More about STI transmission

More about STI transmission

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is a serious crime that involves non-consensual sexual acts forced upon a person against their will. In legal terms, rape refers to the penile penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person without their consent. Sexual assault encompasses any sexual penetration or unwanted sexual touching without consent, which may involve any body part or object.

Rape and sexual assault are forms of sexual violence that are never justified or acceptable under any circumstances. They can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, social status, or religion. These acts are criminal offenses and should be reported to the police, just like any other crime.

If you have experienced sexual assault, it is crucial to understand that it was not your fault. Find a safe place and don't hesitate to seek help. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or reach out to the support services listed below. 

You may choose to report the assault to the police. You can contact them directly by calling 911. However, reporting to the police is your decision, and it's okay to take time to process what has happened before making a choice.

If you decide to report, the police will investigate the assault. This involves a forensic medical examination and providing a statement about the incident. The police will share their findings, including the forensic report, with the appropriate legal authorities who will determine if the case should proceed to trial.

It's also important to consider the potential risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If there is a risk, you can receive emergency contraception, get tested for STIs, and discuss post-exposure prevention. Sexual assault referral centers often provide emergency contraception and may offer STI treatment at your first visit or before receiving test results.

The available resources and support in your area may vary. The following organizations can help you make decisions and guide you through the process:

  • Your primary care physician.
  • Emergency departments.
  • Rape Crisis national freephone helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).

Additional information and resources can be found on the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) website: www.rainn.org.

RAINN is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the US and offers support, education, and advocacy services. Their website provides a wealth of information, including guidance on reporting an assault, finding local resources, and seeking help.

I’ve had sex with someone else; could I pass an STI on to my partner?

To protect your partner, avoid having sex with them, or make sure you use condoms until you know whether you have any STIs. Take an STI test as soon as possible. 

Bear in mind that when you first have an STI, it may not show up on a test for a few weeks or months. This is known as the “window period”. So, although you may get a negative test result, you can’t be certain that you haven’t got a particular STI until the window period has passed and you’ve had a negative test result. 

In the meantime, if you develop any symptoms, then get checked out at a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. 

I’m planning to try for a baby.

When you or a partner are planning to get pregnant it’s a good idea to consider all aspects of your health including your sexual health, to give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy and birth. 

Some STIs can cause pregnancy complications or can be passed on to the baby during the pregnancy. 

If you or a partner haven’t been tested for STIs before or not for a while, then it’s a great idea to get tested before you start trying, using our STI test kits. 

A condom has split/broken.

If a condom splits during sexual activity, it’s a good idea to test, as you could have been exposed to an STI. 

A recent partner/an ex-partner has an STI.

If a recent partner or an ex-partner has told you directly that they have an STI, don’t panic, but do get tested as soon as possible. You should also get in contact with your Primary Care Physician. Depending on the STI you are at risk of having contracted, you may be offered treatment before your test results are back, just to be on the safe side.  

If you’re not sure which STI your recent/ex-partner has, it’s a good idea to get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis. A clinic or Primary Care Physician can advise if you might need any further tests.  

If your partner didn’t ejaculate inside you.

STIs are passed on in several different ways, not just through ejaculation, so if you’ve had sex without a condom then it’s best to get tested.