Do I Have an STI?
Most STIs don’t have any symptoms that you would notice. If you think you might have one, it’s recommended that both you and your sexual partner(s) get tested right away.
|Try to remember that it’s quite possible that your symptoms are caused by something other than an STI. Even if it is an STI, the sooner you get tested, the sooner you can begin medications or treatments.|
Get to know your body
One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to know what’s normal for you. That way, if something changes, you can have it checked right away. Get to know how your genitals look, feel and smell. Take a good look down there, using a mirror if it helps. Take note of the colors, textures, and size of your stuff. Use your hands to explore and your eyes to see.
What to look for
Check for an unusual color or rash, strange discharge from your penis* or vagina*, or bumps or sores in and around your genitals.
|If you’re sexually active, get tested regularly for STIs even if you feel fine. Ask your health care provider about what you should be tested for and how often you should be tested.|
|Some STIs like herpes and warts can only be diagnosed when symptoms are showing. This means that to be diagnosed, you must be seen by a health care provider before the symptoms go away.|
|Remember, the sooner you are tested and treated, the sooner your symptoms can be cured or controlled.|
If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]
*We know that these aren’t the words everyone uses for their bodies (eg. trans folks), and support you using the language that feels best for you.