Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) are medical conditions that you get by having unprotected sex. They’re sometimes known as sexually-transmitted diseases or STDs. Experts have warned of a growing trend of STIs over a lack of education.
The over-45s are at a higher risk of contracting an STI than ever before, according to scientists at the University of Chichester.
The growing risk is caused by society’s “unwillingness to talk about middle-aged or older people having sex”.
Those living in socially and economically-disadvantaged areas have the highest risk of infection, they added.
People over 45 that enter into new relationships are more likely to have unprotected sex, as there’s a lower risk of pregnancy.
“Over-45s at most risk are generally those entering new relationships after a period of monogamy, often post-menopause, when pregnancy is no longer a consideration, but give little thought to STIs,” he said.
“Given improvements in life expectancy, sexual healthcare needs to improve its intervention for older adults and vulnerable groups to provide a more utilised, knowledgeable, compassionate, and effective service.
“The findings have also shown that groups with one or more socio-economic disadvantages, such as homeless people, sex workers, non-native language speakers and migrants, are at even greater risk of being unaware of their sexual health and unable to access the appropriate services.”
Chlamydia is the most common STI to be diagnosed in the UK, with almost half of all new STDs diagnoses.
Most people with chlamydia don’t develop any symptoms, and may not even know that they have it.
If symptoms do appear, they may include pain while urination, unusual discharge, stomach pain, bleeding after sex in women, or testicular pain in men.
Left untreated, chlamydia can develop into pelvic inflammatory disease, and it may even lead to infertility.
Gonorrhoea and genital warts are two other common types of STI in the UK.
Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria, and it can cause permanent blindness in your newborn baby.
Symptoms of the infection include a burning sensation when using the loo, unusual bleeding, or thing, watery discharge.
Meanwhile, genital warts may lead to painless growths around the vagina, penis or anus.
You should speak to a doctor if you find any of these growths, or if you notice a change to the flow of your urine.
Source: Daily Express