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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections spread by sexual contact. This includes genital skin-to-skin contact and vaginal, oral, and anal sex. If you're pregnant, you can also spread them to your baby before or during the birth.
STIs are common. But they don't always cause symptoms. And if they are not treated, they can lead to health problems. Testing and treatment are important to help protect the health of you and your partner(s).
STIs caused by bacteria can go away with treatment. STIs caused by viruses can be treated to relieve symptoms, but treatment won't make them go away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
You can help prevent STIs if you wait to have sex with a new partner (or partners) until you've each been tested for STIs. It also helps if you use condoms and if you limit your sex partners to one person who has sex only with you.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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