremely difficult to navigate, particularly when such bureaucracy makes it even harder. Now, it’s been announced that women fleeing a violent relationship will be given a one-off $5,000 payment as part of a federal government trial scheme. 

Known as the “escaping violence payment scheme,” the government has set aside $144.5 million over the next two years to give women $1,500 cash, with the remainder to pay for goods and services, bond, school fees and other necessaries to establish a new safe home. UnitingCare Network will be tasked with delivering the payments while helping link women and their children with relevant community services. 

As the Daily Telegraph reports, “An analysis of domestic violence data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that while it is more common for women from poorer areas, women from high socio-economic areas are not immune from experiencing partner violence.”

As Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston explained, the trial has been introduced with the aim to help women overcome the financial barriers that might deter them from leaving a violent relationship. “We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse - which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money - reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” she said. 

“The payments will assist people who need financial support to leave. We know the size of the house a woman is fleeing doesn’t matter. Often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.”

To be eligible for a payment, women must be facing financial stress and have some evidence of domestic violence such as a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, or an AVO, court order or police report. As UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little said, “We believe that all people, especially women and their children, have the right to live freely and without fear, and this payment is an important step forward to ending violence against women and children.”

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 

Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.