Sexual Health (Men)

Sexual health is about you making those positive choices to protect your health and your wellbeing whilst still being fulfilled sexually.

What are sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

A sexually transmitted infection (an STI) is an infection which is passed between sexual partners during unprotected sexual contact. There are many different STIs.

  • Chlamydia: The most common STI in the UK, chlamydia is caused by bacteria. In most men (and in many women), this infection is asymptomatic (in other words, you have no symptoms). Some men might have pain when passing urine or a discharge from their penis. In most cases, it only takes a short course of antibiotics to clear chlamydia.
  • Genital herpes: The symptoms of genital herpes range from minor soreness of your penis to painful blisters around your penis. An antiviral medication can help to ease the symptoms when they do develop.
  • Genital warts: These are small lumps which develop around your penis or your anus and they are caused by a virus. The treatment includes applying specific chemicals to your warts.
  • Gonorrhoea: The symptoms of gonorrhoea include a penile discharge. The bacteria are usually cleared up with just a short course of antibiotics.
  • HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that affects your immune system. Over time, HIV can develop into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) requiring long-term treatment involving antiretroviral drugs, and although these drugs support your body’s immune system, they do not clear the virus from your system.

How can I get tested for STIs?

If you are in any way concerned about your sexual health, do not put off being tested. At your IPSA clinic, your confidentiality is assured. You can make a same-day appointment at your IPSA clinic for a full STI screen or you can speak in total confidence to your IPSA pharmacist in your IPSA Pharmacy’s private consultation room.