M.Sc. B.A. Relate Cert C.C.
Registered Counsellor BACP & UKRC
Coast Road, Rhyl, LL18 3PL
07551 529 386
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's) often exist and pass between sexual partners without the person(s) even knowing they have an infection.
The only sure way to know you have an STI is by having a check up at your local Genito Urinary Medicine Clinic.
Bacterial infections are treatable with antibiotics for example:
These may have symptoms, but might not.
Although bacterial STI's are fairly easy to treat, the process of discovering the existence of an STI having testing for STI's and waiting on results, can be scary and embarrassing.
Conversations about STI's can be full of shame and blame. People find them really difficult to speak about- to a partner or doctor or counsellor.
Some STI's can have damaging long term effects on fertility if untreated (e.g. Chlamydia can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease).
Some STI's can pass from mum to baby, or might only become discovered when you find yourself pregnant.
Because we often can't tell how long an infection has been around it can raise worries about trust and fidelity in couple relationships.
Viral infections e.g.:
Can be even more distressing than the bacterial ones.
Viral STI's are not cured with antibiotics. They can be treated with antiviral treatments.
Although Genital warts are unsightly they can be easily treated with spray and creams (available at your local STI clinic).
Diagnoses of genital herpes (the cold sore virus family) can be very distressing for individuals as it can pass on even where no obvious sores exist, and it can recur in future outbreaks.
HIV is on the increase, like all STI's, and can have huge consequences on sex and intimacy.
HIV, like other infections affects heterosexual as well as gay couples.
Because STI's pass through any form of sex, fear of passing an infection or getting an infection through sex is very real, particularly if one partner has an infection and the other not.
The impact of a STI can remain long after the diagnosis or treatment. It can affect intimacy, self esteem, trust and counselling can help undo some of the damage and problematic myths of STI's.
Having worked for ten years in a regional Sexual Health (GUM) Clinic as a sexual health adviser I have a lot of experience in the area of sexual health and use this to help in counselling relating to Sexually Transmitted Infections.