Lifestyle & Health: Itching after unprotected sex

September 06, 2016


Dear Counsellor,

I am 21 years old and I had sex for the first time on two consecutive occasions with my boyfriend.

A few days after sex, I started having intense itching and burning around my vagina. I told my boyfriend and he said it is because I was having sex for the first time and that when I get used to having sex, that won't happen again.

Counsellor, I am a little concerned, though, because now I am having a yellowish and smelly discharge.

I know I must see a doctor as my girlfriend advised, but I just don't have money to go to the doctor. I know something is wrong, especially because we did not practise safe sex. Do you think I am having a sexual disease?


Dear Concerned,

I am glad you are prepared to take your girlfriend's advice seriously. You should go to the health centre nearest to you. There is no user fee charged at the health centre.

It is very important that you be properly diagnosed so that you can be properly treated. Bear in mind that a diagnosis cannot be made without a medical examination.

I must tell you that sexually transmitted infections are serious. If sexually transmitted infections are left untreated, you could develop serious and lasting complications, such as infertility - resulting in you never been able to have children or develop a pregnancy in the tube, leading to an ectopic pregnancy and even death.

You could also develop chronic pain. You mentioned that you did not practise safe sex. Safer sex practices are very important in protecting you from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV the virus that causes AIDS.

Safer sex practices may also prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Be reminded that you must take a personal responsibility to protect your sexual health.

Sexually contracted hepatitis B


Dear Counsellor,

I am 18 years old and I became sexually active when I was 16.

I met this man who is much older than I am, but I loved him. Few months ago, I became pregnant and I had to do a number of blood tests. To my surprise, one of the tests came back positive for hepatitis B.

I understand that hepatitis B can be sexually transmitted. I also found out that my boyfriend's ex-girlfriend had died of hepatitis B-related illness.

My boyfriend had all that information and he did nothing to protect me or our baby. My boyfriend is like a sheep in wolf clothing.

I would like you to tell me a little about hepatitis B. What are the symptoms?

Deceived Lover

Dear Deceived Lover,

I am sorry to hear about your infection with hepatitis B. Please be sure to follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver and is caused by a virus. This virus is called hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV attacks the liver cells of an infected person. Infection with HBV can result in:

- Mild or chronic illness

- Liver damage, such as cirrhosis

- Liver cancer

- Death, due to liver failure.

Persons usually become infected with HBV through:

- Unprotected sex (vaginal, oral or anal with an infected person).

- Sharing needles with an infected person to inject drugs.

- Personal-care items such as razors, tooth brushes and nail clippers, if you share them with an infected person.

- Use of infected needles to do piercing, tattooing or acupuncture.


Dear Counsellor,

I was diagnosed with genital warts and my auntie got me very nervous. She told me I could develop cancer. Do genital warts eventually lead to cancer?

Worried Niece

Dear Worried Niece,

Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are about 70 different types of HPV. The types of HPV linked to cervical cancer usually are not the types that cause genital warts.

However, a woman with genital warts, like any other sexually active woman, should get yearly Pap tests done or as advised by her health-care provider.

A Pap test detects abnormal cells present on the surface of the cervix, and so regular Pap tests can prevent cervical cancer by detecting those abnormal cervical cells.

Remember as well that consistent condom use can help to prevent infection with sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, call the AIDS/STD Helpline toll free at 1888-9914444.

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