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Do Lesbians Need to Care About STI’s?

It’s a common misconception that lesbians are not affected by sexually transmitted infections. Unfortunately, such infections can be spread through female-to-female sexual activity. Whilst the chances are smaller, there are still chances so it pays to be informed and know how to keep yourself safe. It’s much easier to prevent an infection from occurring than it is to treat one and the golden rule is to limit the exchange of bodily fluids where possible. There are devices available which mean you can engage in all the fun stuff you want to and minimise the risk of exchanging bodily fluids. Here are some of the infections that lesbians need to be aware of:

Chlamydia

This is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections for every sexual orientation but is rare in lesbians. Chlamydia is mostly transmitted through penetrative sex so, it can still be spread by the use of sex toys and fingers. It’s a sneaky infection in that it can hang around for years with no symptoms. It can cause pain during sex, discomfort whilst urinating, bleeding, discharge and pelvic inflammatory disease. Thankfully it can be treated with a course of antibiotics. If you suspect you might have chlamydia, you can test yourself in the privacy of your own home with Home StI kits from https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org

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Gonorrhoea

As with Chlamydia, gonorrhoea is spread via penetrative sex so lesbians are still at risk through sex toys, fingers and via oral sex affecting the throat and the urethra. The bacteria thrive in moist, warm conditions so don’t be tempted to share flannels or towels. Contracting gonorrhoea this way is rare but does remain a possibility. Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating and a yellowy-green vaginal discharge. It can also be treated with antibiotics.

Genital Herpes

These painful sores around the genitals, rectum or mouth are surprisingly common. Around the mouth, the virus presents as cold sores and as warts in the genitalia. It can be spread with any form of contact between people but can be reduced by not performing oral sex if you have a cold sore, for example. They can disappear of their own accord, but the virus remains in your body and can recur at any time.

HIV/AIDS

HIV can be transmitted through various means, not necessarily sexual. It is spread through direct contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluid so affects heterosexual, gays and lesbians alike. It is rare to see in the lesbian community, but it can happen and is thought to be transmitted via vaginal discharge and menstrual blood.

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Scabies

You might be unfamiliar with this infection, but scabies are small burrowing mites that get under the skin and release a chemical that causes unbearable itching. You don’t even have to up close and personal with someone to catch them as they can live in clothing and fabric for a few days. It is reported to be so incredibly itchy that it causes scratching until you bleed. Treatment involves covering your entire body in a special lotion, under your nails and anyone who has come into contact with you.

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