Sexual Health | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Sexual Health

Sexually Transmitted Infections or STIs (sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs) are very common and most of us will have at least one STI in our lifetime. The good news, most STIs are curable, and all are treatable.

Signs and symptoms that might indicate an STI include:

  • Sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area.
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during sex.

What to look out for:

  • Clear, white, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Strong vaginal odour
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Itching or irritation inside the penis
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Painful urination.

How to protect yourself:

  • STIs are passed from one person to another during sexual contact
    • STIs can be passed without ‘having sex’, through intimate bodily rubbing and shared bodily fluids
    • STIs often cause obvious symptoms which alert you that you may have an infection; however, many people with STIs have no signs or symptoms so are unaware they are infectious
    • STIs can infect many areas of the body—the genital and anal area, mouth and throat
    • STIs are caused by microscopic (invisible) organisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites
    • More than half of us will contract an STI at some point in our lives
    • Young people up to the age of 25 have the highest rates of STIs in New Zealand.

Where to get help

Speak to your GP or contact our team on 0800 286 828

Useful Websites:

Just The Facts

Ministry of Health

Syphilis is a complex infection with potentially tragic effects on pregnancy and long term health. In New Zealand, syphilis rates have been increasing since 2012, particularly in men who have sex with men (MSM). However, syphilis rates in heterosexual men and women have also been increasing. 

Click the links below for more information about STI's;


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