STIs are transmitted four ways: through blood exchange, fluid exchange, skin to skin contact, and from mother to child (during breastfeeding or vaginal birth). Unless you have recently had genital contact or fluid exchange with someone who is infected, it’s unlikely you have an STI.
However, some females experience natural infections that are unrelated to sexual activity. Yeast infections and bacterial vaginitis (BV) often share the same symptoms as bacterial STIs: itching, burning, unusual discharge, and/or change in genital odor. They are curable, common, and affect women of all ages. While males can acquire bacterial and yeast infections, it is less common. Males often expel bacteria or yeast during ejaculation or urination.
Whether you’re male, female, or intersex, see a medical professional and get treated if you are experiencing discomfort of any type. You can make an appointment for the next Teen Clinic by calling 303-442-5160.