What Are Sexually Transmitted Infections?

And how can you protect yourself against them?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are any kind of bacterial or viral infection that can be passed on through unprotected sexual contact. Anyone can contract a sexually transmitted infection or disease (STD): it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had sex, or how many partners you’ve had.

Not every STI has noticeable symptoms, so it can be easy to just hope you haven’t caught anything. But there are lots of different types of infection out there, so it’s really important to always go and get tested as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. This will hep ensure  so you don’t pass anything to another partner, or cause yourself long-term harm.

It’s understandable that you might feel nervous at the thought of being tested, but don’t worry –most infections are easily treated.

Suit up

The best defence against catching an STI is to use a condom every time you have sex.

Condoms are the only contraceptive method that protect against both STIs and pregnancy – so even if you’re using another contraceptive method to avoid getting pregnant, like the pill, you should still be rubbering up.


Talking about sex can be awkward, but it’s also very important to have a conversation with your partners about whether or not they have been tested recently before you have sex with them. That way you can help to keep yourself, and your parters, safe!

Number crunching 

According to the latest figures from the Local Government Association, there were a whopping 78,066 new STI diagnoses among 15 to 19-year-olds, and a ball-busting 141,060 among 20 to 24-year-olds in England at the end of 2015.

Sexually transmitted infections are more common than you might think – and remember, those 200,000 young adults are only the ones who were diagnosed, which means there are probably a whole lot more who don’t realise they might have one.

Be savvy

So, be smart about the ways you have sex! You can read more about the different types of STI on the Fumble site. If you have more questions, or are worried you might have contracted an STI, you can find lots more information on the Brook website

Read More

Why You Should Get Tested For STIs