student.union@newcastle.ac.uk

S.H.A.G Week 2021.

22 - 26 November

SHAG stands for Sexual Health, Awareness, and Guidance. It’s useful bits of information intended to help you keep sexually healthy. This year, as we return to some sort of normality, we are focusing on the basics of getting tested, why this is important and how to make the process as easy as possible for you. We hope this S.H.A.G week inspires you to get tested and to start (or continue) in routinely testing. We have sexual health resources available all year round in the Welfare and Support Centre just next to the Co-op. You can read our full resources page here.


Testing Battle Guide to STIs Feedback

Battle of the Clubs & Societies.

We have partnered with New Croft Sexual Health centre to bring back the iconic STI testing competition. Testing is good for you and your club or society! Be in with the chance of winning up to £150 for your club or society by being the most tested (based on percentage of members).

The testing tables will be set up in Luther’s Bar all week 22-26 of November (10am - 3pm).

1st Prize: £150; 2nd Prize: £75

But why?

Your sexual health needs and wellbeing are important. Looking after your sexual health can have a positive impact on your mental and overall physical health and because people under 25 are one of the groups at increased risk of being infected with an STI, we return each year with our S.H.A.G. campaign.


Rough Guide to STIs.

Below is a breakdown of some of the sex-related conditions that can affect all people who are sexually active. One golden takeaway is that getting tested routinely and whenever you think you may have been infected means treatment is much easier. The information is provided by the NHS. Find out more about STI testing here.

Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK.

What is it?

A bacterial infection is passed on through unprotected sex or contact with infected genital fluids.

Testing?

Get tested at least once a year or if/when you suspect there is a chance you may have been infected or have symptoms. Testing is done with a urine or a swab test. 

Symptoms? 

It’s a sneaky one because most people who have it don’t show symptoms meaning the infection can be spread without knowing.

If symptoms do not show, look out for; Pain when peeing, discharge, pain during sex, bleeding after sex, testicular pain.

Treatment?

Usually easily treated with antibiotics.

What are they?

A common STI passed on by vaginal and anal sex, sharing sex toys, and (rarely) by oral sex.

Diagnoses?

A doctor or nurse can usually diagnose warts by looking at them. You can choose to have this take place at a sexual health clinic.

Symptoms?

1 or more painless growths or lumps around your vagina, penis, or anus, itching or mild bleeding from genitals or anus.

Treatment?

Includes a cream or liquid, freezing or removal.

What are they?

An STI is passed on through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Symptoms?

Small blisters that burst to leave red, open sores around your genitals, anus thighs or bum, tingling, itching or burning around genitals, pain when peeing, vaginal discharge.

Diagnoses?

A swab to take some fluid from a blister or sore for testing.

Treatment?

Symptoms can clear up by themselves but it’s important to get a diagnosis so you can prevent passing it on. Other treatments available are antiviral medicine or cream to help with any pain.

What is it?

A bacterial STI is passed on by unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, sharing sex toys.

Symptoms?

Thick green or yellow discharge from vagina or penis, pain when peeing, and (people who menstruate) bleeding in between periods.

But many people do not experience any symptoms.

Testing?

Get tested regularly. Gonorrhea can be easily diagnosed by testing a sample of discharge or testing a sample of urine.

Treatment?

Usually treated with antibiotics.

What is it?

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that's usually caught by having sex with someone who's infected.

The symptoms of syphilis are not always obvious and may eventually disappear, but you'll usually remain infected unless you get treated.

Some people with syphilis have no symptoms.

Symptoms?

  • small, painless sores or ulcers that typically appear on the penis, vagina, or around the anus, but can occur in other places such as the mouth
  • a blotchy red rash that often affects the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
  • small skin growths (similar to genital warts) that may develop on the vulva in women or around the bottom (anus) in both men and women
  • white patches in the mouth
  • tiredness, headachesjoint pains, a high temperature (fever) and swollen glands in your neck, groin or armpits

Treatment?

It can usually be cured with a short course of antibiotics.


Other Common Infections

What is it?

Cystitis is inflammation of the urinary bladder usually caused by bacteria. Cystitis is not a sexually transmitted disease, but sexual intercourse does increase the risk of cystitis (bladder infection) in women.

It's a common type of urinary tract infection (UTI), particularly in women, and is usually more of a nuisance than a cause for serious concern.

Symptoms?

  • pain, burning, or stinging when you pee
  • needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
  • feeling like you need to pee again soon after going to the toilet
  • urine that's dark, cloudy, or strong-smelling
  • pain low down in your tummy
  • feeling generally unwell, achy, sick, and tired

Treatment?

There are lots of self-care tips online to help with cystitis.

If you see a GP and they diagnose you with cystitis, you'll usually be prescribed a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.

Thrush is a common yeast infection that affects men and women. It's usually harmless but it can be uncomfortable and keep coming back. It is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but can be triggered by sex.

Sexual health clinics can help with thrush.

Thrush symptoms in females

  • white vaginal discharge (often like cottage cheese), which does not usually smell
  • itching and irritation around the vagina
  • soreness and stinging during sex or when you pee

Thrush symptoms in males

  • irritation, burning, and redness around the head of the penis and under the foreskin
  • a white discharge (like cottage cheese)
  • an unpleasant smell
  • difficulty pulling back the foreskin

Feedback.

Are we doing enough to support your sexual health? Do you have any feedback for us? We would love to hear about your ideas on how better to support you.

Let Us Know.