Many people take drugs because they want to feel more confident. More relaxed. To do things they wouldn’t usually try. But when you are high or drunk, you’re unlikely to be in control of the situations you find yourself in. Combining drugs and sex can lead you to take risks you wouldn’t usually take.
You are more likely to:
- Have unprotected sex putting you at risk of STIs
- Have an unwanted pregnancy
- Have sex with someone you don’t want to
- Have sex you did not consent to
- Not be able to remember the sex you had.
If you’re going to take drugs, it’s important that you know how they affect you to avoid putting yourself at risk if you have sex. It’s also vital to use contraception and get the sexual health advice you need. We can help you with all of this. We can give you the support and information you need on sex and drugs.
So what is a Sexually Transmitted Infection?
An STI is a Sexually Transmitted Infection.
It’s a viral, bacterial, or parasite infection that is spread through sexual contact. This contact covers vaginal, oral or anal sex, and sometimes contact with bodily fluids such as sperm, saliva, blood, and vaginal discharge. So even if you use contraception, you can still get some STIs.
Chlamydia is the most common STI, followed by Gonorrhoea, genital herpes and genital warts.
How do I know if I have an STI?
Some STIs will show up straight after you have sexual contact with someone. For others, it will take a few days, months or years after you have had unprotected sex. A few have no symptoms at all. Most STIs can be sorted out easily. It’s when you leave them untreated that they can affect your long-term health.
If you have any of the following, it’s time to get checked out:
- In women, bleeding after sex or between periods
- sores, blisters, warts, rashes, irritation or itching near your genitals or anus
- pain when you go to the loo, or you need to go to the toilet more often than usual
- pain during sex
- pelvic or lower abdominal (tummy) pain.
If you have any of the symptoms above you need to get tested for STIs. Go to see your local GP, to a sexual health clinic or talk to someone at EYPDAS.
Types of STIs
Below are some common STIs. Click on each to find out more. The only way to protect against STIs is to use a condom when you have sex.