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Paranoid That You May Have An STI? Firstly, Stop Worrying

Posted in Sexual Health 03 Sep, 2014

Several people have experienced that feeling of angst. During sex, you've tried to play it safe but probably let a few things slip (no pun intended). The most common slip-ups include, receiving oral sex without a condom or touching your partner's genitals after having touched yours. And now you're probably freaking out every time there's a tiny pain or itch down there. While urinating, you even start to associate that slight stinging feeling in your genitals with a possible STI.

This excessive paranoia ruins your whole day and all you can think about is rushing down to the nearest walk-in clinic. Going to a sexual health clinic and discussing your sexual encounters with a medical professional is very important if you've not practiced safe sex and shouldn't be seen as something to feel anxious about.

Some paranoid people overthink it while others are more carefree

A small minority of people are so worried about catching STI's they abstain from having penetrative sex for years on end and fear being touched down there by a partner. So they end up pleasing themselves. This level of paranoia is not healthy and should be discussed with a health professional.

Then there are many others who never follow all the essential steps to practising safe sex. Here is a list of recommended safety procedures that everyone should follow:

  • Always wearing a condom, even during foreplay
  • Using a dental dam when giving oral sex to a woman
  • Wearing a condom while receiving oral sex

One hour of enjoyment doesn't outweigh weeks of worry, trips to the local sexual health clinic and potentially lifelong sexual difficulties.

While practising safe sex is important, excessive paranoia can lead some to mistake common maladies for social diseases. For instance, your recent bladder infection may have come around the same time when you weren't so vigilant during sex. This doesn't automatically mean the two are related.

Some people attend sexual health clinics every month

In light of people realising that condoms aren't 100% effective at preventing the transmission of HPV and herpes virus, since they don't cover the entire genital area, a small number test obsessively. It's not uncommon for them to wrap the uncovered areas of their genitals with clingfilm. They may been at risk of an STI two or three years ago, but still test periodically every month, even if they haven't had sex since.

Can panic or anxiety cause STI symptoms?

Ongoing anxiety can wreak havoc on the immune system, leaving it open to disease. Our bodies are prone to react poorly when we're stressed especially if we stress for several months. Working too many hours, lack of sleep, poor dieting, financial troubles and relationship issues are among the long list of causes that trigger anxiety.

Several STIs, including HPV, herpes and HIV may be dormant in the body; when we are overstressed the immune system may weaken and lose its ability to protect the body from STI symptoms.

Calm down, enjoy nature, exercise & avoid negativity

I know medical professionals emphasize these points, but that's only because people can remain pessimistic, even after treating their STI. Be happy and don't isolate yourself from people if you're feeling stressed out. Remain focused on your goals and don't let negativity, gossip, or any other anxieties overwhelm you.

Exercise is a fantastic way to combat stress and strengthen the immune system. Also, the mind and body calm down when in the midst of nature. We are not saying you'll be cured after doing some press ups but you'll be surprised how far an active mind and body goes towards preventing diseases.

Don't leave anything to chance & stop looking at Google images

Although sexual infections are not the end of the world, nobody would be happy living with constant sexual infection breakouts. The unfortunate thing about STI information is that it focuses on every specific detail from symptoms and treatments to horror stories and worst-case scenarios. And what happens when people think they may have caught something? They frantically search online to convince themselves they're okay, only to find horrifying images of deformed genitalia.

So, stop overreacting and follow these basic rules: Always wear protection, choose your partners carefully and get tested periodically, especially if you have an active sex life.

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