Some STIs you probably haven’t heard of but really should know about

Estimated read time 3 min read

You’ve probably heard of the more common infections like chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea and herpes but did you know there are other, far less well-known sexually transmitted diseases that should also be on your radar?

  1. Trichomoniasis

This is actually the most common STI in women. Thankfully, it can be cleared up with a course of antibiotics, but symptoms include an unpleasant smelling green/yellow discharge, discomfort and itching and pain when urinating or having sex. It can be spread through vaginal sex, whether between men and women or women and women. Always practice safe sex to avoid the risks from any infections. For an STI test Greenwich, visit

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  1. Molluscum contagiousum

This is a skin condition that is spread through vaginal, oral or anal sex but also through sharing items like towels or clothes. The signs of infection include raised, red bumps that look like inflamed pimples. If left untreated, they can spread throughout the body. They do sometimes clear up on their own but if not, they might have to be removed by a dermatologist which could leave scarring.

  1. Lymphogranuloma venereum

This infection is often mistaken for herpes or syphilis and symptoms include ulcers or lumps on the genitals. The lymph glands in that area will also be swollen. It is caused by a strain of chlamydia so can be treated with antibiotics, but it is not currently known how it spreads.

  1. Parasitic infections

These unpleasant infections enter your body through consumption of excrement containing amebiasis, cryptosporidiosis or giardiasis. Sounds pretty awful, right? Any sexual activity that centres around stimulating another person’s anus could see you coming into contact with these parasites. If you don’t want to use gloves or dental dams, then all you can do is both get tested beforehand.

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  1. Chancroid

Chancroid is more likely to be experienced in hot, humid and tropical climates as the bacteria thrive in these conditions. It causes a thoroughly unpleasant open sore on the genitals, which can become infected, painful and ooze pus. Chancroid is transmitted through homo, hetero and oral sexual relations.

  1. Cytomegalovirus

This is another infection that’s more common than you’d think, with a large percentage of the population being carriers, of which around 40% contracting it through non-sexual means during puberty. It can be contracted via urine, semen, cervical discharge, saliva, blood and breast milk. There are no symptoms generally, but it can affect pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.

  1. Donovanosis

Thankfully, this nasty infection is rare but when it does strike, it’s quite horrendous. Painful ulcers that bleed easily are the main symptom. These ulcers will feel raised with an irregular edge. They appear on the genitals but can also occur on the chest and nose. Treatment must be sought immediately as the ulcers will literally ‘eat’ away at the flesh.


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