Infections that are mainly contracted and transmitted by sexual contact are called sexually transmitted infections. HIV is a very well-known sexually transmitted infection, but bacterial infections such as gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia are also on the rise. These infections can also be transmitted by other means, for example by using dirty syringes or while giving birth.
Causes and treatment
- Bacteria (e.g. syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia)
- Viruses (e.g. HPV, HIV, herpes, hepatitis B)
- Fungi (e.g. candida, “yeast infection”)
- Parasites (e.g. trichomoniasis)
These infections are typically spread through sexual contact. They can also be passed on in other ways, for example by using dirty syringes or while giving birth.
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- Blood test (search for pathogens)
- Urethral and vaginal swabs
- Antibiotics for bacterial infections (e.g. syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia)
- Anti-viral medication for viral infections (e.g. HIV)
What can I do myself?
Follow the safer sex rules:
- Always use a condom or femidom during sexual intercourse
- Don't get sperm or blood (including menstrual blood) in your mouth, and don’t swallow
When to see a doctor?
- Itching, burning or discharge in the genital region
- After having high-risk sex, i.e. in particular after unprotected sex outside a committed partnership (casual sex)
- If your sexual partner is known or diagnosed to have a sexually transmitted infection or disease
- Fever and signs of illness after unprotected sex