Great Britain

All sexually active under 30s should get an STI test, say docs

ANYONE who is sexually active and under the age of 30 should get an STI test, doctors have urged.

Experts have said that many people who have sexually transmitted infections (STIS) don't show symptoms and if left untreated they could become infertile.

Medics says gonorrhoea and chlamydia are the most commonly sexually transmitted bacterial infections.

While they can be treated with antibiotics, if left untreated they can lead to other health issues such as pelvic inflammatory disease, pain and possibly infertility.

Writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the experts said that one in 20 sexually active individuals 15-29 years old will get chlamydia.

Dr. Ainsley Moore, a family physician and associate clinical professor, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University said: "If people are under 30 and sexually active, it's a good idea to get tested.

"Many people are asymptomatic and may not seek treatment so we're recommending opportunistic testing -- that is, at any health care visit."

SYMPTOM CHECKER

Their plea with people to get tested comes after research suggests that rates of STIs have been climbing since the 2000s and that screening for such infections may reduce pelvic inflammatory disease in females.

The NHS advises that you should go to a sexual health clinic if you have the following symptoms.

Womem:

Men:

There are some symptoms that can also occur in both men and women and these include:

As the experts say, many people have no symptoms and the NHS states you should visit a sexual health clinic if you have had unprotected sex with a new partner.

They also suggest you visit a clinic if "you or your sexual partner have had sex with someone else without using a condom."

If your partner has any of the above symptoms you should get a test and if you're trying to get pregnant and may have been at risk of infection you should also get a test.

The guidance from the team in Canada states that males could be screened as a "primary source of infection".

Dr Moore added: "Screening males, who are often without symptoms, may reduce transmission and complications in females and may improve health equity for females."

LOCKDOWN LOVIN'

The guidance from the Canadian experts comes after it was revealed that sales of the morning after pill in the UK have soared over 200 per cent as pubs reopened in England this week.

Data analysed by LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor revealed that Brits had been planning on doing a little bit more than just going to the pub once restrictions were lifted.

In April alone searches for the morning after pill increase by 202 per cent when compared to April 2020.

This is despite the fact that there are still lockdown restrictions in place on mixing indoors.

Easter Monday saw the biggest spike in morning after pill searches with a 363 per cent increase.

This was after the first 'rule of six' came into effect.

LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor also reviewed that search term ‘STI Panel’, which is a form of STI test, gained a 1000 per cent increase from April 2020 to March 2021.

Other terms also saw an increase in search indicating a worrying surge in STI cases as we begin to ease out of lockdown on top of the morning after pill increase. 

A spokesperson from LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor said: "Despite April 2021 only being the start of the UK coming out of the lockdown, the above data suggests people are not practising safe sex, potentially with the restriction to sexual health services and lack of physical appointments."

Sam Thompson speaks to students at Warwick University about condoms as a part of the Public Health England’s ‘Protect Against STIs’ campaign

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