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New research has shaken us to our very sexual core…almost HALF of Irish people have never been tested for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Shame on you, lads.

A disturbing 47 percent of Irish people have never gone for a sexual health check-up, according to data gathered by Censuswide.

Medicine Direct commissioned the study as part of their 'Fruit of your Loins' campaign, which emphasises the symptoms of STIs and aims to reduce stigma and raise awareness.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Only 39 percent of the survey's respondents claimed to practice safe sex, while just over half of those quizzed said they would be confident about recognising the symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection. Jaysis.

One-in-five (22 percent) of those asked said they wouldn't be confident in recognising symptoms, and one-in-eight (12 percent) said they were "not at all confident" in spotting signs of an infection

Almost one-in-six (16 percent) of Irish people admitted that they would never divulge details about their sexual past to their partner. 44 percent said they would discuss their sexual history once in a serious relationship.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Worryingly, two out of three people (66 percent) said they wouldn't consult a doctor straight away if they had a sexual health concern. It's incredibly vital to be more responsible for your body, and break free of shame.

Researching symptoms online was the first move for 18 percent of participants, saying they would turn to sites like Google for advice. 17 percent said they would at least consult a medical website, but it can be difficult to know which ones are accurate.

Over a quarter of Irish people (28 percent) rated the information handed out on STIs and symptoms in school as 'poor', or 'awful'. That's Catholic Church-state education for ya…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Men were slightly more likely to talk to their doctor about a sexual health concern than women, with 65 percent of men stating this as opposed to 60 percent of women. This may be due to the gender pain gap in healthcare.

Interestingly, men were less likely to confide in their partner or a friend than women. A quarter of men would wait until symptoms developed before getting an STI check, instead of 21 percent of women.

Only 8 percent of men said they would never get checked after unprotected sex, compared to 7 percent of women. These is still shockingly low numbers…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct,Hussain Abdeh, commented on the discoveries:

“In light of our findings, we made our fruity guide to STI symptoms to try and raise the conversation about positive sexual health and to make it easier to spot potential STI symptoms.

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“It’s worth remembering that for some STIs, such as chlamydia, there can be no visible symptoms – but they can be very damaging if left untreated.

"That’s why it’s so important to work regular STI testing into your life and treat it as a normal part of your lifestyle as a sexually responsible individual." he added.

It's imperative that checking your sexual health regularly becomes the norm.

Remember folks; if in doubt, check it out.

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You can find more information about STI symptoms on the Medicine Direct website, and St James' Hospital also has a free STI clinic called The GUIDE.

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Now would be the time to get yourself checked if you have any suspicions that there might be some odd behaviour happening in your nether regions, because STI numbers in Ireland are on the rise.

New figures from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Herpes have all seen an increase in diagnoses. 

Chlamydia remains Ireland's most wide-spread sexually transmitted infection, with Gonorrhea and Herpes following in second and third place. 

Chlamydia cases have risen from 6247 in 2016 to 6896 in 2017, and it's maintaining it's top spot on the STI charts. 

Symptoms of the disease include abnormal vaginal discharge and a burning sensation when urinating, and can impact fertility if left untreated. 

However, it is completely curable. 

Gonorrhea on the other hand has seen an increase of 18.6pc. 

Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that can be treated and cured with specific antibiotics, according to the HSE. 

The symptoms include yellowish or greenish-white vaginal discharge, itching and burning or pain when peeing.

Herpes is also on the rise, with an increase of 19.6pc.

Syphilis has seen a dramatic increase of 50.4pc. Symptoms include genital sores, flu-like symptoms and muscle aches. 

69pc of those with STIs were aged under 30, according to the report. 

To protect yourself from STIs, make sure to use condoms during every sexual encounter, and avail of free, regular STI screenings.

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