WHAT IS THE VULVA?
The vulva is the part of your genitals that you can see. The vulva includes the mons pubis (the mound above the rest of the vulva), the inner and outer labia (lips), the clitoris, the opening of tube leading to the bladder (the urethra), and the opening to the vagina.
The vagina is the tube that leads from the outside (the vulva) to the uterus (womb). The vagina is not part of the vulva.
TAKING CARE OF THE SKIN OF YOUR VULVA
The skin of the vulva is delicate and taking care of it is an important part of your health care. There are a few key factors to consider with vulva...
WHAT I GONORRHOEA?
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmissible infection (STI) which is caused by a bacterium called neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can infect the urethra, throat, cervix, anus, and (rarely) the eyes.
HOW DO YOU CATCH GONORRHOEA?
Gonorrhoea is passed on during oral, vaginal, or anal sex without condoms.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms will depend on where the infection is. Up to 80% of people with a vaginal infection will have no symptoms at all. In people with an infection in the penis most will have symptoms, only about 10-15% will not have symptoms. Symptoms are very uncommon...
WHAT IS SYPHILIS?
Syphilis is a sexually transmissible infection caused by a bacteria called Treponema pallidum. It is not as common in Australia as it is in some other countries, however it is a serious infection and cases are on the rise.
Syphilis can be easily treated with antibiotics, but without treatment it can cause serious health problems. It has three stages: Early infectious syphilis, late latent syphilis, and tertiary or late syphilis.
HOW DO YOU CATCH SYPHILIS?
Syphilis is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. You can catch it by having oral, vaginal, or anal sex with...
WHAT ARE GENITAL WARTS
Genital warts are growths on the surface of the skin or mucous membrane which occur in the genital area.
WHAT CAUSES GENITAL WARTS?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes genital warts. HPV is the name given to a group of viruses which are very common in humans. HPV is so common that almost all sexually active people will be infected with it at some point in their lives. There are over 100 types of HPV that can infect humans, and around 40 types can infect the genital area. Some HPV types cause genital warts while other HPV types cause warts on the hands or feet, or other...
WHAT IS TRICHOMONIASIS?
Trichomoniasis is a genital infection which is caused by the organism trichomonas vaginalis. While it is common worldwide, it is relatively rare in urban areas in Australia. Trichomoniasis is a vaginal infection, more common in older populations and those living in remote areas. It is a very rare cause of symptoms in the penis.
Trichomoniasis infection during pregnancy can cause premature delivery and low birth weight in the baby.
HOW DO YOU CATCH TRICHOMONIASIS?
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which is passed on during unprotected intercourse.
WHAT IS VULVAR LICHEN SCLEROSUS?
Vulvar lichen sclerosus is a common long-term inflammatory skin condition that affects the genitals. Lichen sclerosus can ccur anywhere on the body, but most often affects the vulva.
It can occur at any age but usually starts around menopause and affects around 1 in 20 women who have gone through menopause. It can occasionally affect men and children.
If lichen sclerosus is left untreated for a long time, there can be an increased risk of skin cancer in the vulva. Lichen sclerosus does not affect the vagina which is different tissue to the vulva.
WHAT IS HERPES?
Herpes is a skin condition caused by a very common virus called the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV: HSV 1 and HSV 2.
HSV 1 causes almost all oral herpes (cold sores) and about half of genital herpes. Infection with HSV 1 tends to be milder and doesn’t usually require treatment.
HSV 2 causes about half of genital herpes. It rarely causes oral herpes. Infection with HSV 2 is more likely to have recurrences and to need treatment but can also be quite mild.
Both HSV types can have no symptoms and many people who have HSV do not know that they have it.
WHAT IS THE CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANT?
The contraceptive implant, often called ‘the rod’ is a small flexible plastic rod that contains a progestogen hormone. It is inserted under the skin on the underside of the upper arm where it slowly releases a small amount of this hormone over three years.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The contraceptive implant mainly works by stopping the egg being released from the ovary (ovulation). This prevents pregnancy occurring. It also increases the thickness of mucus in the cervix which make it hard for any sperm to travel through and fertilise an egg.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Condoms are worn during sexual activity to prevent sexually transmissible infections and as a contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy. A condom is a physical barrier that stops body fluids (e.g., semen, vaginal fluids) from passing between sexual partners. There are two different kinds of condom available, the external (male) condom and the internal (female) condom.
HOW DO EXTERNAL CONDOMS WORK AND WHAT ARE THEY MADE OF?
External condoms are made of thin, strong latex rubber or polyurethane.
HOW DO YOU USE THEM?
They are used by being rolled onto the erect penis before vaginal, anal,...
WHAT IS CHLAMYDIA?
Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmissible infection (STI) which is caused by a bacterium called chlamydia trachomatis. It is the most common bacterial STI in young people under 30 in Australia. Chlamydia is easy to catch, easy to test, and easy to treat. It can cause infection of the cervix, anus, throat, urethra(penis), and occasionally the eyes.
IS CHLAMYDIA SERIOUS?
If chlamydia is left undetected and untreated, it can cause serious health problems; this includes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is a serious infection of the uterus(womb) and the fallopian...
WHAT IS THE CONTRACEPTIVE INJECTION?
The contraceptive injection is a hormonal contraceptive containing Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA). DMPA is a progestogen that is similar to the hormone progesterone made by your body. DMPA has been available as a contraceptive method for many years.
HOW IS IT GIVEN AND HOW OFTEN?
The contraceptive injection is given by a doctor or nurse every twelve weeks in the upper arm or buttock.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The contraceptive injection works by preventing ovulation (an egg being released from the ovary). It also thickens the mucus in the cervix which...
Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause, or GSM is a term used to describe the changes that can occur in the vulva, vagina, urethra, and bladder when you reach menopause. These changes are common. Up to 80% of people have GSM following menopause, and more than 50% experience symptoms.
Symptoms of GSM can occur following natural menopause or surgical menopause. Unlike other symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats, which can improve over time, symptoms of GSM usually persist and may possibly worsen.
GSM can cause significant discomfort and distress, and it is important that it...